Central High School (Detroit)

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For schools of a similar name, see Central High School (disambiguation).

Central Collegiate Academy, previously Central High School, is the oldest secondary school in Detroit, Michigan; it is owned by the Detroit Public Schools. As of 2012 Education Achievement Authority operates the school.[citation needed]

Central High School
Address
2425 Tuxedo Street
Detroit, Michigan
Information
School type Public
School district Detroit Public Schools
Principal Steven McGhee
Grades 9-12
Language English
Area Urban
Color(s) navy blue and white
Mascot Trailblazers
Central High School in 1904; this building is now Old Main at Wayne State University

History[edit]

In 1858, Detroit's first high school opened on Miami Avenue. By 1863, due to increased enrollment, the school was moved to a building that had formerly housed the State Capitol - becoming Capitol High School. In 1871 the University of Michigan granted accreditation to the school.[1]

In 1893 a fire destroyed Capitol High School; it continued to function temporarily at the Biddle House on East Jefferson Avenue. In 1896, Capitol became Central High School, located at the intersection of Cass and Warren Avenue; the structure is still in use as Wayne State University's Old Main.[1]

During 1904, innovative educator David Mackenzie returned to his hometown as the new principal of Central High School. By 1913, under Mackenzie's direction, a one-year, college-level premedical curriculum was established at Central High - the first junior college curriculum organized in Michigan. In 1916, the program was extended to two years, and in 1917 the state legislature approved Mackenzie's plans for establishing the Detroit Junior College, forerunner of Wayne State University. In 1919, David Mackenzie was officially appointed first Dean of the college.[2]

In 1926, due to a further increase in the student population, Central High School moved to its current location, at 2425 Tuxedo Street.[3]

Sports headliners[edit]

As Detroit's oldest high school, Central has enjoyed a tradition of athletic success.

Central High School dominated city league men's basketball during the early twentieth century, winning championship titles in 1906, 1907 and 1909. Despite the absence of tournament play (1910–1919), Central High was a perennial fixture atop the standings at season's end. CHS also won city tournament titles in 1934, 42 and 1980.[4] In 1998, Coach Oronde Taliaferro marched his Trailblazers through the postseason, all the way to the Michigan High School Athletic Association championship game. In the final, Central dispatched Belleville High 63-47 to claim the state title.[5]

During the 1980s, Central's track and field program stamped an indelible mark in the record books; Coach Woody Thomas and his track men won a total of four MHSAA team titles - in 1980, 81, 82 and 1984.[6]

Alumni[edit]

  • Jerome Horwitz (1937) spearheaded the research effort resulting in development of AZT, an antiviral drug used to treat HIV[7]
  • Marvin Schlossberg (1939) adopted the stage name Sonny Eliot; became a well known Detroit television weatherman[7]
  • Michael Dann (1939) was a former senior vice president of programming for CBS Television[7]
  • Leon Jaroff (1945) was the founding editor of Discover magazine and senior editor in charge of the science, medicine, behavior and environment sections of Time magazine, who wrote more than 40 cover articles for Time, among them "Race for the Moon", "The Test-Tube Baby" and "Did Comets Kill the Dinosaurs?"
  • Robert Naftaly (1956), chairman of Michigan State Tax Commission and former chief operating officer of Michigan Blue Cross Blue Shield[7]

References[edit]


External links[edit]