ArtsZone: Greater Olney

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Until the late 19th century, Olney was a vast, hilly farmland in Philadelphia County. The population was mainly farmers and wealthy Philadelphians who could afford to live away from the city.

As the city grew northwards, the area became more urbanized. People seeking to escape the growing population density of center city moved to Olney. Soon after, businesses began appearing, including Heintz Manufacturing Company, Proctor and Schwartz, and Brown Instrument Division. The population grew even more after the construction of the Broad Street Subway which had its original terminal at Olney Avenue.

Between the 1960s and 1980s, Olney began experiencing change. A new wave of residents including African-Americans, Asians and Latin-Americans began to populate the area. Today, Olney is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Philadelphia.

Grover Washington, Jr. Middle School is located in the Olney section of Philadelphia.  Construction of Grover Washington, Jr. Middle School was completed in 2000, and the doors were opened to students, their families, and the community in July, 2000, as the “B and Olney Middle School”.

On February 7, 2001, the Philadelphia Board of Education officially approved the naming of the school “Grover Washington, Jr. Middle School” after the late, great saxophonist for his dedication to the Philadelphia community and its children.

Grover Washington, Jr. was an American jazz-funk/soul-jazz saxophonist who moved to Philadelphia in 1967.

Principal: Terry Hargett (email)
Assistant Superintendent: John Frangipani


  • Terry Hargett, Principal
  • Carolyn Allen Glass, Assistant Principal
  • Dr. Romeo Cochrane, School Growth Teacher
  • Amy Gottesman, Technology Leader / Roster Chair
  • Paula Krupit
  • Raymond Brettle
  • Jerry Jackson
  • Ericka Andrews
  • Charron Fayall
  • Gwen Huett
  • Michelle Bernardi
  • Michele McQuade
  • Alison Barnes
  • Robert Tate
  • Michael Galbraith
  • Shannon Blair

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