Cass Technical High School
Cass Tech, 2010
2501 Second Avenue
|Type||Examination School of Choice|
|School district||Detroit Public Schools|
|Number of students||2,430|
|Color(s)||Hunter Green and White|
Cass Technical High School, commonly referred to as Cass Tech, is a four-year university preparatory high school in Midtown Detroit, United States. The school is named in honor of Lewis Cass, an American military officer and politician who served as governor of the Michigan Territory from 1813 until 1831. The school is a part of Detroit Public Schools.
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.
- 1 History and campus
- 2 Student
- 3 Academics
- 4 Music department
- 5 Athletics
- 6 Notable alumni and people
- 7 References
- 8 External links
History and campus
Lewis Cass the High School
(former Cass campus)
|Location||2421 Second Ave, Detroit, Michigan, United States|
|Architect||Malcolmson and Higginbotham, Albert Kahn|
|MPS||Public Schools of Detroit MPS|
|NRHP reference #||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 designed by Albert Kahn 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.
Of the 2,468 students, there are 1,520 (60.8%) girls and 948 (39.2%) boys.
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 eleven 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 1984 Cass Tech was honored by the US Department of Education among 262 schools that should "shine as inspirational model for others" that included public and private schools.
In 2006 Cass represented DPS at the National Academic Games Olympics and won the Team Sweepstakes award.
Over the years, the choirs have produced two CDs and are now working on their third. Cass Tech has many choir groups, including the following:
- Concert Choir
- Madrigal Singers
- V-Jetts/Vocal Jazz Ensemble
- Choral Genesis
- Cass Tech Men's Glee
- Mystique Women's Chorale
Harp and vocal
The Harp program, which was established at Cass Tech in 1925. Cass Tech is the only school in the city of Detroit with a Harp and Vocal Ensemble, previously led by nationally-renowned harpist Patricia Terry-Ross.
The harp ensemble is usually composed of five well-seasoned student harpists. They each receive private lessons, learning performance skills and the traditional techniques of the Carlos Salzedo Method. The group performs outside of school related functions.
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 prestigious 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 2005–2006 Cass Tech String Quartet was the winner at the 2006 MASTA statewide chamber music competition. The quartet was also featured in the 2006 Michigan Youth Arts Festival. The Cass Tech Chamber String Orchestra, the school's advanced orchestra, participated in the All City High School Symphony Orchestra program at the Renaissance Center's Ambassador Ballroom on March 8, 2007.
|MHSAA – PSL 1|
|Head Coach||Thomas Wilcher|
|Head Coach Years||14th|
|Head Coach Wins||101|
|Head Coach Losses||56|
|Stadium||Cass Tech Football Stadium|
|Stadium Surface||Natural Grass|
|League||D-PSL Division 1|
|Record (since 1950)|
|State titles||3 (2011, 2012, 2016)|
|League titles||7 ('60, '63, '70, '94, '95, '98, '10, '12, '13, '14)|
|State playoff appearance||31 times since 1950|
|NCAA Division I FBS/FCS Players since 1997||75|
|NFL Professionals since 1920||15|
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.
