Cass Technical High School
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|Cass Technical High School|
Image of the school in 2010
2501 Second Avenue
|Other name||Cass Tech|
|Type||Public high school|
|Motto||Cass Tech #1, Second To None|
|School district||Detroit Public Schools Community District|
|NCES School ID||260110304669|
|Teaching staff||109.00 (on an FTE basis)|
|Student to teacher ratio||21.95|
|Color(s)||Forest green and white |
Cass Technical High School (simply referred to as Cass Tech) is a public high school in Midtown Detroit, Michigan, United States. It was established in 1907 and is part of the Detroit Public Schools Community District. It is named after Lewis Cass.
Until 1977, Cass was Detroit's only magnet school and the only non-neighborhood enrollment school in Detroit. Today, Cass is one of few magnet schools in Detroit. Entrance to Cass is based on test scores and middle school grades. Students are required to choose a curriculum path—roughly equivalent to a college "major" —in the ninth grade. Areas of study include, but are not limited to, arts and communication, business management and marketing, engineering and manufacturing, human services, and science and arts.
History and campus
Lewis Cass the High School
(former Cass campus)
|Location||2421 Second Avenue, Detroit, Michigan, United States|
|Architect||Malcolmson and Higginbotham, Albert Kahn|
|MPS||Public Schools of Detroit MPS|
|NRHP reference No.||10000644|
|Added to NRHP||March 29, 2011|
The school was founded on the third floor of the old Cass Union School in 1907. Its historic landmark building on Second Avenue in downtown Detroit was built in 1917. To the south of it an addition was built in 1985. The new, modern facilities of the school were built in 2004 in an adjacent lot to the north of the original building on Grand River Avenue.
In 2007 there was a large fire in the old structure. Complete demolition of the vacant Cass Tech building began in June 2011 and was finished by November. Pictures of the old historic structures, both from the outside and the abandoned inside floors and classes, can be seen here . In addition, a 3D floor-by-floor interactive map of the old building is available here  as well.
Following the fire in the old structure, it was demolished and removed by Homrich Demolition. At time of demolition, the school building was approximately 830,000 square feet (77,000 m2) and weighed more than 100,000 short tons (91,000 t). Over 90% of the material in the building was recycled for other uses or as backfill.
In 2008 some classes that were not very popular with students were removed due to reduction in teacher staffing due to declining enrollment.
Based on current enrollment information, there are approximately 2,468 students that attend Cass Technical High School. There are 728 students in the ninth grade, 585 students in the tenth grade, 585 in the eleventh grade, and 570 in the twelfth grade.
Of the 2,468 students that attend Cass Technical High School, 2,035 (82.5%) of them are Black or African American, 233 (9.4%) are Asian American, 147 (6.0%) are Hispanic or Latino, 12 (0.5%) are White, 28 (1.1%) are Arab, and 7 (0.3%) are American Indian or Alaska Native.
Cass Technical High School's average ACT score is 19, which is four points higher than the average for Detroit public high schools. Cass offers over twenty advanced placement courses including language composition, history, chemistry, calculus, and physics. Students are required to maintain a 2.5 grade point average on a scale of 4.0 in order to retain enrollment. Cass Tech students' strong academic performances draw recruiters from across the country, including Ivy League representatives eager to attract the top minority applicants.
In 2006, Cass represented DPS at the National Academic Games Olympics and won the Team Sweepstakes award.
Harp and vocal
The school's Harp program was established in 1925.
There are beginner, intermediate, advanced and jazz band classes, as well as a marching band. The CTMB (marching band), under the direction of Sharon Allen, has performed for Patti LaBelle, Sinbad, and Jay Z as well as various college and university homecomings. The marching band was also a part of the 2007 Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, but was not televised. In 2008, the band performed at Texas Southern University. In 2010, the CTMB participated in Norfolk State University's Homecoming and won first place in the McDonald's Battle of the Bands. In 2013 CTMB went to the 2013 inauguration for President Barack Obama.
The concert band program rose to prominence under the direction of Harry Begian, who led the Cass Tech bands from 1947 through 1964. Under his baton, the concert band performed twice at the Mid-West Band and Orchestra Clinic, and played literature at a level far beyond that normally performed by a public high school band, including the Symphony in B-flat by Paul Hindemith and La Fiesta Mexicana by H. Owen Reed.
The Cass Tech Technicians football team (also referred to as the Technicians) is a high school football program in Division 1 Public School League, representing Cass Technical High School.
Cass Tech won the 2011, 2012 and 2016 MHSAA Division I state championships.
