Grafenwöhr ES History

Opened: 1946

Grafenwoehr American Elementary School is located near the small town of Grafenwoehr, Germany, approximately sixty-five miles northeast of Nuremberg and southwest of Hof.

The principal when the school opened was Ernest Cody. There were sixty-two students in grades K–8.

The original school building was completed in 1946 and had two minor additions in 1960 and 1998. In 1977, new classrooms were constructed, and Mabel Annerreau was the principal.

The school colors are purple and gold, and the mascot is the Grizzly.

For the 1981-82 school year, the school plant consisted of two separate facilities for instructional purposes. The main facility housed fourteen classrooms, a learning resource center, administrative offices, a supply room, teachers’ lounge, and three teachers’ workrooms. The building adjacent to the main school accommodated the learning development center and the compensatory education work area. The playground was large and included a baseball diamond, a volleyball and basketball court, and commercial as well as log play equipment.

The staff had fifteen teachers for the 404 pupils in grades kindergarten through six. The staff included a learning development specialist, a music teacher, host nation/librarian, and two compensatory education aides.

By the late eighties, the school had between 470 and 485 students in grades K–6. By the mid-nineties, the enrollment had dropped to about 450 students. Two specialists were now shared with Bindlach Elementary School. A new annex included a multipurpose room, five general classrooms, and five specialists rooms. The main building had thirteen classrooms, a learning resource center, administrative offices, a supply room, a teachers’ lounge, and a teachers’ workroom. The school did not meet the Department of Defense Education Activity facility specifications or current federal energy use mandates.

A new school complex was designed for 1,500 students in elementary and middle schools. The complex has areas for administration, general education, special purpose classrooms, technology, and common spaces. Both schools had their own gymnasiums, information/media centers, and technology centers. The schools shared the multipurpose room, which included the auditorium and cafeteria. The gently rising green roofs of the complex were designed to complement the steep slope of the 17-acre site. The large site offers spectacular northern views of gently rolling hills and verdant countryside. The middle school was closed in 2008.

The new Grafenwoehr Elementary School opened in January 2022 and serves students currently in the Tower Barracks area from kindergarten to fifth grade. The new elementary school was the first 21st-century-style school in the USAG Bavaria footprint. The new Grafenwoehr Elementary School campus has four neighborhoods, or building wings, that include a learning hub – a central and flexible space for projects, activities, and breakout sessions. Additionally, these neighborhoods include clusters of learning studios, a new term for classrooms, surrounding the learning hub.

For the 2022-23 school year, the now PreK–5 school had 219 students and the principal was Sierra Smith.


Information from DoD School Information Guides and school website

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