Alumni Affairs ñ Professional Development ñ Community Connections ñ Footnotes ñ Smiles around Campus

Leaders in Our Time:
Past, Present and Future
Leaders in Our Time:
Past, Present and Future
Cover Story: We are the World
Student Leaders: Global Citizens Making a Difference
Beyond the Books: Pedagogy in Action
Spring 2010 ñ Volume 4 ñ Issue 2
ACS_ETH_COVER 9-06-10 17:11 ™ÂÏ›‰· 1
Undergraduate Programs
Graduate Programs
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The University supports the Alumni
Association efforts. Membership in the
Alumni Association provides graduates with
a lifelong connection to the Hellenic
American University. The Association is
governed by a volunteer Board of Directors
and maintains an office on the Hellenic
American University premises. Soon, alumni
will have their own link, with exclusive access,
on the Hellenic American University website.
Membership in the Alumni Association gives
graduates the opportunity to exchange
ideas and share experiences, to make
contacts that will help them professionally, and
to participate in special activities and events.
Hellenic American University admits students of any race, color,
national and ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion,
physical disability, or veteran status to all the rights, privileges,
programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to
students at the University. It does not discriminate on the basis of race,
color, national and ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion,
physical disability, or veteran status in administration of its educational
policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and
athletic or other school-administered programs.
Salmon 36, Manchester, NH 03104, USA,
Tel.: 603 645 1800
Kaplanon 12, 106 80 Athens,
(Metro station: Panepistimio),
Tel.: +30 210 368 0950 Fax: +30 210 363 3174,
Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature
Students in English Language and Literature will acquire in-depth
knowledge of the English language, including its grammar and syntax,
as well as the social and cognitive aspects of language usage.
Bachelor of Music (BM)
A professional music degree, it balances the academic study of
music through courses in music theory and music history with
rigorous technical training in music performance.
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA)
Students in Business Administration will acquire a general
understanding of a wide range of information about business
and competencies in business practices as well as specialized
knowledge about their area of concentration (optional).
Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT)
A competency-based program, which provides students with
all the necessary credentials to deal with traditional business
technologies and evolving multimedia-related technologies and
Bachelor of Science in Psychology (BSPsy)
The undergraduate program in Psychology combines
perspectives from the social and the natural sciences to gain an
understanding of human behavior and provides the option to
students to focus on their particular area of interest.
Associate of Science in Enterprise Network
Administration (ASENA)
Students in Enterprise Network Administration will acquire the
technical skills necessary to install, configure, operate and maintain
a network.
PhD in Applied Linguistics
The Program is intended for a broad range of working
professionals in a variety of occupational fields, but is specifically
designed for practitioners who work in the Teaching of English to
Speakers of other Languages (TESOL), English language testing or
Professional Master of Business Administration (PMBA)
The Professional MBA is designed to address the educational and
career needs of individuals with five or more years of business
experience. It aims to promote career mobility, flexibility and
N+ste| a| las|aess |1n|a|st|+t|aa (Nl|)
The MBA program is designed to address the student’s desire
for practical knowledge, a promising career path and personal
Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT)
The Master of Science in Information Technology is a graduate
education program designed to develop exceptional IT
specialists who are recognized for their high level technological
expertise,creative and inventive thinking and professional
Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics (MAAL)
The program provides participants who have a professional
interest in language with a valuable opportunity to familiarize
themselves with the latest developments in the field of Applied
Linguistics. It offers them rigorous training in the application of
linguistic principles in the areas of Teaching English as Second/
Foreign Language and Testing.
Master of Arts in Translation (MAT)
The program emphasizes the integration of academic and real-
world preparation for translators. It complies with the European
Commission’s Directorate General for Translation guidelines for
Master’s degree programs in translation and can be completed in
one year of full-time study.
Master of Arts in Conference Interpretation (MACI)
The program equips students with the theoretical foundation
and practical skills needed for consecutive and simultaneous
interpretation in their specific language pairs. It complies with the
European Commission’s Directorate General for Interpretation
guidelines for Master’s degree programs in interpretation and can
be completed in one year of full-time study.
ACS_ETH_B EXOFYLLOY 9-06-10 17:12 ™ÂÏ›‰· 2
Our Mission
Ethos: n.Greek: ethos: nature, disposition. The characteristic spirit of a culture, era, community, institution, etc., as
manifested in its attitudes, aspirations, customs, etc; the character of an individual as represented by his or her values and
beliefs; the prevalent tone of a literary work in this respect.
ACS Athens is a student-centered
international school,
embracing American educational
philosophy, principles and values.
Through excellence in teaching
and diverse educational experiences,
ACS Athens challenges all students
to realize their unique potential:
academically, intellectually,
socially and ethically –
to thrive as responsible global citizens.
