Scott Broshar has devoted years to Chelsea School Board

By Sheila Pursglove

Legal News

Attorney Scott Broshar served on the Chelsea School Board for eight years, five as president. It's a pretty long haul for any volunteer. His two kids have long since graduated from Chelsea High School, and he has plenty to keep him busy at work and in his spare time.

But in February, he willingly stepped back onto the school board for an interim period, to fill a vacancy created by Rob Turner's election to the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners.

Broshar, who headed the board under former Chelsea superintendent Ed Richardson, and current superintendent Dave Killips, was a shoo-in, given his past experience. The board, that had 10 applicants for the position, gave him the unanimous nod. He will serve through June 30, filling in until after the May election and new board members take their seat in July.

"Being involved in volunteer community service has always been important to me," he says. "If you have an interest in getting involved and helping, there is always an opportunity available."

Although Broshar has been involved with a number of charities and volunteer organizations over the years and in each place he has lived, he says his term on the school board would rank as his favorite.

"It's a great way to get an in depth understanding of the many issues that face our schools and, hopefully, to provide thoughtful, cogent leadership," he says. "While I don't really like much of the current public rhetoric classifying our children as 'resources' or the parents and children as 'customers' of the education system, we do have a responsibility to allocate our resources - money, teaching expertise, time - to provide the best educational opportunities available for our community.

"In the long run, the community cannot be better than its schools, so I believe service to the schools, whether as a parent, teacher, administrator, board member, or simply as a citizen concerned with our community, is the ultimate community service."

When Broshar left the board after his second term in 2004, the school district was dealing with an enrollment that was leveling off and the (seemingly perpetual) problems of state funding, he says.

"At the time I thought that part of that pressure would be relieved by growth that would certainly come in the near future. My crystal ball was obviously not working very well.

"Since then enrollment has declined, state funding has been a bit of a scary roller coaster ride, and there seems to be more and more pressure on the schools to do more with less. Much like many of us face in our daily lives, I guess.

"As important as it is, though, to deal with the financial issues facing our schools, it's essential that we keep the focus on providing the finest possible education for our students for the future of our community. I hope by serving on the board I can have a positive influence on our future community leaders."

An Iowa native, Broshar earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Northern Iowa, with majors in economics and political science and minors in history and philosophy; and his law degree from the University of Michigan.

"I chose law school in part because of the value that I placed on education even back then," he says. "I wanted to pursue a professional degree, and science and medicine were not my areas of interest, so I decided on law without knowing a lot about what I could look forward to in a law career. It also meant I could go to school a little longer before I had to face the job market.

"When I was accepted to U of M Law I knew that was where I wanted to go without necessarily knowing why - probably just the reputation of the school. To say I enjoyed law school would certainly be an overstatement, but I made it through and learned a lot along the way. "

After the first semester of law school Broshar knew he needed to have something beyond studies in order to stay motivated, so he took a job as a part-time title examiner at American Title in Ann Arbor, working there part-time for the duration of law school.

"Something about real estate just seemed to click with me," he says. "It came naturally to me, I enjoyed the puzzles that title examining often provided, and learning about the community history was really enjoyable."

When Broshar graduated law school in 1980, it was not a happy time for real estate in Michigan. He and his family moved to Rochester, Minn., where he spent four years at a law firm.

"I was doing primarily real estate related work, but also getting a hand in a number of other areas," he says. "But I knew that real estate was really where I wanted to be, just not necessarily as a practicing attorney."

He and his wife Wendy moved back home to Iowa for a couple of years where Broshar worked for an abstract company, but he kept in touch with Phil Surratt, his former boss at American Title.

"An opportunity came up to move back to Ann Arbor and work for American, and we jumped at the chance," he says.

The Broshars moved back to the Ann Arbor area in 1986, and have lived in Chelsea since 1989 and in their current home in Dexter Township since 1990. Their two children, Sarah and Chris, live on the West Coast.

Broshar worked for American Title until 1993, when he and two others left to form Absolute Title. The company serves title insurance and real estate closing needs in Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, and the state of Michigan.

"It was certainly a leap of faith, but it has turned out to be a very good move for us," he says.

"Christy Perros and I have had a great partnership from day one, and it's still going strong. There have certainly been highs and lows, and the last couple of years in the real estate market have certainly been a struggle, but we're still around and are growing again.

"I still enjoy title work and closings, and the continual opportunity that the business provides to learn about the community and the many, varied people that come through our doors."

The company recently moved to its fourth location, in an old Masonic Temple building at 2875 West Liberty in Ann Arbor.

In his spare time, Broshar enjoys windsurfing, kite boarding, skiing on snow and water, wakeboarding, snowboarding, golf, running, reading, and listening to music.

Published: Thu, Mar 10, 2011