Eastern Michigan University
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Charter Schools Office Staff

Charter Schools Office Staff


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 online 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. Edison Oakland Academy and Grand Blanc Academy, were added in 1999. With Michigan's statutory limit on the number of university authorized charters, no new charters were awarded from 1999 to 2012.  In December 2011, Public Act 277 increased the limit.  Detroit Public Safety Academy and The James and Grace Lee Boggs School opened in the fall of 2013, and Global Tech Academy opened its doors in late summer of 2014.  The Woodley Leadership Academy's charter was approved in April 2018 to open for the 2018-19 school year.

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. Dr. Roberto Quiroz joined the Charter Schools team as its Associate Director in the summer of 2011, retiring in the summer of 2016.  Mrs. Walker retired in 2012 and Mr. Barkoff left the university in 2013.  Mary Paholak became the Administrative Secretary in the spring of 2012, and in the fall of 2013 Lauren London assumed the duties of Assistant General Counsel.  Christopher Shropshire joined the team as Associate Director in January 2017, resigning in June 2019.  In June 2018, Jeffrey Ammons came on board as the Associate General Counsel when Ms. London was selected to fill the position of University General Counsel.  Jamila Whitaker is the team's newest member, assuming the role of Associate Director in December 2019.