In one selection round Thursday night, Farmington Public Schools trustees chose Dr. Christopher Delgado as the district’s new superintendent.
The Walled Lake Consolidated Schools administrator and FPS resident was the last of three candidates interviewed this week. Delgado, Hazel Park superintendent Dr. Amy Kruppe, and Dr. Lawrence Rudolph, Assistant Superintendent of High Schools for Detroit Public Schools, also met with focus groups and toured buildings.
“I’m humbled by the confidence that you have in my potential, and I continue to be appreciative of your commitment to each other on behalf of the children in this wonderful school community,” he said after the vote. “I’m looking forward to a long and prosperous relationship on behalf of all of our children and their families.”
Presentation, trustee questions
Trustees asked each finalist to make a presentation on a single educational topic; Delgado chose early childhood literacy. He recapped 10 “essential instructional practices” designed to create a love of reading in younger students.
Like the other finalists, Delgado fielded about an hour’s worth of questions. Trustees asked about his impressions of the district, how he would resolve disagreements with the board, and what changes he might make in the district’s central office administration.
Trustee Mable Fox pointed out that Delgado had seen “pockets of excellence” and not all schools had the same programming. She asked what he would do about it.
Delgado said uniformity can happen when school leaders meet to share information about programs and talk about how to replicate them.
“Not everyone has to be in lockstep with their programming, but it shouldn’t be so dramatically different that a student, by choice of the school they go to, they’re not afforded that opportunity,” he said. “If it’s good for kids, it’s good for all kids.”
Part of a legacy
Board president Terri Weems said trustees had received feedback from staff, administrators, city officials, and the community. They also checked references, toured buildings and had dinner with candidates, and visited their districts.
“This is the most important decision we will make during our term,” Weems said. “We have a real chance to do something here and create a fabulous legacy.”
Delgado made it clear he wants to be part of that legacy.
“I’m not looking for a job,” he said during his closing comments. “I’m looking to join and lead a school community… and positively impact the lives of thousands of students. I’m living proof that in one generation, education can be the key to take someone from poverty to opportunity.”
About Dr. Christopher Delgado
- Deputy Superintendent of Schools in Walled Lake, overseeing all 19 schools, Special Services, the athletic program, and curriculum for K-12 elective programs and the secondary schools’ guidance counselor programs.
- Earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Michigan State University, and a doctorate from Oakland University.
- Began his career as a high school and middle school Spanish teacher in Colorado, then returned to Michigan as a high school Spanish teacher in Birmingham.
- Has served 18 years in administration, including roles as high school associate principal, middle school principal, and deputy superintendent.
- Married for 28 years to Leslie, who is a 4th grade teacher in Birmingham. They have three children: Antonio, a graduate of Michigan State; Casandra, a senior at New York University; and Dominic, a freshman at Baker College Culinary Institute of Michigan.
Watch the interview and deliberations: