Donald Fish - Principal
Born and raised in the Metro-Detroit area, Mr. Fish is a Melvindale Cardinal through-and-through. Fish spent the entirety of his school career in the Melvindale Northern-Allen Park School District and after receiving his teaching certification, returned to the city where he grew up for his career in education; 28 years so far.
As a child, Fish attended Quandt Elementary for Kindergarten through 6th grade, Julian O. Strong Middle School for 7th and 8th and Melvindale High School for four years, graduating in the class of 1984. During his time as a student, Fish was a four-year varsity athlete in baseball and football and also played basketball. In the classroom, he enjoyed literature and science classes. While he had many favorite teachers during his time in school, Mr. Best, his 5th grade teacher, was at the top of the list for setting something in a young Fish that gave him the confidence to succeed.
After graduating from Melvindale High School, Fish went on to Eastern Michigan University to study Sports Medicine before switching his major to education. He is certified in Physical Education, Health, Psychology and English Language Arts. He received his Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from Wayne State University.
After graduation, Fish taught English Language Arts, Social Studies, Physical Education and Health for six years before becoming Assistant Principal at Strong for the next decade. He then went to Melvindale High School for five years as the Assistant Principal before returning to Strong as Principal, where he has been for the last seven years. During his time in the classroom, Fish coached both JV and Varsity football as well as baseball and basketball, both at Strong and MHS.
Fish said his favorite thing about Melvindale is how hard-working and accepting of each other’s differences the community is. In his spare time, Fish enjoys spending time with his wife, Diane; son, Ryan; and daughter, Erin.
Phillip Howard - Assistant Principal
For Mr. Howard, Melvindale is simply home. After growing up in Melvindale and spending his school days in the MelNAP school system, Howard returned to his hometown for his entire career in education.
During his time as a student, Howard’s favorite subject in school was history and his favorite teacher was Mr. Packard who he called a great teacher and awesome person. Outside of the classroom, Howard excelled at sports. He spent two and a half years on the varsity football team, three years on the varsity basketball team and two years on the varsity baseball team. That passion led to a long coaching career as well; 19 years in football and five years each in baseball and basketball.
After graduation, Howard headed off to Eastern Michigan University where he majored in Business Services and Technology Education. For his Masters degree, he attended Wayne State for Educational Leadership.
His 23 years at Melvindale have been divided into two areas at Strong. His first eight years were in the classroom where he taught a variety of computer classes and he has been in administration for the last 15 years.
When he’s not at work, Howard enjoys spending time with his family, watching Michigan sports, exercising and spending time at the lake house doing water sports.