Clare County Review & Marion Press

Harrison chooses Walton to lead schools

Harrison’s new Superintendent of Schools will be Dr. Judy Walton
Harrison Schools Superintendent Rick Foote will retire June 30

At their meeting Monday, the Harrison Community Schools Board of Education offered the Superintendent’s position to Dr. Judy Walton (pending the agreement of a contract with the BOE).
Dr. Walton said, ““I am beyond thrilled to be joining Hornet Nation. Together, we will honor the past, support every learner in their K-12 journey, and forge the next generation to positively impact the world around us. I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and get to work alongside the Harrison community.”
She will take over the position July 1 when Rick Foote, Superintendent for seven years and with Harrison Schools for 34 years, retires.
Foot said he plans to stay in the community and spend more time with family, and also take advantage of the small traveling plans. “I’m going to take it just day to day for now,” he said.

His replacement, Judy Walton currently is the principal of Eastern Middle School in Forest Hills Public Schools.
A native of Detroit, Walton earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan in 1985; her Juris Doctor, Magna Cum Laude, from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 1989; her Master’s Degree in Education from Aquinas College in 2003; and her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Michigan State University in 2017.
Before her career in education, she practiced law in both the Michigan and Federal court systems, specializing in commercial and real estate litigation.
Prior to becoming EMS principal in 2018, Judy was the Chief Innovation Officer for FHPS (2015-2018), and a secondary Instructional Coach (2013-2015). From 2002-2013, Judy taught Government, U.S. History, and World History at Forest Hills Northern High School. She also served as department chair, developed course content, coached Mock Trial and Debate, and coached basketball. Honors include being a recipient of the U.S. Department of Education’s American Stars of Teaching Award (2008), receiving an appointment as a Summer Fellow with the U.S. House of Representatives (2010); receiving an appointment as a Summer Scholar with the National Endowment for the Humanities (2012, 2013), and producing two TED-Ed history talks (2012, 2013). Judy has also received the Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction Award in 2011, and was recognized by Stanford University in 2014 with an Exceptional Teaching Award.
Judy’s 2017 dissertation, “Can You Hear Me Now? Participatory Action Research Measuring the Acoustic of Student Voice in Three Michigan Schools,” has propelled her into writing and speaking within the United States (Michigan, California, Vermont, North Carolina) and Melbourne, Australia. Judy believes that the elevation of both teacher voice and student voice is the key to deep, relevant, and rigorous learning for all.
Personally, Judy is married to Jackie Parrish, an Air Force veteran who is now a social worker with the Veteran’s Administration. Her daughter Paige Chamberlain is a school psychologist in San Jose, CA, and her son Andrew Chamberlain is a young adult with autism living mostly independently. Her stepdaughter Sydney Parrish is just completing her second year of law school at Michigan State, and her stepson Hayden Parrish works for Patagonia in Denver, CO.

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