Izmir HS History

Opened: 1962
Closed: 2002

Izmir High School was originally part of Izmir Dependent School. By the 1962-63 school year, the elementary and high school were in two connected buildings that appeared to be one large building. The elementary classes were on one floor of the larger section of the complex, and the junior/senior high were in the other section. Starting with the 1966-67 school year, the junior/senior high school moved to a building about a block away. This school building had originally been an “old tobacco warehouse”. This building also contained the post office for community.

The school colors were red and white, and the sports teams were the Sultans. The original name of the yearbook was Sultana, which later became The Sultan. The school newspaper was originally the Sultan Scroll, then became the HoofPrints, Warehouse Word, The Newspaper, Sultana, Sultan Sun, Sultan Express, Write Track, and finally, Sultan Times.  For several years there was a separate newspaper for the junior high students.

The Izmir School Alma Mater was:


Alma Mater, Izmir High

Mountain tops and waters blue

Oh, Izmir, we’ll remember you

Red and white the Sultan’s hue

Fond Memories shall recall

Loyalty and friendships here

Years from now will reappear

As our lives wind separate ways

Carriage wheels somewhere will sigh

Alma Mater, Izmir High.


The North Central Inspection Team visited the high school during the 1962-63 school year, and the school was accredited. The administrators for the sixties included Mr. B. L. Price, Mr. Luther Skelton, Mr. Joseph Larkin, and Mr. George Lyons. The only assistant principal during this decade was Mr. Frank Blunt. The high school enrollment rose from about 340 students for the 1962-63 school year to almost 475 students by the 1969-70 school year. The faculty numbered between twenty and thirty.

There were several different clubs and activities for students during the sixties. Many of these clubs remained active throughout the history of the school. Early clubs included Junior Classical League, Math Club, Home Economics Club, Tumbling Club, Senior and Junior National Honor Societies, Red Cross, Host Nation, Chess Club, Library Clubs, Language Clubs, Lettermen’s Club, and Geography Club. The school had an active arts program that included the Glee Club, Drama Club, Chorus, Band, and an Art Club that painted psychedelic designs on the columns in the hallways during the 1968-69 school year. Students participated in many study trips on the local economy including fifty field trips during the 1968-69 school year. Community service included visits to local Turkish hospitals and earthquake relief to Turkish communities.

The 1968-69 yearbook described the sports program at Izmir:

In the face of almost overwhelming adversities, the fact there is a sports program at all at Izmir High is in itself a tribute to the spirit and determination of both the coaches and the students. There is no adequate stadium, fieldhouse nor gymnasium for student use, yet determined teams met on the fields of Bayrakli or Cigli to carry on in the name of football. During the winter lanky dribblers bounded across the floors of a makeshift, cold gymnasium at Sirinyer in the traditon of basketball.

There are no schools nearby to provide competition in athletic events. Teams had to turn elsewhere for a challenge. An intramural football program was set up with three schools [teams] pitted against each other. At the end of the season the all-star Sultan football team was formed from the best players from the three teams. A game was arranged between the Sultans and the dependent high school from Asmara, Ethiopia. After weeks of rigorous training and keyed-up spirits, the Sultans suffered a tremendous disappointment when the game was cancelled due to transportation problems. The basketball team found its challenge locally in the teams from various military and civilian groups.

Even with these challenges, the school had flag football teams, two cheerleading squads, varsity and junior varsity basketball teams, soccer, and wrestling. For the 1968-69 school year, Izmir had the first tackle football team in the Middle East. The cheerleaders even rode elephants during the 1969-70 homecoming parade.

The school had its first track team for the 1970-71 school year. The next year the football team was able to play teams from Ankara and Karamürsel. In 1972-73, Izmir girls traveled to participate in an All-Girls Sports Day for American Schools in Turkey, the tennis team was formed, and the new school gymnasium was finally completed. For the 1974-75 school year there was a ladies basketball team, and other girls’ sports were added the next few years, including volleyball and gymnastics. Females also competed in tennis, track and field, and cross country. The 1973 football team beat Ankara for the first time, and the school had its best football season during the 1974-75 school year. During the 1979-80 school year, the AYA swim team was recognized as a sports activity for the school. Due to the size of the school, other AYA sports programs were highlighted in the yearbooks.

