Northern High School (Detroit, Michigan)
Northern Senior High School was a high school located on the east side of Detroit, Michigan. The school was a part of Detroit Public Schools. By the latter part of the millennium, Northern Senior High School was cited for closure as well as several other local high schools in the Detroit School District. Often, the school was referred to as 'Northern Model High School' because of its past notoriety and representation in the community. The Detroit International Academy is now housed in the building that was formerly and famously known as Northern Senior High School. When Northern existed, it served a portion of New Center.
Academics and Other Program Information
Northern Senior High School was a school with a notable Business and Technology Department as well as a new science wing. The school quickly acquired new technology in these areas during the late 1990s. In addition, Northern Senior High School had a DECA program that was dedicated to educating students in the areas of marketing, management, and entrepreneurship. During the late 1990s and the earlier part of the millennium, this program was operated by Mark Gniewek, an instructor in the Business and Technology department. Furthermore, the school also had an Entrepreneurship Club for students who displayed an interest in starting a business or other management goals. During the late 1990s, this program was managed by James Robinson.
The Detroit Northern High School Concert Choir was also of local and national interest. During the late 1990s, the choir was managed by Ernestine Gold-Livingston. The choir attracted several students due to its record of success, rigorous performance schedule, and its dedication to perfection. Often, the choir was adorned in red and black dresses for the young women and tuxedos for the young men. Performances included various school academic ceremonies, other school-related activities, and various music competitions. Accompanists of the choir included Virginia Stieler and Joseph Hurst.
In addition, the TOPS program was an honors program for students who displayed the potential for attending and succeeding in college. The criteria for joining the program consisted of a record of success during the middle school years, usually acknowledged by obtaining and overall grade point average of 3.50 during the eighth grade year. After admission to the program, the student must maintain a grade point average of 3.00 and must earn no less than a 2.80 during any cardmarking of the semester. The earlier years of the TOPS program were managed by Patrick Drummond and the later years, after June 1998, were managed by Joanne McClure. Advanced courses taken by students in the program are often noted upon the transcript with an 'A' after the course number or in rare cases, a 'T'.
Additionally, throughout the years, Northern Senior High School developed several programs to cater to the interests of its students. Among these programs were the "Jayhawks for Christ" program, which was managed by Andrea Ford-Ayler during the late 1990s after its conception in 1996. Furthermore, the Northern Senior High School Debate Team was also quite notable and won several competitions under the leadership of Annetta Wellman during the late 1990s and earlier part of the second millennium. Art students flourished and often found local recognition under the leadership of Ann-Marie Egigian during the same period.
Northern Senior High School Departments and Department Heads of the Late 1990s and Early Millennium
- Business and Technology Department - Ernestina 'Tina' Coleman
- Science - Isaiah Branch
- Math - Julie Buchanan
- English - Mr. Krempa Elizabeth Aprahamian and Patricia Murray
- Social Studies - Nadolyn Hoskins
- Derrick Coleman (1986), NBA basketball player
- Marshall Dill (1971), track & field athlete
- Aretha Franklin, singer, "Queen of Soul"
- Pete Moore, musician
- Smokey Robinson, singer/songwriter
- Sam Williams (basketball, born 1945), NBA basketball player
- Members of the Four Tops
- Ron Banks and Willie Ford of The Dramatics
- Rubin Weiss, famed Detroit actor of radio and early television, husband of Detroit actress Liz Weiss, taught English at Northern before embarking on a career in show business