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March 2 , 2005
CONTACT: Ward Mullens
734.487.4400
ward.mullens@emich.edu

EMU graduate named Michigan superintendent of the year

YPSILANTI - For the fourth time in 11 years, an Eastern Michigan University graduate has been named the Michigan Superintendent of the Year.

Joan C. Sergent ('67), superintendent of Utica Community Schools since 1993, recently received the honor from the Michigan Association of School Administrators.

“I feel very honored to serve as a representative of the other superintendents who have made positive contributions to their school districts and public education in Michigan,” said Sergent.

As part of the honor, one scholarship is awarded to a student in the superintendent’s district. Sergent also becomes a finalist for the National Superintendent of the Year Award.

Utica Community Schools, which includes part of Sterling Heights, Ray and Shelby Townships, is the second largest school district in the state with approximately 29,000 students. The district operates 28 elementary schools, seven junior high schools, four high schools and several other resource centers.

Support and focus are the key ingredients that make Utica Community Schools unique, said Sergent.

“Our Board of Education is very child-focused.  They have developed a shared and clear mission to help every child in our district achieve. Finally, we receive tremendous support and encouragement for our work by both parents and the community. This has created a very positive atmosphere in which children are treated as individuals.”

Sergent said her love of learning developed at an early age.

“Even as a child, I had a love of learning. I still enjoy learning new things. Becoming a teacher gave me the opportunity to share my knowledge with other children and, perhaps, encourage their own love of learning.”

That learning was fostered at EMU, she said.

“My time at Eastern Michigan University provided a wonderful foundation for my career as a teacher. The experiences and opportunities I was afforded at the University were engaging and highly relevant to my future career choices,” Sergent said.

Other EMU alumni who have been recognized as state superintendent of the year are James Doyle in 1993, J. Michael Washburn in 1996, and Robert O’Brien in 2002.

Eastern Michigan University is a public comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.

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Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.


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