View All Photos

Hankook Sahmyook Middle School, 2020.

Photo courtesy of Hankook Sahmyook Middle School.

Hankook Sahmyook Middle School

By Hye Young Kim


Hye Young Kim (M.A. in Education, Chungnam National University) is the principal of Hankook Sahmyook Middle School. She has served in three Sahmyook middle schools and three Sahmyook high schools for the past 31 years. She was inaugurated as the 18th principal of Hankook Sahmyook Middle School on September 1, 2019.

Hankook Sahmyook Middle School (Hankook Sahmyook Junghakkyo)is a secondary educational institution affiliated with the West Central Korean Conference of the Korean Adventist Church. This middle school is located in 815, Hwarang-ro, in Nowon-gu, Seoul, South Korea. There are 474 students currently enrolled in 18 separate classes in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades, and also 57 faculty members that are devoted to serving the school.1

Founding of the School

Previously there was an elementary school, a high school, and a university that was run by the Adventist foundation, but there was no middle school. Therefore, the graduates from the Adventist elementary school, as well as nearby elementary schools, found it difficult to enter a middle school associated with the Seventh-day Adventist schools. To resolve this and to strive for religious education based on the ideology of the Adventist education system, Hankook Sahmyook Middle School needed to be established.2

On October 19, 1965, the establishment of Hankook Sahmyook Middle School was approved based on the Korean Education Law (MunBoHaeng 1041.1).3 The school officially opened on March 1, 1966. The school was located at 223 Gongreung-dong, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul, and it had a single class per each grade level.4

History of School

With the help of the first two missionaries, William Smith and Mimi Schaffenberg, Korean Workers’ Training School (Uimyung School) started on October 10, 1906 with 8 students in Soonan. On September 12, 1907, upon receiving approval from the South Pyeongan Province, the school officially started with 11 students.5 In 1937 the school was eventually handed over to the local residents of Soonan, which became free of charge due to the local community's demand for school management. Soon afterwards the school has become a general local school unrelated to Adventist church school.

In 1938 Gyeongseong Sahmyookwon (now Hoegi-dong) was established but unfortunately it closed its doors in 1941. On January 14, 1949 James M. Lee was inaugurated as the first principal and was authorized to offer a three-year middle-school program. On July 21, 1949 the first graduation ceremony was held at the school and fifty students graduated.6 However, due to the unexpected Korean War, students and faculty members were scattered and suffered hardships during an emergency evacuation. In the meantime, despite the evacuation period to Jeju Island, the school opened as a branch of Sahmyook Middle School in Seongsanpo, Jeju, and about one hundred students began receiving an education from the school.7 On December 16, 1965, after a long period of time, the establishment of Hankook Sahmyook Middle School was approved.8 And the school got the very first students on March 1, 1966 and has continued to the present. In February 2021, the school has had a total of 8,449 graduates to its record, including the 145 graduates who graduated in 2020.

The followings are the official status changes of the school.9

–October 10, 1906. Established a school for training the workers of the Korean Adventist Church in Soonan, Pyeongannam. William R. Smith was inaugurated as the first principal of the school.

–December 17, 1965. Approval of the establishment of Hankook Sahmyook Middle School (first principal: Lee Kyung-il).

– March 2, 1966. Entrance ceremony.

–January 12, 1969. The first 51 graduates from Hankook Sahmyook Middle School.

–November 3, 1971. Approval of re-establishment as Hankook Sahmyook School.

–October 17, 1983. Class expansion (3 classes per grade).

–November 27, 1986. Auditorium Completion Ceremony.

–August 25, 1989. Class expansion (4 classes per grade).

–August 25, 1992. Class expansion (5 classes per grade).

–July 20, 1994. Completion ceremony for the current school facility.

–March 2, 1996. Kwon Young-Sik was inaugurated as the first principal of the Middle School after the separation of Middle and High School.

–August 16, 2005. Class expansion (6 classes per grade).

