School Principal Michael Horn to Retire

A Matter of Principal


Tiffany Harris

School Principal Michael Horn looks out his office window. After nine years, he is leaving his job as principal of Southfield High School.

After 35 years in education, Principal Michael Horn says he plans to retire from his post in June.
For the last nine of those years Horn has been principal of Southfield High.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to work in Southfield,” said Horn, from behind his always-neat desk. “It’s a great district, it’s just time for change.”
His more than three decades in education include six years in Highland Park Public Schools as a teacher of English and Reading. He then transferred to Southfield Public Schools, where was the principal of Thompson Elementary school for 13 years, principal of Brace-Lederle for 7 years and principal of Southfield High for the past 9 years.
Principal Horn, who is a graduate of Alabama A & M, where he played football, is known for his three-piece suits and his large vocabulary. He sometimes refers to himself as “chubby brotha.”
Horn started single-gender classes for ninth and tenth graders and common assessments for courses at Southfield High. He created the Principal’s Council, which brings together the leaders of each team and organization in the school for regular monthly meetings. He also started monthly Blue Jay meetings for the whole school in the auditorium.
Senior Calvin Graves, who has had a close relationship with Horn, is a member of the Principal’s Council, where he represents the football team. Graves said, “I can’t say that I’m upset that Mr. Horn is leaving because I’m graduating anyway, but when I come back to Southfield High to visit my old teachers, I had definitely planned on coming back to see him, but now I can’t because he won’t be here.”
Junior Teka Richardson said she will be the president of Southfield Student Congress next year, and “I was looking forward to representing SSC as a Principal’s Council member and building a relationship with (Mr. Horn.)”
Horn, who is 58 and the married father of two grown children, said that he is very happy with what he has done for children over the years, as a teacher and as an administrator.
Although he is leaving Southfield Public Schools, Horn said he is not done with his mission just yet. He said he wishes to finish off his last two years in education at a charter school in an urban community, teaching either English or social studies.
Horn says that his accomplishments are what define him, and those accomplishments are all about kids. “That’s why I’m in this business,” said Horn. “It’s not to get rich. This isn’t a glamorous job, but my legacy will be the relationships that I have built with kids over the last 35 years.”