“Simone is a home grown product of the Ann Arbor Public Schools. She makes us proud….”
– Dr. Joetta Mial, former Huron High School Principal
All Roads Lead Back to the Ann Arbor Public Schools
The significant and exciting roads traveled throughout life are shaped by our early educational experiences. In 1985, when I graduated from the Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS), a standard had been set and a model established. As students, we were conditioned to soar high, travel wide, think critically and represent well.
I have rich memories of my elementary school principal Ruth Williams and days as a Tappan Trojan with Rob Lilley, Bill Ratcliff and Coleman Jewett. As a Clague Cougar percussionist, I was influenced by educators like Ellen Sapper, Ray Pipkin, Collier Owens, Sue Burton, Carolyle Towers, Dick Nowland and Caroll McFadden.
However, the most transformative experiences came during my days as a Huron River Rat where Ms. Frankie Patterson insisted that I could learn geometry and Pat Manley gave us tough love. Joyce Hunter taught us business, coach Dottie Davis inspired my decision to play basketball for the US Air Force and Dr. Joetta Mial was our patient and caring principle.
We enjoyed healthy cross-town rivalries with Pioneer coach Bryan Westfield’s awesome track teams while officer Tonya Padgett ensured many of us made good choices. The iconic architect David R. Byrd hired those young people he deemed had potential. I became his assistant.
– Trustee Simone Lightfoot