–October 17, 2005. Completion of special classes (nineteen rooms on the 4th floor of a new building).

–September 30, 2008. Opening of a school library and study room.

–October 10, 2011. A new building for a special classroom extension was completed.

–May 1, 2016. Changed the school name from Hankook Sahmyook School to Hankook Sahmyook Middle School.

–September 1, 2019. The 18th principal, Kim Hye-young inaugurated.

–February 7, 2021. The 50th graduation with 145 graduates (total of 8,449 graduates).

Historical Role of School

Hankook Sahmyook Middel School has a sisterhood relationship with Adventist schools around the world. A mutual education program through sisterhood relationships are with: Woodcroft College (Australia, 2009), Atholton Adventist Academy (Columbia, Maryland, U.S.A., 2010 and 2018), and Millennium Christian Academy (Mindanao, Philippines, 2018). The school cooperates in the pursuit of the Adventist educational philosophy, which is “Adventist School Together With the World” rather than settling for being Hankook Sahmyook Middle School of Korea. Moreover, in 2012 the International Pioneer Camporee was held at our school. In addition, during the General Meeting of the Northern Asian Pacific Division (NSD) in the second half of 2019, the school was opened up for visitors, and we introduced the educational activities of our school to our church administrators.

Hankook Sahmyook Middle School is located at 815 Hwarang-ro, Nowon-gu, Seoul. Nowon-gu is an autonomous district with a population of about five hundred twenty thousand, and it is located in the northern part of Seoul. This area is famous for its excellent educational system due to the dense concentration of private academies. Therefore, most of our educational activities utilize local facilities through agreements with Nowon-gu, as well as the local offices of education, and we conduct many programs with their support. Furthermore, our school is located within Sahmyook University’s Campus, which provides the advantage of receiving both human and material support such as physical education programs. There are also many Adventist churches in the vicinity; so, spiritual programs are also exchanged. As a result, our school was evaluated for its distinctive and ethical education programs, which were superior to that of the other local schools. Not only students living in Seoul, but also students from nearby Gyeonggi-do regions have been applying to attend our school.

Hankook Sahmyook Middle School is contributing greatly to many of our denomination’s education institutes, medical organizations, food businesses, and publishing businesses. Even today, through various exchanges within several jurisdictions in the region, we are supporting the operation of a number of educational programs, as well as humanitarian activities such as donating rice to the underprivileged of the community. Meanwhile, many alumni who have graduated from Hankook Sahmyook Middle School are widely spread out around the world, and many of them volunteer and dedicate themselves to spreading the gospel, as well as assisting the poor all around the world. In doing so, they are enhancing the status of the Seventh-day Adventists worldwide.

Hankook Sahmyook Middle School belongs to the West Central Korean Conference, which is among the five regional conferences of the Korean Union Conference. Our school is located in Seoul, and it has the highest percentage of baptized church members (94%) among educational institutions of the Adventist churches in Korea. It is also the school that conducts Christian education the most with the philosophy of Adventist education. Thus, the educational goal of Hankook Sahmyook Middle School is to develop various aspects of spirituality, character building, academics, and health programs in order to fulfill the students’ needs while nurturing individuals with a balance of abilities, intelligence, virtue, and physical health. The ultimate goal is to protect the competence and identity of the Adventist schools in Korea. Lastly, the elementary schools around our school are supporting us with a lot of interest, and an increasing number of applicants that apply to our school every year, which ultimately conveys the positive philosophy of Adventist education.

Challenge and Mission

After 115 years since the opening of Workers’ Training School in Soonan in 1906, the Korean Adventist Church has made remarkable progress and spread the gospel almost all over the country, and missionary work and educational work has greatly shined. Today, through Adventist education, many talents are being cultivated by spreading the love of God in many countries around the world and by transforming the world through the Seventh-day Adventist's services. “True education must be a whole-person education, and it must be a lifelong education.” In other words, it means that the abilities of intelligence, virtue, and health must be developed in a balanced and smooth manner over a lifetime. Education is about preparing students to enjoy the pleasure of serving in this world, and the greater joy of serving in a wider range in our future life.”10 In order to achieve the identity and mission of Adventist education, teachers continue to strengthen their spiritual strength for the development of competitive schools through the integration of faith and learning, and strengthen the spiritual programs for a distinguished Christian education for the students. In addition, Hankook Sahmyook Middle School will accelerate missionary work through close exchanges with local churches and within our communities.