Track and field
Cass Tech's track and field history goes back to 1926 when Eddie Tolan and his teammate Loving won the interscholastic track meet at Northwestern University. Tolan came to be known as the "Midnight Express". He set world records in the 100-yard dash and 100 meters event and Olympic records in the 100 meters and 200 meters events. He was the first African-American to receive the title of the "world's fastest human" after winning gold medals in the 100 and 200 meters events at the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. In March 1935, Tolan won the 75, 100 and 220-yard events at the World Professional Sprint Championships in Melbourne, Australia to become the first man to win both the amateur and professional world sprint championships. In his full career as a sprinter, Tolan won 300 races and lost only 7.
Northwestern Interscholastic Track Meet
Art, architecture, design
- Harry Bertoia, artist, sound art sculptor, and modern furniture designer
- John DeLorean, engineer, inventor and executive in the U.S. automobile industry
- Niels Diffrient, industrial designer
- LeRoy Foster, painter
- Ray Johnson, artist
- John Kloss, fashion designer
- Stanley Lechtzin, jewelry and metals artist
- Judy Pfaff, artist
- Charles Pollock, industrial designer
- Renée Radell, painter
- Berta Rosenbaum Golahny, painter, printmaker, and sculptor
- Ruth Adler Schnee, textile and interior designer
- Maya Stovall, artist and anthropologist
Arts and entertainment
- Dorothy Ashby, jazz harpist and composer
- Geri Allen, jazz pianist, composer, and recording artist
- Sean Anderson aka Big Sean, rapper, singer and songwriter
- Warren Benson, composer
- Kenny Burrell, jazz guitarist
- Ellen Burstyn, actress
- Donald Byrd, jazz and rhythm-and-blues trumpeter, and vocalist
- Regina Carter, jazz violinist
- Ron Carter, jazz double bassist
- Paul Chambers, jazz double bassist
- Alice Coltrane, jazz musician and composer
- Muriel Costa-Greenspon, mezzo-soprano
- Jerald Daemyon, electric violinist
- Delores Ivory Davis, soprano
- Artie Fields, bandleader, songwriter, record producer and jazz trumpeter
- Carole Gist, TV host, model and first African American woman to win the Miss USA title
- Wardell Gray, jazz tenor saxophonist who straddled the swing and bebop periods
- David Alan Grier, actor and comedian
- J. C. Heard, swing, bop, and blues drummer
- Major Holley, jazz upright bassist
- Ali Jackson, jazz drummer
- Philip Johnson, actor
- Ella Joyce, actress
- Hugh Lawson, jazz pianist
- Donyale Luna, model and actress
- Howard McGhee, one of the first bebop jazz trumpeters
- Al McKibbon, jazz double bassist
- Billy Mitchell, jazz tenor saxophonist
- Kenya Moore, actress, model, producer, author, television personality, and entrepreneur
- Naima Mora, fashion model
- J. Moss, gospel musician, composer, producer and arranger
- Greg Phillinganes, keyboardist, singer-songwriter, and musical director
- Della Reese, jazz and gospel singer, actress, and ordained minister
- Frank Rosolino, jazz trombonist
- Diana Ross, singer, actress, and record producer
- Donald Sinta, classical saxophonist, educator, and administrator
- Cornelius Smith Jr., actor
- Lucky Thompson, jazz tenor and soprano saxophonist
- Lily Tomlin, actress, comedian, writer, singer and producer
- Jack White, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer
- Doug Watkins, jazz double bassist
- Gerald Wilson, jazz trumpeter, big band bandleader, composer/arranger, and educator
- Charles Wysocki, painter
- Rosalind Brewer, businesswoman
- Scott Fox, best-selling entrepreneurship author
- Esther Gordy Edwards, staff member and associate of her younger brother Berry Gordy's Motown
- Kevan Hall, fashion designer
- Peter Karmanos Jr., businessman
- Tracy Reese, fashion designer
- Preston Tucker, automobile entrepreneur
Law, government, and public policy
- Joe Barksdale, NFL player
- David Boone, NFL player
- George Brown, NBA player
- Walter Clago, NFL player
- Will Campbell, NFL player
- Derrick Dial, NBA player
- Carmen Fanzone, MLB player
- Guy Frazier, NFL player
- Vernon Gholston, NFL player
- Curtis Greer, NFL player
- Harlan Huckleby, NFL player
- Lano Hill, NFL player
- Pat Ivey, NFL player
- Aaron Kyle, NFL player
- Jourdan Lewis, NFL player
- Bill Mayfield, NBA player
- Darris McCord, NFL player
- Dorie Murrey, NBA player
- A. J. Ofodile, NFL player
- Ben John Paolucci, NFL player
- Chris Douglas Roberts, NBA player
- Tom Seabron, NFL player
- Arnie Simkus, NFL player
- Thomas Sidney Sims, NFL player
- Eddie Tolan, Olympic sprinter
- Clarence Williams, NFL player
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