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Tuesday August 30, 2016
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Suellyn Scarnecchia

 

continued

As intense as the Baby Jessica case was, Scarnecchia is no longer in touch with the DeBoers, now divorced. She says she learned much from that case, both about dealing with the media and about human nature. Though many people were judgmental about the conflict, villifying the DeBoers or the Schmidts, "the biological parents were not evil, and the adoptive parents were not evil," she says. "The four adults were acting as normal human beings would act under the circumstances."

That's something she tries to remember in her current job. An institution, she reflects, "is better off if it can understand why people are acting the way they are... In my early twenties, I used to see the world as more black and white....An advantage to being experienced at this job is being able to see the gray."

Scarnecchia is married to Steve Hartwell, a retired teacher who served on the Ann Arbor school board and city council. She describes her husband and their son, Robert, as the "anchors" of her life. Robert started law school at the U-M in September. And Lou and Sally Scarnecchia, long retired, love returning to campus to visit their daughter.

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