Just one year after the inauguration of Brasília, the need for an English-language school emerged as embassies, missionaries, and businesses began to transfer offices to the new capital of Brazil. So, in March 1961, the U.S. embassy led the request of the small local community and asked the Franciscan Sisters of St. Anthony's Parochial School to undertake the task of educating their children.
Our first teacher, Sister Rita Michael, began work on the required curriculum and created a system based on the American model in April 1961. However, they quickly ran into a problem: no school supplies were available in Brasília at the time! Missionary and embassy personnel appealed to friends and family back in the U.S. and they supplied not only textbooks but reference books for a small library. Our partnership with the international community has continued to be strong ever since!
In June 1964, just three years after opening, Sister Rita along with Sisters Jean Ann Carroll, Sister Conrad, and Sister Joan Berard realized that the school was growing well beyond its original size. They asked the American Embassy to take over, but since the U.S. government does not build schools, the small American community, with support from the embassy, invited EAB's first headmaster, Jim Serfling to EAB.
On September 15, 1964, EAB was formally registered by the U.S. Embassy with the Brazilian government. The school held classes for its 41 students in two embassy apartments in SQS 113. On November 4, 1964, EAB was registered by a notary public, and later that month, the embassy asked the governor of Brasília, José Sette Câmara Filho, for land on which to build. For a nominal fee, the city granted the present site, and construction began. The building was opened in 1967.
In those early days, slopes of red dirt and a one-lane road led down from L2 to the single building. Today, it is the upper school but then, there were just a few classrooms, a small library, and a couple of offices behind which was the Headmaster's residence. There was no canteen. Everyone brought packed lunches and the janitor's wife (who lived on-site with her husband) made cafezinho. In 1967, EAB had 70 students in grades K through 3 with a few 4th-6th graders in one class together.
We believe it's important to tell the story of our humble beginnings and to reflect on the transformation our school has undergone. We have come so far since those early days with now more than 650 students from over 35 countries. We are proud to honor our history and the commitment to innovation at our beloved school.
Join us as we honor our past to innovate for the future.
- October 1965, EAB received a temporary accreditation by the Council of Education as an experimental primary-education school.
- During the 1965/66 school year, documents show that Brazilian Studies began.
- In 1968, we enrolled the first three high school students in correspondence courses.
- The Portuguese Department was founded in 1971.
- In 1972, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools gave EAB full accreditation.
- In 1972, the first graduation ceremony was held outside for four students.
- In 1974, EAB was fully accredited by the Council of Education of the Federal District as a pre-kindergarten through high school.