Seoul ES History

Opened: 1959
Closed: 2019

Permanent facilities for Seoul Elementary school were opened August 1959. When the school opened, the grounds were barren but would become the venue for various activities and Very Special Festivals. A flurry of building occurred in the eighties, and on September 6, 1984, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held at Seoul American Elementary School. The new facility housed approximately half of the school’s 1,400 students. Seven units of three classrooms each surrounded an activity pod and teacher work area. A Korean Culture room, designed to resemble a Korean classroom looked out onto an oriental landscaped courtyard. In addition to the classrooms, the school also housed an art room, a music room, and a spacious media center. The elementary and high school shared a cafeteria. The last Seoul American Elementary School campus consisted of seven buildings and a cafeteria. The main building housed primary classrooms, the Information Center, the Dolphin Theater, and computer labs. Grades three through five and some kindergarten classrooms were located in the outlying buildings. At its largest, the elementary school was one of the largest in DoDDS. It had about 1,100 students with a staff of over ninety professional educators, twenty educational aides, and ten clerical staff.

The school had its first yearbook, The Wave, in 1987 and its first newspaper, The Dolphin Times, in 1983. The school was the “Home of the Dolphins”. Several after school activities were available including a stamp club, a calligraphy club, and a ski club. Numerous cultural activities were available to all students.

The school was originally kindergarten through sixth grade. With the opening of the middle school in 2001, it became a Pre-K through fifth grade school.

The students at Seoul American Elementary School had a unique opportunity to understand the Korean people and culture by growing up in Korea’s capital. Students at the school attended Korean culture classes, where they learned about the history, culture, and customs of the country. Many students studied the Korean language, and the teachers enriched their curriculum by taking field trips exploring local sites and activities.

Seoul American Elementary School was recognized in 2016 as a National Blue Ribbon School. The school was closed in 2019.


Based on information from DoDDS-Pacific Region 1946-1986 publication and other sources.

Share This: