This is the fourth in our series of profiles on candidates for the Brighton Board of Education. Six people are running for 3, 4-year positions on the board next Tuesday in the November general election. The candidates are Andy Storm, Angela Krebs, Kara Totaro, Laura Mitchell, Sean Hickman and Ken Stahl - the only incumbent. Today we are profiling Sean Hickman.

Hickman is a full-time, tenured professor at Lansing Community College, where he teaches logic controller classes. His wife, Megan, is a school social worker at Hawkins Elementary School in Brighton, but is employed not by the Brighton Area Schools but by the Livingston Educational Service Agency. Hickman says he wants to be on the Brighton Board of Education because he feels he can use his engineering skillset to help the district at a time when technology continues to advance at an exponential rate. He says the establishment of STEM and STEAM centers in the Brighton Area Schools “goes hand-in-hand” with his goal of promoting more career readiness on the part of students. Hickman says, he is “surrounded by a lot of (community college) students who don’t know what they’re good at or interested in.” He is also running because he has 3 children in the Brighton schools and says he wants them to have the best education possible. Since moving to the Brighton area in 1997, Hickman has been involved for over 20 years with the Brighton Area Schools as an age group and high school swimming coach.

Prior to becoming a teacher Hickman was an engineer at Gast Manufacturing in St. Joseph, MI. He got his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and master’s in curriculum and instruction at Ferris State University. Before teaching at the college level, Hickman was the instructor in the robotics program at Pinckney High School beginning in the year 2000, and taught robotics for 15 years before being hired to teach at Lansing Community College. At Pinckney, Hickman was instrumental in leading the Robotics team to six national titles. Hickman says he switched to teaching at the college level because he “wanted a new challenge,” and was drawn to LCC because it had just built a state-of-the-art robotics facility and program. Because of his extensive high school and college background, Hickman says he has a strong understanding of curriculum, school funding, special education, CTE, school technology, facility management, and instructional best practices.

Hickman says he is not bothered by the fact that he isn’t one of the candidates “recommended” by the Brighton Education Association, the union which represents Brighton teachers at the bargaining table, since he is a member of the unionized LCC faculty and his wife is a certified educator employed by LESA.

Hickman says he supports the likely bond issue next year to allow facility upgrades and STEAM centers at district schools. He says back in 2012 the Brighton school board did what he calls “an incredible job” — getting an $88.5 million bond issue passed. If a proposed 2019 bond issue passes, he would like to make sure the district spends the money effectively as a Board of Education member. (TT)

AGE: 51
OCCUPATION: Full-time tenured professor at Lansing Community College
FAMILY: Married to Megan; three Children: Ari, age 10, Maltby Intermediate; Trey, age 9, Hawkins Elementary; Tate, age 7, 1st grader at Hawkins
RESIDENCE: Green Oak Twp.
REASON FOR RUNNING: To lend his expertise in engineering and technology and promote development of STEAM Centers at district schools
GOALS: To help the district continue to improve academically, see passage of a bond issue in 2019 and build on the current $5 million fund equity