New board member appointed in VDPS

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published January 13, 2016

 Amber Brace

Amber Brace


WARREN — New Van Dyke Public Schools Board of Education member Amber Brace is settling into her new role on the board.

Brace was recently appointed to fill a vacancy when previous board member Jim Brinkey resigned his position effective Oct. 19. She is married to Chris Brace and is the mother of four children.

Brace’s term expires Dec. 31, 2016. Brace was “excited” when she learned that she had been  appointed to the board.

“I wanted to just help with the district and with the different programs,” she said of her decision to apply.

To continue serving, she may file to run for the next school board election in November. She added that the school board members have been “very helpful” to her as she becomes acclimated with her new responsibilities.

Three of Brace’s four children are in school in the Van Dyke system: Nazyvia Thompson is in the eighth grade at Lincoln Middle School, and third-grader Christopher Brace and kindergartener Caliyah Brace are students at McKinley Elementary. Brace is very pleased with the education they are receiving. The family also includes 2-year-old Camina Brace.

“I believe the district is really good,” Brace said. “They have really good teachers that really care about the kids’ education. I love the social worker (Jodi Porzandek) at McKinley. My son is disabled. My son has autism and ADHD. Every teacher has been really good with him.”

While on the board, Brace hopes to accomplish many tasks, including working to implement different programs in the district for disabled students. She also is involved with the Clothing Closet at McKinley, which accepts donated clothing and hangers.

In addition to balancing family life, her board duties and volunteer efforts, Brace is studying and working on a degree in ministry.

Brinkey had served on the school board for eight years.

“It was time to step aside,” he said when he resigned. “I appreciate the rest of the board and their help with me the past eight years and the opportunity to serve the community. I really enjoyed it. It was a learning experience. I enjoyed showing up at board meetings and interacting with the students and the staff at all the events I attended.”