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Assistant Brandon superintendent resigns McKinney will be Berkshire Middle School assistant principal



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July 06, 2011 - Brandon Twp.- Assistant Superintendent and Curriculum Director Joanna McKinney's last day in the district was June 30.

McKinney resigned last month after accepting a position as assistant principal at Berkshire Middle School in the Birmingham School District.

"Although it seems a step backward in educational positions, it's a step forward in my total life," she said. "It's certainly not an easy decision, I've worked in the Brandon District for eight years and I'm proud of what our district has been doing. I'm sad in a way, but when you consider your whole life, you have to make decisions sometimes that are tough."

McKinney, who came to Brandon in 2003 as a middle school math teacher, was motivated to leave the district because she and her husband want to raise their two young sons in a more diverse community. The Oxford residents adopted Mikias, 4, and Taye, 2, from Ethiopia.

"When we built our family internationally, we knew it would be highly important to us to raise our kids in a diverse area," McKinney said. "We are planning to move and because I am now an employee of the Birmingham School District, I can enroll them there."

In Birmingham, McKinney will be expected to provide instructional leadership, not the heavy discipline commonly associated with assistant principal positions. She will be responsible for designing academic intervention programs for students, as well as academic enrichment programs for grades 3-8.

One of the things she will miss most about Brandon, McKinney said, are the people.

"The people in our district wear so many hats, they are multi-talented and the relationship part will be a loss," she said.

She believes the Brandon School Board has negativity toward the current budget, but said they need to make sure the message is frustration with the budget, not with current practices of the district.

"I think we have some phenomenal things going on," she said. "When we're creative about using the people we have, we can find amazing solutions that don't require money.."

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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