Award Year: 2013

Seoul American Middle School

Unit 15549
APO AP, DD, 96205-5549

(571) 372-0590

Maria Buchwald, Principal at time of Nomination

Korea District

School Website


Educate, Engage, and Empower Each Student to succeed in a dynamic world.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 14%
  • White: 26%
  • Hispanic: 13%
  • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 1%
  • Asian: 27%
  • Native American: 1%
  • Two or more races: 18%
  • ELL: 4%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: %

Seoul American Middle School (SAMS) is a Great American School located in Seoul, South Korea, only 35 miles from the border of North Korea. SAMS is a Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) school with a diverse student body comprised of family members from all branches of the United States military as well as the Department of
Defense and State Department. Our 460 students bring 14 different languages to the classroom and a myriad of cultures that enhance a school community devoted to academic excellence.

With a mission to Educate, Engage, and Empower Each Student to succeed in a dynamic world, the faculty of SAMS is committed to differentiated instruction, the integration of technology, bell to bell instruction, and instructional practices supporting the delivery of DoDEA standards. The middle school curriculum focuses on both college and career readiness with exploratory classes and an emphasis on essential learning behaviors that incorporate higher order thinking skills. Students are challenged with rigorous courses that prepare them for high school and allow for advanced placement in math and foreign language.

Living and studying in a location that experiences extreme political tension often bordering on the verge of conflict is a reality for our students. The stresses of readiness exercises, deployments and family separations are never far from the mind of a SAMS student. Teachers, counselors, administrators, and other stakeholders including the PTO, military command, and youth services work together to ensure SAMS has a safe and engaging learning environment that supports the emotional, social, physical, and academic growth of all students.

These strategies along with outstanding partnerships have yielded great results thus making SAMS a Great
American School.