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Former Ann Arbor School Board president resigns citing personal reasons

Jacinda Townsend Gides
Courtesy of Jacinda Townsend Gides
Jacinda Townsend Gides

Less than a week after voting to accept the resignation of Ann Arbor Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeanice Swift, a member of the school board is resigning.

Jacinda Townsend Gides was elected board president in January, but stepped down in July due to a busy professional schedule. Now she says she is resigning because of personal reasons.

Townsend Gides had planned to commute to Rhode Island for her teaching job at Brown University. But after her youngest daughter experienced a serious cyberbullying incident, she decided the timing was right for her family to move to the east coast.

Townsend Gides says many people may question the timing of her resignation.

“I am not one to back down from difficult times. And so, my resignation has little to do with that. The decision to wholeheartedly move to Rhode Island has an awful lot to do with the violation of my child’s privacy.”

Board meetings, especially during the debate over the superintendent’s job, were very contentious. Townsend Gides says if it wasn’t for her family situation ...

“I would have just stayed on the board, because I think now is exactly the time that that board, in particular, needs someone who is invested in students rather than a power struggle.”

Townsend Gides was part of the 5-to-2 majority that voted to accept Superintendent Swift’s resignation.

The board will begin the process of appointing a replacement for Townsend Gides at Wednesday night’s meeting.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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