37ºF

Wayne-Westland superintendent who was under investigation resigns, drops lawsuit

Shelley Holt accused district of racism

Shelley Holt (WDIV)
Shelley Holt (WDIV)


WESTLAND, Mich. – The superintendent of Wayne-Westland Community Schools resigned this week and dropped a $2 million lawsuit against the district.

Dr. Shelley Holt was accused of creating a culture of fear at the district. An investigation into potential misconduct was launched over the summer, and Holt was placed on paid administrative leave.

MORE: Wayne-Westland superintendent files $2 million lawsuit against district

The investigation was looking into the practices of her administration in the removal or reassignment of employees.

Holt filed a lawsuit over how the district handled complaints.

The school board voted unanimously Tuesday to accept Holt's resignation. Jill Simmons was appointed the interim superintendent.

Jill Simmons will serve as the interim superintendent of Wayne-Westland schools. (WDIV)
Jill Simmons will serve as the interim superintendent of Wayne-Westland schools. (WDIV)

Read a statement from the district below:

"In a mutually-agreed upon resolution, the Wayne-Westland Community Schools Board of
Education voted Tuesday in Special Session to end the School District's administrative
relationship with Superintendent Dr. Shelley Holt.

"The Board voted 7-0 to accept a resignation and resolution agreement which allows both the

"School District and Dr. Holt to accept Dr. Holt's resignation and move forward in a positive
manner. 'I wish Dr. Holt nothing but the best as she moves on and thank her for the many
positive contributions she made to the School District during her time as Superintendent,' said
Board President David R. Cox.

"The mutual agreement addresses not only Dr. Holt's tenure with Wayne-Westland but results in
the dismissal of her pending lawsuit against the School District. The resolution of these matters
allows the Board of Education to move forward with a search process to hire a new
Superintendent.

"During the search process, the District's current Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources
and Operations, Ms. Jill Simmons, will serve as Interim Superintendent. Ms. Simmons, who
earned her Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Eastern Michigan University and
her Master's degree in Human Resources and Employment Relations, with concentrations in
Employment Law and Labor Relations, from Penn State University, has been employed by
Wayne-Westland for nine years. Ms. Simmons will be supported by Dr. Sue Carnell, with whom
the Board will enter into a consultant agreement. Dr. Carnell had served as the Interim
Superintendent since July 2019 but was limited by Michigan retirement rules as to the amount of
time she could serve as an administrator.

"'The Board of Education will now begin the process of identifying a new superintendent to lead
our District in what will surely become one of the most exciting rebuilding eras in District history,"
said Cox. 'With stable finances, new employee contracts in place, major facility upgrades on
the horizon, and a new curriculum coming online, the School District is looking forward to
making positive changes in virtually every area of study for every student,' he added. 'Our
mission is to educate and prepare all of our students to be knowledgeable, responsible,
contributing members of a global society. This requires a dedicated teaching and administrative
staff functioning in an environment that recognizes and appreciates that dedication. The Board
is committed to maintaining that environment for all employees.'"


About the Author: