MAPLEWOOD, NJ - School Superintendent Brian Osborne has decided to decline the job offer he had received from the school district of Ann Arbor, Mich. He will remain in his current position.
"Dr. Osborne shared with me that due to a developing family issue, concerns about moving his family from the East coast and his desire to continue the work he has started in his current district, he has declined our offer," said Deb Mexicotte, president of the Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education in a report issued on AnnArbor.com.
The following is the letter sent by Osborne to the Ann Arbor community at large:
The Ann Arbor Board of Education conducted a thorough, professional, and transparent selection process. The entire school community is fortunate to have such dedicated public servants who are clearly committed to providing a great education to every child. I am humbled and honored by the confidence the Board and community have expressed, and appreciative of the learning opportunity that such a rigorous process provided. After deep reflection and deliberation, I have decided to decline Ann Arbor’s offer and recommit to the unfinished work in my current district.
This was not an easy decision. When approached about the superintendency of Ann Arbor, I responded because Ann Arbor embodies the qualities and values that originally drew me to the South Orange Maplewood School District (SOMSD), and have made the work there so meaningful. They are both communities that cherish public education, value diversity, and are willing to address issues of race, class, and student outcomes. For our nation to make good on its promise of equal opportunity, all children must be fully challenged and supported, and leadership must ensure that diverse districts like these achieve equity and excellence for all kids.
For the past few weeks, I have been touched and inspired by the numerous and meaningful demonstrations of support for the work we are doing in SOMSD. I feel that the biggest contribution to public education that I can make at this time is to harness the momentum we have created in SOMSD and accelerate the progress we are making toward truly preparing all students for the myriad challenges they will face in college and career. We have a strong beginning to that journey in SOMSD, and much unfinished work in motion.
There are also family considerations that influence my decision to stay in SOMSD. While Ann Arbor is a place we would be happy to make our home, the timing of this move would have a major impact on my family, including two young children whose upbringing is my highest priority. In addition, over the past few weeks, the medical condition of an ailing family member has intensified, compelling us to stay on the East Coast.
I have appreciated getting to know the Ann Arbor community. Ann Arbor itself is clearly a wonderful and supportive place to live and raise a family. The district has enormous strengths that will help it overcome the formidable challenges that lie ahead. These characteristics reminded me of my commitment to overcoming similar challenges in SOMSD. I appreciate the consideration and offer. I wish Ann Arbor well in finding the best possible person to help move the district forward.