The motto of the Gymnasium invites us to “Join Our Hearts for Kindness and Unity”, and the values captured are reflected in its daily activities.
On 1 September 1989, the 51st Secondary School was solemnly opened in Šilainiai district. The bell of the 1st of September called 557 students to class. There were 46 educators at that time. In the second year of the school’s existence, the number of pupils had reached 960 and continued to grow each year. In 1991, enhanced teaching of the English, German, and French languages from the second grade was introduced. When the 51st Secondary School was opened, A. Brezgys was appointed as its first Director. He held office until 1994 and was succeeded by Violeta Gedgaudaitė. The 51st Secondary School greeted September 1997 with a new name – Santara Secondary School. In 1998, the status of economics-oriented gymnasium classes was granted to the School. “Papyrus”, an economic-practical company, was active. In 2000, profile education was introduced. The beginning of September 2001 was quite unusual for us since Santara Secondary School was officially granted the status of a four-year gymnasium. Santara Gymnasium has been participating in the YFU Exchange Programme since 2003, and in 2004 the School became a member of the UNESCO Associated Schools Network implementing a project for gifted pupils. The Santara Honorary Award Ceremony has been taking place in the Gymnasium since 2004.
In 2005, Kaunas Santara Gymnasium became a partner of Vilnius University and an authorised ECDL Test Centre in Lithuania. In 2007–2009, the Gymnasium participated in the COMENIUS Multilateral Project “Teenagers in Europe” and in the UNESCO Associated Schools Project “South Caucasus – Part of Europe” in 2007. In 2008, a vocational guidance point was established in Santara Gymnasium, and a cooperation agreement with Vytautas Magnus University was signed. In 2009, the Gymnasium was granted a license to carry out the “International Youth Awards” programme, and a cooperation agreement with Kaunas State Drama Theatre was also concluded. In 2011, the Gymnasium became a test centre authorised by the representative office of the ECDL Foundation in Lithuania. In 2012, the European Social Fund Academy issued a diploma to the Gymnasium.
In 2015, Asta Karlienė was appointed as the Director of the Gymnasium. Since 2015, the Gymnasium has been a true gymnasium as the implementation of Part 2 of basic education and secondary education programmes began. In 2015, Kaunas Santara Gymnasium was recognised by the National Agency for School Evaluation as a gymnasium that conforms to the Good School Concept. Since 2015, the Gymnasium has been participating in international “Erasmus+” projects and organised the national young scientists’ conference “A Challenge for Researchers”. On 29 March 2017, the first “Galaxy of Economics” event took place, an IT and Economics Laboratory opened its doors, and modern educational spaces for students were further developed by equipping biology classrooms, establishing STEAM laboratories and a Media classroom, etc. The international AIESEC “Open Lithuania” social project has been implemented since 2018, and the Gymnasium is a participant in the international project entitled “Schools – Ambassadors of the European Parliament”.
A priority area of non-formal education of the students of Kaunas Santara Gymnasium is the youth folk dance group “Santariečiai” established in 1991 and led by Teacher Expert Kazimieras Kondratavičius. “Santariečiai” have participated in song and dance festivals organised on a city, national, and global scale. On numerous occasions, the group became the winners and prizewinners of “Graži mūsų šeimynėlė” (“Our Beautiful Family”), “Aguonėlė” (“Poppy”), and “Šokis mus jungia” (“United by Dance”) contests. The dancers have successfully participated in international festivals and competitions in the Czech Republic, Poland, Latvia, Hungary, Italy, Croatia, and Germany.