Fordson High School

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Coordinates: 42°19′48″N 83°10′44″W / 42.33°N 83.179°W / 42.33; -83.179

Fordson High School
Fordson seal.jpg
Established 1922
Type Public High School
Affiliation Michigan Mega Conference
Principal Youssef Mosallam
Students 2,400 (approx.)
Grades 9-12
Location 13800 Ford Road,
Dearborn, Michigan 48126, U.S.A.
District Dearborn Public Schools
Accreditation North Central Association[1]
Campus Suburban
Colors Maize and Blue --          
Mascot Tractors
Yearbook Fleur de lis
Newspaper The FHS Tower
Website http://fhs.dearbornschools.org/index.htm

Fordson High School is a secondary school located in Dearborn, Michigan, United States in Greater Detroit. It was completed in 1928 on a 15-acre (61,000 m2) parcel of land which was then the village of Fordson, named for Henry Ford and his son Edsel Ford.[2]

History[edit]

Fordson flagpole

Prior to the opening of the school, students attended the nearby Miller School. Ground was broken for the original school building in 1926 with representatives from each of the four entering grades participating. The senior class president was George E. Sarkozy, one of those that participated in the ceremony. The school was designed by architect Everett Lane Williams of the Detroit architectural firm Van Leyen, Schilling & Keough. The school building, designed in the Collegiate Gothic style, cost at $2.2M and was inspired in part by the buildings of the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor, Michigan as well as the Rushton and Apethore halls in Northamptonshire, England.

The exterior of Fordson is made of granite and uses Briar Hill sandstone trim. The library has hand carved oak paneling, a fireplace, painted wall murals by Zoltan Sepeshy, tapestries and Jacobean fumed-oak furnishings and many bronze and marble statues including, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Nike, Niobe, Venus, and Mercury. The main entrance has ten busts that include philosophers, playwrights, and mathematicians like Plato, Aristedes, Sophocles, Homer, Demosthenes, Aesculapius, Euripedes, Pindar, Archimedes, and Socrates. The main hall also includes a blue and gold Fordson Tractor with lettering of state champions imprinted on its top.[1] The building features architectural sculpture by Corrado Parducci. Fordson's architecture was represented in the 1987 film, The Rosary Murders when the library and tower were displayed. The school also became recognized as a Michigan Historical Site in 1998.

Fordson Tower[edit]

The Tower was constructed in 1926 and has been used for innumerable things. During World War II, the Tower was used to spot enemy aircraft that could have been headed for the River Rouge Plant, where tanks were in production. The media center used the Tower for archival storage, classes, and media center office space. Students of Fordson hung signs over the Tower including a "for sale" sign in the 1950s and the most recent in 1993 exclaiming Fordson's State Championship in football.

Renovations and additions[edit]

In 2005, an addition was adjoined to the northwestern body of the school. A cafeteria, ten classrooms including science and computer labs, and the replacement of the greenhouse comprised the new wing. The addition preserved the structure and appearance of the school by using the altering dark and light limestone scheme and proceeding with the same architectural model developed from the school's inception. Consequently, Fordson received the Governor's Award for Historic Preservation and has been featured in many publications including the Masonry Institute of Michigan [2] and the architects of the addition, TMP architecture. [3]

In 2007, the athletic facilities underwent an extensive renovation. The natural turf varsity football field and the practice field on the eastern side of the athletic campus were replaced by AstroTurf surfaces. The track and tennis courts were also renovated. Beyond the tennis courts on the northern side of the campus, trees were planted when a seldom used sidewalk was demolished. Sarkozy field, the prior soccer field for the school was sold to the city of Dearborn for $800,000. The total cost before the sale was $1.6 million.

Fordson Tunnel[edit]

Built for its main purpose, transferring coal and ore to keep the school warm, many claim the tunnels lead to nearby middle schools; Lowery Middle School, and Woodworth Middle School.

