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German International School New York opened its doors to students in 1980, becoming the first German school for students in New York City and its boroughs, as well as New Jersey, Westchester, and Connecticut.

In 1978, an association of German expatriates led by Siegfried A. Kessler, a former president of Carl Zeiss, founded the German Forum with the goal of establishing a German school in the New York area. Mr. Kessler envisioned that the school would "contribute to improving relations between two nations." A year later, this group was joined by the "Deutscher Auslandsschulverein New York" (German School Association) which was set up as trustee of the school. In 1986, both groups together formed the “German School New York", an education corporation in the State of New York that today is the governing body of the school.




On September 8, 1980, German School New York (Deutsche Schule New York) welcomed its first 64 students from grades one through five. Germany’s Vice-Chancellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hans Dietrich Genscher, led the official dedication ceremony. Speaking as the designated representative of the Federal Republic of Germany, he affirmed that the school would primarily provide German-speaking children with an education that would be recognized in their home country. 

Hans Dietrich Genscher highlighted the school's role in embracing its local environment, advocating for the inclusion of American influences in its activities and curriculum. This approach would position the school as a connector, fostering German-American exchanges.



Since the acquisition of our White Plains campus in 1982, we've made significant enhancements to enrich our facilities:

  • 1986: expansion of our lower school with new classrooms and science rooms.
  • 1989: addition of upper school wing, a library, and office spaces.
  • 2000: new gym and running track.
  • 2010: installation of solar panels. 
  • 2018: new building housing a new cafeteria, classrooms and library. 
  • 2022: state-of-the-art science labs and a MakerSpace.


Our journey is marked by numerous significant achievements, of which we are particularly proud to highlight:

  • 1989: first Abitur graduation class
  • 1990: first accreditation by New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS)
  • 1994: streamlining of curriculum from 13 to 12 years 
  • 2009: first accreditation as Exzellente Deutsche Auslandsschule
  • 2014: introduction of a bilingual pre-kindergarten program for three- and four-year-olds
  • 2017: transition to German International Abitur (DIA) curriculum

Becoming GISNY


In 2014, the German School New York (Deutsche Schule New York) transitioned to its new identity as the German International School New York (GISNY). This renaming was driven by the growing diversity and global outlook of the school community. Presently, GISNY boasts an enrollment of over 420 students and 60 faculty members from over 20 different nationalities.

Campus of the Future

In May 2017 we established a long-term development plan for the expansion and enhancement of our campus: “Campus of the Future.” The first milestone was the completion of a building extension in September 2018, featuring a large cafeteria, upgraded student lounge and library facilities, a new faculty room, and dedicated offices and classrooms for personalized instruction. In April 2022, we proudly unveiled the next phase: the grand opening of our Science Wing. This innovative addition comprises four state-of-the-art science labs and a dynamic MakerSpace, enabling us to seamlessly integrate cutting-edge technology into our teaching approach. We are looking forward to diving into the next phase of the "Campus of the Future"!

Heads of School Through the Years

Lars Hierath

Head of School
2018 - Present

Ulrich Weghoff

Head of School

Wolfgang Dietrich

Head of School

Udo Bochinger

Head of School

Wolfgang Ditscheid

Head of School

Johannes Kettlack

Head of School

J├╝rgen Hildebrand

Head of School

Dr. Karl Eckmann

Head of School