History


Hisar School was founded by the Hisar Educational Foundation in 1996 as a continuation of the Foundation’s mission to raise the academic standards in Turkey by introducing a progressive approach to student learning through integrating 21st century skills into the curriculum in order to achieve our mission to ‘discover and develop our students’ true potential.’

1996

On September 16, 1996, Hisar School and our distinguished faculty of 19 teachers welcomed our first students: 38 Kindergarteners and 60 1st Graders. The School’s opening ceremony, held at the state-of-the-art campus in Göktürk, Istanbul, was attended by Süleyman Demirel, President of Turkey at the time.

FACT: Of those 98 original Hisar students, all went on to finish Hisar's 8th grade and 16 graduated from Hisar High School

Modeled on the world’s most elite educational institutions, Hisar School set out to provide an educational experience of the highest international standards, under the tutelage of leading academics. Mrs. Ayfer Yeniçağ, a doyenne of modern education in Turkey, left a position in Robert College’s administration to become our founding General Director.

1997

The Parent-Teacher Association holds the first annual Hisar Festival, where the whole Hisar family gets together to eat, drink, play games, and enjoy the changing seasons.

1998

Hisar students perform our school’s first show in English, The Bear Hunt. English-language performances have since become a key part of the school’s curriculum, from Pre-Kindergarten through high school.

1999

Hisar students meet Erdal İnönü, the son of Turkey’s 2nd President, İsmet İnönü, at the Atatürk Orman Çiftliği during Hisar’s first trip to visit Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Atatürk, in Ankara. Mr. İnönü, a theoretical physicist and successful politician in his own right – serving as Interim Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, among other positions – spoke to our students.

2001

Hisar’s second building, B Block, is constructed and Hisar Middle School welcomes our first students with Ipek Ak, first Middle School Principal. Feyyaz Berker, the chairman of the Hisar Educational Foundation Board at the time, along with members of the Robert College administration, attend the opening ceremony to help celebrate the momentous occasion.

The first Student Council elections are held.

2002

The school band, B-Side, is founded. B-Side goes on to win awards in Turkey and abroad.

Fact: B-Side was invited to attend the GEF International Music Festival in Sanremo in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and won 1st place 2 out of 3 times.

2003

Hisar holds a tree-planting ceremony recognizing our responsibility to the environment and establishing us as an “Eco-School.

2004

Hisar celebrates our first Primary School (8th grade) graduation as preparations are underway to open the Hisar High School.

2005

Hisar High School opens in a new building, C Block, on Hisar’s campus.

2006

The Council of International Schools (CIS) came for its first visit, launching Hisar’s first accreditation process.

Hisar holds the first Junior Model United Nations (JMUN) conference in the world for students aged 11-14. JMUN has been an important part of Hisar Middle School ever since.

Hisar invites former students, faculty and staff to the first Homecoming on campus.

2007

NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges), one of the leading international associations of schools, accredits Hisar. CIS follows shortly thereafter.

2008

Hisar graduates our first class of 23 seniors. Professor Celal Şengör, from Istanbul Technical University Department of Geological Engineering, speaks at our first commencement.

Hisar organizes its first University and Career Fair for students. Now an annual event, the day features stands set up on the Hisar campus by various Turkish universities with representatives present to provide information and answer questions. In addition, professors from different disciplines participated on a career panel.

FACT: Now, not only does Hisar host this annual event, but in 2014-15, 205 international universities visited Hisar to meet our students.

Hisar students participate in the Comenius project in Grenoble, France, winning a prize of 12,000 Euros and an award from eTwinning, a European teachers organization.

Hisar Sports Club (HSK) is founded.

FACT: HSK is active in 4 sports - soccer, handball, volleyball and basketball and includes 145 students.


2009

The Hisar Alumni Association is founded.

Students, parents, teachers, alumni and administration attend the “Question Conference” at Hisar, moderated by politician Tınaz Titiz. Attendees discuss our mission, vision and values.

The Hisar Arts, Culture and Sports Center (KSM) opens with the support of the Hisar community, providing 9,200 square meters of arts, performance and sports space.

2010

Our beloved founding General Director, Ayfer Yeniçağ, announces her retirement as the head of school. Former Institutional Advancement Coordinator, Feza Güvenal, assumes the role in July.

Hisar Academy opens, enlivening the KSM and campus on the weekends.

FACT: Hisar Academy offers many different classes, from judo to gymnastics to ceramics in 2016-2017.

2011

Hisar hosts our first Sports Festival, now an annual winter tradition bringing students from all over Istanbul to our campus to compete in handball, basketball and volleyball tournaments.

2012

David Cardenas joins Hisar School as Executive Advisor to the Board and begins shaping the school into an even more internationally minded institution.

2013

School band, B-Side, is invited to the San Remo GEF Music Competition for the first time and takes 1st place.

A new tradition is founded when one of our high school graduates, Hazal Erten, gives the graduation speech at the 8th Grade graduation.

2014

Hisar founds a new Advancement Group, working on strategic planning, community relations and fundraising for the school.

2015

The Hisar community comes together to create the school’s first Strategic Plan. Read more about this ambitious but achievable plan here.

2016


In its 20th year, Hisar introduced the Apple Distinguished School designation to Turkey for its programs that meet criteria for innovation, leadership, and educational excellence, and demonstrate Apple’s vision of exemplary learning environments.


2017

Throughout the 2016-2017, Hisar celebrated its 20th anniversary with excitement and pride. Please click here for our 20th year page.