Publisher: ACS Athens. Editor-in-Chief: Desiree Michael. Production team: John Papadakis, Marianna Savvas, Stacy Filippou.
Contributors: ACS Athens Faculty, Staff, Students, Parents and Alumni. Art Direction, Design & Printing: Multimedia SA.
Cover Design & Concept: Dot Repro SA.
All rights reserved. No part of this magazine (text or images) may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher.
ACS_ETH_03 9-06-10 16:55 ™ÂÏ›‰· 3
In the four months that I have been at ACS Athens, I have
witnessed leadership in every event from the Pan Hellenic Forensic
Tournament to student performances. Thus, I found it difficult to
determine which event best modeled the meaning of leadership and
global citizenry--both were deemed to be the themes of this issue. So,
what you will find is an entire Cover Story section and an entire
section on Student Leadership. However, before saying more, I would
be remiss not thank Ms. Marca Daley for modeling leadership through
her action of passing on the Ethos torch to her next teammate. For
me, her action was one of the greatest models of leadership
that I had witnessed in some time. Ms. Daley provided clear
instructions on how to follow and carry the torch to the next
level: that is a leader and I think we can all tip our hats to Ms.
Speaking of which…Ms. Daley dedicated an entire issue of Ethos
to learning through reflection. Some teachers shared that their
students learned best through this stage of critical thinking. Each Ethos
is compiled in hopes that our readers will reflect and join in our
conversations, goals and efforts to take our students to a deeper level
of learning. Therefore, I have included web links and email addresses
to invite our readers to take the opportunity to reflect and interact.
The letters to leaders from our 5th grade students (you can find
them at the end of the Cover Story section) led me to reflect on my
own daily actions as a global citizen. My interviews with our leaders,
literally, took me back to the origin of my desire to change the way
students were educated: At age seven, after watching the invasion of
Cyprus, I believed that if leaders were educated to respect others, the
outcome of global conflicts would be quite different. Thus, the
exercise of building this issue of Ethos around leadership reminded
me, ever so clearly, of my goal to work towards a sustainable solution
for the reunification of Cyprus. However, as Dr. Gialamas points out
in his interview, it is necessary to understand all members of the
community with which you will partner before building sustainable
Further reflection occurred when Ms. Gaines’ elementary school
students brought tears to my eyes when singing to Toto’s hit Africa.
Four years ago, I visited Malawi, Africa and paid the annual school fee
for a young child, school improvements and the hiring of two school
staff members. Then, I went back to being an American. The amount
of money I paid for one consumer convenience in one year could
have paid for 24 children to attend school for a year (or 2 children
for 12 years). In this issue, though I could not include all of the
requests of our children, they are clearly asking us to be global citizens
and make choices that will ensure the health of the Earth and the
health of their own children. I hope you will find something in this
issue that will resonate with you and will move you to reflect as well.
I will concur that for some, this issue of Ethos may seem
emotionally heavy, but the nature of true leadership often requires
facing issues head-on without the sugar coating, as our Newscoop
students are uncovering in their travels to the divided lands of Palestine
and Israel, and as our student writers and student leaders so poignantly
highlight in their letters. As we watch North and South Korea on the
brink of war and parts of Athens, Greece and Bangkok, Thailand set
ablaze, the need for leaders with positive ethos is very clear.
Some of the resulting actions from student requests may seem
ever so small, such as those expressed in an article by our ACS
Athens Elementary School Principal, Dina Pappas. Acting on her own
vision, she has changed the diets for children today--in our time. This
action is not as minute as it may appear. A recent article in Time
Magazine revealed that epigenetic researchers discovered that a
person’s dietary choices and habits can actually change the longevity
of life of their off-spring. Therefore, Ms. Pappas’ efforts are to be
commended. As requested by her student constituents, she is a leader
making decisions that will impact their children’s children.
I hope that you will share in the passion and dedication with which
Dr. Gialamas and the ACS faculty, students and community are
collectively stringing together their leadership efforts to create global
citizens. However, I am compelled to recall a quote of Oprah’s, "Hope
is not a plan," but your contributing actions can be.
BTW, speaking of contributions and actions, I cannot thank the
ACS Community enough for pulling through in less than a two-month
period to lift this elephant--Ethos--and making it happen.
from the
Dear ACS Athens Community Members:
The ACS Athens Board of Trustees is pleased to announce President Stefanos Gialamas' contract renewal, until June 2015. Under Dr. Gialamas'
leadership our school has reached new levels of excellence in all areas and is fast becoming one of the best international schools in the world.
ACS_ETH_04-05 9-06-10 16:56 ™ÂÏ›‰· 4
Q & A with the President
Normally Dr. Gialamas has a Q&A section as the introduction to Ethos. However, as you will read in his interview,
as part of the cover story collection, a leader has to remain in front of the population being led. As this Ethos
goes off to print, Dr. Gialamas is fulfilling an honored commitment to parents to travel with their children into
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict zones. Therefore, we featured the next step of the ACS Athens vision that he
presented at the Spring 2010 Staff Meeting.
