Nothing lasts forever in this world, and that is true. It’s hard to believe that this once dominant school on the east side now lays dormant either waiting for a buyer or has a pending date with the wrecking ball. I’m in favor of the latter. Let me explain. I went to “KE” as we Pioneers (our mascot) call it, from 1989 to 1993. And even though I wasn’t the most popular (or most hated), when I attended KE, this school wasn’t even a 25 years old yet, and there were talks about tearing the school down to expand City Airport (which fell through), and let’s just say that over the years, that Kettering had the wrong people in charge of it-this was after my graduation when Kettering was still in its prime-which led to low attendance, which, in turn, led to the building being closed down. There were talks about Wayne County Community College buying the facility. That, last I heard, also fell through. One of my last assignment as a DPS employee was at Kettering High. Originally, I was hoping to transfer to ML King HS at the time. Good thing I didn’t because the last time I worked there (as a DPS employee), the foundation had caved in, and the Board of Ed. knocked the school down sans the auditorium and rebuilt it from the ground up (this took place some years after the outsourcing of our department). So I had to settle for Kettering. And when I walked into Kettering, I was just plain disgusted! It looked exactly the same as it did when I last attended some 20 years prior to me being an employee there! And it was literally a shell of its former glory. I dreaded every day I worked there. Now keep in mind, I’ve worked there three times during my tenure with the Board of Ed. The first two times were cool, but my third run there, it wasn’t the same at all. The building was in bad shape, there were constant break-ins, fights, no upgraded materials at all. Heck, the same UNfinished mural that was there when I was a student in the 80s (they were done in the 70s), are still there today! Now I’ve worked in a lot of schools, and a lot of high schools I’ve worked in constantly upgraded themselves! Kettering, and Finney (which I favor over KE any day, but that’s gone, too) receive very little attention. That being said, KE was so far off the radar it hadn’t won a championship since 1996! That was a sign right there. When I was a student, out school teams had won championships left and right! Not one sport at KE did not bring home at least ONE trophy! That was then, this is now. I look back on my years as both a student and employee at Kettering and my memories are very bittersweet. I hated KE as a kid, but now the only thing that I really dug about working and going there was the convenience of being close to home. I wish I could delve further into the fate of the this one time powerhouse of a school other than the beginning of the end when KE had low attendance in its final years, and the Board tried to merge KE with another school (Trombley-which was another headache) by moving them in with us. One time, during summer clean up, they had moved in, after we had done all that work of making the building presentable, they were undoing it. And our newly-appointed principal, Leroy Bougard, who was formerly the football coach and athletic director and assistant principal, saw the carnage, and said “I can’t start school like this”. I knew right then his time was up (no disrespect to his family). Three days later, he died of a massive heart attack in church. As far as Trombley goes, it only lasted one year at Kettering. A year later, KE had shut its doors for good.
I will continue this down the road… eventually!
See more pics here.