The first 'school' in Washtenaw County was an outdoor school held in the summer of 1825 near Platt Road, eventually replaced by a log cabin. In 1837 another log cabin school was erected in Pittsfield Township, at which site in 1853 would be built Meadowview School. The development of the schools in Pittsfield Township is well-documented in this collection, in the Pittsfield Township, 1833-1860 series. Ann Arbor was scarcely a year old in September 1825 when a Miss Monroe opened a primary school in a log school house. John Allen had erected the building on his property at the northwest corner of Main and Ann streets. It was just across from what would be court-house square, then serving as Allen's vegetable patch. It was a crude building with small glass windows and split log benches.
We know of little more than the existence of this first school. Miss Monroe, the first teacher, died in 1829. Her successor, Harriet G. Parsons, moved the school into a frame house on the corner of Washington Street and Fifth Avenue in 1829. Miss Parsons later married Lorrin Mills, a tailor who built the first brick house in town. These pioneer schools were not supported by public funds but by rate bills and other assessments levied on the parents of the children. Public schools were not even authorized until 1830, and it was some years before tax money began to support education. Consequently, many of Ann Arbor's boys and girls did not attend school. In 1832, the average attendance was only 35 out of a possible 161 children five to fifteen years old.
Misses Clark School in 1867
For secondary education a whole variety of private schools were established beginning with the Merrill Brothers' school in 1829--"a select school...for teaching higher English and Latin and Greek." Some were more prosperous than others. One of the most successful, and the private school with the longest history, was the Misses Clark School for young ladies; Mary Clark was the Principal, and the building was at 505 N. Division. It was established in 1839 by three well-educated sisters from New York. They operated the school until the death of Mary, the senior partner, in 1875. A unified public school system emerged slowly. Those citizens who lived across the Huron River in "Lower Town," which existed until 1861 as a separate village, maintained their own school system up to that time. In Ann Arbor teachers in the "aristocratic" north district were paid $224 per year, those in the south $90 until the two districts agreed to build a union school. When the Union School opened in 1856, it was the finest building in the city with an assembly room which could hold 700. Moreover, it was the most expensive school in Michigan on one of the largest sites.
Fifth Ward School in 1855 on the Broadway Bridge
The Union School far outshone in grandeur and landscaping the campus of The University of Michigan, which by action of the legislature was permanently located in Ann Arbor in 1837. Daniel B. Briggs was the first principal; he was followed by Uriah W. Lawton in 1862 who later became the first Superintendent in 1864. Lawton was a Quaker who graduated from Brown in 1856; he taught school in Dexter before taking the Principalship in Tecumseh. Lawton left to become Superintendent of Jackson Schools for 12 years, 1868-1880.
The coming of the University undoubtedly was the single most important event in Ann Arbor's development. Its founding determined much of the subsequent history of the community. A land company of five leading citizens purchased 200 acres of farm land east of State Street and gave 40 acres of it as an inducement for the fledgling school to locate here. Its first buildings, imposing by frontier standards, were four professors' houses and University Building (later called Mason Hall), which opened in 1841. Its first class graduated in 1845. A medical department was added to the literary department in 1850; law followed in 1859. From 1837 onward, the history of the University and that of Ann Arbor have been inseparable and interdependent. There emerged a feeling of creative tension that usually was congenial, or at least tolerant, only occasionally slipping into hostility. History of Public School Buildings in Michigan
Ann Arbor's first residents were actively establishing other social foundations besides schools. A group of villagers began a library in 1827, which by 1830 had 100 volumes. In 1831, twenty-eight Ann Arborites joined the Lyceum, the purpose of which was "the cultivation of science and knowledge by members on subjects chosen by themselves, the collection of books and apparatus, and specimens of Natural History." The University of Michigan Library began in 1838; it is one of the ten largest libraries in America.
The Ann Arbor High School Class of 1872 held their 35th reunion on June 18, 1907 at the Evart A. Scott House
The path to the Union High School was tortuous, slow, and often contentious. At least fifteen communities — from Flint to Tecumseh —opened public high schools before Ann Arbor did. The reasons for the delay were timeless: money and politics: Ann Arbor's first schoolhouse, built on land donated by village founder John Allen, opened in September 1825. By 1830 the township of Ann Arbor was divided into eleven school districts, with District 1 including the village. The first report of District 1's commissioners, in 1832, summarized the situation briskly: "No. of children between 5 and 15 years of age in the district, 161. Average No. in school, 35. No public moneys received."