Normally, Dr.
Gialamas has a
Q&A section as
the introduction
to Ethos.
However, as you
will read in his
interview, as part
of the cover story
collection, a
leader has to remain in front of the population
that he is leading. As this Ethos goes off to print,
Dr. Gialamas is fulfilling an honored commitment
to parents to travel with their children into the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict zones for a lesson
beyond the classroom. Therefore, we featured
the next step of the ACS Athens vision that he
presented at the Spring2010 Staff Meeting.
From Better to Best: The Next Five Years
As teachers prepare to leave for their
summer vacation, Dr. Gialamas invited the ACS
Athens faculty to rise to higher heights of
academic thought and content design. Teachers
are encouraged to think about how they will take
their students’ academic curriculum from better
to best over the next five years through the
design of "authentic courses."
Over the last five years, the ACS Athens team
has worked to make major changes towards
positioning ACS as a lighthouse model for other
schools to emulate. Dr. Gialamas’ vision is to
create an educational institution that serves
student needs beyond their attendance at ACS
Athens. This includes, but is not limited to
creating a brick and mortar institution that
facilitates research and development,
communication, mathematical and technological
skills, and finding the "best-fit" for higher
For three years, Ethos magazine has served as
a roadmap and testament to the numerous
hours, activities and efforts that teachers, students
and community members committed to
implementing this shared vision. This
commitment continues to flourish within the
framework of a holistic, meaningful and
harmonious educational experience.
Now, in the next stage of developing the
vision, teachers will have the opportunity to
author change that will impact student progress
and academic performance beyond their own
tenure at ACS Athens as many staff members, as
well as students, belong to an international entity
of fluid members.
With the changing demographics in mind, Dr.
Gialamas encourages teachers and departments
to pool their knowledge, locally and globally, to
develop critical designs in academic content that
will set the tone for an authentic ACS Athens
Integrated High School Diploma. It is said that
some of the best business ideas are born on a
café napkin; however, Dr. Gialamas is a step
ahead and invites the ACS community to send
their innovative ideas for curriculum design via
Blackberry or PC to or . He reminds teachers that the
students look up to them to lead the way in
creating highly knowledgeable individuals, and
thus, the next five-year projection plan "…is your
chance to take ACS Athens students to the
Champion League of Education!"
From Better to Best: The Next Five Years
As we embark upon our most ambitious and innovative projects yet, Dr. Gialamas' leadership will be invaluable in implementing Board policies and
safeguarding our educational philosophy and values, which make ACS Athens such a unique proposition.
Constantine Stergides
ACS_ETH_04-05 9-06-10 16:56 ™ÂÏ›‰· 5
Professional Development 62
Enhancing Education 8
Pedagogy in Action 49
Student Leaders 32
Footnotes 64
Community Connections 55
Alumni 67 Cover Story 12
Hail and Farewell 47
ACS_ETH_06-07_CONTENTS 9-06-10 16:56 ™ÂÏ›‰· 6
Table of Contents
Gift of Books Marianna Travlos 8
Student Survial Kit: ACS Resource Laith Kalai 10
Research Tips and Tricks Terry McCarthy 10
What is Math Literature Tina Dellas 11
Math through Literature Maria Falidas 11
COVER STORIES Interviews by Desiree Michael 12
We are the World Interview with Ms. Kate Gaines 13
The Marks of Leadership Interview with Dr. Dorbis 16
The String Theory and Educational Leadership Interview with Dr. Gialamas 18
Leading on Location Interview with Academy Principal Brian Kelly 22
Leading from the Middle with Meaning Interview with Middle School Principal MaryAnn Augoustatos 23
The World's Issues through the Eyes of Children Invterview with Newscoops' Camilla Warrender 24
Food for Thought Dina Pappas 28
What's on the Menu? Interview with Mr. Nikos 30
Student Leaders in Action Interview with three students 32
Jessica Ogunnorin:The Courage to Embrace the Unknown Peggy Pelonis and Annie Constantinides 33
The New Student Initiative Gaith and Laith Kalai 34
The Fate of the Earth is in Our Hands! Maria Kormpou 34
Theory of Knowledge Students Model Leadership for Haiti Chris Monopolis 35
Earth Club: “Leading By Example” Toni Fleeher & Jane Mantarakis 38
Who's Leading Who? Stavroula Salouros 40
Our Little Shining Stars Cathy Makropoulos 41
Forensics Helps Students’ Civic Responsibility Marca A. Daley 42
Debate: The Thrill of Oration and Persuasion By Nasos Abuel 43
Donations for Tanzanian Children Jill Rivers 44
Boy Scouts of America Troop 343 Amanda Arman, Robin Bradley & Stephanie Kutson 46
Journalism and Democracy Project John Papadakis, Anna Valivesaki and Camilla Warrender 49
