Dr. Harrison, Erika Dietz new DS Principals

Distinctive Schools is proud to announce new leadership across two of our Michigan managed campuses. Dr. Derrick Harrison has joined the Distinctive Schools Network as Principal of Plymouth Educational Center, and Erika Dietz will serve as Principal of Distinctive College Prep – Harper Woods. Dr. Harrison joins Distinctive schools following 5 years as an Assistant Principal in New York City’s Department of Education and Mrs. Dietz steps into her new role after a very successful tenure as Distinctive College Prep (DCP) Harper Woods Assistant Principal. Both leaders started their careers as classroom teachers and are incredibly dedicated to student success and the importance of the family–school connection. 

“I believe that through education and true investment in our children and staff, we have the opportunity to close the wealth and opportunity gap. In joining the Plymouth Educational Center team, I am excited about the possibilities for the community and the future,” shared Dr. Harrison.

As the Principal of Plymouth Education Center (PEC), Dr. Harrison will continue to make connections within the Metro Detroit community in service of student learning and family engagement. Distinctive Schools is embarking on a new model, bridging the gap between the school and the community to develop the school as a community hub. Distinctive Schools campuses will partner with families and community organizations to provide well-rounded educational opportunities, programs, and support in service of academic success. The goal is to build a foundation of learning, expand enrichment opportunities and actively engage families and the Metro Detroit community. 

Dr. Harrison brings a wealth of experience and knowledge, having earned a bachelor’s degree from Ivy League, Dartmouth college in English Studies (with a focus in Victorian Literature) as well as a master’s degree in Mathematics Education from the City College of New York. As a real estate investor and entrepreneur, Dr. Harrison believes that education is a transformational tool.

As the Principal of DCP Harper Woods, Erika Dietz believes that student achievement is a top priority for all students and has a vision for excellence at DCP Harper Woods. She shared, “I love the DCP Harper Woods community. We work hard to ensure that each scholar has the access and opportunities they need and deserve. I know that with our continued focus on learning acceleration and developing unique pathways for each student, the future our students choose is within reach.  I am thrilled to be named principal, and I look forward to our continued growth!” 

Dietz brings over 15 years of experience educating Michigan youth, and developing an intuitive connection with students. She joined DCP Harper Woods as a founding teacher in 2017, in 2020 she accepted the role of Assistant Principal, and has since worked to ensure that the specific needs of each learner are met. Her commitment to elevating student and family voice has been an asset to the Distinctive Schools community, and will continue to support the community hub model. 

“During the pandemic we realized the unmet needs of our students and families were impacting our communities in ways not previously shared. We’ve learned that when we are able to provide deeper support for the entire family, we see our students soar academically, socially, and emotionally,” shared Scott Frauenheim, CEO of Distinctive Schools, “We know that our students need more from us, and we’re making an investment in the community to better meet student needs – and to remove barriers to education.” 

Distinctive Schools has named Matt Pitucco the Deputy Chief of Schools in Michigan. Pitucco brings years of experience in enrollment and engagement and will continue to support access and opportunities for all Distinctive learners in Michigan. In partnership with school Principals and the Distinctive Schools Michigan Regional Leadership Team, Pitucco will continue to drive and support school leadership and lead Distinctive Schools with a strong focus on culture and achievement.

There are limited seats available for the 22-23 school year. For more information, including applications, enrollment information, and partnership opportunities please visit https://www.distinctivemi.org. This year Distinctive Schools will serve their largest student population of nearly 5,000 students, welcome over 600 staff members, and provide access to rigorous learning & curriculum as they continue to develop schools as community hubs.