Our history begins with the passing of two public acts (Michigan’s Public Act 362, Part 6, and Public Act 416, Part 6B) in 1993 and 1994. These laws allowed for four types of public school academy (charter school) authorizers in the State of Michigan: public universities, community colleges, intermediate school districts and local school districts.
During the fall of 1995, Eastern Michigan University appointed Dr. Joseph Pollack to head up the newly created Charter Schools Office. The first two EMU-sponsored charter schools (Gaudior Academy and Commonwealth Community Development Academy) came on line in 1996. The following year, Great Lakes Academy and the Academy for Business and Technology were added to the list of EMU authorized charter schools. In 1998, Ann Arbor Learning Community and Hope Academy became members of the EMU charter school family. The final two academies, Edison Oakland Academy and Grand Blanc Academy, were added in 1999.
In 2001, the EMU Charter Schools Office staff was expanded with the addition of Richard “Mike” Collett, Senior Accountant. The 2002-2003 academic year saw the expansion of the EMU Charter Schools Office with the addition of Dr. Malverne Winborne, Assistant Director; Larry Barkoff, Assistant General Counsel and Patricia Walker, Administrative Secretary.
In the fall of 2009, with the untimely passing of the late Dr. Joseph F. Pollack, Dr. Winborne was appointed as the Interim Director of the Charter Schools Office. He accepted the position of Director in the summer of 2010. In the summer of 2011 Dr. Roberto Quiroz joined the Charter Schools team as its new Associate Director.