DPS names Alvin L. Ward, Sr. as Administrator of Athletics

Contact: Steven Wasko at 313-873-4542 or Jennifer Mrozowski at 313-873-8401

For the past 32 years, Ward has served as a teacher, coach, and administrator. Ward, a college football star, said it has been his life-long dream to return to his field of physical education, health and athletics.

“As Detroit Public Schools’ Administrator of Athletics, my mission includes setting high standards of professionalism, honesty and integrity in the areas of coaching, academic expectations, and athletic experiences to prepare our talented scholar-athletes for the very challenging collegiate and global arenas,” Ward said.

Ward, who most recently served as Principal of Kettering High School, has a distinguished career in DPS. He has also obtained a Master’s Degree in Sports Administration. In October of 2000, Ward was inducted into the Grand Valley State University’s Football Hall of Fame. As an inductee, he possesses records for the longest interceptions returned for touchdowns, at 101 yards and 108 yards.

Ward also has served as the President of the Detroit Public Schools Athletic Governance Board.

Beginning in 1977, he taught health, physical education, and coached boys’ basketball at Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School. In 1995, he was promoted to the administrative position of Dean of Students at Western International High School and served in that position until 1997. From 1997 to 2000, after acting in the Assistant Principal’s position supervising physical plant/facilities, safety/security, and community at Western International High School, he was promoted to the position of SIS Assistant Principal in charge of Student Information Systems and Scheduling. From 2000 to 2001, he was Interim Principal at Western International High School.

From 2001 to June 2009, he was Principal of Jared W. Finney High School, and was charged with improving a high school that was ranked last in academic achievement/GPA, and first in student code violations. Ward’s philosophy has been to maintain an environment conducive for all students to attain a quality education.

To support that philosophy and under his direction, Finney High: established the African Centered Education Curriculum; established a Student Random Drug Testing Program in collaboration with the City of Detroit; established a Uniform Dress Code Policy; supervised and developed a successful Athletic Program; collaborated with the City of Detroit to develop the Finney Youth Initiative (F.Y.I.); appointed a scholarship chairman; established an After School Safety Tutoring/Activities Program for at-risk students, in collaboration with the City of Detroit; opened the Brandon D. Hall Fitness Center for students and staff to promote good healthy life skills; collaborated with Wayne County Community College so that high school students take dual enrollment courses at Finney High School and receive college credits. Under Ward’s leadership, the GPA and attendance rate at Finney High School increased and the failure rate and truancy decreased.

In July 2009, he was appointed Principal of Kettering High School, and was charged with moving a reconstituted high school from a safe harbor status on the MME/ACT standardized tests into proficiency levels.

The qualifications for the job required a Master’s Degree in Education Leadership, or Health and Fitness, Athletic Training from an accredited college or university; and valid teaching certificate/endorsement in Physical Education or Health related area. Ward has a Master’s Degree in Sports Administration from Wayne State University with a valid continuing teaching certificate in health and physical education.

The district also sought an athletic administrator with ten years of related experience, including three years of classroom teaching experience; minimum of five years coaching/athletics/sports management experience in an urban school setting and/or in a multicultural education environment. Ward has seventeen years of teaching (health/P.E./computers) and coaching (boys’ basketball) experience.

The position also required experience managing budgets. As a principal for nine years, Ward managed budgets and school personnel.

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