Ann Arbor High School Class of 1874
Support for publicly funded education was slow to develop. Many residents, especially the wealthy who could afford private schools, opposed any tax for operating public schools. As a result, complained the Michigan State Journal in 1835, "a neglect of schools has become almost a proverbial reproach upon our village. The situation was complicated by the multiplicity of school districts. By 1839 the eleven districts of Ann Arbor Township had been consolidated into four, and in 1842 those were consolidated into one. Enrollment in 1858 was 1295 students, and increased to 1351 then ato 1922 by 1866. The first graduating class in 1860 had 11 graduates. The population of Ann Arbor was 5,097 in 1860; it increased to 7,363 in 1870, and 8,061 in 1880. 1880 Graduation at Presbyterian Church. But in the 1881 History of Washtenaw County, Michigan, Walter S. Perry, superintendent of schools from 1870 to 1897, records that in 1845, "a petition, which secured the names of nearly all the solid men of the town north of Huron St., the aristocratic part of the village, was presented to the school inspectors, praying them to divide the districts 'before any expenses incurred in preparing to build a mammoth school-house, as we prefer the system which experience has proved to the visionary and costly experiments.' Counter petitions of those living in the south and west portions of the town were made, but nevertheless the division was made, and for eight years the town supported two schools and two sets of officers throughout."
The two school districts were finally unified in November 1853. Within days, a committee was appointed to develop plans for the "Union School." By the end of December, the school board had decided on a site—one and three-fifths acres, bounded by Huron, State, Washington, and Thayer streets. The property, owned by Elijah W. and Lucy Morgan/cost $2,000. The board presented plans and construction cost estimates for the building at a public meeting on February 4, 1854. After a long and vehement debate, it was resolved "that the District Board be, once it is hereby authorized and directed to erect and furnish at the expense, and on the faith and credit, of this District, a brick building for a Union High School." The board voted to raise $10,000 by tax to cover the anticipated cost. "We do not like to pay taxes better than others, but when we know that we are paying for school purposes the money goes freely and without regret," the Michigan Argus editorialized. "We must have good schools or big jails."
Ann Arbor YMCA began in 1858, was chartered in 1892 and later became Lane Hall in honor of Judge Victor Lane. It was "Kitty Corner" from Ann Arbor High School at State & Washington until it moved to North Fourth Avenue, 1904-1959
The Morgans' land was on the extreme eastern end of the village—so far from the center of town that it had been used only for pasture and the occasional circus performance. But once the school was sited, development soon followed. "Many new houses are being built and yet the demand is not supplied," the Argus reported in September 1857. "People are moving here to take advantage of the University and our model Union School." In its haste to get the school under way, the board had badly misjudged its cost. In addition to the $10,000 voted at the meeting in February 1854, the Argus reported in September that a "tax of $7,000 was voted to be raised the present year, and to be appropriated toward the erection of a new School building. A tax of 70 cents per scholar was voted for School purposes, and other small amounts for contingent expenses."
Fourth Ward School on Division St. in 1867 would later become Jones School in 1922
The following January the Argus reported on a bill, just passed by the Michigan Legislature, that seems to have been aimed at removing all possible obstacles to progress on the building. The legislation gave school boards the "power to designate sites for as many school-houses, including a Union High School? as they may think proper, by a vote of two thirds of the legal voters present, at any regular meeting." Boards were also granted the power to purchase land, raise taxes upon property within the district, fix tuition for nonresident scholars, make and enforce bylaws and regulations, borrow money, and repay loans. Ann Arbor's board now could proceed in the knowledge that its actions bore legal sanction—a timely reassurance, as construction funds were once again found insufficient. In addition to the $10,000 voted in February 1854 and $7,000 in September of the same year, a meeting in September 1855 authorized borrowing $10,000, bringing the total appropriation for the building to $27,000. The following January, another public meeting approved borrowing a final $8,000 to complete and furnish the building and fence and grade the grounds.
School records do not provide a total cost figure for the building. However, from 1855 through 1863 the district issued 167 individual bonds, ranging in value from $50 to $1,100, and totaling $32,637.50. That matches closely with the expenditure figures given in the Argus, which add up to $35,000—more than triple the original estimate. For its money, though, the city got a show-place—a building a railroad publication called "the crowning glory of the town." Built of brick on a fieldstone foundation, the handsome Italianate school stood three stories tall, set well back from the street, with a curving driveway in front. The third floor was one huge assembly hall, used for public gatherings of all sorts, including the U-M graduation exercises. The basement, wrote the state superintendent for public instruction, "contained living quarters for a janitor and his family, a writing room, a recitation room, and a primary school room."
