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In September 1956, Anthony McKenna founded a small school with 9 students in an apartment in Pedrouços.  With a passion for education and a belief particularly in American educational methods and philosophy, he planted the seed which would, over the years and with a lot of dedication from a lot of people, grow into the Carlucci American International School of Lisbon with 670 students.

This year, we celebrate 60 Years of American education in Portugal.  At the links below, one for each "era" of the school, you will see a very brief "trip down memory lane." 

To help us make this trip, please email your photos and brief stories to    We will post a selection of them here.

Irish Teacher Anthony McKenna started this journey with 9 students in a small apartment in Pedrouços in 1956.  Called St. Columban's, the school offered an American curriculum and philosophy.  With the coming of the American engineers who were to build the Salazar (now "25 de Abril") bridge, the school grew and quickly outgrew its small apartment, and relocated to Quinta da Casa Branca in Carnaxide. Anthony McKenna is still revered by those who were his students as a passionate and forward-thinking educator dedicated to the "whole child" long before the phrase was fashionable. 

During the time of the 1974 Carnation Revolution in Portugal, Mr. McKenna sold the school known as St. Columban's to Smith & Co, Ltd., a group of 4 colleagues who would lead the school for the next twenty years and into a new era of growth and innovation.  These were momentous years for the newly-christened American International School of Lisbon:  Recognition by the Portuguese Ministry of Education, Accreditation by the European Council of International Schools and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, program and enrollment grew to such an extent that two additional facilities--Monte Estoril first and, later on, São João--were added to complement Carnaxide. 

In 1994, Smith & Co, Ltd., sold the school to a newly-created foundation--Fundação Escola Americana de Lisboa (FEAL).  Now with a not-for-profit structure, the Foundation could pursue the creation of purpose-built facilities.  With the support of the Sintra Câmara, land was provided in Linhó and construction began in 1996.  Since that time, AISL--renamed the Carlucci American International School of Lisbon (CAISL)--has built on and expanded the successes of its predecessors.  The addition of the IB Diploma Program, completion of the campus, enrollment growth to capacity, continuing accreditation, all of these combined to make CAISL a worthy successor of Mr. McKenna's "whole child" American philosophy of education.

CAISL is a student-centered educational community in which we challenge ourselves and each other to do our best and to make positive contributions to our diverse and ever-changing world.

© Carlucci American International School of Lisbon

Governed by Fundação Escola Americana de Lisboa

Rua António dos Reis 95
Linho 2710-301
Sintra, Portugal
T: 351-219-239-800
F: 351-219-239-898


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    NEASC    Council of International Schools
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