Flint Central High School
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|Flint Central High School|
|601 Crapo St.
|School district||Flint Community Schools|
|Campus size||43 acres (170,000 m2)|
|Color(s)||Red and black|
|Athletics conference||Saginaw Valley League|
|Affiliation||Flint Community Schools|
Flint Central High School was one of the Flint Community Schools, located in Flint, Michigan, USA. Flint Central was the city's oldest school. Its first building was built in 1875, and the school moved into the present building in 1923. It was called Flint High School until Flint Northern High School was built in around 1928. Approximately 2,000 students attended the school at its peak attendance, and about half that at the time of its closing. Graduation ceremonies were held at Whiting Auditorium. The school building is located in the East Village, near the corner of Crapo Street and Court Street.
Flint Central competed in the oldest athletic conference in the State of Michigan, the Saginaw Valley League. The football teams played their home games at Atwood Stadium in Flint. On certain nights when Atwood was already in use (also the home of Flint Northern and Flint Southwestern), Flint Central would host at their secondary home, Guy V. Houston Stadium, located near Flint Northwestern.
- Men's basketball
- Men's swimming
- Women's volleyball
- Men's wrestling
- Women's basketball
- Cross country
- Men's football
- Women's golf
- Men's golf
- Women's Soccer
- Men's Soccer
- Women's Softball
- Women's Swimming
- Track and field
From 1976 through 2001 the school's football coach was Joe Eufinger. His lifetime record was 138–102, which is the ninth-highest win total amongst coaches in Genesee County.  Longtime Baseball coach Bob Holec is now leading the Flint Baseball Commission and is the Commissioner of the baseball contingent for the CANUSA Games. The Men's Basketball team was coached for many years by Stan Gooch. They won state championships in 1981, 1982 and 1983. He won over 500 games and is in numerous Halls of Fame. The softball team was led by Cuban refugee Margarita Calvo to an unprecedented 22 consecutive City League titles. The Flint Central tennis team won their first City Championship in more than seven years in spring 2007, and still maintained their position until the school was closed. Clem Rowe was the longtime tennis coach at the school. After years of struggling, the baseball team rebounded with a 15-win season in 2007, claiming the city series title, as well as runner up in the annual Greater Flint Tournament.
The Magnet Program for the Flint Community Schools ran the secondary school Theatre Program through Flint Central from 1976-2006. Prior to that Flint Central was long known as a leader in educational theatre locally, statewide and nationally. The program was led for many years by such notable teachers as Helen Hardy Brown, Maude Biegel, Jacqueline Oriet Kramer, Shirley Parola, James Olson, Jeanne Shoemaker and The Most notable and longest in the position was Martin W. Jennings who led the program from 1981-2006. It was during this time Central High School's Theatre program involved over 10,000 students for 25 years from all four of Flint's Comprehensive High Schools. From 1981 to 2006, over 127 full-scale theatre productions were staged including Broadway Musicals, Comedies, Dramas, One-Acts, Student Written Works, The Vehicle City, Improv Troupe and 10 works of William Shakespeare.
The program generally produced three productions every year, in addition to a magnet student showcase which raised thousands of dollars for a fine arts scholarship in the name of Donn Jensen, a supporter of the program who died in 1997. The theatre students of Flint Central have performed internationally and in numerous states. In 1989 and 1991, The Educational Theatre Association named Flint Central's Theatre Program as one of the top six high school theatre programs in the country. The theatre has also had an affiliated membership with The International Thespian Society (Troupe #575) since 1925. Many Alumni have gone on to have careers in the theatre. After changes made by the school board in 2006 to reform the school district, the magnet program was dissolved. In the fall of 2006, Rhonda Young was named director of the theatre program. Gina Morris Cicalo, longtime director of Whittier Theatre Magnet Program, was appointed theatre teacher at Flint Central for the 2008-09 school year. During her time at Central, theatre productions were not able to be staged due to facility-damage in the auditorium and scene shop.