|Name||Position||Height||Weight (lbs)||Born||College||Drafted||Pro team|
|Detroit||Undrafted||Detroit Tigers (APFA)
Rock Island Independents (NFL)
|Darris McCord||DE/DT/OE||6'6"||250||January 4, 1933
|Tennessee||1955, R3, P11||Detroit Lions|
|Ben John Paolucci||DT||6'2"||240||March 5, 1937
|Wayne State||Undrafted||Detroit Lions|
|Arnie Simkus||DE/DT||6'4"||245||March 25, 1943
|Michigan||1965, R6, P2||New York Jets|
|David Boone Jr.||DE||6'3"||248||October 30, 1951
|Eastern Mich||1974,R11,P11||Minnesota Vikings|
|Aaron Kyle||CB/S||5'11"||185||April 6, 1954
|Tom Seabron||LB||6'3"||215||May 24, 1957
|Michigan||1979,R5,P1||San Francisco 49ers|
|Harlan Huckleby||RB||6'1"||200||December 30, 1957
|Michigan||1979,R5,P1||Green Bay Packers|
|Curtis Greer||DE||6'4"||256||November 10, 1957
|Michigan||1976,R1,P6||St. Louis Cardinals|
|Guy Frazier||LB||6'2"||217||July 20, 1959
|Thomas Sidney Sims||DT/NT||6'2"||288||April 18, 1967
|Pittsburgh||1990,R6,P14||Kansas City Chiefs|
|Pat Ivey||DE||6'4"||255||December 27, 1972
|Missouri||Undrafted||Green Bay Packers|
|A. J. Ofodile||TE||6'7"||260||October 9, 1973
|Clarence Williams||RB||5'9"||193||May 16, 1977
|Vernon Gholston||DE||6'3"||264||June 5, 1986
|Ohio State||2008,R1,P6||New York Jets|
|Joseph Barksdale ‡||OT||6'4"||325||January 1, 1989
|LSU||2011,R3,P12||San Diego Chargers|
|Will Campbell||OG||6'4"||311||July 6, 1991
|Michigan||2013,R6,P10||New York Jets|
|Jourdan Lewis ‡||CB||5'10"||195||August 31, 1995
|Delano Hill ‡||S||6'1"||215||November 26, 1995
‡ Active NFL Pro
|Name||Position||Height||Weight (lbs)||Born||College||Drafted||Pro team|
|George Brown||Forward||6'6"||190||October 30, 1935
|Wayne State||4th round, 3rd pick
1957 NBA draft
|Dorie Murrey||Forward–Center||6'8"||215||September 7, 1943
|Detroit||2nd round, 2nd pick
1966 NBA draft
Portland Trail Blazers
|Derrick Dial||Guard||6'4"||184||December 20, 1975
|Eastern Michigan||2nd round, 23rd pick
1998 NBA draft
|San Antonio Spurs|
New Jersey Nets
|Chris Douglas-Roberts||Guard||6'7"||200||January 8, 1987
|Memphis||2nd round, 10th pick
2008 NBA draft
|New Jersey Nets|
Los Angeles Clippers
|Willam Mayfield||Power Forward||205||October 17, 1957
1979 NBA draft
|Golden State Warriors|
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.
|March 1926||1st Place – National Champions|
|March 1927||3rd Place|
|March 1928||3rd Place|
Boys track and field team state championships
|1996||Detroit Cass Technical (Tom Wilcher)||Pontiac Northern|
|1995||Detroit Cass Technical (Tom Wilcher)||Detroit Chadsey|
|1994||Detroit Cass Technical (Tom Wilcher)||Ann Arbor Pioneer|
|1978||Detroit Cass Technical (Robert Glenn)||Flint Southwestern|
|1926||Detroit Cass Technical (Bill Van Orden)||Kalamazoo|
Notable alumni and people
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Art, architecture, design
- Harry Bertoia, (1915–1978) Italian-born artist, jeweler, printmaker, sculptor, and modern furniture designer
- John DeLorean, (1925–2005) automobile executive, inventor of DeLorean automobile
- Niels Diffrient, (1928–2013), industrial designer
- LeRoy Foster, (1925-1993), painter and muralist
- Ray Johnson, (1927–1995) seminal figure of Pop Art movement, "Founding Father of Mail Art", and pioneered use of language in visual arts
- Stanley Lechtzin, jeweler and educator, known for his research of electroforming and computer aided design
- Judy Pfaff, artist, known mainly for Installation art
- Charles Pollock (1930–2013), industrial designer
- Renée Radell, artist
- Berta Rosenbaum Golahny, (1925–2005), painter, printmaker, and sculptor
- Ruth Adler Schnee, (class of 1942) German-born American textile designer and interior designer, known for her modern prints and abstract-patterns of organic and geometric forms.
