Fordson High School

Fordson High School

Infobox Secondary school
name=Fordson High School
city = Dearborn
state = Michigan 48126
country = U.S.A.
campus = Suburban
type = Public High School
mascot = Tractors
affiliation= Michigan Mega Conference
principal= Imad Fadlalah
enrollment= 2,400 (approx.)
grades= 9-12
address= 13800 Ford Rd.
district= Dearborn Public Schools
accreditation= North Central Association
colors= Maize and Blue -- color box|#FFD700 color box|#000080
yearbook=Fleur de lis
newspaper=The FHS Tower

Fordson High School is a secondary school located in Dearborn, Michigan, USA. It was completed in 1928 on a fifteen-acre parcel of land which was then the village of Fordson. Prior to the opening of the school, students attended the nearby Miller School. Ground was broken for the original school building in 1926 with representatives from each of the four entering grades participating. The senior class president was George E. Sarkozy, one of those that participated in the ceremony. The school was designed by architect H.J. Keough of the Detroit architectural firm Van Leyen, Schilling & Keough. The school building, at $2.2M was the first American school building to cost more than $1m, and was inspired in part by the Lawyer's Club at the University of Michigan as well as the Rushton and Apethore halls in Northamptonshire, England. The exterior of Fordson is made of granite and uses Briar Hill sandstone trim. The library has hand carved oak paneling, a fireplace, painted wall murals by Zoltan Sepeshy, tapestries and Jacobean fumed-oak furnishings and many bronze and marble statutes including, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Nike, Niobe, Venus, and Mercury. The main entrance has ten busts that include philosophers and mathematicians like Plato, Aristedes, Sophocles, Homer, Demosthenes, Aesculapius, Euripedes, Pindar, Archimedes, and Socrates. The main hall also includes a blue and gold Fordson Tractor with lettering of state champions imprinted on its top. [] The building features architectural sculpture by Corrado Parducci. Fordson's architecture was represented in the 1987 film, The Rosary Murders when the library and tower were displayed. The school also became recognized as a Michigan Historical Site in 1998.

Fordson has many traditions within its history. Every class that graduates from Fordson provides the school with a gift. The class of 1956 presented seventy-six flags representing members of the United Nations of that year. The flags have been used at every graduation since then with many other flags being donated over the years. Football has a strong tradition within the school and the helmet is a basic element of this example. The helmet at Fordson comprises yellow with two blue stripes over the top for the varsity team, one for the junior varsity team and zero for the freshman team.

In 2005, an addition was adjoined to the northwestern body of the school. A cafeteria, ten classrooms including science and computer labs, and the replacement of the greenhouse comprised the new wing. The addition preserved the structure and appearance of the school by using the altering dark and light limestone scheme and proceeding with the same architectural model developed from the school's inception. Consequently, Fordson received the Governor's Award for Historic Preservation and has been featured in many publications including the Masonry Institute of Michigan [] and the architects of the addition, TMP architecture. []

In 2007, the athletic facility underwent an extensive renovation. The football field formerly encompassing grass and the practice field on the eastern side of the athletic campus were replaced to AstroTurf. The track and tennis courts were replaced as well. Behind the tennis courts on the northern side of the campus, the sidewalk was expunged for trees. Sarkozy field, the prior soccer field for the school was sold to the city of Dearborn for $800,000. The total cost before the sale was $1.6 Million.

Fordson Tower

The Tower was constructed in 1926 and has been used for innumerable things. During World War II, the Tower was used to spot enemy aircraft that could have been headed for the River Rouge Plant, where tanks were in production. The media center has used the Tower for archival storage, classes, and media center office space. Students of Fordson hung signs over the Tower including a "for sale" sign in the 1950s and the most recent in 1993 exclaiming Fordson's State Championship in football.

Present day

As of 2007, the school principal is Imad Fadlallah, where he has served in that capacity since 2004. Fordson High is located in the largest Arab community outside the Middle East, where more than 30% of the residents are of Arab ancestry. This is reflected at Fordson High, where approximately 95% [cite web | last = | first = | authorlink = | coauthors = | year = | url = | title = Arab Students Seek Prom Balance | format = | work = | publisher = | accessdate = 2006-08-11] of the 2,300 student body is of Arab ancestry. According to SchoolMatters, in 2006, 51.6% of students passed the Michigan reading test while 40.4% passed the math portion. Of the students taking the ACT, the average score was 19.7 out of a possible 36. cite web | url=| title=Fordson test scores| publisher=SchoolMatters| year=2006 | accessdate=2007-08-04] See: Dearborn, Michigan

