HPS Reopens Search for Appointment to Board of Education

By Simon Albaugh – Yemeni American News

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. – After the resignation of Hamtramck Public Schools Boardmember Ramsey Hussein (check name spelling), the Board of Education has reinstated its search for more candidates.

At the Board’s Special Meeting today, two candidates were interviewed for the vacant role – Sharmin Begum & Gamal Alturki. The candidates, who both have intimate connections to the district, were denied the appointment to the Board after the Board failed to reach a majority decision for either candidate.

The search for the candidate was reinstated with a tight deadline, leaving prospective candidates until tomorrow, Aug. 12, at 2:00pm to submit an application for the vacant seat on the Board of Education.

Members of the Board disagreed heavily on the candidates’ appointment. For both Sharmin Begum and Gamal Alturki, the remaining Boardmembers voted exactly 3-3 on whether to appoint either candidate. Needing a majority to appoint any candidate, the Board failed to appoint a one today.

The Board will meet again on Friday, Aug. 13 at 4:00pm to interview any other candidates who apply, with the denied candidates invited to reapply before the deadline.

This friday is the deadline for the Board to appoint a candidate before the State Government appoints a Boardmember. Boardmember Sal Hadwan was in favor of seeking an appointment from the State. While other Boardmembers didn’t vocalize their position on the matter of a state appointment, Board President Jihan Aiyash was vehemently against a State Appointment.

Citing concerns that the State lacks the necessary familiarity with the Hamtramck community, Aiyash wanted to push any effort to elect a member of the Hamtramck community to the Board.

“I want to make it clear to my five colleagues that we are capable of making a decision,” Aiyash said.

Former Boardmember Ramsey Hussein resigned, leaving the Board without a decisive final vote to break any ties. Hussein says that the rationale for his departure is due to a lack of information shared from the Board President and Superintendent.

These concerns couldn’t be verified by time of publication. The Board announced the vacancy soon after Hussein’s resignation at the July 14 Board Meeting.

The Board is about to lead the school into a year of in-person learning, as mandated by the state. Throughout much of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Board of Education oversaw the efforts to monitor case numbers within the Hamtramck Public Schools Community. Now that students are returning to classrooms, the Board will need to oversee this and efforts to reinstate day-to-day learning in an in-person setting.

After the Special Meeting, the Board went into a regular meeting. After a number of purchases were approved by the Board, Boardmembers unanimously voted to increase Superintendent Jaleelah Ahmed’s pay by 3% and employing Adnan Aabad as Director of Innovative Programming. The pay increase was due to an accross-the-board salary increases for Non-Collective Bargaining Members.

Candidates who wish to apply must send a letter of interest and a resume of qualifications to Board President Jihan Aiyash (jaiyash@hamtramckschools.org) and secretary to the Superintendent Joanne McBryar (jmcbryar@hamtramckschools.org) before 2:00pm tomorrow, Aug. 12. A link to the role description can be found on the Michigan Association of School Boards website.

Interviews will take place virtually on Friday Aug. 13 at 4:00pm.