George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology
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|George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology (since 2008)|
|938 York Road
Towson, Maryland 21204-2513
|Type||Public magnet high school|
|Motto||"Complecti Sententias Novas" ("Embracing New Ideas")|
|School district||Baltimore County Public Schools, (BCPS)|
|School number||(410) 887-2775|
|Grades||9-12 (freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors)|
|Number of students||approximately 800|
|Average class size||20 students per class|
|Hours in school day||6 1/2|
|Team name||Carver Wildcats|
George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology, also known just as the Carver Center for Arts and Technology is a Baltimore County-wide public magnet high school originally established in 1992 as one of three geographically spread technology high schools, (others established earlier in 1970 were Western and Eastern Technical High Schools - [original names]). The Central Technical High School, was located in Towson, the county seat in Baltimore County, Maryland. In any given year, about 800 students attend, and typical class size is just under 20. The high school is primarily known for its eleven "primes", for which students must apply in order to be accepted to the school. The school is distinguished in many categories, mainly its many art achievements.
Students from all of the middle schools throughout Baltimore County, as well as those who were "homeschooled", can apply to attend Carver C.A.T., although it may be much farther from their houses and communities than their home regional/neighborhood high school. Admission is based on a combination of an audition and a lottery.
Name Change/Historical Precedents
At the May, 2008, meeting of the Board of Education for the Baltimore County Public Schools, it was decided that upon next school year (2008-2009), The previously renamed "Carver Center for Arts and Technology" would become known as "George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology". This breaks the general policy of BCoPS of not naming schools with the first names of people rather opting towards the previous example of using only last names such as in the example of Franklin High School (the County and BCoPS oldest public high school and a descendent of the historic old private Franklin Academy) in the Reisterstown area in the northwest Baltimore County or the current Carver Center.
However, upon examination of the history of the Carver Center, the Board made the decision to change and use the full name in honor of the school's history as a previously racially segregated school for (then known as the "Colored" high school, later "Negro"), young African Americans and to continue to recognize not only the famous American George Washington Carver, (1864-1943), himself who was a scientist, writer, and artist, but also the esteem he was held in by Baltimore County's then under-recognized black citizens who chose to name their first openly attended public high school available to them to entitle their school with his name as the then "George Washington Carver High School". Therefore, his name is fitting to be continued on this High School, which is also dedicated to the arts and technology.
The Carver Center employs block scheduling: periods are ninety minutes long, with four periods a day, and each class is held every other day. The third period is divided into three thirty-minute lunch periods. The shorter lunches are compensated by the longer classes. Together with five minutes between every class, this means that C.C.A.T.'s school day is slightly longer than that of the average high school.
The "Carver culture" focuses on respect, freedom of expression and individuality. Rules for students are less strict when compared to many area high schools. For example, Carver has a relaxed dress code, and student artwork, including nudes and the human figure, adorn the hallways. The GWCCAT student body tends to be highly motivated, competitive, disciplined, and cooperative.
What makes Carver Arts and Technology unusual among Baltimore County public schools is its strong magnet system. Carver Center's magnet programs feature eleven specialty areas, or "primes": literary arts, culinary arts, information technology/interactive media production, carpentry, cosmetology, dance, design and production, acting, vocal music, digital instrumental music, and visual arts (art such as painting, sculpture etc.). The visual arts prime is further divided into concentrations, including drawing and painting, multimedia, photography, sculpture, and telemedia.
The Digital Instrumental Music prime was added for the 2016-2017 school year. According to Carver's webpage, "the Digital Instrumental Music program prepares students for a broad range of professional activities in the music world."
The Information Technology/Interactive Media Production prime is currently evolving from the recently removed "business" and "business - information technology/programming" primes to include classes in the Adobe Creative Suite and a greater understanding of computer science and video game design in addition to developing programming skills.
The Culinary Arts Prime allows students to gain full access to food service experience. Through this program, students can are able to receive Serv Safe certification and work in a student run restaurant called "Carver Café". According to Carver Center's website, "The senior management project is an integral element of the instructional process allowing for the application of competencies through the operation of the Carver Café which is a licensed Baltimore County food service establishment that is maintained by the students and inspected by the local health department."
As of the 2007-2008 school year General Fine Arts/Multimedia/Digital Filmmaking (formerly known as Telemedia) will hold separate auditions under the Visual Arts prime. This provides for an opportunity for students interested in the areas of filmmaking and graphic design to come to Carver C.A.T. for these areas and use these mediums to create art. All Visual Arts students will still be encouraged to take classes in drawing, painting, sculpting, photography, etc.
As of the 2001-2002 school year "theatre" and "technical theatre" were advanced to become the theatre primes of "Acting" and "Design & Production." This provided an opportunity for students interested in performance, design, theatre management and administration, technique, etc. to study these fields without the common stereotypes or restrictions of "actors" or "techies." During the 2005-2006 school year, "Vocal Music" was considered to be renamed "Singing" (but remains listed in the curriculum as "Vocal Music").
The following sports are available at Carver:
Carver's football team was disbanded in 1998, after a few unsuccessful years. Carver does not currently have a football team. However, it still holds an annual Homecoming dance after a Homecoming sports game (could be soccer, field hockey, etc.) or no sports game at all. It is run by the Student Government Association and is usually a dance that is a fundraiser for the SGA.