Leading the Way for Collaborative Relationships Angelik Grigoratos, Emily Mouratoglou and Christiana Perakis 50
A World of Possibilities Miah Confer 51
Democracy in Action Kate Blaufuss 52
Learning Leadership, Culture and Intuitiveness through Drama Sophia Thanopoulou 53
Interdisciplinary and Team Teaching at the IB Level Dr. Lykourgos Hristako 53
From the Classroom to the World By Irene Soteres 54
Favorite quote on modeling leadership Angela Spiliot 54
2nd Annual ACS COLLEGE VISITS to the Boston Area Stelios Kalogridakis 55
Discovery Through Travel – Part II Rannelle McCoy 56
On-Line and On-Site: Education for Global Citizenship Janet Karvouniaris and Kathleen Jasonides 58
ACS Athens Supports the Nightingale Initiative for Global Health
& the International Heartsongs Project Ellen Froustis-Vriniotis 60
Collaboration at its Best: The PTO Patty Dimitriadis, PTO President 61
Talents Uncovered Jeff Bear 62
Other Conferences/ Workshops/Presentations/Courses 63
The American Mathematics Competitions Sue Protopsaltis & Dora Andrikopoulos 64
ACS Student Wins Panhellenic Tournament in Chess Ellen Froustis-Vriniotis 64
ACS Athens Hosts the 2010 Pan-Hellenic Association
Forensics Tournament Marca A. Daley 65
What's New in IT? Desiree Michael and Mary Manos 65
Cross Country Alexander and Daphne Apostolidis 66
ALUMNI SECTION Marianna Savvas 67
ACS_ETH_06-07_CONTENTS 9-06-10 16:56 ™ÂÏ›‰· 7
When I was a little girl, my grandmother framed this image for me, and it still
graces the walls of my home. She regularly took me to my neighborhood public
library in the Boston suburb of Dedham. There, she helped me choose
beautiful and exciting storybooks. We always seemed to check out a large
stack of them. At home, she would read these books to me, inviting me into
the enchanting world of literature and adventure.
Besides those days becoming cherished memories, the experiences with my
grandmother fostered and nurtured a love of reading the written word and of
the world beyond my own existence. Indeed, books have always
been among my most treasured possessions, and I feel very
fortunate to have received these gifts at a young age. My favorite
books serve as portals into my past. They are a reference of
information that I have turned to for guidance over the years, and
they are a source of comfort and joy. On a personal level, they
are dear to me, yet, they have also helped me to grow
academically. As far back as nursery school, my scholastic
strengths were my vocabulary and verbal abilities. I have no doubt
that my language skills were due to my exposure to literature.
Perhaps, these positive experiences are why I care so much about
the role of books in children’s lives and how libraries play an
important part in their educational growth. I also believe that we
as parents and teachers have a responsibility to help lead and encourage
children of every age to read books. This role is especially important today in
the age of the Internet.
When I first enrolled as a student to ACS Athens, one of my earliest memories
was being impressed with the Elementary School library. I strongly believe that
now, more than ever, ACS Athens should continue its tradition of cultivating
students’ interests in books and libraries. Not only will this exposure to books
create better students, it can create better-informed global citizens as well.
To me, the library of a school is its scholarly heart and soul, where all the
collected knowledge over the centuries is gathered and preserved. It is also a
small representation of the larger world beyond the school’s community.
Harold Howe, a former US Commissioner of Education, believed, "What a
school thinks about its library is a measure of what it thinks about education."
If this is true, then the fact that we have two excellent libraries is a testament
to our institution. Dr. John Dorbis, who has been a revered member of the
ACS Athens community for over 45 years, recently answered in an interview
that a considerable part of what makes a school great is its library: "With
textbooks student knowledge is limited to simple fact-based and rote-like
learning. Whereas, with a library, the world is made a little bit larger."
Therefore, having two wonderful and rich libraries at ACS Athens is one more
thing for which the students should feel grateful.
The truth is, however, that these days it is very difficult to raise children’s
interests in books, let alone feel grateful for them. It may be especially
challenging in Greece to get children excited about books, as there are no
neighborhood public libraries and school libraries are not in abundance. I have
found that, because of this, many Greek children, sadly, associate
books merely with school and schoolwork, not with joyful
diversions. Perhaps then, students coming to ACS Athens at an
older age, who have not been exposed to libraries before, are not
aware of what a library can offer and that reading books can be a
pleasant pastime. Thus, we educators should not assume that all
middle or high school students know how to use a library. Many
of the students may need our guidance.
