DPS Board President Mariam Bazzi to resign to assume circuit court judgeship

Mariam Bazzi

Mariam Bazzi

DEARBORN — Mariam Bazzi announced her resignation as president of the Dearborn Public Schools and Henry Ford College boards May 16 to assume her Wayne County Circuit Court judgeship.

Gov. Rick Snyder appointed Bazzi to the bench May 2. She announced her resignation at the HFC Board of Trustees meeting. her tenure as judge begins at the end of the month.

She is the second Arab American woman appointed to the bench in Wayne County. Bazzi fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Daphne Curtis earlier this year.

She must seek election in 2018 for the remainder of this term and must run again in 2020 for a full term.

“The hardest part of taking this new position as a judge is leaving the board,” said Bazzi, who had been on the board since 2014. “This entire thing is incredibly bittersweet because I truly did enjoy my service on the board. I will miss it.

“The entire experience of being on the board has been an eye-opening one. It deepened my appreciation for not only the Dearborn Public Schools but also HFC. In truth, I have such a deeper understanding and appreciation of what HFC means to the community. I’m really excited about all the great things that the college is doing too.”

The search to fill the anticipated vacancy on the board will begin when Bazzi submits her letter of resignation to the district, DPS Communications Director David Mustonen said.

He explained that the process will be similar to when former Trustee Aimee Schoelles left the board to pursue a job in Ohio two years ago. A posting will be made available for the public, applications will be accepted and then applicants will be interviewed by the board. After interviews are completed, trustees will choose their top candidates and then vote to appoint someone to the vacant position.

A Dearborn native, Bazzi graduated from Fordson High School. She earned her undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and her juris doctor in law from Wayne State University Law School. Additionally, she was also a participant in the Harvard Young American Leadership Program in 2016.

“I was torn between higher education and law school,” Bazzi said. “Part of the fact that I wanted to go into education guided me to run for the board, so I got the best of both worlds.”

She began her career as a law clerk at the Troy-based law firm of Hamood, Runco and Fergestrom, P.C. before joining the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. Bazzi has been a Wayne County assistant prosecuting attorney since 2006. She heads the Deed and Mortgage Fraud Task Force.

“Mariam Bazzi’s commitment to her community and the law makes her a natural pick for the Wayne County Circuit Court,” Snyder said. “Mariam brings with her to the bench years of experience in complex areas of the law and a proper understanding of the role of the judiciary. I am confident her exemplary service to Wayne County will continue in her new role.”

In addition to her service on the board, Bazzi is a member of the Michigan Middle Eastern Affairs Commission, the Governor’s Environmental Justice Task Force, the League of Women Voters — Dearborn/Dearborn Heights, and the Arab American Political Action Committee.

“I think I always had the ability to really take myself out of situations and look at things very pragmatically,” Bazzi said. “It’s important to have an understanding of the law, and judges have to understand it’s their task to follow the law. I also believe that my background in terms of the community I came from, my experience with the prosecutor’s office, and my time on the Board have given me a great opportunity to learn patience and understanding – all of which are important qualities for a judge.”

HFC President Stan Jensen and Trustee Fadwa Hammoud commented about Bazzi’s impending departure.

“Like Mariam said herself: This is all bittersweet,” Jensen said. “I am very happy to hear of Mariam’s appointment to the bench, but saddened by the fact that she’s leaving our college board. I wish she was able to remain because she has been an exemplary leader. Nonetheless, I wish her nothing but success as she takes the next step in her life. She will be deeply missed.”

“We are losing someone who put her heart and soul into everything,” Hammoud said. “Mariam has always demonstrated superb leadership and integrity. She will be an invaluable asset on the bench and to the people of Wayne County; nonetheless, I will miss her.”

(Zeinab Najm contributed to this report.)