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Torchio Feaster says he brings different perspective as newest member of Ann Arbor school board

Torchio Feaster was recently appointed to the Ann Arbor Board of Education. The local attorney who has two kids in Ann Arbor Public Schools is hoping to hit the ground running as he joins the board.

It took just two rounds of voting for Feaster to emerge out of a pool of 10 candidates who applied for the vacancy. Diversity, equity and inclusion is at the core of his approach to the board, and he says he’s excited to be a part of the hiring of a new superintendent and special education director.

Feaster believes his experience of working as a lawyer for 17 years helped him stand out. And while he was very humbled by the appointment, he feels like he brings a different perspective.

“I’ve worked with struggling communities most of my career. I’ve worked with the underdogs. And I think I bring something to the board where I’m going to be able to relate, see things from different angles.”

While he is looking forward to getting to work, Feaster said it’s no secret that there is tension between the current board members. However, he thinks his people-person skills can help bridge that divide.

“We really have serious work we have to do, and if we’re at odds with one another, then it’s going to make it very difficult for us to serve our constituents to the best of our abilities. I think we can fix the hurt feelings and the anger and the problems that are on the board and do what’s best for our students.”

Feaster is replacing Jacinda Townsend Gides, who resigned last month. He will serve the remainder of her term until December 31st, 2024.

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