Walter Perry was Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent, 1871-1897
The following January, the Argus published a long story praising the new facilities--as well as the orderliness, efficiency, and spirit of the student body and faculty. The paper reported that the curriculum included: "Four classes in Latin, two in Greek, two in French, two in German, two in Bourdon's Algebra, three in Elementary Algebra, one in Geometry, one in Natural Philosophy, tour in Arithmetic, one in Book Keeping, and three in English Grammar. . . . Instruction was also given regularly to both departments in Writing, Drawing and Vocal Music; and private lessons are given in Instrumental Music." Noting that the number in attendance was 356, the report concluded: "Our school is well organized, well disciplined, and well instructed; thus far it has more than answered our most sanguine expectations, and it now gives the most cheering promise or continued prosperity." Though the U-M would not admit women until 1870, the Union School was coed from the start. The Argus noted in fall 1857 that residents paid nothing for the basic course of study, aside from a "modest fee" for those wishing to pursue foreign languages, art, or music.
"For the information or our friends residing in adjoining Towns, we give the terms—per quarter or 11 weeks—on which non-resident scholars are admitted: Higher Dept., English Studies, $4. Higher Dept., English and Languages, $5. Intermediate English, $3. Intermediate English and Languages, $4."The high school was still educating many nonresidents when superintendent Perry wrote his history of the school district, circa 1880: "It is one or the largest preparatory and academical schools in the country, and its reputation has become well nigh national. Or its 400 to 500 pupils, about 60 per cent are non-residents. Its annual tuition receipts go far toward cancelling the cost or its support, while many families become temporary residents or the city in order to secure the advantages of its superior instruction. Since 1861, the date or its first graduation class, the school has graduated 870 pupils, a large portion or whom entered the University of Michigan. It is doubtful if any other enterprise of the city has contributed more, even to its material prosperity, than has the Ann Arbor high school."
In its first year in Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan had two professors and seven students. There were more Regents (nineteen) than faculty and students combined. The reorganized University did not have a president, but the faculty elected a presiding officer each year from their own ranks. The original founding date was 1837, but it was changed later to 1817. The first classes in Ann Arbor were held in 1841, with six freshmen and a sophomore, taught by two professors. Eleven students graduated in the first commencement in 1845.
Freshmen entering in 1841 (women were not admitted to the University until 1870) took admissions examinations in mathematics, geography, Latin, Greek, and other subjects. They also had to furnish “satisfactory testimonials of good moral character.” Students paid an initial admissions fee of ten dollars but no tuition.
In 1866, Twenty-five years after the move to Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan became the largest university in the country, with 1205 enrolled students. In 1867, the enrollment reached an all-time high of 1255 students. At that time, the University was comprised of the Medicine Department, with 525 students; the Law Department, with 395 students; and the Literary Department, with 335 students. There were 33 faculty members. James Burril Angell was the longest tenured President, 1871-1909. The University of Michigan, 1817-2017.
Ann Arbor High School Football Practice in 1902 at the "old" fairgrounds (Burns Park)
The initial curriculum at Ann Arbor High School was divided into two sections—classics and English. They covered similar material, but the former was more rigorous for college preparation. In 1872, a commercial course was started, and two years later, Horatio Chute was hired to teach science. He designed some of the first comprehensive courses in high school physics, astronomy, and chemistry, which were copied all over the country. As enrollment grew, so did the building. A portico was added to the west side in 1857. Also in 1872, the school was extended on the east side by about forty feet, nearly doubling in size. Commencement in 1874. Commencement in 1875. Commencement in 1877. That same year new heating equipment, seats, and bells were purchased. Commencement in 1885 at Baptist Church. Commencement in 1888. In 1889, a final expansion nearly doubled its size again, extending the school all the way to Huron Street. The Gothic-style addition was no sooner completed than it was nearly destroyed: on September 10, 1889, smoke was seen pouring out of a window on the first floor. Fortunately, firemen and a group of about 100 boys were able to extinguish the fire in short order. Afterward there was discussion of taking steps to fireproof the building—but nothing was done. There were 79 graduates in 1886, 71 graduates in 1891, 97 in 1892, 100 in 1896, and 79 in 1897. List of 1898 Graduates. Enrollment in 1896 was 559 students. Ann Arbor's population was 9,431 in 1890 and grew to 14,509 in 1900.