Recently, with the help of the PTO and our librarian, Terry
McCarthy, the two ACS Athens libraries received new and
fascinating gifts for a new generation of students to cherish. As
educators and parents, we can use these latest additions as an
opportunity to re-introduce our students to our libraries. For it
would be such a shame, if the books just sat on top of the shelves collecting
dust. However, if we ignite a spark of interest in them, then they may carry that
with them. That small spark could grow and reading books could become a
lifelong habit.
Last year, I had the opportunity to help out in the Middle and High School
library for a couple of months. I noticed that many students were not
enthusiastic about the idea of using the library; but, Ms. McCarthy and other
faculty recently noted that in the Elementary School library, the children are
very excited by and care for the books. A child even cried because he was so
distraught that he had accidentally torn a page of a book. Though I do not wish
for any child to cry over damaged books, I am grateful for the librarian and
teachers who have taught younger students to care for these gifts. Maybe, the
younger children can serve as examples to the older ones, since, as students
enter Middle and High School and use the computer more, they appear to
become detached from books. I know that it is difficult to pry this generation
away from their beloved computers and their dependence on the Internet,
because they often see the use of books as an inconvenient task and an inferior
The Great Gift of Books
"There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world.
A love of books is the best of all."
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Marianna Travlos
ACS Alumna
ACS_ETH_08-12_ENHANCING EDU 9-06-10 17:16 ™ÂÏ›‰· 8
means of research compared to the
plethora of information they can find
online so quickly and easily.
Clearly, I am not debating the
convenience or usefulness of the
Internet; I am, however, presenting a
challenge that we as parents and
educators nurture the appreciation
of books that students have when
they are younger and not allow the
Internet to take the place of or
destroy that instinctive connection to
books. We can step in and guide
students in using the library for all of
its gifts. When students write a
research paper, we can encourage
them to use books as references as
well and not retrieve all their
information from online sources. By
doing this, we can inspire them to
browse the library’s bookshelves, which expose them to countless subjects and
topics; and like my trips to the
library with my grandmother,
this exercise will introduce
them to things beyond their
care, thus enlarge their world
and help to create enlightened
global citizens. Therefore, let
us teach them, if they do not
already know, or remind them,
if they have forgotten, how
precious books are and not to
take these great gifts for
-Marianna Travlos
Marianna Travlos is an ACS
Athens graduate. She holds a
BA and MA in Art History.
Currently, she serves as an
ACS supporting staff member and is pursuing her Masters in Teaching.
ACS_ETH_08-12_ENHANCING EDU 9-06-10 17:16 ™ÂÏ›‰· 9
Our library is remarkable. It’s not the library you’d
get lost in, but definitely the library you’d want to be
in all day. It is a jungle of resources; we have thousands
of books, tons of encyclopedias, several computers,
helpful people, learning centers, comfortable couches
and more!
The library at ACS is divided into three floors. The
first floor, or ground floor, holds the reception where
our librarian is usually located. You can ask her
anything about the library; she is always happy to
answer questions. The ground floor also has a lounge
area with couches, around 10 stands of books on
display and a magazine stand. The bathroom or WC
is also on this floor. It is next to the librarian’s desk.
As you climb up the stairs to the second floor, you will see several tables aligned
with nice red chairs. You will find most students sitting around those tables doing
work or working on their laptops. On this floor, we have the following:
ñ A wide variety of books and novels that you can check out
ñ Around 15 computers with a relatively fast internet connection
ñ Wireless internet connection throughout the library. Ask the librarian
for the password
ñ The MS* Computer Lab is to the back and left of the open table area
ñ Writing Center: This center is dedicated to helping students with their
writing. It is run by Mrs. Jasonides. If you need someone to proofread
your essays with you, help you write something up or guide you with
the writing process, then you may want to check out the Writing Center.
ñ Mrs. Spilliot’s Computer Lab: This is a friendly and supportive atmosphere in
which to work and learn in. If you are nice to her, you just may gain her
hospitality. She has around 25-30 computers in her room and a printer. If you
want to work in a more silent atmosphere than the open area of the library, ask
her if you may use one of her computers.
ICCT** office and IB Counseling Area: Located
on the third and final floor of the library are several
round tables where students can go to work. There
are additional computers there. You will also find the
ICCT Office of Mr. Medeiros and two classrooms
along with a nice round lounge area where students
usually gather to read books or quietly discuss
schoolwork. Finally, you can find Ms. Mandy there. If
you are in the IB program, she can help to direct you
with your IB and college questions.
Finding books:
If you’re looking for a specific book at our library, you should use the OPAC
program found on all computers in school. It is a very simple program where you can
search the title of the book or an author’s name, and it gives you a code that looks
something like this: "FIC 353.65" which means that the book is located
in the FICTION (FIC) section under the number 353.65. These
numbers are found on the spine of the books. If you have any questions
or need assistance finding books in the library, you can either ask a
student or the librarian.
