Anderson Middle School, on Andersen Air Base on Guam, has students in grades six through eight who are dependents of American military families. The school is under the DoDEA school system and under the subsystem DDESS Guam. The school is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The first NCA visit was in February 1999.
Located in the Western Pacific in the geographic region known as Micronesia, Guam is well known for its strategic military and economic position between Asia and the North American continent. There are two major military bases on the island, Andersen Air Force Base on the northern tip and Naval Base, Guam, to the south.
In September 1997, DoDEA opened its own schools for children of military personnel. The current Anderson Middle School facility opened in August 2001, with grades six through eight, and now serves approximately 200 students representing almost every branch of the military.
This quote from the principal’s letter in the first yearbook gives an idea of the trials faced when the school was first opened.
Andersen Middle School parents and students experienced a year like no other in school year 1997-1998!
Students in Kindergarten through fifth grades began school on September 29, 1997 in converted troop billeting, education center classrooms, a conference center and religious education classrooms. The end of this first year saw our elementary school ready to move into brand new school facilities near Chapel II on Andersen Air Force Base.
During the school year we utilized the base library, we rode buses to utilize facilitates throughout the base for various programs. All of us "brown bagged" our lunches and snacks, and hauled lots of fruit drinks and gallons of water to quench our thirst on hot days.
School year 1997-1998 was also marked by Guam's most disastrous typhoon – Typhoon Paka, packing world record wind speeds of up to 238 miles per hour.
The Andersen Middle "Dragons" never even slowed down throughout these challenges!
We decided upon the "Dragons" as our mascot, and adopted our distinctive school colors; black, silver and blue, formed a student council and participated in a broad range of extracurricular activities from band to yearbook.
The first location for the middle school was Building 21000. When the middle school opened, there were 380 students in grades six through eight with a faculty and staff of thirty-nine. The first principal was Joseph Caruselle and the assistant principal was Pat McKay. Eric Swanson was the principal for the next two years.
Several student activities were offered during the first years. These included Student Council, beginning and intermediate band, choir, yearbook, and MATHCOUNTS. Other clubs included scuba, art, computer, and friendship. Both boys and girls participated in soccer and basketball. The middle school competed in the Independent Interscholastic Athletic Association of Guam (IIAAG).
In the ’99 yearbook, the principal reported that the school had come a long way from Building 21000. The middle school now had better and improved facilities equipped with bigger classrooms and more computers. The school now also had a coed track and field team. A quarterly award ceremony recognized students who received a grade point average of 3.0 to 4.0.
By the early 2000s the school had a chapter for National Junior Honor Society and an annual Spelling Bee.
Stan Chap became the principal for the 2002-03 school year and was followed by William Hall for the 2004-05 school year. The school had several important visitors such as authors Sharon Draper and Laura Lee and members of the Thunderbirds. During the 2003-04 school year, the Lady Dragons Basketball team captured their first title and the boys’ basketball team won their third consecutive title. New activities included clubs for journalism, drama, photography, chess, homework, and the Academic Challenge Bowl Team. Middle school students studied the culture of Guam and yearly presentations became a school tradition.
Typhoons occur frequently on Guam and caused flooding at the school on several occasions. In 2003-04, although the school had no typhoons to endure that year, it was determined after an analysis of the building was completed that the Anderson Middle School facility should be modified to meet the latest earthquake building codes. The administration’s introduction letter in the 2004 yearbook stated that “As a result, the school had the excitement of suddenly being relocated into Andersen Elementary School and the Chapel Annex. Within three days, the move was made and the educational process continued without a hitch.”
Deborah Krull was the Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary School Guam District Teacher of the Year in 2005 and became the school principal for the 2011-12 school year.
The students started each day of the 2010-11 school year with the morning program, KAMS. The announcements contained current events, the school lunch menu, what was hip and happening at school, and the daily schedule. The program was produced by students and was presented on closed circuit TV. It aired at 7:50 am and was seen in every classroom.
In the 2010s, several activities were added to the school’s program to reflect the times and students’ interests. These included Bullying Prevention, Lego League Club, Reporter’s Club, Code Club, eCybermission, peer mediation, and recycling. The school’s enrollment was around 250. Jason Sheedy became the principal for the 2013-14 school year, followed by Ms. Fulton (2016-17) and Joseph Myks (2018-19).
During the 2019-20 school year the school added NJROTC to the curriculum and language offerings included Chinese and Spanish. Anchored 4 Life, a peer-to-peer club to connect youth while building transition and resiliency skills, was started.
The school colors were changed to navy blue, red, and light blue.
Students wear uniforms to school. The uniform tops can be navy blue, white, black, or gray and must be polo style or button-down collared shirts for boys and girls. Girls may also wear tailored blouses. Uniform bottoms color options are khaki, navy blue, tan, or black. The bottoms can be pants or shorts.
The principal for the 2021-22 school year was Dr. Tyais H. Dial. Currently. There are approximately 280 students in grades six through eight.
Information from the DoDEA website and school yearbooks