Celebrating 70 Years of Education- Honor-Pride
Escuela Americana began operating in February 1944 at Earl and Inez Terzian’s home, the Sagrera residence located on Avenida España. At that time, the school had the following students:
Happy and Jack, sons of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Simmons, the United States Ambassador to El Salvador; Kathleen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Chester Hackbarth; Nuria, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ricardo Sagrera; Betty, Sandra, and Gary, children of Mr. and Mrs. Earl A. Terzian; and Sylvia, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ed Wilson.
Mrs. Terzian, the Director and only teacher, worked ad honorem. The teaching method used was the Calvert Method and instruction was in English and Spanish. The schoolbecame so successful that a larger group of parents worked together to organize a formal school. The following official announcement was published in the Diario Oficial on Tuesday, November 19, 1946: “The American School is now created with a technical council of the Interamerican Educational Foundation and the cooperation of the Ministry of Culture.”
By this time, the school had sixty-four students enrolled and had hired additional national and American teachers. The ideal of the school’s founders was to create a non-profit institution that would provide a bilingual education to all, without discrimination, as stated in the 1948 by-laws. Parents paid the annual tuition, in advance, to have funds available to purchase and order educational supplies from the United States.
In 1947, the school moved to a new location at Calle Antigua a San Antonio Abad. Because this location did not have adequate playgrounds Mr. Earl Terzian donated the necessary building materials and lent the heavy equipment with which Escuela Americana constructed its first athletic field.
One central goal of the founders was to add one grade per year until Escuela Americana became K-12. Another goal was to bring teachers from the United States to teach all English classes. Tuition was used exclusively to pay for teachers’ salaries and educational materials.
In 1951, the Elementary School was built in Colonia San Benito. The land was bought at 3.00 colones a square “vara.” Another portion of land was donated by the Compañía Urbanizadora de San Benito. Ernesto de Sola designed and developed the blueprints as well as supervised the construction of the building ad honorem.
As enrollment continued to increase, additional classrooms were built to house Kinder through Eighth grade. By this time, the United States Government donated $4,000 annually to the daily operations of Escuela Americana. Compañía Petrolera Chevron, whose manager at the time was Mr. Roberto Cabrera, awarded scholarships to outstanding students.
1955 marked the beginning of plans to expand Escuela Americana to include a high school. This project was completed in 1957. Later, both schools merged to form the present Escuela Americana Association.
EA History Timeline