A 7th Grade Class in 1887
Fifteen years later, on New Year's Eve 1904, the entire school was consumed by flames. Because water pressure was low and the fire was well advanced when it was discovered, the firemen could not save the building. Even though the blaze occurred in the middle of the night, most of the town came out to watch. Principal Judson Pattengill, science teacher Horatio Chute, math teacher Levi Wines, and school superintendent Herbert Slauson organized a rescue mission. Aided by about 100 students, they were able to save much of Chute's prized physics laboratory equipment and most of the 8,000 library books. But much more was lost— textbooks, botany and chemistry equipment, school records, teaching aids, and sports equipment. "Friends of mine who were high school students at the time tell me that they stood with tears running down their cheeks, crying unashamed as they saw the flames break out in one after another of their classrooms," local historian Lela Duff wrote in 1956. Overnight, the city had lost its showplace, the anchor of the development of a large section of the local real estate market, and a trendsetting educational institution.
Fosdick School in 1914
Christmas vacation was extended just two days. With an outpouring of community support, classes resumed on January 12. The eighth grade moved en masse to Perry School, while high school classes met in borrowed churches and student religious centers, Moran's School of Shorthand, and the basement and storerooms of the new Hamilton Block at Thayer and North University. Efforts to replace the school started the morning after the fire with an emergency meeting of the school board. A bond issue to fund a new building passed in March, 370-42. The district hired Malcomson and Higginbotham of Detroit to design both the new school and an adjoining library facing Huron (the district had already received a Carnegie grant for the library before the fire). Both are neoclassical designs with pillars, multisectioned windows, and arched main entrances. But the school is made of brick, while the library has a stone facade, and details differ subtly on the roofs and entrances.
Donovan School was at 944 Wall Street; it opened in 1909. Above is a classroom in 1911 with Teacher Lily Goodhew.
The new school opened for classes on April 2, 1907, and was dedicated in a community ceremony ten days later. "That Ann Arbor now possesses the finest public school building in Michigan, if not in the United States, is admitted by all who have visited whether residents of the district or of other sections of the country," the Daily Times enthused. If students entered at the side doors on Washington or Huron, which most did since they had their lockers there, they were on the bottom floor. About a third of that floor was the domain of Chute, who had been allowed to design it for science instruction. The gym was in the middle. At the back, on the Thayer Street side, were rooms equipped for vocational classes — wood and metal shops and drafting rooms.
Ann Arbor High School Band in 1935 under the direction of William Champion
Students who came in through the grand entrance on State Street could go down half a flight to the gym or half a flight up to reach the auditorium. The top floor had two big session rooms—combination study halls and places for students to be when not in class—facing State Street. Divided by sexes at the Union School, in the new school they were separated by alphabet. Longtime (1946-1968) principal Nick Schreiber was hired in 1936 to be the session teacher for L-Z. His counterpart, Sara Keen—called "Miss Kerosene" by the school wags—took care of the first part of the alphabet. As in the Union School, the curriculum centered on subjects needed to get into college. But the new school also offered greatly expanded vocational courses—the state's 1905 compulsory school attendance law required the school to serve more students who weren't college-bound.
Ann Arbor School Classroom November 4, 1909
Many alumni remember the school assemblies. Veteran local radio personality Ted Heusel heard a broadcast of one of Hitler's speeches at an assembly in 1938. A Swastika vandalized Angell Hall on May 23, 1940; there was also a Swastika hoisted up on the Ann Arbor High School flagpole on June 5, 1941 for perhaps a "Senior Prank." In another assembly he saw the chief archer from the movie Robin Hood stand in the balcony and hit targets on the stage. Another assembly featured U-M football star Tom Harmon. "He came down the aisles with everyone screaming," says Heusel. Ted Palmer never forgot the assembly at which his history teacher played a trick on the students. "Miss Perry came from the right side and another Miss Perry came from the left and met in the center. It astounded everyone to see two Miss Perrys. It turned out she was an identical twin." Three years later, the sisters played a variation of the same trick on Dick DeLong and his classmates.
