Built in the 1950s as Ann Arbor High School on West Stadium Boulevard between Seventh Street and South Main Street, kitty-corner to Michigan Stadium.

By the 1960s it was already getting full; Huron High School was built in 1967 to relieve crowding and Ann Arbor High was renamed Pioneer, after its mascot. In 1968, students from the old and new schools shared the old building in a split schedule, with Pioneer students attending classes in the morning and Huron students in the afternoon. Somewhat oddly, the mascot was kept, and the school's sports teams are known as the Pioneer Pioneers.

In 1971, "Pioneer II" was formed. Working under the "free school" philosophy, it included self-selected students and staff from Pioneer. It worked with Earthworks Alternative High School  before merging with Community High School.

Pioneer has a tradition of success in everything! State-wide recognition for sports (too many state championships too list), nationally recognized for academics, and internationally recognized for music (awarded eight GRAMMYs, most recently a 2015 GRAMMY Gold Signature School).

Pioneer is built in a fairly traditional and boxy form; reaction to its "factory-like" design was a large factor in Huron's distinctive form.

As of 2000, Pioneer had an official capacity of approximately 1,800 students, but had an enrollment approaching 2,300. Overcrowding problems at both schools led to the building of a new high school, Skyline High School, which is now in operation on Maple Road north of M-14.


1971 August 11: Ann Arbor Board of Education appoints Joseph Pollack assistant principal of Pioneer.  Pollack will also serve as interim principal at at a salary of $26,250 on a 12-month schedule until a principal is named, at which time his salary will be adjusted to the assistant principal level.  Pollack received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Wayne State University and is completing Ph.D. requirements in curriculum and instruction at the University of Michigan.  During the 1970–71 school year, Pollack was assistant professor at Michigan State University, where he supervised student intern programs. Pollack had most recently served as assistant principal of Martin Luther King High School on Detroit.  He had also served as a secondary English teacher and department chair in Detroit schools. Pollack's appointment as interim principal follows Superintendent R. Bruce McPherson's rejection of the four candidates recommended by the Pioneer Principal Screening Committee.  That group of students, parents, and teachers, chaired by Milo White and Roger Swanson, reviewed the credentials of 60 candidates, interviewed ten, and recommended four to  the superintendent.  (From Ann Arbor News archives.)  

  • 1946:  Nicholas Schreiber is named Principal and serves until 1968.

Administration 2015-2016

Tracey Lowder, Principal
Kevin Hudson, Assistant Principal for 9th & 11th grades
Jason Skiba, Assistant Principal for 10th & 12th grades
Eve Claar, Assistant Principal, Athletic Director

Contact Information

Official school website: http://www.a2schools.org/pioneer
Phone: (734) 994-2120
Fax: (734) 994-2198
Email: pioneer@aaps.k12.mi.us
601 W. Stadium Blvd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Public Transportation

The AATA uses the Pioneer parking lot off of Main Street to connect a number of bus routes.


Unable to include Aaps