Troy School Board member appointed to county school board

By: Brendan Losinski | Troy Times | Published July 13, 2022




TROY — Troy Public Schools Board of Education Trustee Steve Gottlieb has been elected to the Oakland County Board of Education by the boards of Oakland County’s 28 school districts. Gottlieb will serve for a six-year term that began July 1.

A 47-year resident of Troy, Gottlieb taught in the Troy School District for 41 years, and this is his sixth year on the Troy school board. He holds a master’s degree in education leadership from Central Michigan University, and during his years teaching at Troy Athens High School, Gottlieb taught vocational auto mechanics, video game design, computer networks and repair, photography, government, and economics. He also owns a real estate business in Troy. He said his goal for all his students was to prepare them to thrive in the world by providing a classroom culture of excellence.

“I am honored and appreciative for the support that I’ve received,” Gottlieb remarked. “I want to provide whatever services that the community feels is a priority. The most important thing is to be an active and good listener so I can help provide what people want from this service organization.”

Members of the county board said they are glad to work with Gottlieb.

“We welcome Mr. Gottlieb to the Board and look forward to his participation,” Connie Williams, the Oakland School Board of Education president, wrote in an email.

Gottlieb will still have his role on the Troy Board of Education for the time being. However, that may change depending on his discussions with each body.

“My full term would be up in December on the Troy board,” Gottlieb said. “We have a meeting coming up because there has not been a schedule determined yet, and part of the process to work on the Troy school board and the county board to decide how I am going to make this transition as seamless as possible.”

Williams said that Gottlieb will help the five-person board tackle a variety of issues in the months ahead.

“School safety is our primary focus as we prepare for the upcoming school year,” Williams explained. “We’re concerned about teacher efficacy; keeping, and attracting good teachers to the field. It’s vital that our teachers feel respected and valued.  With the financial support provided by the Oakland County Board of Commissioners and the Oakland County Executive, we look forward to working with our local districts in providing mental health and support services to our Oakland County school community.”

Gottlieb said that the tasks ahead of the Oakland Schools Board of Education are intense but that he hopes to help solve whatever issues come across their desks.

“There are so many challenges right now. Right now, the biggest one might be picking a starting point from where to be effective,” he said. “As a local board member, there has been an increasing involvement from groups with specific interests, and there is a challenge to balance your resources to give the most help to the most people.”

He added that his guiding star will be the well-being of the county’s students.

“The only priority I have is to do good for the students in Oakland County,” Gottlieb said. “The most important thing to me is to approach it with an open mind and see what has already been done and seeing how I can help and support it. Oakland Schools have historically done some great things, and I want to support that work.”

Williams stressed that this is a critical time for schools and expressed gratitude to Gottlieb joining them, and for the support residents and Michigan politicians have recently shown them.

“We’re very appreciative of our Oakland County legislators and their role in helping to facilitate passage of the 2022-23 K-12 budget,” Williams wrote. “We appreciate their insight into the budgetary process. They put students first and it shows. The increase to special education funding is remarkable. We believe this budget places Michigan on the path to a successful year of learning for all students. We want the community to also know that we will continue to use every available resource to help our students, educators and parents navigate the post-pandemic challenges that have impacted our emotional well-being.”

Gottlieb agreed that it is a crucial time for schools in Oakland County and schools in general. He said he wants to do his part to make the most of that opportunity.

“There’s never been a better opportunity to have an impact, but there’s never been, in my opinion, a more challenging time to put forth every effort to maximize your return,” he remarked. “You don’t want people to feel disenfranchised. They need to feel that they have a voice, and I hope I can provide opportunities for them to have their voices brought forth.”