Happy 20th Anniversary, Commonwealth Academy!

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Founded in 1997, Commonwealth Academy will proudly celebrate its 20th Anniversary Year throughout 2017. On the 20th of each month, we will highlight, in 20 different ways, how C/A has empowered and is continuing to empower students who learn differently.






1997  Commonwealth Academy opens with a handful of high school students in a space at the Krasnow Institute at George Mason University with Head of School Dr. Francine Sobel Lasken.


At that time, the world was mourning the deaths of Princess Diana and Mother Theresa. Other noteworthy events in 1997 included the swearing in of Secretary Madeleine Albright, the first woman to head the U.S. State Department. J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was published, inspiring millions to read. The world’s first cloned mammal, Dolly the sheep, was born. Pokemon, the popular children’s video game was released to the U.S., enveloping the nation in gaming fun. A gallon of gas cost $1.50, about the same price as a loaf of bread. Millions of people paid $6.50 each to see Titanic, the movie blockbuster that became the biggest total box-office film to date. Tara Lipinski, 14, becomes the youngest women’s world figure skating champion and the Green Bay Packers beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI. China resumed control of Hong Kong, ending 156 years of British rule. The Mars Pathfinder remote control rover landed on Mars, taking pictures and samples of the unexplored planet’s surface. While personal computers and the Internet were gaining in popularity, Google would not be founded until a year later (in 1998).


Click HERE for a timeline illustrating noteworthy events in Commonwealth Academy’s 20-year history.