The mascot of Flint Central High School since 1928 was the Indian. In 2001 the Flint Board of Education voted to phase out school mascots that made reference to Native Americans in all of Flint's schools. This affected other school mascots as well including the Pierce Elementary School Arrows (although the mascot name is a reference to the automobile model, not the weapon), and the Whittier Junior High School Braves. The changeover was completed for the 2005-2006 school year.
In April 2009 the Board of Education voted to close the school due to declining enrollment and maintenance costs. As Central High School is one of the oldest buildings in the district, it was cited as costly to maintain and renovate. Several other schools in the district were closed as well, all of which were elementary schools.
The last day of classes at Flint Central High School was on June 11, 2009. The following day, a farewell ceremony was held at the school for alumni to walk the halls one last time. The building has been closed indefinitely, which was met with great backlash from the current students, parents and alumni. At the time of the closure, the Flint Schools put out a statement saying that Central could re-open in five years with several renovations. That, however, was deemed untrue as the Flint Schools cannot afford to re-open Central, and due to declining enrollment district-wide, the FCS has also closed Flint Northern High School in 2013.
City planners have drafted long-term plans to consolidate Flint's high schools into a new high school at the existing Flint Central location.
- Jim Abbott, Class of 1985 – professional baseball player 1989-99, pitched no-hitter for New York Yankees; 1988 Olympic gold medalist; distinguishing characteristic was that he was born with only one hand.
- Tony Branoff, Class of 1952 – All-State football player, 1953 MVP of University of Michigan football team
- Lloyd Brazil – All-American halfback for University of Detroit, 1927–1929
- Lynn Chandnois, Class of 1943 – first-round draft pick of NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers after playing college football at Michigan State University
- Don Coleman, Class of 1949 – first Michigan State University football player to have jersey retired; educator, former MSU Dean of Students
- Marty Embry, Class of 1982 – won back-to-back state titles with Central, played at DePaul University, drafted by Utah Jazz in 1986 and played 13 years overseas.
- Amir Mirza Hekmati, Class of 2001 – arrested by Iran on charges of spying on behalf of Central Intelligence Agency
- George Hoey, Class of 1965 – All-State football player, running back for University of Michigan and NFL's Arizona Cardinals, New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers, Denver Broncos, and New York Jets.
- Clarence (Kelly) Johnson, Class of 1928 – aerospace engineer, formed Skunk Works for Lockheed Aircraft in Burbank, California; designed aircraft such as SR-71 Blackbird, U-2 Spyplane, Lockheed Electra, P-38 Lightning, F-117A Nighthawk (stealth fighter), F-104 Starfighter, T-33 Trainer, and C-130 Hercules transport.
- LaKisha Jones, Class of 1998 – American Idol finalist
- Casey Kasem – radio personality, host of American Top 40, voice of "Shaggy" in Scooby-Doo cartoons
- Ron Pruitt, Class of 1968 – professional baseball player for nine seasons
- Donald Riegle, Class of 1956 – United States Senator 1976–1995
- Jamarko Simmons, Class of 2004 – All-State football player, wide receiver for Western Michigan University; school leader all-time receptions; signed as undrafted free agent with Green Bay Packers; won Arena Football League championship with Jacksonville Sharks and United Football League championship with Virginia Destroyers.
- Bernice Steadman – aviator and member of Mercury 13 space program
- Eric Turner, Class of 1981 - runner-up "Mr. Basketball", played at University of Michigan
- Coquese Washington, Class of 1989 – basketball player in WNBA after playing at Notre Dame University; first President of WNBA Player Association; presently women's head basketball coach at Penn State University.
- Herb Washington, Class of 1967 – world record holder 60-yard dash; played professional baseball for Oakland Athletics
- Andre Weathers, Class of 1994 – professional football player with New York Giants; played in Super Bowl in 2001; won national championship in 1997 playing for University of Michigan.
- "Flint Central High School faces uncertain future". MLive.com. March 2009. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
- "School Board Moves to Change Mascots", The Flint Journal, 2001-11-20
- "Back to the future: Plan calls for revamping Flint with one high school". MLive.com. April 2014. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
- Warikoo, Niraj (2015-03-21). "Bernice Steadman, part of NASA's 'Mercury 13' program, dies". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on 2015-04-05. Retrieved 2015-04-12.