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Pioneer High School (Ann Arbor, Michigan)

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Covid-19
Type  Public secondary
Established  October 5, 1856
Grades  9–12
Mascot  Woody the Pioneer
District  Ann Arbor Public Schools
Motto  Home of Purple Pride
Principal  Tracey Lowder
Total enrollment  1,907 (2010)
Phone  +1 734-994-2120
Pioneer High School (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
School district  Ann Arbor Public Schools
Address  601 W Stadium Blvd, Ann Arbor, MI 48103, USA
Similar  Washtenaw Community College, Michigan Stadium, University of Michigan, Crisler Center, Hill Auditorium

Pioneer High School is a public school in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In 2010, Pioneer was listed as a "Silver Medal School" by the U.S. News & World Report.

Contents

In previous years Huron High School, another secondary school in Ann Arbor and Pioneer were among the largest high schools in the state, however due to the addition of Skyline High School enrollment numbers have declined.

History

Founded in 1856, Pioneer High School has held several names and occupied various buildings in its 150 years of existence. First known as the Union School, the institution opened on October 5, 1856. The school was later renamed Ann Arbor High School, and its yearbook, The Omega, was first published in 1884. In 1904, Ann Arbor High School burned down, and the rebuilt high school opened in 1906 at the corner of Huron and State Streets in Ann Arbor. This structure was later known as the Frieze Building after it was sold to the University of Michigan; it was demolished by the university in early 2007 to make way for the new North Quad residence hall. Through a local essay contest run by The Ann Arbor News, the mascot nickname, the Pioneers, was chosen in 1936. The land on which the school currently resides, sitting directly southwest of the University of Michigan Football Stadium, which the University uses as a parking lot on football Saturdays, on West Stadium Boulevard at South Main Street, was purchased in 1953. Construction of the building was completed before Ann Arbor High moved to the new location in the fall of 1956. By the 1960s, the new building had already reached capacity, and thus, in 1967, the school board established Huron High School, the city's second comprehensive high school, on the city's east side, and renamed the old school to Pioneer High School. In 1968, before Huron's building was completed, students from the old and new schools shared the Pioneer building in a split schedule, with Pioneer students attending classes in the morning and Huron students in the afternoon.

In 1971, Pioneer II, an experimental offshoot of Pioneer High School, was established. The school utilized a small, self-selected group of Pioneer faculty and students working under "free-school" principles, and eventually became Earthworks High School before merging with Community High School in 1978.

Pioneer High School was the first high school in the US to have a planetarium, which was donated to the school in 1956 by the Argus Camera Company. As of October 2012, it held the record for being the longest continuously run planetarium in a school in the western hemisphere.

Theater

The Pioneer Theater Guild won Class A State Championships in 1986 and again in 1988 when they performed Sam Shephard's Fool For Love. In the fall of 2006, the Pioneer Theater Guild was the first high school theater company to do a stage production of Disney's High School Musical, Willy Wonka, and Miss Saigon. Pioneer Theatre Guild was chosen to perform several "musical pilots" by Musical Theatre International, including The Little Mermaid (2015), Rock of Ages (2016), and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (2016). Pioneer Theater Guild has put on several popular productions including Les Misérables, Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors, Romeo and Juliet, Hair, The Wizard of Oz, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Urinetown. In both 2009 and 2010 Pioneer Theatre Guild placed second in the Michigan Interscholastic Forensic Association's theater competition.

Music

Pioneer has three separate music departments: band, choir, and orchestra. Pioneer's band is split into three different classes. It has a varsity band, concert band, symphony band. The level of skill required to be accepted into the bands are from easiest to hardest. Any students wishing to do band can be accepted to varsity band. Students wishing to move to a higher level band, must audition. Pioneer also offers jazz band.

Pioneer's orchestras are similar in hierarchy of its bands. Its lowest orchestra is philharmonic orchestra followed by concert orchestra and symphony orchestra. Philharmonic orchestra is offered to anyone wishing to join orchestra. Students audition for seats in the concert and symphony orchestras.