Ann Arbor High School Baseball at West Park
In the gym underneath the auditorium, students took physical education and played indoor competitive games. Palmer ran track by circling the gym, twenty-two laps per mile. "It wasn't much straightway, but some schools had less," he recalls. To practice the forty-yard dash, students ran the length of the hall that connected the Washington and Huron street entrances. This practice was halted when one student didn't stop in time and went right though the glass, seriously injuring himself. For cross-country, Palmer jogged to West Park and ran there, returning to school for showers. Students participating in football or baseball ran to Wines (now Elbel) Field but were lucky in having a little building there where they could change and shower. Kip Taylor, who scored the first touchdown in Michigan Stadium, was one of their coaches. Beginning in 1938, Ann Arbor High's teams were nicknamed the Pioneers. A 1962 school booklet explains that the name was appropriate because the high school was "a pioneer in the true sense of the word, being one of the first schools in the state to have an organized athletic program."
Ann Arbor High School Tennis Team coached by Donald "Dobbie" Drake who also coached football, swimming, and wrestling at Ann Arbor High School, 1926-1949; he was head coach of swimming.
At lunchtime students could eat at school, but "we liked to mingle with the college kids on State Street," recalls Palmer. The area was full of lunch places, well remembered by high school alumni — Kresge's counter for hot dogs, next door at Granada's for hot beef sandwiches, Betsy Ross in Nickels Arcade (built in 1915) for deviled ham sandwiches, Toppers on Division for 150 hamburgers. The lures of the neighborhood included the State Theater. In his memoirs, principal Nick Schreiber recalled a day, after a heavy snowstorm, when other schools closed but the high school remained open. In protest, a large number of students left for the matinee at the State. "When I learned of the exodus to the theater, I went over and asked the manager, a Rotarian friend, if I might have the theater lighted while I took the stage and announced that those students who did not return to classes were in for disciplinary action," Schreiber remembered. "They left the theater in haste."
Lavern "Kip" Taylor, an Ann Arbor HS graduate, coached football at Ann Arbor High School, 1939-1945, before leaving to coach with Biggie Munn at Syracuse and MSU; he caught the first touchdown pass at Michigan Stadium on October 1, 1927. He was Head Football Coach at Oregon State, and managed the Univeristy of Michigan Golf Course until he retired in 1972.
The high school served well through the city's explosive growth in the 1920s, the Depression, and World War II. But after the war it was increasingly overcrowded. 208 Graduate at Hill Auditorium in 1927. Built for 800 students, it was serving close to 1,400 by the time it closed in 1956. "The wood floors were creaky when we went there," recalls Bob Kuhn, a student in the 1940s. "The school seemed old. The cement stairs were worn." The U-M, too, was growing rapidly and needed more space. So the city and university worked out a swap: the university got the high school, while the public schools got a large university-owned parcel diagonally across from Michigan Stadium—the site of the present Pioneer High. Included in the trade was Wines Field, now renamed Elbel, after Louis Elbel, author of "The Victors"; today, it is used for U-M band practice.
Ann Arbor High School Football Practice at Wines Field, later renamed Elbel Field; the first football game was played there in 1915
The university renamed the old high school the Frieze Building, after an esteemed nineteenth-century professor, and built an addition on the back. Even though people thought the building was run down during its last years as a high school, it lasted fifty years more with very little maintenance. But this year is likely to be its last. In January the U-M regents voted to demolish the Frieze Building to make room for what they are provisionally calling "North Quad." Preservation activists and Ann Arbor High alumni argued for saving the building or at least the facade, but U-M planner Sue Gott rules that out, saying the university needs to use the entire site, including the State Street lawn. Still on the table is the possibility of preserving the Carnegie Library—if it can be combined successfully with the new building.
Much of this article is based in part on Wil Cumming's history of the Ann Arbor Union High School (Pictorial History, 1824-1974)
Ann Arbor High School Biology Lab
Ann Arbor High School's 1908 State Championship Football Team had their banquet in the school gymnasium
Ann Arbor High School Physics Lab
Ann Arbor High School Football Team in 1909 with Coach George Miller
The "new" Ann Arbor High School's basement athletic facilities known as "The Pit"
It was a long standing tradition for Ann Arbor High School Graduates to march two blocks from the Ann Arbor High School at State & Washington down State Street to North University and finally Hill Auditorium where they were awarded diplomas for decades until the new high school was built at Main & Stadium. The graduations continued at Hill until 1969 when the decade long tradition changed to Crisler Arena.
