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|School type||Private school|
|Founder||Agustín Nieto Caballero|
|Head of school||Víctor Alberto Gómez Cusnir|
|Athletics||football, basketball, volleyball and swimming|
The Gimnasio Moderno is a private all-male traditional and liberal, primary and secondary school located in Bogotá, Colombia. It was founded in 1914 by various prestigious Colombians following the leading initiative of Don Agustín Nieto Caballero. Some of the remarkable personalities who acted as co-founders of this New School (Escuela Nueva) were: Don José María Samper Brush, Don Daniel Samper Ortega, Don Tomás Rueda Vargas, and Ricardo Lleras Codazzi. These gentlemen were predominant freethinkers at the time in Colombia.
The main influences for the development of the New School in America, the first of its kind in South America, were mainly those of Ovide Decroly, Maria Montessori, and to a lesser extent, Jean Piaget. Don Agustín met all of them personally and engaged in intellectual conversation with them while studying in Europe. He carried their ideas back to America, and applied and modified them in a novel way according to the spirit and environment of Colombia in the 20th century.
The school's principle of conduct is based on the so-called discipline of trust (disciplina de confianza), following the lines of Maria Montessori's active discipline. This fundamental principle seeks to instill self-confidence and inner discipline in students, as well as furthering their understanding of a deeper sense of responsibility, honesty, loyalty and friendship through the active development of freedom. The Gimnasio Moderno was awarded a national monument status due its longevity and historical stature.
Furthermore, the school centers its approach to teaching around the motto "Educar Antes que Instruir", which translates as "To Educate Rather than to Instruct". This means that teaching moral values and allowing development of students as honest, self-confident, and driven individuals, takes prevalence over technical instruction. This approach results fruitful and the school remains in the top tier of schools in the country by academic standards.
The educational program is divided into four sections. The first section includes Montessori 1, 2, and 3, first Decroly, and second Decroly. The second section includes the third, fourth, and fifth Decroly grades. The third section includes the sixth through ninth grades, and the fourth section includes the tenth and eleventh grades.
The school's traditions include:
A marching band (winners of the Silver Baton (Batuta de Plata) competition Devis acting as drum major, and again in 2012 with Germán Garcia as drum major and in 2006 with Nicolás Medina as drum major.
A Football (Soccer) championship between Gimnasio Moderno and Gimnasio Campestre, called the 'Tradition Cup' (Copa Tradicion). The school also hosts the Eaglet Cup (Copa Aguilucho), a Football (Soccer) league made up of teams from different grades within the school.
In 1941, alumni from the school founded the football club Independiente Santa Fe, whose origin is traced back to a team formed by them to play a match against the school team as part of the celebrations of the school's 25th anniversary.
Single and multiple-day excursion trips throughout the country. Following the ideals of Robert Baden-Powell.
Student awards: The school gives annual recognition to those students who excel in different areas. These areas are called, personal effort, kindness to others, 'excursionist spirit' and a group recognition of friendship awarded to an entire class.
Brotherhood with the "Gimnasio Femenino": This private all-female school was conceived by Agustin Nieto Caballero and some other influential personalities of the Gimnasio Moderno in 1927. Since this, the two schools have shared a special link, they celebrate many dates together, do a wide range of activities through the year, and basically, share academic and fun moments with the opposite genre once in a while.
Semana Cultural (Cultural Week) which is an ensemble of cultural activities, including the Mañana del Talento Gimnasiano (Morning of Talent) during which students present theater plays, comedy acts, and musical numbers among others. Students often make fools of themselves, but every once in a while true talents are unveiled. The school also hosts the city-wide famous Concurso de Barras Maria Helena Amador(Cheerleader contest) for which cheerleader groups from all-girls schools across the city prepare through the year.
- Víctor Alberto Gómez Cusnir - Headmaster
- Carlos Salazar Arenas - Highschool Coordinator
- Julián Saad Pulido - Highschool Coordinator
- Juan Sebastian Hoyos - Vice-Headmaster
- Victoria Botero - Coordinator of the Second Section
- Catalina Sanz - Kindergarten Coordinator
- Sandra Moreno Cardozo - Academic Coordinator
- Alberto Corradine Varela (1914)
- Pablo Vila Dinares (1915–1917)
- Tomás Rueda Vargas (1918–1920, 1922–1924, 1927–1933 and 1937–1943)
- Erich Heincke Hoyer (1921)
- Aurelio Tobón Mejía (1925–1927)
- Julio Carrizosa Valenzuela (1934–1936)
- Daniel Samper Ortega (1943–1944)
- Carlos Lleras Restrepo (1944)
- Agustín Nieto Caballero (1945–1975)
- Ernest Bein (El Prof.) (1975–1980)
- Mario Galofre Cano (1981–1984 and 1986–1994)
- Germán Pardo Sánchez (1985)
- Leopoldo Gonzalez Chaparro (1995–1997)
- Juan Carlos Bayona Vargas (1998-2012)
- Guillermo González Lecaros (e) (2012)
- Víctor Alberto Gómez Cusnir (2012-today)
The marching band of the Gimnasio Moderno is one of the oldest school marching bands in Bogotá, it is more than 50 years old. The instruments played in the band are:
- Small Drum
- Medium Drum
- Big drum
- The drum major, or leader, of the band is selected by democratic process in which band members cast a secret ballot. Such process has taken place every year since 1952 and all members of the band vote.
This is one of the most traditional school bands in Colombia.
- The band won the Silver Baton (Batuta de Plata) competition in 1999 with Sebastian Devis as drum major, in 2006 with Nicolás Medina as drum major, in 2012 with Germán García as drum major and in 2016 with Pablo Güete as drum major.
Notable alumni and students
Notable alumni of the school include, former Colombian Presidents Ernesto Samper and Alfonso Lopez Michelsen, Former House Representatives Nicolás Uribe, scientist Rodolfo Llinas, businessman Julio Mario Santo Domingo, and authors Eduardo Caballero Calderón, Antonio Caballero Holguin, Lucas Caballero Calderón (Klim), Daniel Samper Pizano, Ricardo Silva Romero, as well as sportsmen Eduardo Pimentel, Actors Diego Trujillo, Jorge Enrique Abello, Juan Pablo Espinoza, Felipe Noguera, and Carlos Manuel Vesga, and artists (Compañia Ilimitada, Mauricio y Palo de Agua, and Wamba.
- (Spanish) gimnasiomoderno.edu.co
- (Spanish) Don Agustin Nieto Caballero
- Montessori Schools in Science Magazine