Trustees recognized for Board Appreciation Month, board elects new officers

The Dearborn Schools Board of Education during the Jan. 10, 2023 board meeting.

As part of School Board Recognition Month, Superintendent Dr. Glenn Maleyko took time at the January 10, 2023 school board meeting to thank trustees for their service to the community and to recognize each trustee.

Board of Education members develop policies and make tough decisions that help shape the district now and in the future. They are responsible for the third largest school district in Michigan with an enrollment of 20,000 students and 2,700 employees working in 37 district buildings.  The district has an annual regular budget of $395 million, which has swelled to $449 million with federal ESSER funding.

In addition, Dearborn School Board trustees also serve as trustees for Henry Ford College.  They are the only school board trustees in the state that also serve as trustees for a local college. This dual responsibility means trustees spend twice the amount of time dedicated to serving the community.  They evaluate both the superintendent and the college president and must keep abreast of issues, laws and legislation impacting both grades preschool to 12th and the college.

The board began calendar year 2023 with an organizational meeting to select new officers.  Those appointments include Jim Thorpe as president, Hussein Berry as vice president, Irene Watts as secretary, and Pat D’Ambrosio as treasurer.

Dr. Maleyko also thanked Trustee Roxanne McDonald for her service as board president during 2022. Trustee McDonald was not able to attend Tuesday’s meeting, but will be presented later with a ceremonial gavel in recognition of her time leading the school board.

Below is information about the Dearborn Public School trustees for 2023. Short biographies for each trustee can be found on the Board of Education page.

Trustees Hussein Berry and Pat D’Ambrosio both won reelection in November 2022 and are scheduled to serve through 2028.  Trustee Berry has served on the board for 11 years. He initially served from 2010 to 2014 and was elected again in November 2016 and has served since then.  Trustee D’Ambrosio has served since December 2020 after initially being elected to a partial-term on the board.

Trustee Adel Mozip was initially appointed to the board in April 2019.  He was one of three trustees who won election to full six-year seats in 2020, and his term will expire at the end of 2026.

Trustee Mary Petlichkoff also won reelection in 2020 and is scheduled to serve until the end of 2026. She has served on the board for 12 years. She was first elected in 2006 and served from 2007 to 2010.  She returned to the board after being elected again in November 2014.

Trustee Irene Watts was the third trustee elected to a full term in 2020.  Her term expires in 2026. She has served two years on the Board of Education.

Trustee Roxanne McDonald has served nine years on the board after being elected in November 2011. She did not serve in 2017 and 2018, but was reelected in November 2018.  Her current term expires at the end of 2024.

Trustee James Thorpe has served six years on the board after first being elected in November 2016 to a partial term.  He was reelected in November 2018 to a full term, which expires at the end of 2024.

The Dearborn Board of Education, and the hundreds like it across the state, preserve public education, a core of the United States democracy.  They ensure that decisions on school programming are made by people elected to represent the community’s values, culture and circumstances.  They are citizens whose decisions affect students and build the local community.