Andy Thomas is a trustee on the Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education. His current term runs through 2016.

Andy Thomas at a March 2012 AAPS board of education meeting. (Photo courtesy of The Ann Arbor Chronicle.)He was first appointed as trustee in May 2010 by a vote of the AAPS board, to fill a seat vacated by Randy Friedman in April of that year. He ran unopposed for election in November 2010 for a one-year term. He was re-elected in November 2011 to a four-year term, but that term was later extended a year due to state legislation that mandated local school board elections be held in even-numbered years.

Thomas spent most of his professional career in health administration, and was chief administrative officer for the Wayne State University Physician Group. He retired in 2009.

He plays viola and is a member of the University of Michigan Health System's Life Science Orchestra.

Thomas is married to Rina Miller, a Weekend Edition host for Michigan Radio (WUOM). They live on Ann Arbor's west side, near Pioneer High School. He has a son, Jonathan, from his previous marriage to Karen Thomas, who died of breast cancer. They had been married for 38 years.


Nov. 8, 2011: Is re-elected to the AAPS board of education with 5,840 votes (24.2%), receiving the most votes in a field of six candidates vying for two seats. The other incumbent, Simone Lightfoot, wins the second seat with 5,261 votes (21.8%). Other candidates are Lawrence MurphyPatrick Leonard, Ahmar Iqbal and Albert Howard. The term is four years. However, state legislation passed in 2011 mandated that school board elections be held only on even-numbered years, starting in 2012. So in January 2012 the AAPS school board passed a resolution agreeing to hold board elections in even-numbered Novembers. That resolution extended the terms of Thomas and Lightfoot through 2016.

Nov. 2, 2010: Is elected to a one-year term as one of two candidates running for two seats – incumbent Simone Lightfoot is the other candidate. Gets 23,776 votes (48.48%). 

May 12, 2010: Is appointed as AAPS trustee by a vote of the school board to fill a seat vacated by Randy Friedman in April. Thomas is one of five people who applied for that position, a partial term. The other candidates were Victoria Haviland, James Corey, Jack Panitch, and Noah Hurwitz.

March 2010: Is one of eight candidates who apply for a position on the AAPS board to fill the seat vacated by Adam Hollier, who resigned in February. Other candidates are Victoria Haviland, Jeff Sabatini, James Corey, Susan Collet, Jack Panitch, Christine Stead, and Margy Long. The AAPS board selects Stead for this position.

2009: Retires from his position as chief administrative officer for the Wayne State University Physician Group.

2008: Establishes the start the Karen Thomas Memorial Fund, to provide grants principally for elementary school projects and programs that encourage and promote literacy. The fund is established in honor of Thomas' wife of 38 years, who died of breast cancer.

1990-2009: Serves as chief administrative officer for the Wayne State University Physician Group.

1982: Earns MBA from the University of Michigan.

1972: Moves to Ann Arbor.

In the News

Andy Thomas: Ann Arbor superintendent's departure could be 'turning point' for board –, April 15, 2013

Andy Thomas, Simone Lightfoot retain spots on Ann Arbor school board –, Nov. 8, 2011

Election 2011: Final AAPS Candidate Forum – Ann Arbor Chronicle, Nov. 5, 2011

AAPS Board Candidate: Andy Thomas – A2 Schools Muse blog, Oct. 20, 2011

Election 2011: AAPS Board Candidate Forum – Ann Arbor Chronicle, Oct. 6, 2011

In the 10 Spot: Andy Thomas – Ann Arbor Journal, June 24, 2010

Thomas named to Ann Arbor board seat – Ann Arbor Journal, May 15 2010

Andy Thomas said he was close to not applying for a third time to be appointed as a member of the Ann Arbor Board of Education. But the third time was a charm for the former healthcare administrator.

AAPS Trustee Selection Set for May 12 – Ann Arbor Chronicle, May 8, 2010

AAPS Weighs Schools of Choice Program (includes report on presentations by candidates for school board)– Ann Arbor Chronicle, March 15, 2010

AAPS Board Interviews Go Back and Forth – Ann Arbor Chronicle, March 10, 2010


2011 campaign site:

Contributing to this Page

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