About Our School
W. T. Sampson is a Unit School, providing educational opportunities for Guantanamo Bay, (GTMO) students from Sure Start through 12th grade. Our students are primarily the children of military and civilian families stationed at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Our School Advisory Committee (SAC) is the elected body of parents, school employees, military commander, and students who advise the principal and help the school maintain the highest educational standards possible. We also strive to consistently increase student achievement through continuous commitment to improving instructional techniques. The Continuous School Improvement (CSI) plan is designed to help students improve their ability to comprehend and communicate information and to increase their ability to solve problems across the curriculum.
Despite our small size, W. T. Sampson provides all students with the highest quality education and a safe environment. The dedicated and highly qualified faculty remains focused on the mission, vision and philosophy of our school.
Our Namesake - Rear Admiral William Thomas Sampson
Our school is named in honor of Rear Admiral William Thomas Sampson, commander of the North Atlantic Squadron during the Spanish American War.
A Brief History of W.T. Sampson ES/MHS
Our school, at Guantanamo Bay Naval Station, Cuba opened in 1931, making this the oldest still operating overseas DoD dependents school in the world. In 1931, there was just one staff member, 5 students, and a single classroom located in an office of the base chapel. By the next year, 1932, the school had a growing enrollment of 30+ students. The newly arrived faculty of five teachers taught grammar school in the morning and high school in the afternoon. The high school moved into a new building on Chapel Hill in 1941 and remained there until August 1985, when it moved to the present facilities.
Originally managed by the U.S. Navy, in 1976 WT Sampson School led the way as all other overseas DoD schools were re-organized into a new, worldwide DoD educational system, the Department of Defense Dependents Schools system, DoDDS.
From its origins in 1931 until now, the school has been temporarily evacuated three times: for World War II from December 1941 to October 1945, from October to December of 1962 due to the Cuban Missile Crisis, and most recently from September 1994 through January 1996 during the Cuban and Haitian refugee influx.
For your interest, the official website of GTMO's Naval Station contains a thorough history of Guantanamo Bay Naval Station.