The Loss of a Friend

Ballard's picture

I remember the first time I ever met Dr. Emeral Crosby. I was new in my position as a high school principal and attending the MASSP convention in Grand Rapids. There was this principal from Detroit that was going to speak during the NCA session on the new report entitled “A Nation At Risk.” I learned that Dr. Crosby had been selected by President Regan to be on the committee that drafted the report. I sat in the back row so I could sneak out, and instead got sucked in.

Dr. Crosby was an amazing presenter. Man, could he get you fired up! And, he knew his stuff!

Emeral became a part of my career for years after this first meeting. He represented Detroit on our Board of Directors from the early 1980’s to the new millennium. He served as President of the North Central Association back in its heyday. All during this time he was the President of the Detroit Principals Association. I knew him as the principal of Detroit Northern, Pershing, and Murray-Wright High Schools. He was a frequent speaker at state and national events. For many of us he was the heart of and the connection to the Detroit Public Schools.

I felt honored just to visit with Emeral. It was like sitting with the Master. The insight he shared on expectations, policy, life as an African-American, the ways of a bureaucracy, how to deal with others, and seeing the future were life changing. He always had time to visit with you if you asked.

Representing the members of the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals I said good-bye to our friend, career coach, and association steward on Friday, March 6th. Dr. Emeral Crosby passed away on March 1st.

He cared for others. He was a gentleman and friend.