Winthrop Trip

Every spring since 1991, a few Fordson juniors and seniors have had the opporutunity to travel by train across the country to Winthrop, Washington. They visit Liberty Bell Junior-Senior High School and teach the local elementary students about the history and politics of Michigan. []


Fordson is a member of the Michigan Mega Conference. The Fordson Tractors have a strong tradition in its athletics. Their primary rivals are intracity foes Dearborn High School and Edsel Ford High School while also having a longtime rivalry with Monroe High School, an opponent since 1928 when Fordson was established. The school's strongest program lies within its football team. Fordson Football has accumulated 4 state championships (1930, 1943,1971, 1993) and 3 state runner-up seasons (1980,1982,1984). Fordson had an undefeated season in 1972, but was not regarded as the number one team. The Tractors have won more league championships than any team and have the only state championship in playoff play within the 28-member conference. The wrestling team has enjoyed much success recently. In 2002, Fordson became the first school in the city of Dearborn to win a regional championship in the sport. Currently, Fordson is in the MEGA Red, the highest division in the MEGA Conference and has won seven consecutive district and all-area championships. The girls' tennis team has prospered in the past decade. Since 2000, the team has won six of the eight conference championships and have gone on to the state finals four times. Fordson also accomplished rare feats in Michigan girl's tennis. During three seasons from 2000-2002, Fordson won 31 consecutive matches, and 30 consecutive conference wins placing the team fifth and ninth respectively in Michigan's girl's tennis history. [] Fordson sports include (achievements are since 1999-2000 season): Fall Sports
*Boy's Cross Country
**2001 MEGA Red Champions
**2002 MEGA Red Champions
**2002 State Finalists (16th)
**2003 MEGA Red Champions
**2007 State Finalists (26th)
*Girls' Cross Country
**2005 MEGA Blue Champions
**2000 MEGA Red Champions
**2002 District Champions
**2002 MEGA Red Champions
**2003 District Champions
*Boy's Soccer
**2007 MEGA Blue Champions
*Girl's Swimming
*Boy's Tennis
**2003 MEGA White Champions
**2002 MEGA Blue Champions
**2003 MEGA Blue ChampionsWinter Sports
*Boy's Basketball
**2001 District Champions
**2004 District Champions
**2007 MEGA White Champions
*Girl's Basketball
*Boy's Swimming
**2000 District Champions
**2002 MEGA White Champions
**2002 District Champions
**2002 Regional Champions
**2003 MEGA White Champions
**2003 District Champions
**2004 District Champions
**2005 District Champions
**2006 District Champions
**2007 District Champions
**2008 District ChampionsSpring Sports
**2001 MEGA Gold Champions
**2002 MEGA Gold Champions
**2003 MEGA Gold Champions
*Girl's Soccer
**2005 MEGA Blue Champions
**2008 MEGA Blue Champions
*Girl's Tennis
**2000 MEGA Blue Champions
**2001 MEGA Blue Champions
**2001 State Finalists (17th)
**2002 MEGA White Champions
**2002 State Finalists (17th)
**2003 MEGA Red Champions
**2003 State Finalists (16th)
**2005 MEGA Red Champions
**2005 State Finalists (19th)
**2006 MEGA Red Champions
*Boy's Track
*Girl's Track

tate Champions and Runners-up

* Fordson won the 1975 State Volleyball Championship albeit it was not an MHSAA-sanctioned tournament. The MHSAA started sponsoring volleyball in 1976. []

Fordson Fight Song

Come on ye Fordson, dear maize and blue Come on ye Fordson High! We're here to fight for you And we will cheer for you As ye go down that line Rah! Rah! Rah! Come on ye Fordson fight for victory As we will loyal be Straight for the fame Of our fair name Go ye Fordson win that game!

Fight ye Fordson fight! Fight ye Fordson fight! Hit them high, hit them low Go ye Fordson go

Come on ye Fordson, dear maize and blue Come on ye Fordson High! We're here to fight for you And we will cheer for you As ye go down that line Rah! Rah! Rah! Come on ye Fordson fight for victory As we will loyal be Straight for the fame Of our fair name Go ye Fordson win that game!

