Ross resigns from UCS Board of Education after 16 years

Applications to fill vacancy due Feb. 24

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published February 22, 2021

 Robert Ross

Robert Ross

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP/UTICA — After 16 years on the Utica Community Schools Board of Education, Trustee Robert Ross recently announced his resignation to focus more on his family.

“It has been an honor to serve the community and advocate at this level for something I believe in very strongly — quality public education for all students. However, I felt at this point in my life I needed to make the very difficult decision to step away so I could devote more time to family and my grandchildren. While I may not be continuing as a board member, I will always be an active supporter of our schools and care deeply about the students, staff and families that make up our district,” he said.

Ross, who was first elected to the Board of Education in 2004, has served as trustee, treasurer and president during his tenure. He was a trustee for seven years, treasurer for seven years and the president for two years.

He and his wife, Lou Ann, are parents to four UCS graduates. Ross holds both a doctorate and a bachelor’s degree in physics from Wayne State University. He is a professor of physics at the University of Detroit Mercy.

Ross’ resignation started a search for a candidate to serve out the remainder of Ross’ term. Candidates have until 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, to apply for the post. To qualify, a candidate must be a citizen of the United States of America, be at least 18 years of age and be a registered voter who resides in a city or township within the Utica Community Schools district.

Ross thinks the new school board member will need to be able to do a few things in order to be successful, and there might be some challenges ahead.

“A continual challenge for any board member, past and present, is to provide our staff and students the stability and resources that drive learning. We operate in constant change and what at times can be a difficult environment, and we have always worked hard to address these factors so that our staff could focus on what is best for kids. It is important that the board and the administration function as a cohesive team,” he said.

As a longtime trustee, he said he is proud of the way the district has been determined to make the learning experience for students the main focus.

“I am proud of the continued commitment of this district to the success of every student. We have always remained focused on that commitment, even as we experienced the great economic and social changes of the past 16 years. I am particularly proud of the leadership our district took in the successful millage enhancement election last March. I was fortunate to be named treasurer of a grassroots committee advocating for its passage, and it was exciting to see educators, parents and community leaders come together in support of kids. Even more important, it has invested resources in our schools that will directly benefit students for years to come,” he said.

UCS Board of Education President Mary Thomas honored Ross in a prepared statement.

“Dr. Ross has been a tireless advocate for this community and has made a difference in the lives of literally thousands of students,” she said.


Apply for the opening
Those who would like to be considered to finish out Ross’ term should submit a letter of interest and a resume with background information. Each candidate also must complete a questionnaire.

To obtain the questionnaire, visit uticak12.org/district_leadership/board_of_education_information or contacting the administrative assistant to the superintendent at (586) 797-1102.

The questionnaire and application must be completed in full and returned by the 4:30 p.m. Feb. 24 deadline to be considered for the appointment. Candidates can turn in the information in person at 11303 Greendale Drive, Sterling Heights, MI 48312; via fax to (586) 797-1101; via email to Veleta.Carpenter@Uticak12.org; or by mail to the address above. Mailed documents must be received by the deadline, not simply postmarked.

The candidate that the Board of Education chooses will serve through Dec. 31, 2022. If the candidate wanted to continue on the board, the candidate will need to win election to a six-year term in November 2022.

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