Everything relates to the year 1921, when the Red Cross of American Youth founded, according to the wishes and needs of the Albanians themselves, the Albanian Professional School, the first and only of its kind for a long time. Over the years it will be recognized as the Tirana Technical School.
The American Red Cross created a model program for technical assistance aimed at setting up an institute like “Robert” College model in Albania.
“For the success of this school’s goal I will make available everything I do posses”, said John Krol, one of the founders of the school with his special passion.
For Tirana’s Technical School to become a first class institute, its leadership should take on an experienced person, “an enthusiastic man with a sound judgment, a perfect personality and initiator.” This would be Harry Trevlin Fultz, then 34 yars old, a professor of Mechanical Arts at the University of Chicago, a professor of postgraduate studies at the College of Education, a Graduate of the Sciences as well as the “Armor” Technology Institute.
October 1922: Harry Fultz arrives in Tirana. He will lead the Technical School until 1933. Talent as a pedagogue and administrator, inexhaustible optimism were crucial to the existence, revival and growth of the school. Fultz along with Charles A. Hollingshed, one of the first members of the teaching staff and other American and Albanian pedagogues and instructors, devoted entirely to the students and the issue of education in Albania.
The Technical School provided students with specific theoretical and practical knowledge with a wide range of professional programs. It had its own PowerStation that gave light to the city and even its own printing house. The school undertook construction projects, initiated numerous sports and cultural activities and published the famous newspaper “Laboremus”. The quality of the programs was such that school graduates were admitted to the most popular universities in the USA and Europe.
In the year 1921, thirty two students were enrolled.
In the years 1932-1933, five hundred further students were enrolled and 150 students graduated. Most of them got employed in state offices or different sectors of the country’s economy. Thus, Tirana Technical School played an important role in educating young people with a sense of patriotism, discipline, love and respect for work. ” Make your country a worthy place to live in” said Harry Fultz.
As a result of great influence in Albanian society, the school along with other foreign schools in Albania was nationalized in 1933.
In 1947, the school got the name “The Polytechnic School “ the 7-th of November” by meanwhile maintaining its technical profile. It continued to prepare specialists in various fields of country’s economy through a special academic curricula combining practical programs and extracurricular activities. The positive image of the American Technical School in Tirana was deeply embedded in the minds of people, despite efforts to discredit or minimize its significance. This was reflected openly after 1990, at the time of great democratic change.
In 1992, the Albanian- American Foundation “Harry Fultz” was founded in the US with the chairman, Mrs. Johan Fultz Khontos. The purpose of this foundation was to support the school by moving on to the traditions of the Technical School in Tirana, on the same way as Harry Fultz did; the full formation of young people by making them contributie to the development of modern Albania.