Carver Vocational-Technical High School

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Carver Vocational-Technical High School
Carver Vocational Technical High School, Baltimore MD (2008).jpg
2201 Presstman Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21216
School type Public, Vocational-Technical, Magnet
Motto "Character, Confidence, Commitment!"
Founded 1925
School district Baltimore City Public Schools
Superintendent Dr. Gregory Thornton [CEO]
School number 454
Principal Shionta Somerville
Grades 912
Enrollment 916[1] (2014)
Student to teacher ratio 14:1
Area Urban
Color(s) Royal Blue and White
Mascot Bear
Team name Bears

Carver Vocational-Technical High School is a public vocational-technical high school located in the Baltimore, Maryland.

Founded in 1925, it was the first African-American (then labeled the "Colored" or "Negro") vocational-technical public high school) then established in the State of Maryland. Carver Vo-Tech serves grades 9 through 12, (freshmen-sophomores-juniors-seniors). The then "Colored Vocational High School" then joined the recently renamed Frederick Douglass High School (previously founded in 1865 as the private Douglass Institute on East Lexington Street, then moved two blocks northwest to East Saratoga Street by St. Paul Street/Place at Preston Gardens", where it was finally absorbed into the newly established "Colored High School and Grammar School" by 1883. After several other name changes, building locations and curriculum variations, the emergent alumni, faculty and concerned citizens, with the help of the local "Baltimore Afro-American campaigned for the Negro High School to have its own new building which was constructed in 1924-1925, on a city block at Carey and Baker Streets, in West Baltimore's Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood. Built of red brick with stone trim in the English Tudor/Gothic architectural style with all the features of a modern high school. With its now new name now of Douglass, the school moved from its older structure which although of beautiful heavy Romansque/Renaissance Revival style brickwork which had originally been built a half-century earlier for the City's elite female Western High School, now it was to revert to the newly established system of "junior high schools", which would be renamed for "Booker T. Washington" for continued black students in the still segregated system and would last another century almost with numerous renovations but noting its landmark architectuyre in the Druid Hill/Upton neighborhoods in old inner West Baltimore. new Dunbar High on the other side of town also received an art deco style building by the early 1930s. At. the conclusion of the Great Depression and World War II, a new building and name was also planned for the vocational school as the several other Vo-Tech high schools, like Boys, Samuel Gompers weren reorganized, merged and realigned with the establishment of the two Vocational-Technical High Schools at Carver at Prestman Street and the new Merganthaler built on Hillen Road in the 1950s opposite Lake Montebello and the water filtration plant complex with its Spanish-style architecture of industrial buildings with dark red bricks and green tile roofs from 1915

It serves as one of the two vocational-technical secondary schools in the City, with a city-wide school population in addition with its companion school - "Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School" in northeast section of the City at XXX Hillen Road, near Loch Raven Boulevard, 21218. Both of which have specialized extensive curriculums, programs, classes not easily available in other counties of the State.

However, in our neighboring suburban Baltimore County, in which the Baltimore County Public Schools system in 1970, established first two geographically separated "technical high schools" - "Eastern Technical High School" (which remains with its original name and a 1980 building annex) at 1100 Mace Avenue, Essex, Maryland, 21221; and "Western School of Technology and Environmental Science", at 100 Kenwood Avenue, Catonsville, Maryland, 21228, which also has had an additional building added in 1997. Then in 1993, the County Schools System added Central Technical High School at 939 North York Road, Maryland Route 45, near the county seat at Towson, Maryland, 21204, (later renamed Central High School for Arts and Technology, then at a later date as the "Carver Center for Arts and Technology" and finally in 2008, as the "George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology", with a rebuilt campus in 2012.

The renaming of the arts and technology high school with the full name of the famous Afro-American scientist, inventor and educator George Washington Carver, (1864-1943), was made an exception to naming policy by the County's Board of Education was to remember the first established public high school in the County, when previously its black students had to end their education at around the sixth or eighth grades or travel into the City to attend first either the "Colored High and Training School", the first African-American secondary school established in the State in 1883 (with historical antecedents going back to 1865), later renamed after 1925 as Frederick Douglass High School (#454) in West Baltimore or to go to Paul Laurence Dunbar Community High School established first in 1918 as an elementary/grammar school, later elevated 1925 to a junior high school and finally a full-fledged high school by 1937, in East Baltimore at 1400 Orleans Street, by North Central Avenue and west of the Johns Hopkins Hospital campus. But by 1952, racial segregation barriers in Baltimore City's public schools had fallen first at the City's best and elite college prep schools, Baltimore Polytechnic Institute in 1952, in a famous local court case and hearing, followed the next year at academic and athletic rival Baltimore City College. Beginning in the Fall of 1954, following that May's Supreme Court decision of "Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas", Baltimore's "colored schools" system was dismantled gradually but increasingly year by year with small numbers of black students entering all the City's neighborhood/regional public high schools, with only demonstrations and some scuffles among angry white crowds around old Southern High School (now Digital Harbor High School) in the Federal Hill area of old South Baltimore and the old Patterson Park High School in East Baltimore's Patterson Park and the neighborhoods of Hampstead Hill, Baltimore-Highlandtown, Baltimore, and Canton areas, but generally went peacefully over the years, although occasional additional problems and situations cropped up in the mid-1960s and early to mid-1970s, compared to many other school systems across the nation and especially in The South of which Baltimore was still a sort of part of. Unfortunately, "de facto" segregation replaced the "de jure" official policies and some schools still mirrored their neighborhoods racial make-up. Especially at Carver and Merganthaler Vo-Techs, where despite their advanced programs, opportunities and curriculums, Carver remained almost exclusively all-black, while "Mervo" gradually increased its integration all through the next few decades and remains split today (2013) [2] The student body is approximately 1000 students, and the student to teacher ratio is about 14:1.[3][4]

In 2010, Carver Voc-Tech made AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress), which is accomplished when the school has met minimum improvements in student progress and other accountability measures set by Maryland State under the No Child Left Behind Act.[4]


Army PFC Jonathan V. Hamm – Hero and Patriot: 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division at Fort Lewis KIA during Iraq War on May 17, 2007 by indirect fire.[5]


  1. ^ "Enrollment for All Grades All Students : Demographics : Baltimore City - Carver Vocational-Technical High : 2014 Maryland Report Card". Maryland State Department of Education. Retrieved October 31, 2014. 
  2. ^ "". Carver Vocational-Technical High School. Retrieved June 22, 2012.  External link in |title= (help)
  3. ^ "Public School Review - Carver Vocational-Technical High School". Retrieved June 22, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Education's Website - Carver Vocational-Technical High School". Retrieved June 23, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Fort Lewis soldier, whose mother died before he deployed, is killed in Baghdad". The Oregonian. May 21, 2007. Retrieved June 23, 2012. 

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Coordinates: 39°18′15″N 76°39′05″W / 39.30429°N 76.65148°W / 39.30429; -76.65148