The school's mascot is the wildcat; female teams, such as the girls' volleyball, basketball or soccer teams, are referred to as "Lady Wildcats". The girls' varsity soccer team have been division champions for the past three years and came in second on the regional level. The girls' varsity lacrosse team has also been division champs the past 3 years. The boys' varsity soccer team had posted a 6-6 record in the Fall of 2012, avoiding a losing record for the first time in decades.
The varsity golf team won an award for having the highest GPA of any of the fall sports teams in Baltimore County.
The cross country team is very successful.
Carver also has a Model United Nations program (formerly run by Scott Snyder, currently led by Hugh Kearney) that participates in many inter-scholastic activities, and a new Mock Trial team (run by Sal Giordano, social studies' department chair) that is slowly blossoming. Carver has a kinetic sculpture/engineering club, and an "It's Academic" TV quiz show team, which participates on local station WJZ-TV, Channel 13.
The Culinary Arts Prime has also recently won the Statewide competition for ProStart and traveled to Nationals for the second year in a row.
The Center also has a Vex Robotics team competing in all major competitions in the region.
In March, 2008, Baltimore County and the Baltimore County Public Schools approved a new building design for Carver. The design reflects the large number of program areas that are required to be located on the first floor while creating an efficient 3-story academic wing above that maximizes daylighting opportunities for the classroom areas and public spaces. The new structure was built on the former lacrosse and soccer fields, thereby permitting the old building to continue to be used during construction. Completed in August 2012, the school was built on a budget of $58.7 million.
The building features an imposing "Central Space" bordered by the 1,000 seat Theater, the Black Box Theater, Gallery space and the Culinary Arts program and Café.
The new school building has an energy efficiency that exceeds industry standards by means of high efficiency equipment, high insulation thermal values, high shading coefficient glazing, solar shading devices and energy recovery features for both exhausted air and waste water. It has been given a "Silver LEED" award, denoting its "green" standard.
In August 2012, students began their very first day in the new building.
Although it was anticipated that the original older school building would be demolished upon completion of construction — to utilize the vacated area for athletic fields for the new Carver — the decision became controversial due to school overcrowding in Baltimore County. Some School Board members argued that the need for additional classrooms required deferral of the old school's razing, while others said that having sufficient athletic fields was important for a high school to have. The old Carver school building was eventually torn down.
Carver is one of ten Maryland schools to receive the coveted Blue Ribbon School designation in 2016 from the U.S. Department of Education. The school has produced nine "Presidential Scholars" including: Andrew J. Cook in 2000, Abdullahi (Abdi) Farah (also one of seven ARTS winners) in 2005, and Alex Levy (2008). Carver Center's arts award winners have also included 4 "Scholastics Gold Portfolio" winners, 116 "ARTS" winners (including 60 finalists), approximately 88 "Maryland Distinguished Scholar" finalists (including yearly the largest number of finalists in Maryland), and 22 "Marie Walsh Sharpe Scholars". Carver has produced numerous winners in the "Arts Recognition and Talent Search", a program of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts.
Five nominees for presidential scholars in 2009 were produced by Carver Center for A. & T. That was more than any other school in the country.
The interdisciplinary methods of the magnet arts and technology high school have also led to consistent student participation in the annual NAACP's "ACT-SO" (Afro-American Cultural and Technical Scientific Olympics) competitions. Students often qualify at the national level and have a strong showing in state competitions.
Theresa Shovlin, a painting and drawing teacher, has been nominated five times for the "Distinguished Teachers in the Arts" award, and won it once. Photography teacher Carrol Cook, and Visual Arts chair Joe Giordano have both been nominated twice but neither have ever won. In 2004 Carver not only had the most visual art entrants in the national art competition 'ARTS', (which is a national art competition for high school seniors who excel at Dance, Film & Video, Jazz, Music, Theater, Photography, Visual Arts, Voice, and Writing) but had the most entrants from any one school in the U.S.A. In 2007, more Carver students received awards in the NFAA competition than in any other year.
Although only twenty years old so far as an institution, the George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology is already beginning to amass a significant number of successful alumni:
- Abdi Farah (2005 Graduate), winner of the cable TV channel Bravo's "Work of Art: The Next Great Artist".
- Larry Mercer (1999 Graduate), is a professional wrestling Ring Announcer with Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW), Maryland Championship Wrestling (MCW), and other independent wrestling promotions. He was featured as Ring Announcer in the professional wrestling film, The Wrestler, directed by Darren Aronofsky.
- Isaac Oliver (writer), Author of Intimacy Idiot, humorist, writer for HBO's "High Maintenance" series, and a regular contributor to The New York Times.
- James Ransone (1997 Graduate), starred in Cable TV HBO's "The Wire", Generation Kill, the film Inside Man, the film Sinister, the film Ken Park, the film Broken City, and the cable TV HBO series "Treme".
- Digital Instrumental Music, Carver Center for Arts and Technology (accessed September 3, 2017)
- Meoli, Jon. "School board approves demolition, new fields at Carver Center" , The Baltimore Sun, July 9, 2013 (accessed September 3, 2017)
- Jessica Anderson (September 29, 2016). "U.S. honors 10 Maryland Blue Ribbon schools". The Baltimore Sun. p. 4.
- "Carver Center Website". Retrieved 2010-04-05.
- "Carver's profile at the Baltimore County Schools' site". Archived from the original on 2008-12-11. Retrieved 2010-04-05.
- "2010 Maryland Report Card". Retrieved 2010-09-15.[permanent dead link]
- "Culinary Arts". Retrieved 20 September 2017.