In the seventies the drama groups presented at least one production a year, and some years did three presentations. The school also had it first members of the International Thespian Society during the 1973-74 school year. The music programs presented monthly at various venues. During the 1971-72 school year, the school had its first student band, “Peace Unlimited Band”, that played for student dances. Students attended the Speech and Drama Festival in Munich.

Several academic changes occurred in the seventies. These included the first year of the work-study program, 1971-72; enrollment of females in shop classes, 1972-73; and the introduction of an activity period, 1977-78. For the activity period, over eighteen different activities were offered for fifty minutes once a week.

The school enrollment was around 300 students for the first five years of the seventies and then dropped to 230 students for the 1977-78 school year. There were only about 180 high school students for the 1978-79 and 1979-80 school years. The school administrators in the seventies included George Lyons, Edna Brower, Carl Albrecht, Fidel Gaviola, Debra Keitz, and Larry Philpot. The faculty numbered around twenty during the seventies. Beginning in the 1976-77 school year, there was one administration for the elementary and high schools.

In the late seventies the school began the tradition of having its high school graduation at Ephesus Amphitheater. Ephesus was an ancient Greek city that stood about 35 miles south of modern Izmir, Turkey. Ephesus was founded by colonists from Athens in early 1000 B.C. The city became famous for its Temple of Artemis, which was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Historical figures that have lived in Ephesus include the Sacred Virgin Mary and St. John.

In the 1980’s there was one administration for the high school and elementary school. The principals included Fidel Gaviola, Ira Scheler, Dr. Harvey Getz, and Terry Emerson. Ms. Rita Roznowski and Mr. Robert Seider served as assistant principals, and Ms. Geneva Ritchie was a deputy principal. The faculty for the K–12 school grew from thirty-five to over forty. The student enrollment was between 450 and 500 students. By the 1987-88 school year, some high school classes were in the elementary school, and others met in a building one block away. High school sports facilities were located approximately four miles from the school in a base-operated recreation park.

During the 1983-84 school year, students from Izmir participated in the 1st Physics Olympics that were held in Turkey, and several Izmir students went on a tour to Russia. Folk Dancing was an integral part of the school as were cultural exchanges to local Turkish schools.

During the eighties, the sports teams had many successful years. The school soccer team won its eighth consecutive championship during the 1984-85 school year. During the 1986-87 school year, students on the track and field team broke thirteen school records. The tennis and volleyball teams were champions for the Turkey schools. During the 1986-87 school year, the school had its first boys’ and girls’ softball teams.

First Lady Hillary Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea, visited the school during the 1995-96 school year.

The school had its first student teacher for the 1991-92 school year. Student activities reflected the times with the first Black Heritage Assembly and Earth Day activities during the 1990-91 school year. Both high school and elementary students were in the school presentation of the musical “Oliver”. New classes at the school included telecommunications courses and Cooperative Work Experience opportunities. Block scheduling was introduced to the high school for the 1996-97 school year. For the 1995-96 school year, the school had its first cafeteria. Sports’ teams struggled as the high school population decreased from a high of 175 students to just over 100 students for the 1996-97 school year.

Dr. Gilbert Hernadez became the principal for the 1993-94 school year and the K–12 school was officially designated as Izmir American School. Mr. Allen Davenport was the principal for the 1996-97 school year. Ms. Cathy Magni was the last principal for the school, and Dr. Susan Simmons was the assistant principal.

By the 1998-99 school year, the previous school buildings were shut down, and students attended school in one building.

The school closed in 2002.


Information from school yearbooks and DoD Dependent Schools Information Guides

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