Changing Education

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After years of searching for a purpose, Deb Clancy decided to make the educational system better one school at a time.

Clancy, an Ann Arbor resident for 24 years, works at Wayne Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA) after being laid off from Washtenaw Intermediate School District (WISD). Her commute to work is a little less than an hour every day and is usually held up by traffic. The reason she puts up with such terrible traffic everyday? Because her schools need her.

She works with over 100 schools to help them with their school improvement plan and executing such plan. There are days she drives over 100 miles traveling from school to school attending meetings and providing professional development to teachers and principals.

In the 1980s, Michigan voters passed Proposal A. This meant that schools would now be financed by local property tax. All schools in Michigan took heavy cuts to their budget in those years. Unfortunately, Clancy was a casualty of these budget cuts. After teaching for the music program at Sanford Meridian schools for eleven years, she was laid off.

During her absence from the educational world, Clancy worked for Amway in Grand Rapids. She looks back fondly on those three years she worked in the communications department, but she still felt like she could be doing more. So, Clancy moved to Ann Arbor in 1990 to look for an education job.

Clancy found a job at the University of Michigan housing department where she met her husband, Mike Clancy. “His knowledge of the university was something that really intrigued me,” Clancy said. She then went back to school to get her education specialist degree and worked as a supervisor at WISD for ten years.

In 2010, Governor Snyder was voted into office. Snyder’s budget process then reduced the amount of money school districts get per student. This then led to schools reducing services to students and laying-off teachers just like in the 1980s.

Deb Clancy now strives to help teachers and principals support students with the resources that they have.

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