Highland Park Community High School (Highland Park, Michigan)
|Highland Park Renaissance High School|
|Motto||"Striving for Excellence; Learning for Life"|
|Type||Public High School|
|Principal||Mr. Belvin Liles|
15900 Woodward Ave., Highland Park, MI 48203,|
Highland Park, Michigan, Michigan, United States
|District||Highland Park Schools|
|Accreditation||North Central Association|
|Colors||Blue and White|
Highland Park Renaissance High School (formerly Highland Park Community High School) is a public high school in Highland Park, Michigan. About 775 students currently attend HP. Its mascot is the polar bears, and its school colors are Blue and white. It is a part of Highland Park Schools, but has been operated as a charter school by Leona Group since August 2012.
The current Highland Park High School was built in 1977 to accommodate the rising population in Highland Park due to the increased migration of people from the nearby surrounding city of Detroit, even though the population of the city itself had been decreasing. The previous high school building was closed in 1978 so the students could attend classes at the new building.
The high school had direct access to Highland Park Junior College (later Highland Park Community College), attracting students; Jack Martin, who later became the school district emergency manager, said that the community college "was harder to get into than Wayne State." During its prime, it had graduating classes of 300 students each. Students continued to enroll despite the move of Chrysler to the suburbs. Many African-American families sent their children to the school so they could get an education comparable to that of schools in suburbs without having to move to the suburbs. The school had a pool used to train swimmers for Michigan state championships.
The school began to decline in the 1990s. The student population decreased and academic programs and after school activities decreased. The community college closed in 1996. The school pool closed during that decade. In 2000 the school district began operating on a deficit. In a five-year period before 2012, enrollment plummeted, with 450 students in 2012.
When Martin visited the school he encountered many empty and unused classrooms and various kinds of damage and wear, including water damage, exposed concrete beams, missing and falling ceiling panels, and exposed wiring. Doors had knocked out glass panels and missing doorknobs. Some lockers had fire damage because students had set the lockers on fire. The school budget did not have sufficient finances to fix all of the damage.
As of 2012 the district continued to maintain the former Highland Park High School and was considering opening it to students for the 2012-2013 school year.
In 2012 the school had 450 students; many of them lived in Detroit. Aaron Foley of MLive.com said "For many, however, Highland Park Community High School still remains a better alternative to unproven charter schools, outlying suburban schools and the state-controlled Detroit Public Schools."
Highland Park Community High School is recognized by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and is slowly improving its academic perception in the Metro Detroit area.
Highland Park is a Class B athletic school and is independent of a conference since 2009. In recent years, Highland Park has had athletic success, including 2 state semi-final finishes in Football in 2005 and 2006, a district championship in girls softball in 2006. The baseball team had a remarkable season in 2008 as it went 20-7 and were Michigan Mega Conference Champions. The school also has 2 state championships in Boys basketball (1952, 1975). They also have 7 individual wrestling championships by Jarod Trice (2006, 2007), Anthony Jones (2007), Marcell Dubose (2005, 2006), and Quean Smith (2010, 2011). Highland Park has had multiple runner up appearances in wrestling and boys basketball. Highland Park High School currently offers multiple sports such as:
- Boys Baseball
- Girls Softball
- Girls Volleyball
- Boys and Girls Track and field
- Boys and Girls Cross Country
- Boys and Girls Basketball
- Girls Cheerleading
The following attended the current HPCHS and its predecessor.
- Elvis Mitchell: film critic emeritus, host of the public radio show The Treatment, and visiting lecturer at Howard University
- Bob Bruce, former MLB player (Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, Atlanta Braves)
- Terry Duerod: Former NBA player for the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors.
- Ted Gray, former MLB player (Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles)
- Telma Hopkins (Actress)
- Doug Hollie: American football player
- Bobby Joe Hill: Former NCAA basketball player who was the starting point guard of the 1966 NCAA Texas Western University championship team.
- Reggie McKenzie: Former NFL football player for the Buffalo Bills.
- Billy Pierce, former MLB player (Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox, San Francisco Giants)
- Martha Scott: Michigan state senator
- George Trapp: Former NBA player for the Atlanta Hawks and Detroit Pistons.
- Ingrid Walton a.k.a. CoCo (WJLB morning co-host)
- Mario Williams: Aeronautical Engineer/ former stand out Defensive Back Florida A&M University
- Highland Park Renaissance Academy - Webpage for all Highland Park public schools, now operated by Leona Group
- Highland Park High School's Website (Archive)