Originally built as a Comprehensive High School with its major focus on agriculture, the Garvey Maceo High School owns 90 acres of land and operates a commercial farm as well as a tutorial farm. However, the school engages students in both vocational and academic subject areas. Vocational areas include subjects such as Electrical Installation, Home Economics and Wood Work while the academics entail the Arts, Sciences, Information Technology, and Business, to name a few. Agriculture is still a core subject of the institution today and students learn to tend to pigs, goats and chickens, and plant and reap cash crops on the tutorial farm as part of their C.X.C. Agricultural Science requirement.
As a boarding institution, the dormitory facilities house approximately sixty (60) students and the school currently caters to the needs of one thousand five hundred and four (1,504) students on a daily basis. The Academic staff consists of sixty one (61) teachers, including principal, two (2) vice principals and two (2) guidance counsellors. The Administrative staff has seventeen (17) members and the Ancillary staff has twenty five (25) members.
Since its inception in 1980, the school has undergone various stages of growth. This is evident in the student population increasing to three times the number of students since 1980. Over the past three decades, the school has benefited from the superb leadership of men and women namely, Mrs. Bernice Magnus (1980-1986), Mr. Trevor Powell (1986-1990), Mrs. Mavis Forrester (1990-2001), Mr. David Brown (2001-2007) and Mrs. Valda Gayle (2007 to the present time). Our first Head Boy and Head Girl were Errol Roman and Annette Powell. Our current Head Boy and Head Girl are Orraine Daniels and Shanice Robinson. Under their guidance the school has made significant strides in its infrastructure and academic achievements. Since 2001 School Improvement Plans (SIP) have been implemented to oversee the continued growth and development of this noble institution structurally as well as academically.
Presently, a primary objective of Garvey Maceo is that the school must be student-oriented to equip them to function competently in a changing global environment. We place a strong emphasis on extra curricular activities and have been gaining national recognition in the sporting, cultural and academic arenas.
In sports, we won the Headley Cup in 1991 and 1997 and were the all-island cricket champion in 1991 upon winning the Spaulding Cup, which was also shared in 1997. We were the 2007 DaCosta Cup and Ben Francis Cup football champions. Our students, past and present, have represented and continue to represent football and cricket clubs, and the national team in both sports including the national girls’ football team. We also actively participate in other competitive sports such as athletics, girls’ football and netball, and are developing a broad-based programme for football and athletics.
Cultural activities include yearly entries in the JCDC Fine Arts, Dance and Speech & Drama festivals. We have copped gold, silver and bronze medals in all three (3) areas. Students have displayed and sold their art work at hotels and galleries on a yearly basis, and have entered the Jamaica National Building Society’s Photography Competition over the years, placing among the top three (3) on numerous occasions.
In 2008 we began to enter the All Together Sing competition. We reached the studio finals then and have reached it again for the 2009 competition. Our achievement in this area is due to the immense contributions of the CHASE Fund with respect to band equipment to accompany the melodious sounds of the members of our school choir.
In the area of academics Garvey Maceo has seen considerable improvements in the number of students taking and passing subjects at the C.X.C. and G.C.E. examination levels. The school also takes part in academic competitions at the national level. After a seven year break we re-entered the Schools’ Challenge Quiz competition and reached the:
(a) third round in 2009.
(b) second round in 2010 (knocked out by the team that won the competition) .
We placed second and third in the 2009 JPSCo Science Exposition at the regional and national levels respectively and were the Burger King’s National Schools’ Debate champion for 2009.
In addition, our past students are actively involved in many spheres in Jamaica and overseas, and are making solid contributions.
These accomplishments have truly authenticated our school’s motto: “Excelencia en estudio, trabajo y recreo”; “Excellence in study, work and play.”