Ann Arbor school board president leaves post to deal with health, personal issues

Friday, January 17, 2020 - 2:32pm

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File Photo/Daily

Harmony Mitchell, school board president of Ann Arbor Public Schools, announced she was resigning Wednesday. The resignation took effect as of Thursday. Mitchell has been president of the board since 2017.

 

In a statement, Mitchell mentioned dealing with health and personal issues over the last year but did not elaborate on the details. She called the issues “mountain-sized circumstances” and said she would not have gotten through them without her “faith and her family.”

 

“If not for my faith and family, I may not be here today,” Mitchell said. “These circumstances deserve my full attention and it is not fair to the children, parents, teachers, staff and trustees of this district for me to remain on the board. My desire is that the board will work together to replace me and have enough time to continue on with the mission.”

 

Mitchell announced her resignation after the vote for the Board of Officers, a move that generated criticism from members of the board. At the session Wednesday, board member Simone Lightfoot called it a “Republican-type move,” and said she felt it would have been honorable for Mitchell to step down before taking part in the vote. 

 

During the session Wednesday, Lightfoot said she did not vote for the officers at the beginning of the meeting because she objected to Mitchell’s participation. Mitchell responded saying Lightfoot’s “demeaning” attacks were characteristic of the atmosphere of the board over the past year. 

 

The board has 30 days to fill Mitchell’s vacant seat. Board member Bryan Johnson will take over Mitchell’s post as president.