- Maya Stovall, artist
- Charles M. Wysocki Jr., (1928–2002) painter
Arts and entertainment
- Dorothy Ashby, jazz harpist and composer
- Geri Allen, post bop jazz pianist
- Sean Anderson aka Big Sean; hip-hop artist signed to Kanye West's Label (G.O.O.D. Music)
- Warren Benson, composer
- Kenny Burrell, jazz guitarist
- Ellen Burstyn, won Academy Award for Best Actress for Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore and starred in The Exorcist, Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner (did not graduate)
- Donald Byrd, jazz and rhythm-and-blues trumpeter
- Regina Carter, jazz violinist
- Ron Carter, jazz double-bassist
- Paul Chambers, jazz bassist
- Alice Coltrane, jazz pianist, organist, harpist, composer, and the wife of John Coltrane
- Muriel Costa-Greenspon, mezzo-soprano at New York City Opera between 1963 and 1993
- Jerald Daemyon, electric jazz violinist, composer and producer known for bringing technical refinement to violin improvisation
- Delores Ivory Davis, singer, known for opera, oratorio, performances with Springfield (Mass.) Symphony, St. Paul (Minn.) Symphony, and Detroit Symphony Orchestra
- Artie Fields (1940 honors), bandleader, songwriter, record producer and jazz trumpeter
- Carole Gist, 1990 Miss USA, first African American woman to win Miss USA title
- Wardell Gray, jazz tenor saxophonist who straddled the swing and bebop periods
- David Alan Grier, actor, comedian
- J. C. Heard, swing, bop, and blues drummer
- Major Holley, jazz upright bassist
- Ali Jackson, jazz drummer
- Philip Johnson actor, leading role in Lifetime movie America
- Ella Joyce, actress
- Hugh Lawson, was one of many talented Detroit jazz pianists of the 1950s
- Donyale Luna, model and actress
- Howard McGhee, one of first bebop jazz trumpeters, together with Dizzy Gillespie, Fats Navarro and Idrees Sulieman
- Al McKibbon, jazz double bassist, known for bop, hard bop, and Latin jazz
- Billy Mitchell, jazz tenor saxophonist with Woody Herman band
- Kenya Moore, 1993 Miss USA
- Naima Mora, fashion model, America's Next Top Model winner (Season 4)
- J. Moss (aka James Moss), Grammy Award-winning gospel singer-songwriter, composer, arranger, producer
- Greg Phillinganes (1974) session keyboardist
- Della Reese, singer, actress, later famous for playing Tess on the television show Touched by an Angel
- Frank Rosolino, jazz trombonist
- Diana Ross (1962), singer, recording artist, Oscar-nominated actress, graduated one full semester ahead of her classmates; major listed in Cass Tech Triangle Yearbook was "home economics"; studied costume design as her curriculum path; 2007 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
- Donald Sinta, classical saxophonist, educator, and administrator; in 1969 he was the first elected chair of the World Saxophone Congress
- Cornelius Smith Jr., actor, 2010 NAACP Image Award winner for Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Drama Series; regular actor on ABC Series "Scandal" 2016-2018
- Lucky Thompson, jazz tenor and soprano saxophonist
- Lily Tomlin (1957), comedian, actress, 2014 Kennedy Center Honors recipient; winner of two Tony Awards, a Grammy Award, 5 Emmy Awards and a Daytime Emmy Award; Oscar nominee; listed and pictured in Cass yearbook as Mary Jean Tomlin – a cheerleader
- Jack White, Grammy award-winning musician with The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, and The Dead Weather
- Doug Watkins, bassist
- Gerald Wilson, jazz trumpeter, Big Band leader and composer
- Rosalind Brewer, first Black chief operating officer, Starbucks International & previously first black president Sam's Club
- Esther Gordy Edwards, staff member and associate of younger brother Berry Gordy's Motown label during 1960s; created Motown Museum, Hitsville U.S.A., by preserving label's Detroit studio
- Kevan Hall,  International Award-Winning fashion designer
- Peter Karmanos Jr., CEO of Compuware Corporation and owner of Carolina Hurricanes, Plymouth Whalers and Florida Everblades hockey franchises (did not graduate)
- Tracy Reese, award-winning fashion designer
- Preston Thomas Tucker, automobile designer and entrepreneur
- Charles Gilchrist Adams, inaugural William and Lucille Nickerson Professor of the Practice of Ethics and Ministry at Harvard Divinity School in 2007
