Dexter has two new school board members


New school board members Melanie Szawara and Daniel Alabré stand with Griffin Patel (middle), who is the newly appointed student representative on the school board.

The recently appointed trustees to the Dexter Community Schools Board of Education both bring with them unique perspectives and experiences to their new roles in serving the school community.

On July 26, after interviewing eight candidates, the DCS Board of Education selected Melanie Szawara and Daniel Alabré to fill the openings on the board left by former school board members Julie Schumaker and Daryl Kipke.

The other candidates considered were: Shane Harsch, Christy Vander Haagen, Henry Dyson, Kevin Creech, Donovan Maust and Angie Stranyak.

Szawara and Alabré were sworn in as members at the July 26 regular meeting.

In follow up to the board appointments, The Sun Times News (STN) reached out to both with some questions.

STN asked Szawara what she would like the community to know about her.

“As a lifelong Dexter resident, I am excited to get to work for this community and the students,” she answered. “Because I have young children (ages 9 and 7) in the schools, I will bring another viewpoint to the Board of Education as to decisions impacting elementary education.”

Szawara is a lawyer with an office in Dexter. She focuses on divorce, custody, support, and other matters which impact families.

She said her goals as a school board member “are to work hard, listen to the community, and focus on making the best decisions for the students. I really look forward to continuing Dexter's legacy of offering the best education available for the children in our community.”

“I feel fortunate to have this opportunity to continue service to my hometown. I look forward to assist in making decisions facing our schools and those that impact our students' education,” she said.

In answering the question of what he would like the community to know about him, Alabré said he spent 28 years in the U.S. Army and had the privilege of representing our country overseas, serving in several different countries. Upon retirement, he said the Ann Arbor area was one area they were considering moving to and establishing a home.

“As we toured neighborhoods and schools, Dexter rose to the top as the place for us to live and enroll our children in school,” he said. “We have lived here for six years now and couldn't be happier with our choice of Dexter for our home.”

Alabré works with Pinkerton in Corporate Risk Management Services and is the director responsible for all Michigan based clients’ local, national, and global interests, and all operations inside Michigan. According to the Pinkerton website, he is a member of the Eastern Regional Security Management Team responsible for managing operations that take place locally, nationally, and internationally.

Looking ahead to his new role on the school board, Alabré said, “For the past 18 months, I have been involved on the Finance committee as a community member and am also participating in the DEI committee. I look forward to expanding my role as a Board member and serving our community.”

This story will be updated when the school district releases its own announcement on the appointments.

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