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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

NORTH KOREA...OR NORTHERN MICHIGAN? Nepotism Rules As Brian Lynch Replaces Steven Ingersoll At Bay City Academy; Mark Noss's Son-In-Law Named Academy's New Superintendent/President Of Instructional Services

What, you thought Kim Jong-Un was the only unqualified guy who'd ever parlayed family ties into a new job?

UPDATE April 27:   A story that appeared in the March 2, 2009 edition of the Northern Express, "Picture This...New Tutoring Center In TC Uses Mind Maps", described Lynch's position as director of a Traverse City tutoring center owned by Mark Noss. Lynch worked at the center (icon Learning, now located in Noss's Munson Avenue optometry practice) while employed as a teacher at the Grand Traverse Academy.

Meet Brian T. Lynch, recently named the Bay City Academy's new Superintendent and President of Instructional Services by its board of directors.

Lynch, a Traverse City resident, married Dr. Rebekah Noss in 2009. Rebekah is an optometrist at Full Spectrum Eyecare, sharing the practice with her father, Dr. Mark Noss.

Mark Noss was named last month as the Grand Traverse Academy's new "education service provider", replacing the federally-indicted Steven Ingersoll's Smart Schools Management, Inc.

And if you've misplaced your "Six Degrees of Steve Ingersoll" scorecard, Smart Schools is also Brian Lynch's new employer, neatly completing the insular Ingersoll/Noss feedback loop.

But Miss Fortune, you ask, what are Brian Lynch's professional qualifications?

Since you've asked so nicely, I'll tell you.


Brian T. Lynch
Records show that Lynch, who grew up in Mayville and graduated from Michigan Lutheran Seminary High School, had been issued a Michigan provisional teaching certificate on March 30, 2005. He received a two-year extension in 2010, but has since let his teaching certificate lapse.

Lynch, who had taught at the Grand Traverse Academy, reportedly left the school in early 2012, before the end of the school year, to become an insurance agent.

The State of Michigan issued Lynch a "Resident Producer" license on February 24, 2012, a qualification that he still holds. 

Craig Johnston, president of the Bay City Academy's board and a resident of Oakland County, said the board “felt it was important to have someone always on site doing the mission of the school 24/7, 365 days a year. Dr. Ingersoll can’t do that.”

However, Johnston won't answer questions about the allegations regarding Ingersoll.

Going forward, Johnston says the board will do its best to separate Ingersoll from the school and build a more positive perception. The board’s decision to retain Ingersoll’s Smart Schools management company, he said, is one based on the educational model the school provides.

“We removed the part of Smart Schools we didn’t like,” said Johnston, referring to Ingersoll. “But we like what they have to offer intellectually.” 

But Johnston carefully neglected to mention that Smart Schools and the Bay City Academy are inextricably linked—Ingersoll founded and financed the school, a variety of Ingersoll-controlled corporations own all the buildings, and teachers are leased to the Academy by Smart Schools Management, Inc.

Lynch says he has housing available to him in Bay City, but will remain a resident of Traverse City for the time being. "I'm still figuring that out," he said. "I need to see where everything with this goes." 


Bay City Academy officials issued a press release on March 24 about Ingersoll’s departure and the appointment of Lynch, stating:

“Mr. Lynch will direct the implementation of Dr. Ingersoll’s Smart Schools education model. The latest multiyear, multi-site data from the State of Michigan shows the Smart Schools Model has produced the highest math and reading test scores of all charter schools in Michigan. Bay City Academy will reach these same levels of excellence under Mr. Lynch’s expert leadership.”

Somewhere in Pyongyang, this guy is laughing.


  1. I don't know Brian well, but I do know he was a really good teacher. He told me he left GTA because he had "had enough." GTA has had quite a few really exceptional teachers and a number have completely left teaching when they leave the academy.

  2. I work at BCA and didn't know any of this. There's a culture of fear there, esp. @ after the hell last year was, and everyone is afraid to ask questions. So many teachers left a a lot of the ones still there, including me, stayed bc they couldn't find another job. Keep reporting this valuable info, esp when. Steve's trial comes up.

  3. How does this not get more scrutiny?

    Let's look at the facts.

    Brian Lynch:
    - marries Mark Noss daughter.
    - gets a job at Grand Traverse Academy
    - open Icon Leaning at the office of Mark Noss optometry office, while still a teacher at GTA
    - leaves to "sell insurance" which sounds like a great excuse to give a small separate between GTA and his next high paying gig as a consultant with Smart Schools.
    - Appointed Superintendent and director of Bay City Academy.

    How is this even remotely OK?

    If you want to check out his Facebook "work" profile:


    If you were these two, raking in literally millions of dollars, you'd be smiling too, no?


  4. I have know Brian for a long time and know that he always has ulterior motives and looks out for himself. Glad to see we have great leadership directing our next generation.