- Errol A. Henderson, PhD, professor of political science, Pennsylvania State University 
- Evangeline Lindbergh, mother of aviator Charles Lindbergh, teacher at Cass Tech at time of her son's famous flight
- David H. Sanford, Professor of Philosophy at Duke University; specializes in perception and metaphysics
- Donald Sinta, Earl V. Moore Professor of Saxophone at University of Michigan
- Daniel Okrent, writer and editor, was public editor of The New York Times; creator of Rotisserie League Baseball
- Raynetta Manees, an African American best-selling novelist; 1966–1968 member of school's Harp and Vocal Ensemble
- Terry Foster, sports journalist, Detroit News, and radio personality, WXYT-FM
- Ed Gordon, journalist
- Pat Harvey, television news anchorwoman, CBS Los Angeles, National Assoc. of Black Journalists Hall of Fame
- Gerald McDermott, award-winning filmmaker, children's book author and illustrator, expert on mythology
- Toni Neal, Emmy Award-winning broadcaster
- Daniel Okrent, author and editor
- Michael Reghi, television broadcaster and radio talk-show host
- Shaun Robinson, television personality, Access Hollywood
Law, government, and public policy
- Ella Bully-Cummings, first female police chief of Detroit
- Cora Brown, first African-American woman elected to United States state senate, winning seat in Michigan State Senate in 1952
- Hansen Clarke, US Representative.
- George Cushingberry Jr., an African American member of Michigan House of Representatives
- Lisa Howze, state representative
- Kwame Kilpatrick, former mayor of Detroit
- Kenneth Reeves, former Mayor of Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Barbara-Rose Collins, former US Representative
- Vincent W. Patton III, retired Master Chief Petty Officer of Coast Guard
- Thomas E. White, businessman, Army officer, senior exec at Enron and 18th United States Secretary of the Army 2001-03
- Paul Wurtsmith, Army Air Forces general during World War II
- Joe Barksdale, NFL OT for Los Angeles Chargers
- David Boone b. 1951, NFL DE for Minnesota Vikings
- Walt Clago b. 1899, NFL end for Rock Island Independents
- Robert Dozier, 1993 inductee to Michigan High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame
- Aaron Kyle b. 1954, NFL CB for Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos
- Carmen Fanzone, MLB player for (Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs)
- Guy Frazier b. 1959, NFL LB for Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills
- Vernon Gholston b.1986, NFL LB/DE for New York Jets
- Curtis Greer b. 1957, NFL DE for St. Louis Cardinals
- Harlan Huckleby b. 1957, NFL RB for Green Bay Packers
- Pat Ivey b. 1972, NFL DE for Green Bay Packers
- Bill Mayfield, b. 1957, NBA forward for Golden State Warriors
- Darris McCord b. 1933, NFL DE for Detroit Lions
- A. J. Ofodile b. 1973, NFL TE for Baltimore Ravens
- Ben John Paolucci b. 1937, NFL DT for Detroit Lions
- Chris Douglas Roberts, NBA player for New Jersey Nets (did not graduate)
- Tom Seabron b. 1957, LB for the San Francisco 49ers
- Arnie Simkus, b. 1943 NFL DE/DT for Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets
- Thomas Sims b. 1967, Kansas City Chiefs and Indianapolis Colts
- Eddie Tolan, gold medal winner in 100 and 200 meters at 1932 Summer Olympics
- Clarence Williams, NFL RB for Arizona Cardinals
- George Brown, NBA forward for Seattle SuperSonics
- Dorie Murrey, NBA forward for Minneapolis Lakers
- Derrick Dial, NBA guard for San Antonio Spurs
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- Midtown location from the University Cultural Center Association, retrieved June 9, 1001
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- Images and information on the demolition of the structure can be found in the Homrich Demolition project file.
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- Official website
- Official website (Archive, 2000–2002)
- Detroit Public Schools profile
- Abandoned Cass Tech High School at Detroiturbex.com
- Cass Technical photos circa 2009 at Silentbuildings.com
- Blue Ribbon Schools program
- Program Overview
- 2002 Governor's Cup Awards
- Annual Conventions of SSMA
- Cass Tech talent
- Design Award
- Academic Games Olympics