89.1 WEMU

New Ann Arbor School Board Member Talks About His Plans And Perspective Of The School District

Feb 6, 2017

Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education Member Jeff Gaynor
Credit Lisa Barry

With over 16,500 students, the Ann Arbor Public School District is one of the largest in the state.

Long-time local educator Jeff Gaynor was recently elected to the school board and sat down with me to talk about his plans and perspective of Ann Arbor Public Schools.


Gaynor was a teacher for 38 years, 32 of those in the Ann Arbor Public School District.

He retired in June of last year but was encouraged to run for the school board by parents and his fellow teachers.  He was elected last November and officially started serving on the district’s school board on January 1st.

Gaynor has spent his time so far dealing with funding issues and equity and says he would like to focus on re-engaging with the community and improving trust between them, the board, the administration, and staff.

He says he thinks the board could be more open with the community, and he hopes to expand the public’s access to board members.

Gaynor also wants to prioritize improving the budget, finding out more about a proposed sinking fund increase to pay for school repairs and improvements, and “re-empowering teachers.”

He says his educational background and nearly 40 years of teaching experience means he brings a different perspective to the board, which he considers important.

We also discuss Gaynor’s decision not to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance, something he has been doing since the Vietnam War for personal reasons.

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— Lisa Barry is a reporter, and host of All Things Considered on 89.1 WEMU. Contact her at 734.487.3363, on twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her lbarryma@emich.edu