Seoul American Elementary School

Contributor: John M Blom

“Over nearly 60 years, SAES has instructed thousands of students and allowed them to learn about the American and Korean cultures, building bridges between the two nations.”

Topic: cultural exchange, Education, People, Uncategorized, Yongsan Legacy
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I taught at the elem school for 3 years from 1974 to 77, was assistant principal for 2 years from 1983 to 85 and principal for 8 years from 1991 to 99.  Five of those years I lived off post and later on, inside the base in married housing for 8 years.  I visited in 2009 and noticed our house was no longer there!, torn down presumably.  I Also worked at Pusan one year and Osan for 6 years.

I think what Yongsan Legacy is doing will be appreciated by many, As I believe most of us that served at Yongsan had wonderful experiences.

Seoul American Elementary School (SAES) is one of many United States Department of Defense Schools (DoDDS) that serve the dependents of U.S. military and civilians that support the military.  SAES was opened in 1959 on Yongsan Army Post.  It has offered educational programs to children in grades kindergarten through grade six, as well as a pre-school and a program for pre-school children with disabilities.

Students getting off several of the 40 some buses that transported students to Seoul American Elementary school in Yongsan Garrison South Post

Art, music, and physical education are taught in addition to core academic subjects.  Students also attend Korean culture classes where they learn about the history, culture and customs of Korea.  Teachers enrich their curriculum by utilizing the spacious library and including field trips with their students to explore Korean culture, sites and activities.  After-school programs provide extra-curricular activities such as choir, band, Korean language and art.

 

Marcia Mason Blom (Mr. Blom’s wife), special education coordinator at the District Superintendent’s Office for all of Korea and southern Japan and Mr Blom in front of the sculpture of SAES mascot, the Dolphins.

SAES is one of a few DoDD schools that introduced a language immersion program.  Korean was the language chosen for one of the nine first grade classes in the early 1990s and over the years added an immersion class in grades two, three, and four.  A bilingual teacher teaches at least half the day in Korean.

The school’s population has varied over the years, but generally has exceeded 1,200 students with approximately 100 professional and para-professional staff.  Normally, there have been six to nine classrooms per grade level.

Over nearly 60 years, SAES has instructed thousands of students and allowed them to learn about the American and Korean cultures, building bridges between the two nations.

Thank all those that involved in this project (yongsan Legacy).

Col. Osborne awarding Mr John M Blom the Commanders Civilian Award – 1991-1999

 

 

 

 

John M. Blom –  SAES Principal, 1991 – 1999 /SAES Assistant Principal, 1983 – 1985 /SAES Fourth/fifth grade teacher, 1974 – 1977