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Mass resignations sweep Grosse Pointe Schools as employees seek change

Julia Roeder ’25
Grosse Pointe School board meeting in September of this year in the wake of John Dean, former superintendent’s resignation.

The Grosse Pointe Public School board had been a cause for controversy since their most recent election, and many claim they are the cause for a number of teacher cuts, resignations and retirements.

Grosse Pointe Public Schools have had an unprecedented amount of teacher resignations in the 2022-2023 school year. Tower reached out to the district HR representative for an exact number, but none was provided, no number was found using public resources.

Coupled with new teacher hires on the decline, and a burnout rate of about 45 percent in new teachers, as found in an interview by the news publication Vox, many find the school district seems to be at a crossing road.“It’s all about a lack of respect. There are tangible forms and intangible forms,” English teacher Harry Campion said. “We get the intangible respect with what I cynically call ‘lip service’.”

Public school employees such as Campion find that there is a lack of respect of the teachers at the school district level. School employees find that community members are quick to declare “of course I respect teachers,” but do not go through the strides or efforts to show that support. Even students like Brody Fitzgibbon, ’25 find a shift in attitude with the teachers, administration and staff of their schools.“The environment is getting worse and worse for teachers and administrators,” Fitzgibbon said. “In prior years teachers were a lot more willing to stay (after school) and run a club, or to stay back and help or volunteer. Now they just want to get home, and that’s understandable.”

Some students find that the attitude and mood for classmates and teachers alike is lessened by looming threats like an unknown contract for teachers, a controversial school board, lower enrollment and teacher resignations. Teachers could be moving to better, more supporting environments or quitting the profession altogether.“We (were) one of the best staffs in the state,” Campion said. “We have a hard time filling any position that comes open because other districts are treating their teachers better.”

A common sentiment of teachers is that their efforts, skills, education and experience are better used in other schools where teacher input and feedback is used to craft curriculum and education for students, rather than to have school board involvement.“We have these committees popping up at the school board level,” Campion said. “Designed to re-examine our curriculum. Those people don’t have any expertise (or) training in make decisions or even recommendations.”

Some teachers feel to be consistently experiencing mistreatment and feel the school board has a combative nature towards what they find is best for the students. Some teachers find there is a mistrust between them and the school board. However, some like Lualhati Versoza ’26 argue that this is because this is uncharted territory for teachers, and a time of unprecedented change they are not used to.“Looking at my teachers, other teachers, administrators and staff, from the time they learned to teach to now, there’s been huge changes in the dynamics of how school works, how their jobs work…There is more opportunity elsewhere rather than here.” Versoza said.

A common sentiment shared by many community members like Versoza find that teachers have better opportunities in other places. Recently, major positions at Grosse Pointe South have been vacant, such as the Athletic Director position, as Brandon Wheeler resigned just this year. Tower contacted Wheeler for a statement regarding his resignation,he did not respond. Grosse Pointe South has yet to hire a permanent replacement.“They have driven off or driven out what expertise existed,” Campion said. “The administration has been gutted because nobody wants to deal with this school board.”

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About the Contributors
Joshua Sonnenberg '25
Joshua Sonnenberg '25, Graphics Editor
Joshua Sonnenberg ’25 has a lot of unique hobbies, such as building his own computer, participating in lots of running, and frequently adding to his comic book collection. His love for drawing however is what inspired him to become Graphics Editor for The Tower. “I love having the opportunity to publish both written and artistic works in the paper,” Sonnenberg said. The second year staffer is never seen without wired headphones, which usually have boygenius playing. Sonnenberg can almost always be found uniquely making his graphics on his phone instead of the typical iPad.
Julia Roeder ’25
Julia Roeder ’25, Supervising Web Editor
Whether it’s The Rolling Stone, Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers, or Tyler the Creator, Julia Roeder ’25 is guaranteed to have seen them in concert. All eyes envy her as she walks into the journalism classroom wearing merchandise she bought from the concert the night before. When she’s not listening to her favorite artists, she spends most of her time jamming out on her own guitar, being your average aspiring popstar. Besides her still-amounting popstar career, Roeder is also the Supervising Web Editor of The Tower. This is Roeder’s second year on staff and she is looking forward to continuing her role and being involved in the community and school. “I love Tower because you’re informing the community of what’s going on and also getting to know people on staff,” Roeder said.

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