In 1908, two visionaries began planning what would become the American Academy Larnaca
The American Academy Larnaca is one of the nine oldest schools in Cyprus. It was founded in 1908 by two missionaries of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, Rev. McCarroll and Mrs McCarroll, who had originally arrived on the island in charge of an elementary mission school. The McCarrolls secured permission to open a secondary school for boys and thus the American Academy Larnaca was founded. Within a year the school had 60 students enrolled.
The purpose of the Academy was to provide a Christian education , which encompassed not only academic training, but also a focus on a Christian way of living. Students graduating from the Academy were taught to be tolerant, respectful and to serve the community whilst upholding high ideals and morals. Similar values underpin our ethos today, with a strong focus on character building and conduct, embodied in our school motto “To Grow and To Serve”.
Although the Academy was originally intended as a boys’ school, a girls’ department was opened in 1916 using the mission chapel. The initial experiment was short-lived and the girls’ department closed in 1919 but re-opened ten years later. The boy’s section continued to grow as did the number of buildings on the present site. During the Second World War, the school was temporarily transferred to the village of Lefkara where it was housed in various buildings between 1941 and 1943.
The present school began to take shape in 1954 with the completion of the Weir Hall, with the auditorium added four years later. The original Memorial Hall was pulled down and the New Memorial Hall began to take shape from 1983 onwards.
In 1973 the control of the School, and all its facilities, was handed over to the American Academy Alumni Foundation, since which time it has been run as a non-profit making organisation with charitable status by its own graduates. Governance is undertaken by 11 elected members and two representatives of the original mission church.