[column type=”1/4″] [/column] [column type=”3/4″ last=”true”] I attended McDowell Elementary, Beaubien Junior High and Cass Tech.  I remember being very proud about attending these schools, because they were known for their rigorous academic curriculum and code of conduct for students.  I remember Mrs. Hawk, the  6th grade English teacher at McDowell Elementary, she had a reputation for being stern and tough, but oh what a sense of accomplishment when you earned an A on her assignments.[/column] [clear]

In order to attend Cass Tech you had to pass an entrance exam, so the student body came from all over the city.  At Cass you applied for certain area of concentration in addition to college prep courses and, the curriculum you were in dictated the area of focus.  I was in Performing Arts, and that’s where I developed my lifelong love of reading, theater and live performances.  In Performing Arts, you  not only learned about the discipline and focus required in order to pursue a profession as an artist, you were also taught about the elements in the back of the house; stagecraft, costume design, make-up, screen writing, promotions and advertising.  All Cass Tech students took college preparatory classes in addition to the classes’ specific to their curriculum.

The Performing Arts students traveled to Stratford Ontario every fall to taken in live performances of William Shakespeare’s famous plays.  Class trips also included attending performances at the Masonic Temple, Music Hall and the Fisher Theater.  It was not unusual for a final exam to include reciting poetry or scenes from popular Broadway plays of the day.

What I remember most about my time at these DPS schools, is the pride that both the teachers and the students took in giving it their best.  Getting grades good enough to be on the honor roll or winning academic competitions were reason to be proud and often incited a bit of envy, by your fellow students.  Excellence was expected in all of your subjects, not just a few.  As a student you knew your job was to get good grades, pass the test and get accepted to college.  DPS gave the foundation, drive and exposure to help me decided my career path and gave me the tools to navigate the challenges along the way.