Garfield High School (Seattle)

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James A. Garfield High School
JamesAGarfield HS 2.jpg
Location
400 23rd Avenue
Seattle, Washington 98122

United States
Information
Type Public
Established 1920
Principal Theodore Howard II
Faculty 92 (October 2005)
Enrollment 1,918 (September 2010)
Color(s) Purple & White          
Mascot Bulldog
Newspaper The Messenger
Website

James A. Garfield High School is a public high school in the Seattle Public Schools district of Seattle, Washington, USA. Located along 23rd Avenue between E. Alder and E. Jefferson Streets in Seattle's urban Central District, Garfield draws students from all over the city. Garfield is also one of two options for the district's Highly Capable Cohort for academically highly gifted students, with the other being Ingraham International School. As a result, it has many college-level classes available ranging from calculus-based physics to Advanced Placement (AP) studio art.

History[edit]

James A. Garfield High School was founded in 1923 as East High School at its current location. The first graduating class consisted of only 282 students who transferred from Broadway High School. In three years, the school's enrollment forced the 12-room building to be scrapped for the Jacobean-style building designed by Floyd Naramore. In 1929, the city commissioned the architect to design an addition for the school as enrollment peaked at 2,300 students.[1]

Garfield High School has long played a key role in its neighborhood, and because the Central District has changed, so has the school's population. In its early decades, the school was noted for its Jewish, Japanese and Italian populations. After World War II, the neighborhood became predominantly African-American[2] and by 1961, 51 percent of Garfield students were black, compared to only 5.3 percent of the general Seattle school district population.[3] In the late 1960s and 1970s, Garfield was at the center of the school district's attempts to avoid forced busing through various plans, including turning it into a "magnet" school. This began the focus on music and science that persist to the present day. The school introduced an APP Program in 1979, and due to the success of this program, an alternative program, IBx, was opened for APP students at Ingraham International High School in North Seattle to help relieve pressure on an overcrowded Garfield.

Notable people who have spoken at Garfield include Martin Luther King and Jesse Jackson.[4] Civil rights activist Stokely Carmichael spoke at the school in 1967.[5] Former President Barack Obama gave a speech in 2006 regarding "Innovation in Education,"[6][7]

During a 2012 school field trip, one of the school's students allegedly raped another student. The school's mishandling of the ensuing investigation resulted in an ongoing federal investigation of the school district for Title IX sexual violence violations.[8][9]

Remodel[edit]

Garfield High School occupying the grounds of the former Lincoln High School, Wallingford, Washington.

The buildings have lasted for more than eight decades, but they were partially demolished in a sweeping redesign of the school that began in June 2006. The remodel was mostly completed by the fall of 2008, making the class of 2009 the only class to attend classes in both the old and new buildings. There was a movement to hold off the remodeling to preserve the building's history, including a city initiative to preserve the Quincy Jones auditorium as a historic site, thereby blocking the remodeling.[10] The new design has a state-of-the-art performing arts center. After its renovation, Garfield had become the second most expensive high school in the state, after Stadium High School, with Stadium High at $106 million and Garfield at $105 million.

The school reopened in time for 2008 classes on September 3. Faculty and students vacated their temporary quarters at Lincoln High School at the end of the 2007–2008 school year.[11]

Terracotta work[edit]

Garfield High School's architecture makes extensive use of terracotta. Among the many terracotta details worked into the building are emblems of botany, the trades, arts and crafts, industry, intelligence, and the sciences.

