Q&A: Alycia Meriweather’s lifelong journey with Detroit Public Schools Community District

Source: Special to Michigan News

Alycia Meriweather

Alycia Meriweather always knew she wanted to be a teacher, and a Detroit teacher at that. A graduate of the Detroit Public Schools, Alycia has had a lifelong commitment to both education and the city. 

After receiving her degree in education from University of Michigan in 1995, Alycia returned to her beloved city and to Detroit Public Schools. She now serves as Deputy Superintendent for Partnerships and Innovation for the Detroit Public Schools Community District. 

We spoke with Alycia about her career in education, her time at U-M and her hometown pride. 

What made you choose the University of Michigan? 

Growing up, I was drawn to U-M. While I was at Renaissance High School, I only applied to two schools: Calvin College and U-M. What clinched my decision was a campus tour. It was cold and snowing, and I remember coming out of the Union and seeing these perfect flurries with the architectural backdrop. I knew immediately that I wanted to be in Ann Arbor. 

Have you always wanted to be a teacher? 

Yes, for as long as I can remember. When I got to U-M I was planning on being an English teacher, but I saw a sign for a middle school science cohort. I made the switch and was able to be a part of cohort focused on integrating literacy and technology into the science curriculum and making the subject attainable and approachable. 

How long have you been working in Detroit? 

I have worked in Detroit Public Schools for my entire professional career, but the district has been a part of my life since I was 4 years old. My first job in the district was at Farwell Middle School, where I taught science for 12 years before moving into curriculum leadership roles.  During this time, I participated in multiple projects with Dr. Elizabeth Moje (dean of the School of Education) related to science, literacy and teaching practices that differentiated achievement.  

What is your current role with Detroit Public Schools Community District? 

As deputy superintendent, I lead a variety of departments including include school health and wellness, adult education and career technical education. I also am responsible for developing the district’s partnerships with companies and organizations, as well as special projects such as The School at Marygrove.

This is an exciting time in the city of Detroit, and I am proud to be able to be playing a part in bringing all manner of educational access and opportunities to our students. Our ultimate goal is to ensure our students are confident and well equipped for whatever lies ahead of them.

How can U-M alumni get involved with DPSCD? 

We’re always looking for volunteers to contribute to programs such as the Let’s Read program, and we would love to have more companies and professionals participate in our career days and internship programs, or adopt a specific school for targeted support. Alums can also support the district through the DPS Foundation. 

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