School History


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The George Washington School was founded in August of 1952. The founders and also first School Board were:

President : Vernon R. Harris
Vice-President : Antonio Araújo Martinez
Secretary : James B. Crump
Treasurer : Alfonso Restrepo
Committee Member : Emma Villa de Escallón

The objective of this founding group was to create a bilingual school in Cartagena, with a calendar and curriculum similar to those of North-American schools. At first, the idea was to overcome the inconveniences generated by changes in the school calendar and programs for the children of foreign employees who came to Colombia or were returning to their own country. At the same time, they wanted to create possibilities for Colombian citizens to continue their studies under the North-American system without any setbacks.

Classes started on October 1st, 1952, in a building located on Second Avenue in Bocagrande; with a staff of three teachers and twenty-five students who were directed by Miss June Vaillant. In July of 1954 the ANDIAN National Corporation bought the Bocagrande Club location, where the school began to operate in September 1954.

In 1963 with the help of $935,000 donated by the U.S. government and $300,000 donated by local and foreign industrialists and citizens who were interested in keeping a binational school in the city, the old club house was demolished and the central part of the school building (three floors) was built where the school is now located.
The following members of the second School Board participated in the construction of the new building:

President : Gabriel del Corral
Vice-President : Rudy Janecek
Secretary : Charles Postal
Treasurer : George Stedwill
Committee Member : Dick Hislop

The school grew rapidly, and in 1963, with Miss Helen Wallace as director, the school received the official approval for grades one to six of Basic Primary Education and for grades seven and eight of Basic High School Education, according to resolution # 0400 March 14, 1963.

From 1967 to 1971, with Mr. Ken Crowl as director, the school was recognized and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), an accreditation that definitively facilitated students’ admissions to American schools and universities. This accreditation, certified by the American government, remains active to this day.

In 1968, the Colombian National Education Ministry approved studies until 9th grade of high school, according to resolution # 0505 of August 26, 1968. In 1970, according to resolution # 031314, the middle school level was approved. In 1974, the Colombian Education Ministry granted official approval for all levels and grades, according to resolution # 3285 of May 18 of the same year. The first junior high graduation took place in 1979, the same year that the pre-school program began.