School board to decide next superintendent tonight

NOW: School board to decide next superintendent tonight

BENTON HARBOR, Mich-- Tonight Benton Harbor Area Schools will be under new leadership as they decide between Patricia Robinson and Dr. Andrae Townsel to be their next superintendent.

Monday afternoon students, parents, teachers, administration and the Benton Harbor Area School Board all gathered to question and talk with the candidates to see who would be the best fit for the school systems and the community.

Patricia "Trish" Robinson was born and raised in Benton Harbor, graduated from the high school before attending Western Michigan and Walden Universities. 

Robinson has served as interim superintendent, assistant superintendent, as well as teacher, principal, and administrator in more than 2 decades with the district.

Dr. Andrae Townsel is currently the assistant superintendent in the Wayne Westland Schools near Detroit.

Townsel worked to turn around a troubled school in Massachucets and was Vice Principal in Washington DC after graduating from Detroit Cass Tech, Howard University and attending Harvard.

Robinson feels that she is the best fit for the district because she, "has been here with the teachers, the administrators, and the parents. And understanding what goes on in the classrooms and the lack of resources that we might have--but having that hands on experience puts me in a place to move forward.

And after seeing plenty of leadership changes she is ready to be the communities rock.

"I will be consistent in my message and stabilize my placement as we shape the future of Benton Harbor Schools area."

But, Robinson is not the only one ready to fight for this community.

Townsel says, "This is what you train for. This is what you study for. This is what you have a track record of success for. To apply it those best practice to a district that is saying hey we need support we did a national search to find somebody let's really do this."

And Townsel realizes he is coming into a tight knit community, however he wants the opportunity to to immerse himself and help students succeed at all levels.

"Everyone come together in a sort of crimson core braided together, one common vision, one common unity, and let Benton Harbors future thrive."


The Benton Harbor School Board elected Andrae Townsel as the new Superintendent of Benton Harbor Area Schools. 

The Board originally voted 4-3 in favor of Townsel, then filed a motion to make it a unanimous vote.

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