2015 High School Enrollment=4,708 Students
Dr. Joetta Mial served a Principal, 1986-1993; James "Lights Out" Toney graduated in 1986
Meyers teaching chemistry at Ann Arbor High School in 1958
Ann Arbor Huron has won State Championships in Boys Swimming and Diving, 1970 (Pat Wallace), 1973 (John Pheney), 1988 (David Johnson), 2008 (Kelton Graham); Cross Country 1969 (Des Ryan), Boys Tennis 1980-1981-1983 (Gordon Boettcher), 1996 (James Burdelski), 2008-2011-2012-2013 (Stefan Welch), Girls Tennis 1985 (Wil Cummings), 1988-1989 (Martin Topliss), 2004-2006 (John Veit), Field Hockey 2010-2011-2013 (Tia Sutton/Margi Scholtes).
Ann Arbor High School Football Team practices at Michigan Stadium in 1943, they won a State Championship under Kip Taylor; Pioneer and Huron met there for the first time at Michigan Stadium in 1971
Ann Arbor Pioneer Class of 1969 Graduation at Crisler Arena
Ann Arbor High School Championships:
Men's Baseball: 1898, 2004, 2010 (Jerry Holley) Basketball: 1999 Cross Country: 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1987, 1990, 1993, 1994, 2008, 2010 (Don Sleeman) Football: 1899, 1908, 1923, 1943, 1952, 1955, 1962, 1984, 1987 Golf: 1931, 1936, 1945, 1946, 1953, 1957, 1959, 1960, 1965, 1969 Gymnastics: 1925, 1965, 1974, 1975, 1979, 1985 Ice Hockey: 1964, 1966, 1967, 1971, 1984, 1985 (Art Armstrong) Lacrosse: 1992 Swimming: 1956, 1957, 1959, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1993, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009 (Dennis & Liz Hill) Tennis: 1940 (doubles), 1941 (singles), 1990, 1991, 1993, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 (Tom "Brick" Pullen), 2008 Track: 1900, 1907, 2007 Water Polo: 1974, 1976, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1988, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002 Wrestling: 1949, 1950 (Frank Kline, Athletic Director, 1962-1972) Women's Cross Country: 1987, 1988, 1997, 2010 Field Hockey: 1984, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012 Golf: 1986, 1993 Lacrosse: 1995 Synchronized Swimming: 1990, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 Swimming: 1979, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 (National Champions, 2002 & 2005, National Co-Champions 2004) Tennis: 1992, 1998, 2001, 2005, 2010 Track: 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008 (Bryan Westfield) Water Polo: 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 Co-Ed Crew: 2007 (Men's and Women's), 2010 (Women's), 2014 (Women's) Equestrian: 1995
Ann Arbor Pioneer-Battle Creek Central Football Rivalry
Ann Arbor Huron vs. Pioneer Football Rivalry
Ann Arbor Pioneer High School State Championships by Sport
Ann Arbor Pioneer High School Legacy Award Winners
Ann Arbor Pioneer High School Alumni Award Winners
Ann Arbor Pioneer High School Voluneer Award Winners
Ann Arbor Pioneer High School Athletic Director History
Huron River Rat Hall of Fame
U.W. Lawton was the first Superintendent; he was acquitted of assault on a student in 1864. Elisha Jones followed Lawton as Superintendent. Walter S. Perry, Superintendent of Schools from 1871 to 1897. Herbert M. Slauson was Superintendent, 1898-; he died in 1936. Leslie Butler was Superintendent, 1920-1924. Otto Webster Haisley was Superintendent, 1924-1953. Jack Elzay was Superintendent, 1953-1967; Elzay was President of the Michigan School Business Officials in 1957. Scott Westerman served as Superintendent, 1967-1971. Bruce McPherson was Superintendent, 1971-?. Richard Benjamin was Superintendent, 1986-1994. John Simpson was Superintendent, 1994-1998. The District has hired seven Superintendents (1999-2016): Rossi Ray-Taylor (1999-2003), George Fornero (2003-2006), Todd Roberts (2006-2010), Robert Allen (2010-11), Patricia Green (2011-2013), Jeanice Kerr-Swift (2013-2016). Green was the highest paid Superintendent in the state in 2013 earning over $245,000 annually.
Ann Arbor Public Library in 1949
Ann Arbor Public Schools District Library was dedicated in 1957. Old News Bookmobiles were used 1957-2006. The Loving Branch was added in 1965, the Westgate Branch was added in 1977, the Northeast Branch in 1981, and the Mallett Creeks Branch in 2004.
