Harrison High principal resigns, new leader steps in Feb. 25

Chris O'Brien
Chris O’Brien (Farmington Public Schools)

After more than three years as Harrison High School’s principal, Dr. James Anderson, has resigned, citing personal reasons.

Farmington Public Schools (FPS) Superintendent Dr. George Heitsch made the announcement on Friday. Anderson, a former administrator at Power Middle School, has been re-assigned within the district to work on other projects.

Chris O’Brien, principal at Wood Creek Elementary, will take over as Harrison’s principal on Monday, February 25, then will return to Wood Creek in July. O’Brien is a former Harrison’s assistant principal. He will return to Wood Creek in July.

Harrison will close at the end of the 2018-2019 school year. The City of Farmington Hills plans to turn the property into a community and arts center.

Anderson’s resignation and reassignment marks the second administrative shake-up at Harrison over the past year. In October 2018, the district reassigned assistant principal Angela Leach after she made inappropriate remarks about a cheerleading routine during a pep assembly.

“This has not been an easy decision as I acknowledge the amount of disruption that the Harrison school community has experienced over the past several years, but we feel this is in the best interest for all,” Superintendent Dr. George Heitsch said in a press release.

At Harrison from 2006 to 2013, O’Brien was named Assistant Principal at Power Upper Elementary School in 2013, then began his principalship at Wood Creek in 2014. He taught in the district from 1997-2005 and holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and a Master’s in Education Leadership from Wayne State University.

Melissa Wiercinski, who currently serves as the International Baccalaureate Coordinator and Interventionist at Wood Creek, will take over the school’s principalship until July. She formerly served as principal at Kenbrook Elementary School.

“Students will continue to be provided a quality education at all of our schools,” Heitsch said. “The Harrison High School staff is committed to providing our students and families with a great ending to their school careers at Harrison High School.”