The Five Year Union

Dearborn High School’s Head Principal from 2016-2021 Adam Martin receives promotion to Executive Director of Student Achievement.


Zayna Jaber

Newly appointed Executive Director of Student Achievement, Adam Martin, passes down the Student First legacy to Zeina Jebril, new head principal of DHS.

To dedicate oneself to others, commit and serve others, and lastly, to support what is best for one another in order to improve and build on together are the characteristics of a unionized marriage.

After serving for almost six years with full dedication and leading by example, Dearborn High School’s head principal is now parting ways with DHS. During the August 2021 School Board meeting, Adam Martin, head principal of DHS, was announced Executive Director of Student Achievement.

Dearborn Public Schools’ Superintendent, Dr. Glenn Maleyko, said Martin’s leadership and determination to work with the students and for the students is what qualified him for the position.

“He’s an outstanding administrator,” Maleyko said. “I would not be hiring him into one of the top positions in the district if I did not feel a highly outstanding person, leader, and he’s all about students first.”

Martin said taking on DHS was necessary for his growth as an administrator.

“I needed Dearborn High, and I think at the same time Dearborn High needed me, so it was like the perfect marriage,” he said. “The relationships and the work that I’ve done here with the kids and the parents, that’s a special time in my life for sure.”

Martin said that although leaving DHS is heartbreaking, he is looking forward to improving the building from a different position.

“It’s going to be hard to leave, but I’m also excited about what the next opportunity is. I get to still see and support Dearborn High in a different way,” he said. “I’m also looking forward to what impact I might be able to have at a different level as well.”

Martin will oversee Dearborn High School, Edsel Ford High School, Fordson High School, and the Fordson Feeder track (the elementary schools and middle schools that “feed into” FHS).

“My hope is that I’m going to be able to work with buildings and work with building administrators to collectively and collaboratively develop processes and develop a culture that leads to better opportunities for kids,” Martin said.

DHS assistant principal Kelly Dear has been working in the district for 10 years as assistant principal, this year being his eleventh. He joined DHS the same year Martin became the school’s head principal.

“He has been one of the best leaders I’ve worked with. He shows respect for everyone and allows everybody else to lead in their own way,” Dear said. “He does that by setting an example of what a leader should be and what the process should be, not mandating it, but demonstrating it by example.”

Dear said his admiration for his superior increased as Martin proved his honest intentions towards the staff and the students.

“I have the greatest respect for that man,” he said. “If he asks me to do something to help the school and help our students, I know it’s coming from his heart and it’s all about you guys, and I’m going to do it because I know it’s coming from a great place.”

Dear recalled a particularly funny incident during his time with Martin. The moment took place in Martin’s office, in which Martin unintentionally set off a pepper spray can that had been previously confiscated from a student.

“I can’t remember which assistant principal confiscated the pepper spray from a student, and I don’t remember whether or not he was just trying to figure out how the device worked, but he set it off in his office. All of a sudden, we just had this pepper spray smell through the entire office complex. It was totally accidental, but it was one of the funniest [moments]. I think I laughed for three days.”

DHS assistant principal Carol Cizek joined the administration team at the start of the 2018-2019 school year.

“When I moved here, I came from Stout. While I was very well connected with the staff, I may not have wanted to move, and so I came and told him point blank because I can be very blunt, and he was very compassionate. He said, `I understand, let’s just see how things go,’” Cizek said. “About eight weeks after I’ve been here, he walked up to me at a football game and he goes, ‘So, how are we?’ and I said ‘We are not that bad. I like it here.’”

Cizek said she has noticed Martin’s commitment to ingrain himself in the DHS community.

“In what I have seen, he has really worked on developing a compassionate relationship with the teachers, with students, and with the parents,” Cizek said. “He has a mindset that it’s not always top-down where he makes the decision. It’s a collective decision, he asks for opinions and wants feedback for the whole of the building to be better. He really cares what everyone thinks, and when push comes to shove if he needs to make that final decision he will, but he wants it to be a collective idea that everyone buys into.”

Cizek said that her expectations for him are to continuously make progress and improve the place he sets foot in.

“To improve wherever he goes like he has done when has been here,” Cizek said. “My grandfather was someone who’d say, ‘you leave a place better than when you came to it’ and I think he really does that. and I think that’s one of the reasons why I really respect him.”

Christopher Minor, graduation specialist at DHS, has known Martin since 1996-1997. They both used to attend the University of Michigan football games together.

“Mr. Martin trusts people, not every leader is like that. Some leaders trust authority, he is not like that he believes in people, so he tries to empower people,” he said. “He did a lot of changes in his first couple years that really [were] student driven because students sat with him and talked, and he trusts people, so he was willing to do somethings that hadn’t been done for a while. Pep rallies for example. Pep rallies did not exist for quite a while until Mr. Martin came, and Mr. Martin said, ‘Look I didn’t plan on doing pep rallies, but students came, and proposed ideas and I trust people and I felt like this is where the students want to go, and I was comfortable letting them lead the way. ́ ”

Breanne Martin, Martin’s wife, said she noticed that her husband was mostly influenced by the warm welcoming community.

“By far this is his favorite school he’s ever been in. The school, community, and the students have been by far the [best],” Breanne said. “I feel like it’s the community that has been the impact, when he made it to Dearborn high because like I said it is such a good community.”

Current head principal at O.L. Smith Middle School, Zeina Jebril, was appointed to the position of head principal of DHS when it was announced at the school board meeting on Oct. 11, 2021.

Jebril said she is looking forward to working with DHS staff and students once again, but this time it will be in a different capacity.

“I’m excited about this opportunity here at Dearborn High, “Jebril said. “I already know a lot of the families here because I was here five years ago, as Assistant Principal with Mr. Martin.”

Jebril worked as assistant principal of DHS the same year Martin was hired to join the administration team at DHS. She has served in the position of head principal of O.L. Smith from 2017 until the start of this current school year.

“I believe in being a public servant, leading by example, and being a role model to everybody that you lead, whether it’s students, teachers,” Jebril said. “I’m very supportive. I like to breed other leaders which means that I put people in situations where they’ll become successful leaders themselves and I support them through the process.”

Jebril said her ninety-day goal is to establish relationships with staff and students, and overall observe the environment to be able to expand on what DHS already has.

“There are excellent things happening here at Dearborn High, so I just want to build on what you guys already have,” she said. “I need to observe a lot of what’s going on to know exactly what it is that I want to focus on moving forward, but I think there’s an excellent foundation that’s in place right now.”

“He’s an excellent leader, and I feel like I learned a lot from him. He has a good sense and a good handle on the things that are happening in his building. He gets to know the different individuals that he is working with,” Jebril said. “He also gets to know the teacher’s as well because all of that is a key to moving the building forward. He leads by example, and I think he’s an excellent leader, and Dearborn High was very lucky to have Mr. Martin lead for the past six years here.”