Academics[edit]

Of the approximately 400 students who graduated in 2011, 70 percent planned to attend four-year colleges, and 20 percent planned to attend two-year colleges. Garfield has over 200 students in IEP (Individualized Learning) and ELL (English Language Learners) programs, along with 415 APP (Accelerated Progress Program) students. The school currently offers 17 Advanced Placement and 10 honors courses. In 2012, the mean reading, math and writing SAT scores for Garfield students were 575, 578 and 569, respectively.[12]

Garfield was one of 14 schools in King County in 2007 to receive the "School of Distinction" award from the office of superintendent of public instruction for making the most progress over six years in reading and writing on the WASL.[13] The school also had a silver medal of distinction from U.S. News and World Report in 2008 and 2009 for being among the top-performing high schools in terms of college readiness.[13] The school is noted for producing a number of National Merit Scholars each year,[4] and Garfield consistently produces more National Merit Scholars each year than any other public school in Washington state.[14] Garfield frequently competes for the highest number of National Merit Scholars of any school in the state, including private schools.[15] Garfield students make up more than 70 percent of the Seattle Public School students who take AP exams.[14]

Each year there are dozens of valedictorians, most of whom go on to the top universities.[16] In June 2005, 44 valedictorians graduated.[13] In recent years, however, the school has faced widespread complaints that white students are served through AP and honors programs, and black students are not supported.[17] During the 2006–2007 school year Garfield offered more than 120 different classes across nine departments, including an extensive selection of advanced classes. Garfield students also take classes from local community colleges through a program called Running Start. Students also take courses through online programs from Stanford's EPGY and Johns Hopkins University's CTY program. Students also attend on-campus courses at the University of Washington.[18]

Testing controversy[edit]

In January 2013, the entire teaching body of Garfield High School refused to administer the standardized Measures of Academic Progress, or MAP, which is administered system-wide, three times per year. The teachers called the tests useless and a waste of instructional time.[19] After their protest became public, teachers at local schools nearby such as Ballard High School and Chief Sealth International High School joined the movement. The American Federation of Teachers has endorsed the school's boycott of the tests.[20]

Athletics[edit]

Garfield athletics have been strong historically. Athletic successes for the decade 1950–60 included four city football championships, two tennis titles, two baseball championships, and a state AA tournament trophy in basketball.[21] The boys basketball team has won the most state Washington state championships in state history.[22]

Soccer practice on a cold January Saturday.

Garfield basketball teams have won many regional and state titles, including a stretch from 1980 to 1991 during which time the Bulldogs won five Class AAA titles. The boys basketball team has won the state championship 11 times and was the runner-up five times since 1949. The team has notable alumni, including Brandon Roy (GHS c/o 2002), Tony Wroten (GHS c/o 2011), and University of Washington alumni Will Conroy.[23] The girls team boasts alumnus Joyce Walker (GHS c/o 1980), who is best known as the third woman to join the Harlem Globetrotters.[24] Both the girls and boys teams were state champions in 1980 and 1987. The girls team won the state championship in 2005,[25] and the boys won in 2014.

In 2001, the boys swimming and diving team won the state championship.[26] In 2007, the girls swimming and diving team won the state championship.[citation needed]

Garfield won state titles in boys and girls track in 1987.

Famous Bulldog alumni also include Olympic gold medalist Debbie Armstrong, who won the giant slalom at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo.

Most recently, The Garfield boys basketball team won the state championship in 2014 and again in 2015.

Programs, clubs, and activities[edit]

Drama[edit]

In 2005, Garfield's performance of Cabaret won the Outstanding Program and Poster Design award and Special Honors in Educational Impact and Student Achievement from the 5th Avenue Theatre.[27] Subsequent musicals have been unable to enter the 5th Avenue Awards due to scheduling. One of the main draws of Garfield's drama program is its large student-led Drama Club, an important element that is missing from many other local area schools. The Garfield Drama Club produces collections of short one-act plays, and a main stage Autumn Show every year, all of which are directed and produced by current students.[28] The department also performs two teacher-directed shows per year: a Children's Show for local elementary schools, and a Spring Musical.

