Garvey School DistrictProviding a premier education in a 21st century learning environment to develop tomorrow's responsible leaders.

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History of Garvey School District


Richard Garvey was born in Ireland in 1838.  During the Civil War days, he was active in riding the Pony Express with Lucky Baldwin.  He married Theresa Mooney in 1884, who preceded him in death at the early age of 22, leaving one son, Richard Garvey, Jr.
In 1890 there were approximately 15 children living in the area that is now the Garvey School District; however, there was no school in existence at that time.  Richard Garvey, Sr., visited the County Board of Supervisors at this time and requested the organization of a school district for educational purposes.  He later contributed land for the first school.


In 1892, land (330’ x 264’) was set aside for Garvey School. From 1892 to 1894, a petition was filed for a school. While awaiting action on the petition, the first teacher, Miss Alica McCollum, was provided for forty children. Classes were held in the granary on the Garvey Ranch, somewhere near the present corner of New and Garvey Avenues.  On March 30, 1894, the petition was approved and Garvey School District was officially formed. Work began almost immediately on a two-room structure on the grounds donated by Mr. Garvey at the corner of Garvey and Hellman (now Jackson).


The district continued to grow and schools were added:


  • Richard Garvey School - 1892
  • Frances Willard School - 1924
  • John Marshall School - 1924
  • Monterey Vista School - 1926
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson School - 1927
  • Fern School (now Temple) - 1950
  • Dan T. Williams School - 1958 (named for a former Superintendent)
  • Hillcrest School - 1961
  • Margaret Duff School - 1965 (named for a former Principal)
  • Dewey School - 1965
  • Eldridge Rice School - 1967 (named for a former Superintendent)
  • Arlene Bitely School - 1986 (named for a former Board Member)


When the district moved to the intermediate configuration, Fern School was divided into two plants— Fern Intermediate and Fern Elementary. In 1989 Fern Intermediate School was renamed for Roger Temple, a longtime teacher, principal and superintendent who passed away that same year.  Later, Fern Elementary was renamed after George I. Sanchez, well-known sociologist and writer who was a leading reformer of bilingual education.


The Garvey family was generous in donating land and money to the area. They have no heirs. Richard Garvey, Sr., and his family have been laid down to rest at the Garvey Mausoleum located in Calvary Cemetery (corner of Garvey and Jackson) in Los Angeles.


A little school district that began with 15 students and one classroom has grown to over 5,000 students serving students in Pre-K to Grade 8. Garvey School District currently operates eight Pre-K to Grade 6 elementary schools, one Pre-K elementary dual language plus magnet academy school, and two Grade 7 to Grade 8 intermediate schools.


Garvey School District headquarters is located on Del Mar Avenue in the city of Rosemead, CA. The District includes more than 5,000 students from diverse backgrounds, predominantly Asian and Latin American. The District serves the southern portion of the city of Rosemead, parts of the cities of Monterey Park, San Gabriel, and unincorporated community of South San Gabriel.


Monterey Vista and Hillcrest elementary schools are located in the city of Monterey Park, while Dewey Avenue Elementary school is located in the city of San Gabriel. All other schools in the district are located in the city of Rosemead.