Jaleelah Ahmed returns as Hamtramck Schools superintendent

Jaleelah Ahmed has returned to her
post as the superintendent of Hamtramck Public Schools.

Ahmed announced her reinstatement to the post in a letter to parents, vowing to continue to work with the community to provide students with “the high-quality educational experience they deserve.”

Ahmed hailed the schools’ “incredible team of educators and support staff at every level in every school building across the district.” 

She also said she will continue to work to best use the schools’ allocation of COVID-relief (ESSER) funds. 

“To that end, we must ensure our students have the necessary resources to thrive in their educational journey by offering intervention programming and making technology improvements and substantial building renovations so that we can provide our students with a safe, warm and engaging environment suitable for next-generation learning,” Ahmed said in her letter.

Ahmed, the first Yemeni-American woman to lead HPS, had taken a leave of absence in October of 2021.

“The decision to temporarily step aside was not entered into lightly,” Ahmed wrote in her memo to the district at that time. “Nor is it easy to be openly vulnerable with you. I must address my own physical, mental health and wellbeing. During my absence, the Board of Education will appoint an interim superintendent who will have the full support of the entire team at Hamtramck Public Schools.”

But what was supposed to be a three-month leave turned into a prolonged absence amid reports of disagreements between Ahmed and the school board and teachers’ union. 

It is not clear how these issues were resolved, but Ahmed has said she is focused on the future of students and unity in the community.

Nabil Nagi had served as interim superintendent during Ahmed’s leave.

“I am so touched, and I’m so humbled by the responses I’ve been receiving, by the love, by the warm welcomes,” Ahmed said in a video message after her return. 

“I thank you so much. It is truly my honor to serve the HPS community. I’m excited to be back, and I am excited to roll up my sleeves. And I’ll do the good and important work that we owe our students at Hamtramck public schools.”

One of the most diverse school districts in Michigan, HPS has nearly 3,300 students across eight schools. 

“At Hamtramck Public Schools, the success of our students is and will always be our utmost priority… As we continue to focus on the work at hand, I hope you’ll join me in upholding the pillar of unity within our district, for it is only when we work together that we are able to enact positive change,” Ahmed said in a video message earlier this month.