Present day[edit]

As of 2013, the principal of Fordson is Youssef Mosallam, who was a graduate of the Fordson Class of 1994. Fordson is located in Dearborn, the largest Arab community outside the Middle East, where more than 40% of the residents are of Arab ancestry. This is reflected at Fordson, where approximately 95% [3] of the 2,400 student body is of Arab ancestry. According to SchoolMatters, in 2006, 91.6% of students passed the Michigan reading test while 80.4% passed the math portion. Of the students taking the ACT, the average score was 19.7 out of a possible 36.[4]

In 2011 North Shore Films produced Fordson- Faith, Fasting, Football and the American Dream, highlighting the Fordson football tradition and its deep roots within the Dearborn community.

Administration[edit]

  • Amal Alcodray
  • Martha Burch
  • Chadi Farhat

Traditions[edit]

Fordson has many traditions within its history. Every class that graduates from Fordson provides the school with a gift. The class of 1956 presented seventy-six flags representing members of the United Nations of that year. The flags have been used at every graduation since then with many other flags being donated over the years. Football has a strong tradition within the school and the helmet is a basic element of this example. The helmet at Fordson comprises yellow with two blue stripes over the top for the varsity team, one for the junior varsity team and zero for the freshman team. Also tradition, the stripes are made with electrical tape.

Winthrop Trip[edit]

Every spring since 1991, a few Fordson juniors and seniors have had the opporutunity to travel by train across the country to Winthrop, Washington. They visit Liberty Bell Junior-Senior High School and teach the local elementary students about the history and politics of Michigan. [4]

Athletics[edit]

Fordson is a member of the Western Wayne Athletic Conference. The Fordson Tractors have a strong tradition in its athletics. Their primary rivals are intracity foes Dearborn High School and Edsel Ford High School while also having a longtime rivalry with Monroe High School, an opponent since 1928 when Fordson was established. The school's strongest program lies within its football team. Fordson Football has accumulated 4 state championships (1930, 1943,1971, 1993) and 3 state runner-up seasons (1980,1982,1984). Fordson had an undefeated season in 1972, but was not regarded as the number one team. The Tractors have won more league championships than any team and have the only state championship in playoff play within the 11-member conference. The wrestling team has enjoyed much success recently. In 2002, Fordson became the first school in the city of Dearborn to win a regional championship in the sport. Currently, Fordson is in the Blue division, the highest division in the Western Wayne Athletic Conference and has won seven consecutive district and all-area championships. The girls' tennis team has prospered in the past decade. They have gone on to the state finals four times. Fordson also accomplished rare feats in Michigan girl's tennis. During three seasons from 2000–2002, Fordson won 31 consecutive matches, and 30 consecutive conference wins placing the team fifth and ninth respectively in Michigan's girl's tennis history. [5]
Fordson sports include (achievements are since 1999-2000 season):

State Champions and Runners-up[edit]

Year Sport Result Class
1928 Boy's Basketball State Runners-Up
B
1930 Football State Champions
B
1935 Boy's Swimming State Runners-Up
OPEN
1940 Boy's Basketball State Runners-Up
A
1943 Football State Champions
A
1944 Boy's Track State Runners-Up
A
1952 Boy's Swimming State Champions
A
1953 Boy's Basketball State Champions
A
1953 Boy's Swimming State Champions
A
1954 Boy's Swimming State Champions
A
1971 Football State Champions
A
1975 Basketball State Runners-Up
A
1975 Volleyball State Champions
A
1976 Volleyball State Champions
A
1980 Football State Runners-Up
A
1982 Football State Runners-Up
A
1984 Football State Runners-Up
A
1993 Football State Champions
AA
  • Fordson won the 1975 State Volleyball Championship albeit it was not an MHSAA-sanctioned tournament. The MHSAA started sponsoring volleyball in 1976. [6]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Institution Summary, AdvancED, Retrieved 2012-07-08
  2. ^ http://detroit1701.org/FordsonHS.htm
  3. ^ "Arab Students Seek Prom Balance". CNN.com. Archived from the original on 2006-05-28. Retrieved 2006-08-11. 
  4. ^ "Fordson test scores". SchoolMatters. 2006. Retrieved 2007-08-04. 

Ted Kulfan - Sports Writer The Detroit News and author of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: History of the Detroit Red Wings.

References[edit]

External links[edit]