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Fisher Magnet Upper Academy Named National Banner Unified Champion School by Special Olympics International

Student athletes promote unity through an inclusive lifestyle by implementing Unified Champion Schools strategy 

Special Olympics Michigan (SOMI) is pleased to announce Fisher Magnet Upper Academy is being recognized as a Special Olympics National Banner School and an ESPN Honor Roll School for its work in the Unified Champion Schools strategy. This is the highest honor a school can receive by Special Olympics International. 

Fisher Magnet Upper Academy is one of three schools in the state being recognized as a National Banner School this year and is the first Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) to be awarded the title of “Unified Champion National Banner School.” 

A Banner Presentation Ceremony is planned for November 17 at Fisher Magnet. The event will unveil a banner to be showcased in the school gymnasium recognizing the school’s commitment to Unified programming – bringing together students with and without intellectual disabilities (ID). The event will be preceded by a VIP reception for guests and dignitaries. 

“We look to bridge the gap so that our students excel,” said Michael Johnson, Principal at Fisher Magnet Upper Academy. “The Unified program is beneficial. Our students feel loved, challenged, and prepared.”

Fisher Magnet Upper Academy was one of the first five schools in Michigan to start Unified Champion Schools in 2008. The lasting positive impact unified programming has had Fisher Magnet is detailed by students and staff in this video

Fisher Magnet Upper Academy has been named a National Banner Special Olympics Unified Champion School® by Special Olympics International demonstrating a commitment to inclusion by meeting 10 standards of excellence. They have created an environment that exudes a sense of collaboration, engagement, and respect for all members of the student body and staff.

“These students are working together to share the message that all are welcome,” said Dan Ekonen, Senior Director of Program Leadership at Special Olympics Michigan. “Leading by example, Fisher’s Unified Sports Program is eliminating long-standing social barriers. It gives everyone at school a place to go, where no one is turned away and can feel supported through the joy of sport and positive messaging.” 

Special Olympics Michigan will leverage more than 400 Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools® and 36 community-based programs active across the state to expand Unified Sports among youth and adults with and without intellectual disabilities. 

In addition to Fisher Magnet Upper Academy, Mason Middle School and Mason High Schooler were also awarded the title of National Banner Unified Champion school by Special Olympics International. For more information or to get involved, click here. 

Event Details: 

Location: Fisher Magnet Upper Academy
15491 Maddelein St
Detroit, MI 48205

Date: Friday, November 17, 2023

Time: VIP Reception
 8:30 a.m. – 8:50 a.m. (invitation only)

Banner Presentation 
9:00 a.m. – 9:50 a.m.   

Media interested in attending the banner presentation ceremony is asked to RSVP by Friday, November 14 to