top of page


We provide a nurturing, trauma-informed environment while also helping students develop the resilience and emotional-regulation skills necessary to thrive in a competitive adult world. 


Meet the Principal
-Yolanda Nesbitt-

Greetings and welcome to Clara B. Ford Academy! 

I am thrilled that you have decided to view our school’s website in order to learn more about the wonderful students, staff, and programs we offer. It is my pleasure to serve as the Principal of Clara B. Ford Academy and collaborate with all stakeholders to fulfill the school’s mission. I feel fortunate to
have the opportunity to work alongside dynamic leaders and highly qualified staff. I strongly feel it is essential that every person, both child and adult, feel valued when they enter our school. I firmly believe that we must continue to grow as people and as learners each and every day. It is our job to help each child to grow emotionally, socially, and academically.

CBFA has a reputation of being a compassionate, caring and welcoming trauma informed school environment and we continue to strive to become the BEST. Each new school year is full of excitement and new opportunities that will enhance our instructional program and school community as a whole.

I was born in Mississippi and raised in Detroit. I have over 20 years of experience as an educator and working with children and families has always been my passion...and I feel my purpose.

I am married with three wonderful children.  When work commitments are met, I enjoy spending quality time with my family, giving back to the community, learning new things, reading, Netflix, gospel music, and traveling.

I look forward to partnering with you on behalf of our students, as we foster a sense of growth mindset and alter the trajectory of each student that walks through the doors of CBF. I am excited about the journey ahead of us! Please feel free to call me with questions or comments. I can also be reached by email at

Together WE WILL…Motivate…Educate…Empower

Meet the Leadership Team

CBF Administrative Leadership Team (A-Team) are vehicles for developing school-based educational policies, ensuring that resources are aligned to implement those policies and the day-to-day operations of the school. The A-Team also assists in the evaluation and assessment of a school’s educational
programs and their effects on student achievement. The A-Team works closely with the Principal creating a structure for school-based decision making, and shaping the path to a collaborative school culture.

Assistant Principal- Mike Patterson. He has been with the Academy for 10 years and has done a phenomenal job focused on supporting Trauma Informed Practices, the Monarch Room initiatives, new teacher development trainings, Restorative Practices and various other roles and duties.

School Counselor - Christina Gonzalez. She has been with the Academy for 12 years serving as the
School Counselor , Pupil Accounting, Assessment Coordinator, as well as a host of other roles and duties.


Meet Honey Bear

Honey Bear, also known as “Bear Bear” has been spreading smiles and love across the district since January 2022. Honey Bear is a purebred miniature Poodle! If she’s not walking the halls checking in the classrooms, you can find her in the Monarch Room.  In addition to loving on students and staff, she also loves her tennis ball and chewing and pulling the stuffing out of her toys.  She also enjoys her quick naps
throughout the day. Including a social emotional support dog as part of our school was an initiative that the former Superintendent, Yvonne Brooks explored for several months and efforts were coordinated through the School Leadership Team.

Therapy dogs provide students with a friend, and a safe place to come to every day. They create a comfortable, happy, and judgment-free environment. Studies show that student’s reading abilities improve with the use of therapy dogs. Changes in attitudes toward reading, reading skill levels,
schoolwork, attitudes toward homework, attendance, and changes in self-esteem and self-confidence can be seen by involving a therapy dog in a school. Therapy dogs have also been known to decrease levels of anxiety. 


We are so excited about this canine buddy (student) to help improve the emotional, social, and academic well-being of our school community.

Benefits of Therapy Dogs
Enhances relationships with peers and teachers due to experiencing trust and unconditional love from a therapy dog. This helps students learn how to express their feelings and enter into more trusting relationships.

Our Committment

Here at CBF, we serve a population of phenomenal youth, we live by the motto “Together We Will,” valuing collaboration among staff and students. We work together to cultivate a rich school culture, and we enjoy our time as a CBF Family! Our staff has great confidence in our students’ potential, and we are deeply committed to both providing them a nurturing learning environment and helping them to build the academic and social emotional skills necessary to thrive in a competitive adult world.

Staff Directory


Yolanda Nesbitt


Mike Patterson


Christina Gonzalez


Jessica Hilberath


Ray Bowyer


Julia Bozyk


Robin Hadrick


Karen Oman

S.S./ BLDG Support

313-436-0020 Ext. 110

Barbara Pankowski

Kari Plesco

Sandra Purcell

Alexis Ramsey



S.S. / IT


313-436-0020 Ext. 104

313-436-0020 Ext. 115

313-436-0020 Ext. 109

313-436-0020 Ext. 111

Cassandra Richardson

Bria Warmsby

Ebonee Warren

 Brad Williams




Health / P.E.

313-436-0020 Ext. 126

313-436-0020 Ext. 126

313-436-0020 Ext. 121

313-436-0020 Ext. 103

Aminah Steele

Reuven AnafShalom

Aigne Patton

Sydney Hull





313-436-0020 Ext. 126

313-436-0020 Ext. 106

313-436-0020 Ext. 126

313-436-0020 Ext. 102

Jim D'Ville


313-436-0020 Ext. 111


Jeanne Martens- President

Tracy Myrick- Vice President

Lisa Sasaki- Treasurer

Sr. Janice Rushman- Member

Jennifer Simmons- Secretary

Tuoanyene Sims- Member


bottom of page