Advance Notice: Briefs

Whitmer conducting search for Strayhorn’s replacement on state Board of Education

By: - August 8, 2022 8:10 am

Gov Gretchen Whitmer (left) and Jason Strayhorn (right) | Casey Hull and BOE photos

Citing “new academic and athletic opportunities” that will require relocation outside of Michigan, former Michigan State University football player Jason Strayhorn has resigned from the state Board of Education.

Strayhorn, who was elected as a Democrat in 2020 to the eight-member board, said in a July 29 letter to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that while serving on the board had been “an extremely positive chapter” in his life, his family’s situation had changed. 

“Specifically, my three children have new academic and athletic opportunities that require us to relocate as a family out of state,” stated Strayhorn. “The impact of being confronted with a global pandemic has left me with a permanent desire to continue to advocate for the needs of school employees and children across our great nation. My goal is to continue to leverage my sphere of influence to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others through community outreach.”

MLive reports that Strayhorn’s son Kaden is a top college football prospect who transferred earlier this year from Detroit Catholic Central to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

Whitmer spokesperson Bobby Leddy told the Michigan Advance that the search for a replacement is now underway.

“Gov. Whitmer will appoint someone who will put students and parents first in every decision, while also supporting teachers with the resources they need to deliver a phenomenal education,” said Leddy. “This upcoming school year will be the most transformational in our state’s history as school districts have unprecedented resources under Governor Whitmer’s historic education budget, and the State Board of Education will be a critical partner in this process. We will continue to stay focused on putting our students first and getting things done.”

Strayhorn’s resignation follows the filing of a lawsuit against Maven, a real estate a company he is a partner in. The suit, filed May 17 in Wayne County Circuit Court, also names Strayhorn and Maven’s founder, Alysa Kowalsky. 

Investors in Maven are seeking more than $80,000 for unpaid rental income, repairs, damages and attorney fees for various properties in Detroit. 

Strayhorn, who did not respond to a request for comment from the Advance, filed a counterclaim July 25 in which he said he was not responsible for contracts and/or daily operations at Maven. He also is seeking at least $25,000 from Kowalsky.

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Jon King
Jon King

Jon King has been a journalist for more than 35 years. He is the Past President of the Michigan Associated Press Media Editors Association and has been recognized for excellence numerous times, most recently in 2021 with the Best Investigative Story by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Cleary University. Jon and his family live in Howell, where he also serves on the Board of Directors for the Livingston Diversity Council.