Dearborn High School

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Dearborn High School
19501 Outer Drive
Dearborn, Michigan
Coordinates 42°18′30″N 83°15′44″W / 42.3083°N 83.2622°W / 42.3083; -83.2622Coordinates: 42°18′30″N 83°15′44″W / 42.3083°N 83.2622°W / 42.3083; -83.2622
Type Public
Motto Always in the Lead
Established 1893
School district Dearborn Public Schools
Principal Adam Martin
Grades 912
Enrollment 2,000
Color(s)      Orange
Mascot Pioneers
Rival Edsel Ford, Fordson
Yearbook The Pioneer
Affiliation Kensington Lakes Activities Association
Dearborn High School Pioneers sign.jpg
The sign outside Dearborn High

Dearborn High School (DHS) is a public high school located in Dearborn, Michigan. It was founded in 1893 in Dearborn near Greater Detroit. Dearborn High is one of the three high schools of the Dearborn City School District and is located at 19501 Outer Drive. There are over 2000 students currently attending Dearborn High.

Its attendance boundary includes sections of Dearborn and Dearborn Heights.[1]


The original 1893 high school building stood at the northeast corner of Mason street and Garrison avenue. An auditorium and gymnasium unit was added to the east of this structure in 1920. The 1893 building was razed in 1925 and a three-story 20-classroom structure erected in its place. An addition of 10 classrooms was added as a north wing in 1950. Dearborn High School moved to its current location on Outer Drive in 1956. The Mason Street building was remodeled as the Ray H. Adams Junior High School, named for the superintendent of schools when the 1925 building was erected. The junior high school closed in 1985 and the building was again remodeled to become part of a modern high-scale office complex.


Dearborn High School is currently a member of the Kensington Lakes Activities Association[2]. In school history, the Pioneers and Lady Pioneers have won a combined 11 state championships in 5 different sports with six of them coming in boys' swimming.[citation needed] In addition, they have won numerous conference, district, and state regional titles in every sport. The school colors are orange and black; the Pioneer mascot is dressed as a mid-19th century frontiersman, wearing a coonskin hat with a brown leather jacket, pants, and boots with leather fringe. At one point, the mascot carried a 19th-century hunting rifle but that was ended by the administration in the late 1990s. Their previous football field was nicknamed "The Boneyard".

The Pioneers' biggest rivals are the Tractors from Dearborn Fordson High School and the Thunderbirds of Dearborn Edsel Ford High School. According to T. C. Cameron, author of Metro Detroit's High School Football Rivalries, the rivalry with Ford High "has always been spirited" and that Ford's teams "never pass on a chance" to challenge Dearborn High in games.[3] In regards to the one with Fordson, he stated the games have been "scrubbed for years at a time" and that the rivalry was "love-to-hate".[3] The rivalry was affected by the 2006 job change of Jeff Stergalas, previously the head coach at Fordson, into being an assistant coach at Dearborn High School.[3] In 2015 both schools held food drives to coincide with the Dearborn–Ford football game.[4]

Band and orchestra[edit]

Dearborn High School currently has five bands and one string orchestra.

The bands and orchestra have received the highest ratings consistently at the Michigan school Band and Orchestra Association Band and Orchestra Festival's for the past 22 years.[citation needed] They are ranked in the highest AA division. The groups play at local venues, as well as community events. The marching band has performed annually in the City of Dearborn's traditional Memorial Day Parade. In 2008, the marching band was invited and participated in the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington D.C. In March 2011, the marching band was invited and marched in Dublin, Ireland's St. Patrick's Day Parade and was honored as the Top Youth Band of the Parade. In the spring of 2013, the groups performed in New York City at Josie Robertson Plaza outside of Lincoln Center, the Trump Tower, and the Church of the Intercession in Harlem.

Theater and drama program[edit]

The Dearborn High School Theater program is one of the oldest secondary level theater programs in the state of Michigan, and the oldest continuous theater program of any kind in the City of Dearborn.[citation needed] Dearborn High School is the home of International Thespian Troupe No. 586 which was chartered at the school in 1944. The program's most famous alumnus was the actor George Peppard (class of 1946).[citation needed]

Since 1994, the program has been honored with 10 consecutive nominations (2000–2010) to perform at the annual American High School Theater Festival as well as to the prestigious International Thespian Festival and has produced numerous State of Michigan Thespian Festival Competition Medalists.[citation needed]

WDHS Student Video[edit]

WDHS Video is a video program fully run by students at Dearborn High School.[5] The program was founded by Russ Gibb in 1981. Since 1999, it is the only program in the state of Michigan where students produce a feature-length film every school year. Students annually premiere the films at the Michael A. Guido Theater in Dearborn.[6] In May 2014, the program won three student production awards from the Michigan Emmy Awards.[7]


Dearborn High School's students mainly live in the oldest neighborhoods of Dearborn.[3] Fordson High students perceive Dearborn High as being more affluent than Fordson.[8] As of 2012, according to Rashid Ghazi, the producer and director of Fordson: Faith, Fasting, Football, about 30–35% of the students at Dearborn High were Arabs.[9]

In 1990, the administration gave out a survey, developed by a journalism teacher and his students,[10] to other students, asking about prejudices held against Arab Americans. Arleen Sorkin and Paul Slansky, authors of My Bad: The Apology Anthology, reported that the survey "created among students tensions that hadn't previously existed."[11] Principal Ann Superko issued an apology after receiving criticism from leaders of the Arab American community as well as students and parents of that ethnic background.[10]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Dearborn Public Schools Boundary Proposed Language Revisions July 2012." Dearborn Public Schools. Retrieved on December 23, 2016.
  2. ^ "Dearborn and Dearborn Fordson to Join the KLAA in 2018-19". August 17, 2017. Retrieved July 1, 2018. |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  3. ^ a b c d Cameron, T. C. Metro Detroit's High School Football Rivalries. Arcadia Publishing, 2008. ISBN 0738561681, 9780738561684. p. 33.
  4. ^ Harb, Ali (2015-10-14). "Dearborn Vs. Fordson: The rivalry turns charitable". Arab-American News. Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  5. ^
  6. ^
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  8. ^ Brunick, Paul (2011-09-09). "Muslim High School Football Players Stay Close to Home". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  9. ^ Haddow, Joshua (2012-02-01). "There's a Muslim Football Team at a High School in Michigan". Vice. Retrieved 2016-12-23.
  10. ^ a b "School apologizes for Arab survey." Associated Press at the Standard-Speaker (Hazleton, Pennsylvania). March 21, 1990. p. 34.
  11. ^ Sorkin, Arleen, and Paul Slansky. My Bad: The Apology Anthology. Bloomsbury USA, December 26, 2007. p. 79. (Alternate view, Alternate view 2, Search view #1, Search view #2, Search view #3).

External links[edit]