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Nov. 30, 2006
CONTACT: Ward Mullens
734.487.4400
ward.mullens@emich.edu

Top state education official to speak at EMU Commencement Dec. 17

YPSILANTI — Michael P. Flanagan (‘74), the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, will be the guest speaker at the Eastern Michigan University commencement Sunday, Dec. 17.

Flanagan was appointed state superintendent of public instruction by the State Board of Education May 18, 2005. He directs the Michigan Department of Education; chairs the State Board of Education; and advises the State Board of Education, the Governor, and the state Legislature regarding public education in Michigan.

Prior to his appointment, Flanagan served as the executive director of Michigan Association of School Administrators (MASA) and Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators (MAISA), which serves Michigan public school superintendents and intermediate school districts in the state. These two statewide organizations develop leadership and unity within its memberships to achieve the continuous improvement of public education in Michigan. He has been honored as Executive Director Emeritus by those organizations.  During this time he also served as Education Advisor to Governor Jennifer M. Granholm.

For the previous seven years, Flanagan served as the superintendent of the Wayne Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA). Wayne RESA serves nearly 500,000 children in the more than three dozen diverse communities of Wayne County. Nearly 180,000 of the county’s children live in poverty, which poses a great challenge to the education system. He pushed RESA to address this challenge, as demonstrated by the agency’s mission of “Leading...Learning for All,” with primary focus on the word “all.”

Flanagan was superintendent of the Farmington/Farmington Hills School District in Michigan for five years, prior to Wayne RESA.  He is past chairperson of the Education Alliance of Michigan, a nonprofit coalition of leading parent, business, and education associations; past president of the National County Superintendents Association; and past member of the Michigan Commission on Asia in the Schools. In addition, he served on former Michigan Gov. John Engler’s Reading Plan for Michigan Council; and was appointed education commissioner on the Detroit 300 Commission by former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer.

He has received numerous awards, including the Michigan Chamber of Commerce’s prestigious Eagle Award for Distinguished Service and Leadership in 2006; the PTA-PTO Lifetime Achievement Award and the Crystal Apple Award from Michigan State University; the Notre Dame Scholar Award; the Michigan School Business Officials Distinguished Service Award; the Michigan Association for Bilingual Education Award; and the 1999 Educator of the Year Award from the Michigan Association of State and Federal Program Specialists.

Flanagan has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame; a master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University; and has continued graduate studies at Michigan State University and the University of Michigan.

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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