Superintendent Dr. Wanda Cook-Robinson
"We are always striving to improve, because by continuing to provide efficient, effective and essential services, we are fulfilling our purpose.
Our success is your success, and we pride ourselves on assisting districts, educators and administrators in their pursuit of excellence and equity for the students in our county."
Dr. Wanda Cook-Robinson is an instructional architect. She creates educational environments where all children can reach their optimum potential. Her career has spanned more than thirty years, having journeyed from the classroom as a special education teacher to a senior-level administrator who has earned the respect and admiration of colleagues nationwide. She has maintained two guiding pillars: a passion for student excellence and mentorship.
An outspoken advocate on equity issues for women, Dr. Cook-Robinson co-founded the Minority Women’s Network, which supports women and educators across Oakland County returning to school to complete their doctoral degrees. With a zealous commitment to equity for ALL students, Dr. Cook-Robinson led an advisory group of state education leaders, known as the School Finance Research Collaborative, to complete a game-changing study that began in 2018 to determine the actual cost of educating a student within Michigan.
Dr. Cook-Robinson has received numerous accolades as both a leader in education and as a dedicated community member, including being named 2013 "State of Michigan Superintendent of the Year" by the Michigan Association of School Administrators, and in that same year, "National Finalist, Superintendent of the Year" by the American Association of School Administrators. In October 2023, she received the “Women Rock Science Outstanding Leader Award” from the Cranbrook Institute of Science for her dedication to encouraging women and girls to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. In 2021, she was included on the list of Crain’s Detroit Business "100 Most Notable Women in Leadership". In 2019, Dr. Cook-Robinson was honored by The American Association of School Administrators (AASA) as a recipient of the "Dr. Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award" which recognizes leaders whose attributes include a personal commitment to diversifying the field of education with high-quality leaders and ensuring the best education for all students. In the same year, AASA also honored Dr. Cook-Robinson with the "Women in School Leadership Award." She also received the Wayne State University College of Education Alumni Association’s "Distinguished Educator" award and more.
Dr. Cook-Robinson is highly active in her community and serves on several boards, including the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators (MAISA), the K-12 Alliance of Michigan, and the AASA Women in Leadership Network. She is the President of the SET SEG Insurance Services Agency. She was the first African American member of the foundation board for the Association of Education Service Agencies and, in March 2020, became the first African American present-elect of that same organization. She is also a member of the United Way of Southeastern Michigan board of directors, the board of governors for the Cranbrook Institute of Science, the board of directors of the Oakland Schools Education Foundation, and the Zonta Club of Southfield Foundation Board.
Dr. Cook-Robinson has served as the Superintendent of Oakland Schools since 2015. In this role, she has applied her years of educational experience and vast leadership skills to support the academic achievement of more than 200,000 students in Oakland County’s 28 public school districts and 24 public school academies. She holds a Ph.D. in Instructional Technology and an Ed.S. in Educational Leadership from Wayne State University, a Master’s Degree in Curriculum Development and Supervision from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education from Michigan State University.
- Crain’s Detroit Business recognitions: “Michigan’s 100 Most Influential Women” & “Notable Women in Education Leadership”
- Oakland County Commissioners Proclamation for Outstanding Leadership
- Greater Pontiac Community Coalition Courage Award
- Minority Women’s Network “Woman of the Year”
- The School Superintendents Association (AASA) recognitions: Women in Leadership Award & Dr. Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award & AASA National Finalist, Superintendent of the Year
- Michigan Association of School Administrators 2013 “Michigan State Superintendent of the Year”
- Wayne State University College of Education recognitions: Alumni Association’s Distinguished Educator Award & Professor Arthur Brown Endowed Memorial Award
- Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Southfield Alumnae Chapter’s “Educator of the Year”
- Women’s Action for New Directions and the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit, Inc. Honoree
- Leadership Dogs for the Blind Appreciation Award