East English Village principal Marty Bulger was reassigned from Legacy Academy to East English Village Preparatory Academy in October 2021. Since this time, Bulger and his administrative team have cultivated a student-centered learning environment that is rooted in the basic tenets of mutual respect, high expectations (Attendance, Attitude, and Achievement), and LUV (Listening, Understanding, and Validation).
Bulger has been an administrator at Legacy Academy, Southfield High School, Southfield Regional Academic Campus. He has also been a math and social studies teacher, a coach, and an assistant principal.
The Voice of the Ville sat down with Bulger began to talk about his life, including being shot in high school, and his time at EEVPA.
At the conclusion of the interview, Bulger told the class that if we ever needed anything to call him. He went to the smartboard and wrote down his phone number. He called out each number as he wrote it on the Board. Principal Bulger then drew an imaginary line in front of him and said, “Now understand, there are boundaries, I am not your friend; but, if you need anything, call me.”
Questions and answers are edited for brevity and clarity.
Question: How did you feel coming from a small alternative school with little students and little to no behavior problems to going to a big high school with a lot of students and plenty of behavior problems?
Answer: There are a lot of students at the “Ville” who need love. I needed time to think about my choices and to speak to my family. It is not a question you say “No” to. I came to East English Village Preparatory Academy with plans to build bonds and relationships with the kids. It is hard to feel love when you are not given love. Love is the main thing that I feel kids need. I still have plans on staying at the “Ville” for a total of four years. This will be my last stop unless they call and ask me to transfer again. I want to start giving scholarship checks to students here, have college representatives coming to speak with our students, and get EEVPA to a 100% graduation rate. These were all the things that were happening and going well before I left Legacy Academy.
Question: If you could, would you go back to your old school?
Answer: No, this schools has sports. At Legacy, I was home every day by 3:30pm.
I have already left a legacy there [Legacy Academy], and I have started one here, building a
team and a culture of Listening, Understanding and Validation. I plan to be here for another four years.
Question: Last school year, when a food fight made the local news, Bulger was celebrating the students’ return to school. Why?
Answer: “[Students] have to feel the relationship. There is a saying that ‘I don’t care, if I don’t know that you care, then I don’t care, what you know.’ They have to know that we care.”
Question: Did getting shot effect you mentally and if so, how long did it take you to overcome it?
Answer: My family was in the dope game, and someone said there were going to shoot me, and boom, I was shot in the head. The first thing that I remembered after waking up in the hospital was hearing the doctors’ and nurses’ voices talking to around me. The doctors cleaned my wound several times a day with a chemical called peroxide which caused my hair to turn a blonde color. As a result, when I returned to school, I had a blond streak in my hair. For the first time, I realized I could die; but my perspective on life did not change until my little brother was shot and sent to prison. That is when I decided to turn my life around. I am a walking miracle.