The Balas Building was opened in 1972; it was named after former Business Manager, George Balas, 1925-1970, and has housed Central Office Adminstration since that time.
Skyline (Opened in 2008 at the cost of $93.2 million) Skyline wins first State Championship in Girl's Swimming 2015 Enrollment=1,465, Capacity=1,728
Ann Arbor bids farewell to Clemente Program
High School Enrollment History: 1985-2015
|Year||Huron||Pioneer||Skyline||Saline||Dexter||Chelsea||Ypsilanti||Willow Run||Ypsi Lincoln||Milan||Gab.Richard||Manchester||Whitmore Lk.||Totals|
Scarlett (Opened in 1969, named in honor of Miss Mary Lyon Scarlett who died in 1963 at the age of 71 after serving as an English teacher at Tappan; she served the district for 44 years since 1918. She taught at Macon, Tecumseh and Wyandotte before coming to Ann Arbor) 2015 Enrollment=581, Capacity=756
Clague (Opened in 1972, named after Grocer Ashley Clague with a 6th grade education) 2015 Enrollment=644, Capacity=756
Ann Arbor Mayors
Bader (Opened 1965)
Bryant (Opened in 1972, named after Clifford Bryant) 2015 Enrollment=302, Capacity=455
Dixboro (Joined Ann Arbor Public Schools in 1958)
Dold (Opened in 1865)
Donovan (Opened in 1909, Closed in 1984; it was named in honor of Grocer Patrick Donovan who was also a Trustee for Ann Arbor Public Schools)
Eberbach (Opened in 1916, named after Ottmar Eberbach, former school board member. It closed in 1951, and became the Central Office for Ann Arbor Public Schools, 1957-1971. Miss Helen Platt was its only Principal)
The Eberwhite community has deep roots in the beginnings of Ann Arbor. Our namesake, Eber White, was one of the first settlers of our city. Eber White came to Ann Arbor in 1824, just three months after Allen and Rumsey (founders of Ann Arbor) had staked out the city. He bought a quarter section of land on the outskirts of the city between what is now Seventh Street and Dartmoor on both sides of Liberty Road. In the early days of Ann Arbor, Liberty was known as White's Road. After Eber White bought the land, he returned to his home state, New York, to marry Polly Rogers and bring her back to Michigan. (Eber White was born in Schenectady, New York in 1798; he belonged to a remarkable family noted for its patriotism.) When Eber and Polly White reached Ann Arbor, Eber built a rough log cabin for them to live in on the north side of Liberty. In 1840, the Whites built a more permanent house on what is now the southeast corner of Eberwhite Boulevard and Liberty. They had six children, one of whom (Adelia) married Dr. William Soule, whose name was taken for the street on which Eberwhite School would be built more than 100 years later. Eber White was very active in community affairs. In 1827, he joined with four other people to form the first Methodist congregation in Ann Arbor. He was also a chief organizer of the county agricultural society. Eber White also had strong political views. Being a staunch abolitionist, he helped slaves pass through the Underground Railroad. Although originally a Whig, he became a pioneer member of the Republican Party when it formed in Jackson in 1854. Eber White died in 1872 at the age of 71.
Forten School (Opened in 1837)
Fosdick School (Opened in 1831)
Freeman (Opened in 1976, Closed in 1985)
Jones School in 1928
Lawton (Opened in 1964) 2015 Enrollment=475, Capacity=495
Logan (Opened in 1976) Mr. Harold Logan Loved Us 2015 Enrollment=318, Capacity=338
Malletts Creek School (Opened in 1825)
Martin Luther King (Opened in 1969) 2015 Enrollment=483, Capacity=450
Meadowview (Opened in 1952, Closed in 1972)
Mills School (Opened in 1832)
Newport (Opened in 1972)
Oakgrove (Opened in 1832)
Perry (Opened in 1934); the W.S. Perry School opened in 1903 at 330 Packard St.