Newspaper[edit]

The Messenger is Garfield's monthly student-run newspaper. The Messenger has earned awards from the Journalism Education Association and the National Scholastic Press Association: placing in Best of Show in the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Conventions and winning its most prestigious honor, the Pacemaker Award, in 1997 and 2006.[29] A column from the paper was reprinted by All About Jazz in 2004.[30] In 2006 and 2007, staff reporters won the NSPA's Brasler Prize.[31]

Outdoor education[edit]

Post, Garfield's Outdoor Education Program, is a student-led organization which leads a variety of outdoor trips available to all students in the Seattle School District. Trips include rock climbing, mountain climbing, snow camping, biking, kayaking, backpacking, survival skills, wilderness navigation, skiing and snowboarding, and canyoneering.[32] The program is entirely staffed by Garfield students, who complete a 30-hour Mountaineering Oriented First Aid Course as well as a series of basic survival courses.[33]

Languages[edit]

Garfield remains one of the last two public schools in the Seattle metropolitan area that offers Latin.[citation needed] The Latin language club is affiliated with the National Junior Classical League and remains one of the largest local chapters.[34] Garfield students score highly on the National Latin exam as well, with more than half of the Latin students receiving golds (top 10 percent in the world) for several consecutive years. Other languages offered include Spanish, French and Japanese.

Music[edit]

Quincy Jones Performance Center at Garfield

The music program at Garfield High School has won numerous awards. Several notable musicians attended the school, including Jimi Hendrix, Quincy Jones, Macklemore, and Ernestine Anderson.

Vocal department[edit]

The choirs at Garfield include a Treble Choir, Concert Choir and a Vocal Jazz group.[35] In 2009, the vocal jazz ensemble received a special commendation for its performance at Lionel Hampton.[36]

Orchestra[edit]

The orchestra program includes a symphony orchestra, a concert orchestra, and a chamber music program. Every year, many students from the orchestra play in the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras, often in principal positions. Garfield students also play in the Seattle Conservatory of Music Starling Scholar Chamber Orchestra, and many community ensembles. Garfield orchestra members have had their original compositions debuted by the Seattle Symphony and SYSO. In 1995, Garfield guest conductor Gerard Schwarz, music director of the Seattle Symphony, said, "I don’t recall hearing a high school orchestra perform anywhere in this country on such a high level."[37] Garfield has won numerous first-place awards in festivals around the world, including the Best Orchestra for Downbeat Magazine in both 1999 and 2007, and the National Orchestra Cup in 2011.[37] The Garfield Symphony Orchestra has also toured and performed in Japan, Europe, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York.

Jazz[edit]

Garfield High School jazz quintet at Seattle's Paramount Theatre, 2008.

Garfield's jazz program has won state, national and international awards and accolades in big band, combo and individual categories. The jazz ensemble has toured Europe several times, visiting the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Italy and most recently in the Montreux and North Sea Jazz Festivals. It has also attended the International Association of Jazz Educators' conference, as well as the Essentially Ellington Competition in New York City. It is the only band to win the 'First Place' trophy in consecutive years (2003–04 and 2009–10) and the only band to have been invited to Essentially Ellington for ten consecutive years.[38] Overall showings at Essentially Ellington have included 1999 (honorable mention), 2000 (honorable mention), 2002 (2nd place), 2003 (1st place), 2004 (1st place), 2006 (3rd place), 2008 (2nd place), 2009 (1st place), 2010 (1st place), 2013 (Finalist), 2014 (Finalist), 2015 (Finalist), and 2016 (Finalist). Its consistent placement in national competitions and long history of national recognition indicate its status as one of the best high school jazz bands in the country.[39]

Among the many other awards are 13 division and sweepstakes awards at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival (Moscow, Idaho), 13 first-place finishes at the Reno Jazz Festival, five sweepstakes awards at the Clark College Jazz Festival (Vancouver, Washington), ten sweepstakes or first-place awards at the Viking Jazz Festival (Poulsbo, Washington), six sweepstakes awards at the Bellevue Jazz Festival, six first-place awards at the Mount Hood Jazz Festival, and first place in the "Heavy" (top) Division at the 1995 Fullerton College Jazz Festival.[citation needed]