Notable alumni

* Michael Adray, philanthropist, founder of Adray Appliance, inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1983.
* Abdul Alzindani, class of 1996; 1995 National High School Cross Country Champion, NCAA All-American in 1999 and 3 time All-ACC while at North Carolina State University;also member of the USA Cross Country team in 1997 and named to the 50th Anniversary ACC Men's Cross Country Team. [] []
* Tom Anastos, Montreal Canadiens hockey player and four time letterwinner at Michigan State University, former hockey coach at University of Michigan-Dearborn, and current commissioner of the CCHA []
* Dr. Alex Anckonie III, earned a Doctorate for Nuclear Physics and Doctorate Engineering; developed nuclear submarines and served for the US Navy on the USS Pargo, USS Pollack, and USS Ethan Allan; was commanding officer of the historic USS Nautilus that was first to complete a submerged transit across the North Pole; became professor of economics at George Washington University and Georgetown University. []
* Dr. Rachel Ankeny, Senior Lecturer, University of Sydney
* Dr. Robert Aranosian, Director of Emergency Services, Pontiac Osteopathic Hospital; was team physician for Detroit Pistons and provided medical services at the Palace of Auburn Hills and the Pontiac Silverdome
*Ed Bagdon, guard and linebacker for Chicago Cardinals and Washington Redskins. At Michigan State University, he received the 1949 Outland Trophy for being the nation's top lineman.
* Leo C. Beebe, CEO of K-Tron International from 1985 until 1992 []
* Dr. Harry Begian, former director of marching bands at Wayne State University, Michigan State University, and University of Illinois; also was director of Purdue University's symphonic band. [] ; was inducted into the National Band Association Hall of Fame of Distinguished Band Conductors in 1994.
* Cornelius Peter Berbec, Second Lieutenant who was an interpreter at a 1969 conference between U.S. President Richard Nixon and Romanian President Nicolae Ceauşescu at the Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest, Romania. []
* Michael Berry, first Muslim lawyer in Michigan and longtime chairman of the Wayne County Road Commission. A terminal is also named after him at the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport.
* Gregory Bill, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge
* William K. Brehm, class of 1947; Former Chairman of SRA International; donated $44 Million to the University of Michigan Health System; was also Assistant Secretary of Defense under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford [] [] []
* Steve Burke, former Purdue University quarterback.
* Rick Byrnes, first person in world to drive a production-based hydrogen fuel-cell race car over convert|200|mi/h|km/h|abbr=on, clocking in at convert|207.297|mi/h|km/h|abbr=on. []
*Chuck Davey, Michigan State University boxer, United States olympic boxer, and boxing commissioner for the state of Michigan.
*William Dear, Hollywood director, most notably of Angels in the Outfield and Harry and the Hendersons.
* Dr. Judith Benyi Diffenderfer, one of the physicians who died on Corporate Airlines Flight 5966 []
* Russell Dean Donelson, class of 1985; Eastern Michigan University football player; 1987-1990 []
*Jim Dunbar, radio program director, talk show host, and news anchor; was elected to the National Radio Hall of Fame for his work with KGO in 1999. He is also portrayed in the 2007 film Zodiac. In 2008, he receivedMichigan State University's College of Communication Arts and Sciences Distinguished Alumni award. []
* Charlene Mekled Elder, first Muslim female of the United States to hold a judicial position. She was appointed to the Wayne County 3rd Circuit Court in 2006. []
*Chad Everett film and TV actor, appearing in over 40 films and TV series.
* Marv Fodar, Cincinnati Reds baseball player
* Dr. Thomas Forsthoefel, current chair of the religious studies department at Mercyhurst College
* Gary Paul Gates, Author, most significantly co-authored with Dan Rather on "The Palace Guard"
*Russ Gibb, concert promoter, most notably of MC5 and Iggy Pop
* Dr. Aubrey Gorbman, zoologist who chaired the zoology department at the University of Washington; was presented the Presidential Award for Mentoring in Science by President Bill Clinton. He also served as President of the American Society of Zoologists in 1976. []
*Robert P. Griffin, former US Senator, former Michigan Supreme Court associate justice. []
* Michael A. Guido, class of 1972; Mayor of Dearborn from 1986-2006; was United States Conference of Mayors President in 2006.
* Ralph Guy, Jr., Senior Judge of Sixth United States Circuit Court of Appeals; appointed by President Ronald Reagan
* Norman Hammoud, class of 1990; Bowling Green Offensive lineman from 1990-1994
*Joe Hamood, Houston Mavericks basketball player
* Michael Iaquaniello, Michigan State Quarterback, Miami Dolphins Quarterback []
*Marian Bayoff Ilitch, Founder and Owner of Little Caesars Pizza and Motor City Casino; inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.
*Art James, Television game show host; hosted Blank Check and The Magnificent Marble Machine and also voiced for a dozen game shows including Family Feud.
