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Seattle's Garfield High School celebrates 100 years

caption: Garfield High School in Seattle on January 22, 2021.
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Garfield High School in Seattle on January 22, 2021.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

The school, which sits on 23rd Avenue in Seattle's Central District, has countless famous alumni like Quincy Jones, Ernestine Anderson, Jimi Hendrix, and Minoru Yamasaki.

This weekend, Garfield High School will celebrate its centennial. Technically, that 100-year mark happened two years ago, but because of the pandemic, that celebration was delayed until this coming Saturday, Aug. 27.

Garfield High School was originally called East High School and enrollment consisted of students from Broadway and Franklin High School. The multi-story brick building that houses the school was completed in 1923.

"What makes Garfield the most unique place on earth is bringing together all the different races, all the different religions under one roof, and allowing that magic to happen," saod Ted Howard Jr., a Garfield High School alumni. Howard is also a former principal of the school and is currently the assistant superintendent at Seattle Public Schools.

Garfield has seen many historic moments: Martin Luther King Jr. spoke there, as did Coretta Scott King, Stokely Carmichael, and then-Senator Barack Obama.

Howard calls the school the heartbeat of Seattle.

"When you look at where students are feeding from; First Hill, Madison Valley Montlake area, Central Area, you're bringing all the best and the brightest together."

Garfield has produced notable alumni who have gone on to shape the city of Seattle and the world through their work. That list of former students includes Quincy Jones, Ernestine Anderson, Jimi Hendrix, Lynn Shelton, Lindy West, Ishmael Butler, Minoru Yamasaki, and current Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell.

Garfield will be celebrating its history with former and current students on Saturday. The event is open to the public.

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