Notable alumni[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "the Free Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History". HistoryLink.org. April 19, 2001. Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Central District". [dead link]
  3. ^ Tate, Cassandra (September 7, 2002). "Busing in Seattle: A Well-Intentioned Failure". HistoryLink.org. Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Shaw, Linda (September 2, 2008). "Seattle's Garfield High reopening after renovation". The Seattle Times. 
  5. ^ "Stokely Carmichael speaks to 4,000 at Seattle's Garfield High School on April 19, 1967.". HistoryLink.org. Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Sen. Obama to visit Garfield High". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. March 16, 2006. 
  7. ^ Jamieson Jr, Robert L. (March 17, 2006). "Cantwell's photo op in 'hood is ironic". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 
  8. ^ [1] Archived 30 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Gordon, Claire (2014-07-22). "In handling rape, high schools are worse than colleges | Al Jazeera America". America.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2015-03-06. 
  10. ^ Blanchard, Jessica (May 14, 2006). "Garfield revamp hits snag". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 
  11. ^ Shaw, Linda (2 September 2008). "Seattle's Garfield High reopening after renovation". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  12. ^ "James A. Garfield High School" (PDF). Seattle Public Schools. Retrieved 22 January 2013. [dead link]
  13. ^ a b c "School guide". The Seattle Times. August 2, 2011. 
  14. ^ a b [2] Archived 18 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ "Garfield, Lakeside lead in National Merit semifinalists". The Seattle Times. September 12, 2007. 
  16. ^ Thompson, Lynn (June 15, 2005). "One high school — 44 valedictorians". The Seattle Times. 
  17. ^ [3][dead link]
  18. ^ [4] Archived 18 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  19. ^ "Seattle High School's Teachers Toss District's Test | Georgia Public Broadcasting". Gpb.org. 2013-01-17. Retrieved 2015-03-06. 
  20. ^ "AFT Endorses Garfield Teachers' Test Boycott | Diane Ravitch's blog". Dianeravitch.net. 2013-01-18. Retrieved 2015-03-06. 
  21. ^ Eastside Preparatory School. "History". Retrieved 2012-09-05. 
  22. ^ Jenks, Jason (2013-01-19). "Garfield-Franklin basketball rivalry is back". The Seattle Times. 
  23. ^ [5] Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  24. ^ Ringer, Sandy. "Basketball legend Joyce Walker brings golden touch to Garfield". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  25. ^ davisron1906 (17 March 2012). "Garfield High School 2005 Girls State Basketball Championship Game" – via YouTube. 
  26. ^ "Washington Interscholastic Activities Association". WIAA. Archived from the original on 22 May 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  27. ^ [6] Archived 9 December 2004 at the Wayback Machine.
  28. ^ [7] Archived 18 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  29. ^ "NSPA – Contest Winners". Studentpress.org. January 17, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  30. ^ [8] Archived 23 November 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  31. ^ "NSPA – Contest Winners". Studentpress.org. January 17, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Ghs Post". Ghs Post. Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Ghs Post". Ghs Post. Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Washington / British Columbia Junior Classical League". wabcjcl.org. Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  35. ^ [9] Archived 18 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  36. ^ [10][dead link]
  37. ^ a b [11] Archived 5 April 2005 at the Wayback Machine.
  38. ^ [12] Archived 13 March 2005 at the Wayback Machine.
  39. ^ [13] Archived 18 October 2005 at the Wayback Machine.
  40. ^ [14] Archived 9 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  41. ^ "KEXP Documentaries: "Hip-Hop: The New Seattle Sound" – Macklemore". Blog.kexp.org. 2010-08-11. Retrieved 2015-03-06. 
  42. ^ Groover, Heidi (2006-07-27). "City, Don't Sleep - Features". The Stranger. Retrieved 2015-03-06. 
  43. ^ [15]
  44. ^ "Oral history interview with Frank S. Okada, 1990 Aug. 16-17 - Oral Histories | Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution". Aaa.si.edu. Retrieved 2015-03-06. 
  45. ^ "Roger Shimomura - Densho Encyclopedia". 
  46. ^ "Virtual Asian-American Art Museum Project: Roger Shimomura Chronology". 
  47. ^ "Northwest Asian Weekly". Greg Kucera Gallery. March 13, 2004. 

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°36′18″N 122°18′6″W / 47.60500°N 122.30167°W / 47.60500; -122.30167