Pioneer's music program won its eighth Grammy Award from the Grammy Foundation in 2015, an award which goes to the best High School music programs in the United States each year.

Ann Arbor High School, and its descendant, Pioneer High School, have a long tradition in music, and have benefited from a strong association with the School of Music at the University of Michigan. Joseph Maddy, the first band director, was a shared employee between the University of Michigan Music Department and the Ann Arbor High School Band. Maddy founded the Interlochen Arts Camp in 1926 as a national band and orchestra camp, and Ann Arbor high school students at Pioneer, Huron, and Skyline High Schools have been going to Interlochen for band camp every August for decades. The Pioneer High School Music Program has been recognized on a national level multiple times since 1999, when the GRAMMY Foundation began citing the top high school music programs in the country.

2001–2002 Pioneer H.S. submitted its first application for GRAMMY consideration and was selected as a GRAMMY Signature School, one of the top 100 high school music departments in the nation, and received a grant of $1,000.

2002–2003 Pioneer H.S. was selected as a GRAMMY Signature School, that year one of the top 50 high school music departments in the nation, and received a grant of $1,000.

2003–2004 Pioneer H.S. was selected as a GRAMMY Gold Signature School, one of the top 50 high school music departments in the nation, and received a grant of $5,000.

2004–2005 Pioneer H.S. was selected as a GRAMMY Gold Signature School, one of the top 6 high school music departments in the nation, and received a grant of $7,000.

2005–2006 Pioneer H.S. was selected as the National GRAMMY Signature School, the top high school music department in the nation, and received a grant of $20,000. As the reigning National Signature School, Pioneer was ineligible to reapply until 2009-2010.

2009–2010 Pioneer H.S. was selected as a GRAMMY Gold Signature School, one of the top 3 high school music departments in the nation, and received a grant of $5,000.

2010–2011 For the second time in six years, Pioneer H.S. was named the National GRAMMY Signature School, the Number One high school music department in the nation, and received a grant of $15,000. As the reigning National Signature School, Pioneer was ineligible to reapply until 2014-2015.

2014–2015 For the eighth time, Pioneer H.S. was awarded a National GRAMMY award, being named a GRAMMY Gold Signature School, as one of the top 3 high school music departments in the nation, and received a grant of $3,500.

Highlights

  • Women's Track & Field and Cross Country: Since 1979, the Pioneer Women's Track & Field and Cross Country teams have won 20 team state championships, had over 200 All-State recipients, and more than 50 All-Americans.
  • Swimming: The Pioneer women's swim team won the Michigan High School Athletic Association's State Championship in 2000–2007. Swimming World magazine named the team the winner of their fictitious national swim meet for the 2002–2003, 2004–2005 (shared), and 2005–2006 seasons. Four national records were set by Pioneer at the state meet one season.
  • Cross Country: The Pioneer Men's Cross Country team has been a dominant running force in the state for over 40 years.
  • Field Hockey: Pioneer Field Hockey won 5 straight state championships from 2005–2009, and has 21 titles overall.
  • Synchronized Swimming: The small synchronized swimming team has won the state championship 20 times.
  • Rowing: Pioneer Crew is always highly regarded and has won many medals at state, midwest, and international regattas. 4 state championships, 3 consecutive (2014-2016) for the Women's team, and 3 of the 4 include the overall team.
  • State Championships

    Men's

    Women's

    Football

    Pioneer competes in the Southeastern Conference Red Division (commonly abbreviated SEC-Red) and has one of the greatest high school football programs in the state historically. Pioneer is second behind Muskegon in all-time victories at 699 (as of the 2011 season). 2 MHSAA State Championships and 43 League Championships.

    1891: Michigan Wolverines 62 Pioneer 0

    To open up the 1891 college football season, the Michigan Wolverines of the University of Michigan played Pioneer (then Ann Arbor High School) at Regents Field on October 10, 1891. Michigan won the game handily as expected by the final score of 62–0. This was the first and only meeting between the two schools.

    References

    Pioneer High School (Ann Arbor, Michigan) Wikipedia


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