Tanzania, February 1947: A small mud-walled, thatch-roofed building with four pupils and their teacher was the beginning of Rosslyn Academy. This school, then called Hilltop School quickly grew to 16 children and built more permanent buildings. Malaria became such a problem that the school moved to a higher elevation, just outside the Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Tanzania.
The school’s name was changed to Mara Hills Elementary School. Because it was a boarding school, students would study for three months and spend one month at home. Students transferred to other schools after middle school because the school only went through eighth grade.
Growth became so rapid that the Mennonite Mission Board authorized land purchase in a more central location with better health care and air travel, Nairobi, Kenya. The Mission Board approved the purchase of 20 acres of land from British Major General Charles George Phillips; the majority of the land was a coffee estate.
The Mennonite Board in East Africa opened Rosslyn Academy in August 1967 following the American educational system. The Board soon added ninth grade, when the Southern Baptist missions joined in August, 1975. In 1986, the dorm closed, and Rosslyn became a day school. The Assemblies of God joined in February 1988, further growing enrollment and requiring additional facilities.
With the dorm closed but the middle school continuing to grow, Rosslyn moved to establish a high school. The first senior class graduated in 1991. With a fully functional high school, Rosslyn was accredited in 1992. As new facilities were built, the capacity of the high school doubled. As a result, many more student positions were made available to the larger international community. Rosslyn grew from a primarily mission-based school to a Christian international school. With the completion of the gym, the auditorium and the media center, the basic infrastructure of Rosslyn was completed. On December 27, 2007, a full size salt-water swimming pool was added.
In recent years, Rosslyn Academy has continued to grow, with the addition of 6 new classrooms in 2012 including new Middle School classrooms and Elementary Science and Music classes. 2012 also saw the addition of a preschool program, making Rosslyn a full preschool – 12 institution. Our enrollment is now the largest in our history as a school, and this has allowed us to invest further into our programs, our course offerings, school infrastructure, and technology.
Although Rosslyn is now an established, vibrant and growing Christian international school in Kenya, who Rosslyn is today is informed by the past. As Rosslyn continues to invest in the future, we hold strong to our Christian heritage as we look to inspire and equip each student to develop their God-given gifts for service in the world community.