List of Principals

Hankook Sahmyook Academy: Kyung-il Lee (Sep. 1965-Oct. 1970); Hyuk-jong Kwon (Oct. 1970-April 1972); Young-do Kim (April 1972-Feb. 1975); Joon-pal Kim (March 1975-April 1975); Jae-shin Kim (April 1975-March 1976); Hong-ryang Kim (Aug. 1976-Feb. 1978); Seong-jin Lee (Feb. 1978-Feb. 1984); Chun-taek Im (March 1984-Feb. 1990); Hyo-sung Kim (March 1990-Feb. 1995); Jang-Hwan Jeong (March 1995-Feb. 1996).

Hankook Sahmyook Middle School: Young-sik Kwon (March 1996-Aug. 2000); Yoon-hee Han (Sep. 2000-Feb. 2003); Jong-gyu Lee (March 2003-Feb. 2008); Im-woo Lee (March 2008- Feb. 2011); Yang-ho Son (March 2011- Feb. 2015); Dong-heon Cha (March 2015-Feb. 2018); Kyung Hee Lee (March 2018-Aug. 2019); Hye-young Kim (Sep. 2019-Present).


Address Book of Korean Union Conference. Seoul: Korean Union Conference, 2021.

Hankook Sahmyook Middle and High School Alumni Association. The 110-year history of Korean Sahmyook. Seoul: Korean Publishing House, 2017.

Hankook Sahmyook Middle School Document Data. 1965-2021. In Archive of Hankook Sahmyook Middle School in Seoul, Korea.

Kim, Jae-Shin. A History of Sahmyook University, 1906-1996. Seoul: Korean Publishing House, 1998.

Lee, Kuk-heon. History of One Hundred Years of Sahmyook University. Sahmyook University Press, 2009.

List of Graduates of Sahmyook Middle School in Korea, 2016-2021. In Archive of Hankook Sahmyook Middle School in Seoul, Korea.

Smith, William R. “Korea.” ARH, March 19, 1908.

White, Ellen G. Education. Nashville: Southern Publishing House, 1953.


  1. Address Book of Korean Union Conference (Seoul: Korean Union Conference, 2021), 93.

  2. Hankook Sahmyook Middle and High School Alumni Association, The 110-year History of Hankook Sahmyook Middle and High School (Seoul: Korean Publishing House, 2017), 152

  3. Jae-shin Kim, A History of Sahmyook University, 1906-1996 (Seoul: Korean Publishing House, 1998), 344.

  4. At that time, Gongneung-dong belonged to Seongbuk-gu, but now it belongs to Nowon-gu.

  5. William R. Smith, “Korea,” ARH, March 19, 1908, 14.

  6. Far Eastern Division, Far Eastern Division Outlook, September 1949, 18.

  7. Jae-shin Kim, 196.

  8. Hankook Sahmyook Middle and High School Alumni Association, The 110-year History of Hankook Sahmyook Middle and High School (Seoul: Korean Publishing House, 2017), 143.

  9. Ibid., 485.

  10. Ellen G. White, Education (Nashville: Southern Publishing Association, 1953), 13.


Kim, Hye Young. "Hankook Sahmyook Middle School." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. September 21, 2021. Accessed January 25, 2022.

Kim, Hye Young. "Hankook Sahmyook Middle School." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. September 21, 2021. Date of access January 25, 2022,

Kim, Hye Young (2021, September 21). Hankook Sahmyook Middle School. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved January 25, 2022,