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Osborne to Stay in South Orange-Maplewood School District

Schools chief declines Ann Arbor job, citing his desire to 'harness the momentum' and continue the progress made in SOMSD.


This story has been updated with a comment from BOE President Beth Daugherty.

After a tense several weeks during which two school districts waited to learn his decision, Superintendent Brian Osborne has turned down a job offer to become the schools chief in Ann Arbor, Mich. and will remain in the South Orange - Maplewood School District (SOMSD).

"After deep reflection and deliberation, I have decided to decline Ann Arbor's offer and recommit to the unfinished work in my current district," Osborne said in a statement released Sunday by SOMSD. "This was not an easy decision."

Osborne said Ann Arbor's "qualities and values" of cherishing public education, valuing diversity and being willing to address issues of race, class and student outcomes were similar to what originally led him to take the job at SOMSD six years ago. 

"For the past few weeks, I have been touched and inspired by the numerous and meaningful demonstrations of support for the work we are doing in SOMSD," Osborne said, adding that he wanted to "harness the momentum" and continue the progress the district has made.

Osborne also cited the impact the move would have made on his family, including his two children, as well as a medical condition in a family member as contributing factors to his decision to stay in South Orange-Maplewood.

Deb Mexicotte, president of the Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education, said in a report on AnnArbor.com that she learned on Saturday that Osborne was declining the offer due to a "developing family issue, concerns about moving his family from the East Coast and his desire to continue the work he has started in his current district." Mexicotte called the news "disappointing" but said the Ann Arbor board would meet soon to plan its next steps.

"The Board is thrilled that Dr. Osborne has decided to stay in South Orange-Maplewood," said SOMSD Board of Education President Beth Daugherty. "Many Board members, including myself, had numerous conversations with him over the last several weeks urging him to stay. I'm pleased to see that Dr. Osborne's statement reflects the focus of these discussions and his commitment to continue the important work that we have underway in our district."

Patch will continue to update this story.

To read Osborne's full statement to the SOMSD, click here.
Damond Bailey July 28, 2013 at 08:03 PM
Great to hear!
CJV July 29, 2013 at 04:52 AM
"Karma" isn't his middle name.
Larry Dell July 29, 2013 at 01:06 PM
What exactly constitutes the Osborne's positive impact in the schools. And specifically how has he improved Columbia. My sources tell me that many classes at the H.S. are out of control and that many kids pay more attention to texting on their phones at the expense of their schoolwork.
CJV July 29, 2013 at 01:25 PM
Larry, he's going to get credit for all-day K, and both IB and deleveling will wear his name in their outcomes. It's an ambitious agenda. More worrisome to me is the fact the BOE seems to be thumbing its nose at the legislature in terms of Osborne's compensation- we may need to go to court over this.
Lindsay July 29, 2013 at 03:11 PM
Larry, my sources tell me that you are out of control and not paying attention to what is actually happening at the H.S.

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