headshots
The candidates who won seats on the Detroit school board are, clockwise from top left, Latrice McClendon, Iris Taylor, Corletta Vaughn, and Angelique Peterson-Mayberry. (Courtesy of Latrice McClendon, Iris Taylor, Angelique Peterson-Mayberry, and Corletta Vaughn)

A political newcomer, a former school board president, and two incumbents won seats on the Detroit school board Tuesday.

Latrice McClendon, Iris Taylor, Corletta Vaughn, and Angelique Peterson-Mayberry had the most votes with 100% of the ballots counted, according to unofficial results being reported by the Detroit City Clerk’s office.

This story originally appeared in Chalkbeat Detroit

Two incumbents — Vice President Deborah Hunter-Harvill and Georgia Lemmons — lost their re-election bids.

With over $117,000 in donations heading into Election Day, McClendon, a parent in the Detroit Public Schools Community District and the Detroit community president for Huntington Bank, far outpaced other candidates, according to campaign filings. 

Taylor, a city health consultant and administrator, served as school board president from 2017 until she lost her re-election bid in 2020, while a win would mark McClendon’s first time in public office.

Peterson-Mayberry, the current school board president and DEI manufacturing strategist at  Ford Motor Company, was elected in 2016. Vaughn, a bishop and leader of the Holy Ghost Cathedral Church in Detroit, has served on the board since 2018. 

Eighteen candidates were vying for four open seats on the board that oversees the DPSCD. The candidates included two former board presidents, a few current and former educators, parents, and a recent graduate.

The seven-member board oversees and sets policy for DPSCD, which educates nearly 49,000 students. With more than half of the four-year seats up for grabs, new board members could impact Superintendent Nikolai Vitti’s efforts to address pandemic-related enrollment losses, chronic absenteeism, and poor academic achievement. 

Vitti, who was hired in 2017 to turn the district around, mostly has had wide support among board members.

Chronic absenteeism is a critical issue in DPSCD, where Vitti has reported that 79% of the students were chronically absent at the end of the last school year. During a forum Chalkbeat co-hosted with WDET, candidates stated that issue would be one of their main priorities. 

Here is the full list of school board candidates: 

  • Monique Bryant: The Detroit native is the co-founder and president of the Triangle Society, a nonprofit dedicated to raising money for Cass Technical High School.
  • Regina Ann Campbell: The DPSCD graduate and parent is president and CEO of Build Institute, a “nonprofit idea incubator for the Detroit Region,” according to its website.
  • Richard Clement: The Detroit native is a retired educator, whose professional experience includes working as a technology consultant and computer installation specialist.
  • Patrice Douglas: The lifelong Detroiter is an organizer for the Michigan Democratic Party.
  • Bessie Harris: Now retired, she has over 30 years of experience as an educator, special education teacher, and principal in Detroit schools.
  • Ridgeley Hudson Jr.: A 2020 graduate of Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School, he works in the non-profit sector and previously worked as a school culture facilitator in the district.
  • Deborah Hunter-Harvill: Incumbent and current board vice president, she was first elected to the board in November 2016. She is a retired educator who spent her career as a teacher and operates Hunter-Harvill Educational Associates. 
  • Georgia Lemmons: Incumbent running for re-election for the first time, she is a retired teacher.
  • LaMar Lemmons: Former board president, he served on the board during emergency management and when DPSCD was created. He served in the Michigan legislature and is the chief of staff to State Sen. Betty Jean Alexander.
  • Latrice McClendon: The DPSCD parent works as the community president for Detroit at Huntington Bank.
  • Aliya Moore: She is a district parent. She is also a cleaner and an artist.
  • Jamaal Muhammad: Formerly a second grade teacher in DPSCD, Muhammad works for the district as an attendance agent.
  • Reba Neely: Neely has not responded to Chalkbeat requests for comment.
  • Angelique Peterson-Mayberry: The incumbent and board president was first elected in 2016. She is the diversity, equity, and inclusion employee experience strategist for manufacturing for Ford Motor Co.
  • Ida Simmons Short: She served on the board previously, including during emergency management. She is a professor of English and teaches full time at Schoolcraft College and part time at the Wayne County Community College District.
  • Iris Taylor: The former board member is a health consultant and administrator of clinical services for the Detroit Health Department. She is a former school board member. She led the board as president from 2017 until she lost her reelection bid in 2020. 
  • John Telford: The retired longtime educator served as superintendent of Detroit Public Schools when the district was under emergency management. Telford currently serves as the DPSCD poet-in-residence.
  • Corletta Vaughn: The incumbent was elected to the board in 2018. She is a bishop and leads the Holy Ghost Cathedral Church.

Ethan Bakuli is a reporter for Chalkbeat Detroit covering Detroit Public Schools Community District. Contact Ethan at ebakuli@chalkbeat.org.

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1 Comment

  1. In my opinion these winners have been bought and paid for to help further destabilize the Detroit Public Schools in an effort to justify privatization of our schools. For Dr. Vitti; I have never been able to understand how anyone will work as hard as possible for a system that he/she does not believe is good enough for his own children to use. Why doesn’t Vitti’s children attend a DPSCD school? Dr. Vitti should be able to say, I know the DPSCD is the greatest school system in Michigan because of the work I have done and I will not allow my children to be in any other school district, but DPSCD. The proof is in the pudding. If the pudding is not deemed fit for his consumption, why should we believe it is good for our consumption.

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