* Andrea Joyce, former CBS Sports Broadcaster [] ; current NBC Sports Broadcaster who has covered the 2006 Winter Olympics and 2008 Summer Olympics; married to Harry Smith, co-anchor of CBS's The Early Show.
*John Lesinski, Jr. former Congressman for Michigan (D, 1951-1965) []
* Linda Line, former Vice President of NBC Daytime Programming
* Dr. James Lulek, chief surgeon at Oakwood Hospital & Medical Center []
*Adele Mara, American actress, most famous for her role in Sands of Iwo Jima
* George T. Martin, Wayne County Circuit Judge
* Dr. Gregory Z. Mavian, Neurosurgeon; Clinical Professor of Neurological Surgery at Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine. []
* Dr. Andrew Mazzara, former President of Henry Ford Community College, current board chairman of Laptop Design USA []
*Charles "Kid" McCoy, world champion boxer
* Brian Mosallam, class of 1993; Michigan State University Offensive lineman from 1993-1996.
* Alex Moslimani, played for two-time Division II national champions Northern Michigan University and the Green Bay Packers.
* Joe Nagi, first Michigander to swim English Channel []
* Dr. Paul Pearsall, lecturer and author of sixteen international best-selling books, professor at the University of Hawaii and Wayne State University; received the American Psychological Association's Rush Gold Medal for scientific and clinical excellence. []
*Gino Polidori, Michigan's current 15th District Representative
* James Prochaska, Director of University of Rhode Island’s Cancer Prevention Research Center; professor of clinical and health psychology; first psychologist to win a Medal of Honor for Clinical Research from the American Cancer Society;one of the Top Five Most Cited Authors in Psychology from the American Psychological Society; has pledged $250,000 to the Prochaska Cancer Prevention Research Center Leadership Endowment at URI along with his wife Janice Prochaska. []
* Janice Prochaska, president and CEO of Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc., has pledged $250,000 to the Prochaska Cancer Prevention Research Center Leadership Endowment at University of Rhode Island along with her husband, James Prochaska. []
*Walter Reuther, President of United Auto Workers (UAW) from 1946-1970, President of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) from 1952-1955; named to Time's 100 most influential people of the 20th century; I-696 freeway in Michigan and a library at Wayne State University are named after him.
*Tom Saidock, defensive tackle at Michigan State University; played professionally as a defensive tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles (1957), New York Titans (1960-61), and Buffalo Bills (1962)
* Robert Saleh, current Defensive Assistant for Houston Texans; former Defensive Assistant for Michigan State University, Central Michigan University, and University of Georgia. He also started at tight end for four seasons at Northern Michigan University. []
*Tarick Salmaci, boxer, also featured on reality TV show The Contender
* Dr. Ronald M. Scott, DVM, Federal Veterinarian-In-Charge for the State of Michigan, APHIS, US Department of Agriculture, 1973-1981
* Martin Shakar, actor in Saturday Night Fever, played Tom's (John Travolta) brother
* Dr. Jonathon Shannon, Anthropologist and Associate Professor at CUNY
*Eddie Slovik, only American soldier to be executed for desertion since the American Civil War; was executed during World War II
* Alex Smail, played football for the Detroit Lions and Pittsburgh Steelers
* Carlos Smith, class of 1998; played football at Western Michigan University from 1998-2002 and was team captain for his senior season.
*Jim Snyder, played baseball for the Minnesota Twins from 1961-1964. He also managed the Seattle Mariners in 1988.
* Virginia A. Sobotka, former 19th District Judge for State of Michigan. []
* Tom Spiroff, Producer of many TV series including Mr. & Mrs. Smith
* Al Turfe, professor of mathematics at University of Michigan-Dearborn and Lawrence Technological University;donated $80,000 to the UMD and $75,000 to LTU. []
* Minnie Tvaska, broke record for years competed in the United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships with 62 consecutive annual participations. []
* Tom Utsman, Deputy Director of Kennedy Space Center and Director of Shuttle Operations
* Dr. Frank Robert Westie, authored best-selling novel Ash Wednesday '45; was a professor of sociology at Indiana University for 33 years. []
*Dr. Jerome Wiesner, President of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from 1971-1980 and science advisor to United States Presidents, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson
* Richard Wygonik, current 19th District Judge for State of Michigan []



* [ History of Fordson High School]
* [ "Arab Students Seek Prom Balance"] , CNN. (2003-June-12)
* [ Photograph of the school and some history]
* [ Hoosier actors] (Chad Everett)
* [ John Lesinski Jr.]
* [ William K. Brehm Biography]
* [ Fordson football and fasting]
* [ Former NFL Paul Tagliabue and Detroit Lions President Matt Millen engage with football players after 9/11 ]

External links

* [ Fordson High School website]
* [ Fordson High School Alumni website]
* [ Dearborn Public School district website]

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