So there you have it. The ACS Library has the right people, the right
technology and the right environment for you to conduct research, read
a book, surf the web (NO FACEBOOK), relax or simply listen to your
iPod on our comfy red couches.
For any further information, please find me or contact me at!
I’d be happy to clarify any confusion or answer any of your questions.
*Middle School
**Institute for Critical and Creative Thinking
ACS Resources: Library
Laith Kalai
Given that books are not yet anachronistic, our Information
Specialist and Librarian, Terry McCarthy has some research
tips and tricks for teachers and students alike.
Ms. McCarthy put together an extensive collection of internet
sites, hardback and soft-back references, stating, "The idea is
to make research clearer, easier and more direct so that
teachers and students are all marching in the same direction."
In May of this year, Ms. McCarthy held a step-by-step
workshop for teachers to understand how to access these
sources of information in order to share them with their
Ms. McCarthy, who holds a Masters of Education in
Technology in the Curriculum from Lesley University, is on
her way to China, but she was kind enough to provide a
video* walkthrough of her workshop for parents, students or
new teachers who may want to maneuver the world of
research sites online and through, yes, books and journals!
ACS_ETH_08-12_ENHANCING EDU 9-06-10 17:16 ™ÂÏ›‰· 10
At the ACS Academy, a new student activity organized by math teacher Maria
Falidas is the Math Literature Club. My first reaction upon hearing of this was "who
knew such a thing existed?"
After reading several of the books that the students read and discuss, I too was
hooked and feel it is my duty to spread the word on this fascinating new endeavor.
Math Literature
The solution to one of the long-standing problems of mathematics, Fermat’s last
theorem, was published in 1995 and the publicity caught the public’s imagination.
Several books and even movies, A Beautiful Mind and Good Will Hunting have since
appeared. Some deal with the lives of mathematicians, such as The Man Who Knew
Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan; some use mathematics as the center of the
plot, such as The Parrot’s Theorem and Pythagorean Crimes; the recent best-seller
Logicomix is a graphic novel about the quest for the foundations of mathematics
through the eyes of Bertrand Russell. One of the authors of Logicomix is Apostolos
Doxiadis, who also wrote Uncle Petros and the
Goldback Conjecture. Doxiadis and his colleagues
formed the group Thales and Friends.
Thales and Friends works to "explore the
interrelationships between mathematics and
narrative." The group holds international conferences
about math literature every summer in Greece and
celebrated its five-year anniversary with seminars on math literature. This year, it will be
held at the Benaki Museum. Both Ms. Falidas and I attended the July 2009 conference
in Naoussa. We look forward to attending the 2010 conference as well.
One of the goals of Thales and Friends is to provide a forum for secondary
school teachers, who run reading groups for students, to begin discussing math
The ACS Athens Math Literature Club raised 400 Euros this year and purchased
15 math literature titles for the library.
As winter fades into summer, the peaceful thought of reading a book at the
beach takes the place of a quiet night reading a book near the fireplace. Isn’t it a
peaceful and relaxing image? Perhaps, for those of us who love to read a book, and
those who do, may wonder why others do not find it as peaceful. I do not know
why I love reading, nor do I remember when I started to do so. Reading for adults
may be a habit or a hobby, even a passion, but for some students it starts as a school
assignment and remains a school assignment.
According to the 2005 U.S. National Assessment of Educational Progress
(NAEP) report, 64% of 4th graders and 73% of 8th and 12th graders perform at basic
reading level. Furthermore, NAEP reports that students in grades 4, 8, and 12 who
read more frequently for fun have consistently higher average reading proficiency
scores than those students who read less often.
The achievement levels in Mathematics in recent reports are also discouraging: In
2009, ACT reported that about 42% of the U.S. high-
school graduates tested were ready for college-level
math; the findings were consistent with the College
Board’s SAT statistics that showed no improvement in
math. NAEP recent testing in 2009 showed that less
than four out of ten 4th graders and 8th graders are
proficient in mathematics. Improving achievement in
mathematics is essential as the understanding and
communication of mathematical processes are
interconnected with achievement in sciences.
So how can we inspire students to see mathematics in a different light, outside
of complicated word problems and algebraic equations? The Mathematics Literature
Club is a book club for Academy students at ACS Athens. It was created with the
sole purpose to view mathematics through a different perspective. Through weekly
meetings, we discuss a fiction novel about mathematicians, mathematics and much
more. We sometimes read and discuss chapters from our book, but most times we
talk about Mathematics: the epic quests to prove a theorem, the magic tricks with
numbers or the mathematical symbolism in painting and architecture. It is exciting to
share with each other all of these bits and pieces of Mathematics that have inspired
the work of artists, scientists and mathematicians throughout the ages. What is more
exciting is that through a fiction novel mathematics gets the chance to unravel their
beauty and intrigue students to search beyond their math textbooks.
