Detroit Public Schools: Pershing High

These images originally accompanied a story I shot back in March 2011 for The Daily titled:

Fighting Back: A tough Detroit principal battles poverty and gangs to turn around America’s worst school.

“A lot of the students confide in me,” says Thornton. “Because I look so young to them, they see me as a person closer to their age, as someone they can talk to.”

Hope Moore (left) fills out enrollment forms for her daughter Meonie Moore in the Pershing school office. After moving into the district, Meonie, who will be attending 10th grade at Pershing, is transferring from the Davis Aerospace Academy located in another part of the city.

Getting to school in the morning, Pershing students make their way through metal detectors and security screening before being allowed to enter the building.

Drinking fountain on the second floor of Pershing H.S.

Students in Mr. Pate’s Civics classes use their mobile phones to research topics they are studying. Here, Destinie  Limmitt, looks up information on her phone for a class assignment.

Using technology that his students are already very familiar with, like mobile phones, to help find information for class assignments is really beneficial to both Mr. Tate and his students.

As part of testing week at Pershing for the Michigan Merit and ACT Exams, students have hung signs up all over the school to encourage their peers to study and try their best to pass the exams.

Mr. Pate helps his student April Smith during second hour Civics class. He says, “It’s kind of weird coming back here – but good. They call me Kotter, you know, like the TV show Welcome Back Kotter.”

A game of three-on-three basketball during gym class at Pershing.

Assistant Basketball Coach, Wydell Henry (center) jokes in the hall between classes with Doughboy’s basketball point guard and 11th grader, Sherron Dorsey Walker (right).