100 YEARS

Of Rich History

THE IDEA

It was back in 1908 when Rev. Mc Carroll and his wife founded a secondary school for boys in Cyprus: the American Academy of Larnaca. The couple had initially arrived in Cyprus from North America, with the aim of founding an elementary school on the island. However, they later got permission to open a secondary school. A girls’ department was opened in 1916, but it closed three years later. There was, therefore, a demand for an English school for girls on the island. That is how the idea οφ an American Academy for girls came by.  

THE EARLY YEARS

The American Academy for Girls, as it was called back then, opened its doors on October 16, 1922. It started as both a day and a boarding school, with thirteen students enrolling in the first year. Two of them were boarders. Both the school and the boarding house were initially located οn the west side of the old city of Nicosia. The first Directress of the Academy was the American Ms. Lola Weir, from 1922 until 1925,with Ms. Ada Wilson as her assistantMs. Blanche Mc. Crea took over in 1925 and remained the Academy’s Directress up to 1961. By 1927, 89 students were studying at the school. The school’s growth was rapid and impressive! 

WORLD WAR II AND ITS AFTERMATH

Due to fear of enemy action in World War II, the Academy evacuated and moved to Kyrenia in the school year 1941-42, only to return to Nicosia the following year. In 1955, the start of the EOKA struggle saw the Academy relocating to its present premises, outside the city walls. The relocation of the Academy gave the school a bigger space and larger buildings. The independence of Cyprus in 1960 marked a new beginning for the school in a brand-new era. The future lay ahead! 

THE “PSILOINIS YEARS”

The 1980s and the 1990s at the Academy were marked by the name of a single man: Mr. Christos Psiloinis. Mr. Psiloinis became the school’s first Principal in 1981. He remained at the post until 2001. During his years, the school expanded even further, both in the number of its students, but also ground-wise. Many successful personalities of today’s Cypriot society studied at the Academy during these two decades. The American Academy Nicosia was by then one of the top educational institutions on the island. 

Dr. Joseph Mc.Farland became the school’s Principal for the school year 2002-03, followed by Dr. Joseph Worsham (2003-06) and Dr. David Sloss (2006-07). With the closing down of the Armenian Melkonian Educational Institute in 2005, a large number of its students moved to the Academy to continue their studies. This gave a new breath to the school and led to its further expansion. Mr. Gianfranco Onesti was the Academy’s Principal from 2007 to 2012, followed by Mr. Richard Wildsmith from 2012 to 2016. Mr. James Gillanders (2016 to 2021) led the Academy into the new decade, which carried with it new and unexpected challenges. 

AAN Centenary Book

The American Academy Nicosia centenary book is now out! The 300-page book takes us on a journey through the history of the school and includes precious archival material from the school’s hundred years, as well as all the moments which shaped its existence. The book, written and edited by Stavros Stavrou, is a result of a two-year research process. It could be purchased from the school’s office or could be sent to your home via courier.
For more info please call +357 22 664266

Celebrating AAN centenary

A special event to celebrate our school’s centenary took place on Friday 21 October at the school quadrangle. During the event, American Academy Nicosia alumni had the opportunity to get together with their classmates and celebrate the school’s hundred years. Guests included the Mayor of Nicosia, former Principal Joe Worsham and American Academy Nicosia alumni from the US. During the event, the American Academy Nicosia centenary book was presented for the first time. The event closed with songs from the history of cinema, performed by singer Doros Dimosthenous and pianist Thanasis Bililis

Photo Gallery through the years

OPENING - 1922

The American Academy Nicosia is a school which first opened its doors on October 16th, 1922. The founders, who had earlier started an Academy for boys, established the school in response to local demand for an English language school for girls; the American Academy for Girls

EARLY YEARS

In its early years, it was both a Boarding and a Day school. Thirteen students enrolled in its first year, two of them were boarding students. The teacher who headed up the work was Miss Lola Weir; with Miss Ada Wilson as her Assistant. Helen and Iphigenia Aegyptiades, refugees from Smyrna and former teachers at the American University there, joined the staff to teach Music and Home Economics.

RAPID GROWTH - 1927

School and Boarding House were originally in the West of the old city of Nicosia. Growth was quite rapid and by 1927 enrolment had reached 89 students.

EVACUATION- 1941,1942

The school year 1941-1942 saw the Academy evacuated to Kyrenia, due to the fear of enemy action in World War II, with a return the following year.

PRESENT PREMISES - 1955

Relocation to its present premises outside the city walls in 1955 provided more extensive grounds and larger buildings.

BOARD FORMATION - 1976

In 1976, the school became independent from its founding mission with a board of Cypriot educationalists and other professionals set up to manage it.

COEDUCATIONAL -1977

In 1977, the school became coeducational and in the years that followed, there was an expansion in both its enrolment, its grounds and its buildings

PRESENT YEARS

With a rich history stretching back almost 100 years we continue the work of our predecessors with the same enthusiasm and zeal offering quality education in a caring environment.

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