This year at ACS Athens, the Math Literature Club is hosting the Annual
Mathematics Fair celebrating Mathematics through literature on June 25th and 26th.
The fair is organized by Thales and Friends, a non-profit organization that aims in
bridging the chasm between Mathematics and other cultural forms. In this event,
students from schools around Greece will come together to present their work from
various activities in their mathematical reading groups.
As the next issue of Ethos will be dedicated to uncovering the holistic and
meaningful techniques that teachers and parents use to teach Mathematics and IT,
we will follow up with Ms. Filadas’ Mathematics Literature Club.
What is Math Literature?
Tina Dellas,
Academy Science Teacher
Mathematics through Literature
Maria Falidas
Academy Mathematics Teacher
Wise owl fact: Thales was a Greek philosopher who predated Socrates. Thales (600 B.C.) traveled to Egypt and brought geometry to Greece.
ACS_ETH_08-12_ENHANCING EDU 9-06-10 17:16 ™ÂÏ›‰· 11
Our world is like heaven on earth,
But if we pollute it,
It won’t be ours for long.
Remember all the little polar bears,
Who are drifting away from their families.
Remember the threat of global warming,
We will endure if we help save the earth.
As your jobs are to bring our world together
In the right direction.
You must have an indomitable spirit,
Perseverance and help along the way.
Your beautiful words are like an echo.
Once you say something,
It goes across the globe,
Like a ship that has set sail for the seven seas.
Make every word the best
You’ve ever spoken.
May peace be with you
On your journey for world peace!
A Message for the Leaders
of the World
In Ms. Spiliot’s Computer 9 classes, ninth-
grade students were assigned the task of
creating their own Public Service
Announcement (PSA) videos that would
model positive leadership qualities and
influence people to think positively about
life. Throughout this issue, you will see
highlights of their scripts. The actual
videos can be found on the ACS Athens
website at
Marisa Black
ACS_ETH_08-12_ENHANCING EDU 9-06-10 17:37 ™ÂÏ›‰· 12
Teacher in our time: Past, Present, Future
On Friday May 21st, with a Gershwin-style of Porgy and Bess boldness, ACS
Athens music teacher, Ms. Gaines, brought true meaning to Dick Clarks’ famous
quote: "Music is the soundtrack of our life."
On that day, ACS students took their audience back in time to present the
80’s Karaoke Party. From the seats of the theatre, it may have seemed like just
another wonderful and fun ACS performance to viewers. However, though the
performance was filled with lots of laughter and joy, there were tear-jerking
moments when songs were used, so very craftily by the music teacher, to bring
transparency to values like globalism and compassion. To the back drop of none
other than Toto’s 80’s hit song, Africa, students retold of their fundraising
involvement for Tanzanian children (via Ms. Jill River’s trip to Africa).
The students ended their performance in memory of the 1.8 million displaced
victims of Haiti’s 2010 earthquake by singing of one of Michael Jackson’s biggest
singles, We Are the World. The 1985 creation of this song for humanitarian aid
required lots of cooperation and leadership. As the international students of ACS
stood on stage singing this song, it was clear that these messages were intertwined
in the magnificence of music.
After the show, Ms. Gaines shared her story…

‘We Are the World’ an Interview with Ms. Gaines
ACS_ETH_13-31_COVER STORY 9-06-10 17:44 ™ÂÏ›‰· 13
C OV E R story
What made you think of
creating a musical performance like
Originally, the idea was to honor
Michael Jackson in some way, but I
knew doing an entire concept based
on his songs would be too much.
Regardless of how anyone feels
about Michael Jackson socially, his
music was fantastic and every
musician in the world mourned the
day he passed. I realized while
researching his songs, that I had
forgotten just how incredible the
80's music was and how it made me
feel. Like I mentioned in the concert,
I grew up on a farm in Kentucky and
because I had a TV with only one,
possibly, two stations if we were
lucky. I didn't have much to do and so, with the help of wire hangers and
aluminum foil for reception, I played my little pink radio as much as I could. I
also knew that 80's fashions were making a comeback and thought "what
better time to honor the music I love so much!" I knew that everyone, despite
age, could relate to this music. It was a happy time and the music expressed
this perfectly! Never could I have imagined how much the students would grab
on and love this music as much as I did. When I first brought up an 80's theme
to the fifth graders, I was shocked to see extreme excitement and the
willingness to do whatever it took to
pull it off.
When did you begin mobilizing
to create this performance?
