Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Requiem for Hanstein Elementary School, Detroit

Today's honor and appreciation day at Hanstein School on Detroit's east side will be its last.

Built in the late 1800s, Saint Philomena Catholic Church across from the school on Marseilles Street, had Mass in the building marked for closure this past Monday, among the more than 30 Detroit Public Schools.

Dulano and D B are students at Hanstein.

It didn't seem to matter to them that their principal Bernardine Carroll, and two other staff were locked into the computer screen's final DPS list Monday when I intended to deliver the story book, titled, Teaching Children About Death.

"We need that," Carroll, who is retiring, said to me, as she grabbed the book.

Hanstein School was on that fateful list.

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance or resignation were among the feelings being felt this afternoon in the school as children and parents walked in and out of the school's office.

With a running nose, one parent carried her child into the office, as she checked her child out of school due to illness.

The same youngster who was in the office last week showed up again as I left the office to assist Dulano and D B with reading.

One of thousands of the DPS Reader Volunteer Corp, I enjoy engaging the students in learning to be better readers.

When Hanstein's summer school ends, I may move with the students to Marquette School. I don't know yet what the plans are for tutors.

In their final days, and, grieving, I will walk with the faculty and students. I felt a need to be present. I didn't need to say much. Being there was important as their school shuts its doors for the final time.

Like a funeral, I feel my feelings of sadness and join them with my acquaintances at Hanstein.

It'll take a year, at least, for some of the leaders and students to grieve and mourn this loss.


  1. Can you tell me what is going on in the Hanstein building now?

  2. That is so sad. I was trying to find old pictures of inside the building. Currently I am 23 years old and I remember every part of that building and all of the teachers at the time. I attended Hanstein from kindergarten-5th grade (1999-2004)
    Mrs. Gibbs Principle
    Miss Ford/Miss Bore Kindergarten
    Mrs. Buckle-Roshack/Mrs.Jennings/Mrs.Quin 1st Grade
    Mrs. Lotharp/Mrs Godwin Powell Second Grade
    Mrs. McClain/Mrs. Gaddis Third Grade
    Mrs. Culver/Mrs.Williams (RIP)/Mrs.Culver/Mrs. Englehardt 4th Grade
    Mrs.Capen (RIP)/Mrs.Mcdonald 5th Grade
    Mrs. Trip Learning disability teacher
    Miss. Pue (RIP) Miss. Morgan Lunch Ladies
    Mr. Troya Band Teacher
    Ms. Kramer Gym Teacher

    To the anonymous the school has been demolished and is going to be something like a rec center for soccer, hockey and it will have batting cages.

    1. What is your name? Facebook? I went here the same time you did. I too was looking for pics. I had the teachers you mentioned as well. If you can let me know your name, fb name, a way to get in touch with you.