Platt School (Opened in 1825, Closed in 1945)
Pittsfield (Opened in 1945, annexed into Ann Arbor Public Schools in 1957)
Thurston (Opened in 1964) 2015 Enrollment=461, Capacity=428
Town Hall School (Opened in 1840)
Valentine School (Opened in 1857)
Westerman Preschool at 2775 Boardwalk named after former Superintendent Scott Westerman 2015 Enrollment=314, Capacity=187
Wagner School on Earhart Road in 1924
Ann Arbor Public Schools Enrollment in 2015=17,095 Students in 32 Buildings
Ann Arbor School Enrollment Capacity 2015
|Ann Arbor School||Opened||Closed||Annexed|
|Perry, W.S. School||1903||1963||n/a|
|Ann Arbor High School||1907||n/a||n/a|
|Tappan School/Burns Park School||1925||n/a||n/a|
|Tappan Junior HS||1951||n/a||n/a|
|Meadowview School (first school in Washtenaw County-1825)||1952||1972||1957|
|Ann Arbor Pioneer High School||1956||n/a||n/a|
|Ann Arbor Huron High School||1969||n/a||n/a|
|King School (Martin Luther)||1969||n/a||n/a|
|Scarlett Junior HS||1969||n/a||n/a|
|Clague Junior HS||1972||n/a||n/a|
|Community High School (formerly Jones)||1972||n/a||n/a|
|Ann Arbor Skyline High School||2008||n/a||n/a|
In 1962, the Washtenaw Intermediate School District was created; a bond was passed in 1971, and High Point School opened in 1974 to serve the needs of all districts in the county. Voters approved a millage authorizing Washtenaw Community College January, 1965, hired 41 full-time instructors January, 1967, and moved to its permanent campus opened January, 1970 on land from the Franzblau Farm. Washtenaw Technical Middle College began in 1997.
Ann Arbor Rejects the Annexation of Whitmore Lake Schools in 2014
Ann Arbor School Musings
Mullison's Stables (owned by Guy and Gladys Mullison, proprietors of site of the Washtenaw County Fair, 1922-1942, eventually becomes Vet's Park in 1954 at the corner of Jackson & Maple. Before that, the Washtenaw County Fair was held in the "old" fairgrounds in what we know of today as Burns Park (43rd Washtenaw County Fair held October 2, 1891)
From the time the student Football Association was first organized in 1873, informal games and practice sessions were held on the "playground" on the north edge of campus. A baseball diamond was laid out near the site where Waterman Gym was later built and the Chemistry building now stands. In the Fall, a gridiron was laid out on the baseball field, usually in a north south direction. The playground was also the site of many spirited contests between class football teams. Games for which admission was charged were held off-campus at the Washtenaw County Fairgrounds. Originally located at the southeast corner of the intersection of Hill Street and Forest. In 1890 the fairgrounds moved to what is now the site of Burns Park. Building the Big House.
Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard (Opened in 1868, formerly Ann Arbor St. Thomas until 1980) 1940 Graduates 1969 Graduation
The history of St. Thomas the Apostle Church is intimately connected with Irish immigration to Washtenaw County and their eventual concentration in Ann Arbor in the area bounded roughly by Huron, Glen, North Main Street, and the Huron River. The Irish first congregated in Northfield Township, but in the 1830s, they slowly began to move into Ann Arbor. St. Thomas’s first church was built on East Kingsley Street in 1845.
In 1868 the parish purchased a former public school on Kingsley which served as the parish’s first parochial school. By 1886 the school had grown so much that the parish built a new building in the middle of the block between State and Elizabeth Streets. By the time Father Edward Kelly arrived in 1891, the parish was badly in need of a new church which was eventually dedicated in 1899 thanks to his tireless efforts. The second decade of the 20th century saw the razing of the old school behind the church and its replacement by several school buildings for both elementary and high school students.
In 1954, a new elementary school addition was built. In 1977, St. Thomas High School transformed into Father Gabriel Richard High School which eventually moved to Domino’s Farms in 2003. Soon after its departure, the elementary school and parish offices were renovated and expanded thanks to the efforts of the parish community’s efforts to raise $5.2 million through a capital campaign.
Ann Arbor Greenhills School (Opened in 1969)
Washtenaw International High School (Opened in 2011)
Ann Arbor Christian School (Opened in 1986)
Ann Arbor Rudolph Steiner School (formerly Newport Elementary, opened in 1980)
Emerson School (Opened in 1973)
UHigh, 1921-1969; they were members of the Huron League, 1935-1958, and won state championships in golf (1934, 1940, 1941, 1946, 1947, 1948, and 1949), swimming (1940, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, and 1946), and track (1952) UHigh in Old News UHigh.net 1959 Graduation
The Oldest Public Schools in the United States: Ypsilanti (1849) and Ann Arbor (1856) rank 65th and 70th