Iraklion American ES/JHS (a.k.a. Jack R. Kearns School) History

Opened: 1956
Closed: 1994

Iraklion Elementary/Junior High School was located on Iraklion Air Station, which was ten miles east of the city of Iraklion, Crete. The school had students in grades kindergarten through ten. In the early years, juniors and seniors attended school at a state department school in Athens or were dormed at Torrejon High School in Spain.

The combined elementary and junior high school complex consisted of five buildings, four of them nestled together to form the kindergarten through sixth grade campus. The junior high building, which was a former military barracks, was located about fifty yards from the elementary complex and housed a large media center which serviced both schools. Additionally, two science laboratories, business education center, human ecology, art room, and five general purpose classrooms completed the junior high facility. The elementary school had ten general purpose classrooms, a kindergarten, and a multi-purpose room.

The first yearbook for the school was in 1973. This yearbook was the Minotaur. Later, the yearbook was titled Odyssey. The school mascot was the Minotaur. After the school’s name was changed, the school newspaper was the JRK Journal.

For the 1973-74 school year there were over 400 students in grades kindergarten through ten with thirteen tenth graders and over 300 in the elementary grades. The school had its first drill team and participated in Junior Olympiads with local schools. There was a student council for the upper grades and an elementary student council. Home Economics was offered for the first time in the high school. The principal was Dr. Andrew Vangelates and Gary Folkke was the assistant principal.

The Iraklion Elementary/Junior High School was renamed Jack R. Kearns School in honor of a teacher who died at the school in 1977. In DoDDS publications the school was always referred to as Iraklion Elementary/Junior High School; however, the local community used the J. R. Kearns American School name.

For the 1981-82 school year the nineteen staff members included nine elementary teachers, five junior high teachers, two host nation teachers, a media specialist, a reading improvement specialist, and a learning disabilities teacher. That year there were 300 students in grades kindergarten through ten.

By the 1985-86 school year there seventy-one students in grades seven through ten and one class at each grade level with combination classes for 3–4 and 1–2. There were twenty-two staff members for the school and Robert Marble was the principal.

The school had several extracurricular activities including a chorus – The Whole Notes – a fine arts club and a club called Teens That Care. The yearbook referred to the 1985-86 school year as the year of the computer since this was the first time the school had computers. The students used the computers for school publications including Cretan Albums, a photo album, scrapbook, and journal of the students’ time at Iraklion. The following school year there were sixty students in grades seven through ten.

By the late 1980s the school enrollment dropped to 250 students and the final school year there were seventeen staff including six elementary classroom teachers, seven junior high teachers, a counselor/compensatory education teacher, and one host nation teacher. In the 90’s, eleventh and twelfth graders from Iraklion attended high school at London Central in England.

The school closed in 1994.

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