Flint, MI— The Flint Schools Board of Education have selected Adrian Walker to fill a board vacancy.
The board voted to for Walker to join the board at a special meeting Jan. 15. Walker was one of several people to apply for the position–normally a position decided upon by a public vote–after Anita Moore, who was voted into the seat in November, did not file her certification paperwork with the City of Flint on time.
As a product of Flint Schools, Walker said being chosen was a “truly humbling experience.”
He attended Pierce Elementary and the former Whittier Junior High School. His grandmother, mother and stepfather all worked for the district in various capacities.
“It’s been a full circle, but to now come back to the school district where I went to elementary and middle school, it’s a humbling experience,” Walker said.
Flint Schools asked those interested in the open board seat to submit an application that was posted on the district’s website. Twelve people applied, including Mario DeSean Booker, Timothy Abdul-Matin, and Billie Mitchell who all ran in November’s general election.
The board interviewed 11 of the 12 applicants. Each board member scored the applicants’ responses and the three candidates with the highest scores moved forward to a second round of interviews.
Alec Gibbs, Mitchell, and Walker. Walker received the highest scores from board all members.
Walker said he hopes to help Flint Schools become a trusted choice for Flint families because his mother wouldn’t allow him to go to high school in Flint. Instead, he went to Carman-Ainsworth.
“I wanted to go to Southwestern for high school…but my mother said, ‘No you’re not going to a Flint high school,’ because in her mind [Carman-Ainsworth offered] a better education for me.”
Walker said he hopes to change this perspective as a new board member.
“I want to make sure that Flint schools and the school district is still the right choice for [parents] to send their kids.”
Walker also spent five years working in Washington D.C. for Senator Debbie Stabenow in education policy. He currently serves as the director of government affairs & community relations for the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce.
“I bring a unique perspective from both a policy lens and from a business lens, and also from a governance lens in terms of being able to ask the right questions to make sure that we have the right oversight in place as we are moving forward with decision making,” Walker said during his interview with the board.
His number one goal, as a new board member, he said, is educational attainment at all levels.
“I believe that a high school diploma is key towards building that foundation for wherever you see yourself going,” Walker said.
Walker will be the board’s youngest and only male member. It is unclear if he will begin his duties at the next board meeting on Jan. 20.
“You know, when I applied for this position, I can’t tell you how many potential calls I received from people saying, ‘hey, you may want to rethink this, you may want to run the other way.’ But for me, I wanted to sign up for this opportunity to be a part of the decision making process,” he said.