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School Daze (Its the first day of school for many Michigan children)

A banner hanging in a hallway at Lansing's STEM Academy
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)
A banner hanging in a hallway at Lansing's STEM Academy

Today’s the first day of school for most children in Michigan.   In Lansing, this is also the beginning of the final year on the job for the district’s  school superintendent.  

As the public address system blared instructions for which classroom or auditorium they should go to, hundreds of students found their way around Lansing’s STEM Academy this morning.  District Superintendent T.C. Wallace was there to help them find their way.  

This is Wallace’s last year as superintendent.    He announced his resignation plans last month.  Wallace says he’s ready after 5 years in the capital city and 25 years in all as a school superintendent.  

“25 years has always been my target. I have been opening schools for 45 years. And I’ve never had a bad day. "

Wallace’s tenure in Lansing has been marked with conflicts with the Board of Education, budget problems, academic shortfalls and a declining student population.   Like other school districts around the state, Lansing expects to lose more students this year, but Wallace is optimistic that number will be fewer than 500 students. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.