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St. Columban's Era

In 1956, an Irishman resident in Portugal started a school with an American approach and philosophy in a small apartment in Pedrouços.  Originally 9 students joined him and the new school was called St. Columban's.  Anthony McKenna's vision and commitment first attracted the families of the American engineers who were brought to Portugal to help with the building of the Salazar (now "25 de Abril") bridge.   Mr. McKenna's school quickly outgrew the small apartment and moved to the campus in Carnaxide which would serve as the main school base for until 1997. 

An early picture of the students and staff of St. Columban's.  Mr. McKenna is in the middle row to the right and Ms. Virgilia Mesquita is next to him.

Anthony McKenna, the Founder of St.Columban's.

1967 Graduation, courtesy of Mary Loy.  From lefto to right: Balaz Berzsenyi ,  Steven Campbell,   Shawn Doyle , Mary Loy,  Lea Core.

In many ways the "heart and soul" of the American School--starting in St. Columban's as a student, continuing throughout the AISL years, and retiring in 2012 from CAISL--Ms. Ida Coutinho!

St. Columban's Student Council, 1973, at the popular stone table in the "Secret Garden" at Carnaxide.

This Presentation showing students from St. Columban's was put together for the 50th Anniversary celebration. 


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.

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