Garfield High School (Akron, Ohio)

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Garfield High School
435 North Firestone Boulevard
Akron OH 44301
Motto"Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve"
School districtAkron Public Schools
PrincipalFrank Kalain
Enrollment751 (2014-15)[1]
Color(s)Maroon and Gold          
Athletics conferenceAkron City Series
NicknameGolden Rams

Garfield High School was a public high school located off of N. Firestone Blvd. in Akron, Ohio. It was 1 of 7 high schools in the Akron Public Schools district.


Garfield High School, located on Firestone Blvd. in Akron, Ohio, was originally intended to be named Firestone High School. The construction of the school was being funded in large part by the Firestone family, and was intended to provide the surrounding neighborhood with one of the finest facilities in Northern Ohio, complete with a football field and Olympic size swimming pool. The surrounding neighborhood was made up almost entirely of immigrant families who worked at Firestone's rubber factories. In the 1920s, Akron, Ohio had become a stronghold of the Ku Klux Klan (in January 1925, the klan had won majority control of the Akron School Board). The Klan objected to such an outstanding school serving the children of immigrants and took steps to sabotage the plans for the school. Under the control of the Klan, a rule was passed that required all newly constructed Akron Public Schools to be named after past US Presidents. Because the school would not be named Firestone, the family pulled their funding from the project before construction was finished, leaving the school a third of its intended size with no football field of its own for home games, and what would have been the swimming pool was turned into a rifle range underneath the auditorium in the basement. In later years it was designated as a fallout shelter and then a storage room.

Garfield High School was named for James A. Garfield, 20th President of the United States. The school was formally dedicated on November 19, 1926. James R. Garfield, the son of the slain president, gave the principal address at the ceremony.

In 1928, the Ku Klux Klan lost its majority on the Akron School Board; the rule regarding the naming of newly constructed schools was eventually repealed, and Firestone High School was opened at a different location in 1963. In 1966 Garfield High School became the first comprehensive high school in Akron when it opened an addition for vocational education facilities.

Garfield merged with Kenmore High School for the 2017-18 school year due to declining enrollment and rising costs.[2] While the new building is constructed at the Garfield site,[3] the combined school at the Kenmore location will be known as Kenmore-Garfield.[4] Kenmore-Garfield High School opened in the fall of 2017.


In the 2011-2012 school year, the average enrollment was 880 students. The student body was 62.1% black (non-Hispanic), 26.1% white (non-Hispanic), 5.5% multi-racial, 3.9% Asian/Pacific Islander, and 2.0% Hispanic. 87.7% of the students were classified as economically disadvantaged, and 22.1% had learning disabilities.[5]

Notable alumni[edit]

External links[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Garfield High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  2. ^ Garrett, Renee (October 11, 2016). "BOARD VOTES ON HIGH SCHOOL: Plan will merge Kenmore, Garfield". Akron Public Schools. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  3. ^ Thomas, Monica L. (December 12, 2016). "Akron school board approves Garfield site for high school combined with Kenmore". Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  4. ^ Armon, Rick & Cottom, Theresa (November 7, 2016). "Akron councilman urges school board to adopt "Kenmore-Garfield" name for new high school". Akron Beacon-Journal/ Retrieved May 3, 2017.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^
  6. ^ "(photo caption)". The Akron Beacon Journal. Ohio, Akron. December 26, 1951. p. 12. Retrieved September 28, 2018 – via open access

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°02′45″N 81°30′42″W / 41.045795°N 81.511744°W / 41.045795; -81.511744