I began the research process in
January. I knew there were so many
songs I wanted to put in this concert,
but could only allot for a certain
number; therefore, I wrote down
every song that I could recall or find,
and began to narrow it down to
which ones were maybes and which
ones were must haves. Right after
spring break, I had the list down to
about 45 songs, and I played the
ones I couldn't decide between for
the students, observing which songs
they responded best to. Once I saw
which ones they would enjoy and work on the most, I finalized the list. The
students then began working on these songs during the first full week after
spring break. It took 6 weeks of rehearsal time with the students, but
approximately 10 hours a week at home fixing the songs to fit the students'
musical needs. I used a freeware program called Audacity to tweak the song's
key or tempo to fit the students in each class. This process takes constant
updating to suit the needs of every class. Without the capabilities of this
program, the concert would not have been possible. I also had to make sure
ACS_ETH_13-31_COVER STORY 9-06-10 17:44 ™ÂÏ›‰· 14
that the lyrics for each song fit the karaoke version that we used. It wasn't as
simple as cutting and pasting lyrics, I had to listen to them multiple times,
counting and recording correct lyrics every time. It's a time consuming process
that pays off once the students are in the classroom because it makes
rehearsals much smoother. I believe it's a music teacher's responsibility to do
all the work at home so that students can get the most out of rehearsal.
The hours it took to prepare were well worth it. With such a grand notion,
I had to make sure that everyone involved, including Ms. Confer in art, the
theater technicians, and the classroom teachers were all aware of everything
going on so that we could all be "in tune" once concert time rolled around. It's
always difficult to make what you know in your head is possible come to
fruition, but thanks to the collaboration by everyone involved, the concert was
a success.
During preparation, how do the values of globalism and leadership come
As for globalism, I can only refer to how students would have ideas about
what they thought would look good on stage. Although
they always had great ideas, I sometimes had to remind
them that it must work for everyone, not just
themselves. The idea that you must take everyone into
consideration can be a lot to take in for a child, but it is
something that I believe can be taught when figuring out
what works best for the performance setting.
In reference to leadership, it played a key role in our
rehearsal schedule. Sometimes there was more than one
group in each class, which meant that one group needed
to get something done on their own. I would designate
responsibilities to one or two particular students and
they would go and work with their group to fulfill those
tasks. I was always impressed when a group would
learn what was needed and come back ready to work
on something new! Rehearsing for performances is a
great way for students to step up and be leaders and to
learn about all the responsibility of being a leader.
Sometimes being a leader is not an easy thing,
something that we all learn, but I was continually
impressed with how fast the students learned this. They
worked so well together that they often came up with
ideas that would work that I had
never thought of!
What was the educational value
behind the performance?
This is the most important part. I
would be very arrogant to put on a
concert with no educational value. I
have been a part of too many
performing groups to know that no matter the content of the concert, the
underlying message is always one of self achievement. I liked putting on this
concert not only because it was different, but because it gave me the
opportunity to produce "chamber ensembles" or small groups. Too often,
there are large performing groups from each grade that sing a song in unison
where students can hide. In a concert like this, no one is safe! I like knowing
that all students have a starring role, some bigger than others. Many students
love singing solos while some feel more comfortable being a part of the group.
Either way, it was a way for me to give the students an
opportunity to be a "rock star for a day"! Every child
deserves the opportunity to feel like they are a part of
something bigger than themselves, but also to feel like
they are the most important person in the world. On
stage, whether you are singing, dancing, acting or playing
an instrument, you feel like a star and that feeling can
translate into so many other things in life. Having grown
up a performer, I (almost) never fear of doing something
that is out of my comfort zone, and because of that I
know that I can succeed at just about anything. I strive
to give my students that confidence, that assurance that
they can do anything! I know that most of them will not
be, or choose to be musicians, but I do know that they
all have the chance to be successful in whatever they
choose to do with their lives. I just hope that as an
educator, I can teach them ways to become the best
version of themselves, and I think this concert showed
them just how much hard work is truly worth it.
If you would like the DVD recording of this program,
contact Ms. Gaines for further information.
ACS_ETH_13-31_COVER STORY 9-06-10 17:44 ™ÂÏ›‰· 15
C OV E R story
The Marks of Leadership
Interview with Dr. John Dorbis
Desiree Michael, acccompanied by Chris Perakis
Every spring in
Greece, select students
spend endless waking
hours preparing for
their International
Baccalaureate (IB)
exams. Why? They are
in pursuit of an IB
Diploma. If they spend
the last two years of
their academic careers
well-committed to the
IB Programme, upon
completion and receipt
of this diploma, students
can gain acceptance
into most European,
African, Asian and
North and South American colleges and universities. These students are one step
ahead of their fellow classmates; in that, an American high school diploma is not
accepted by all universities throughout the world. Furthermore, with a high-level
of rigor and perseverance, IB Diploma students may qualify to knock-off one year
of university studies. For those who successfully complete
this mission, they can thank Dr. John Dorbis, the longest
serving Superintendent of ACS Athens.
As the head of an international school representing 52
countries, it was disconcerting for Dr. Dorbis to learn that
many of his students were returning to their home countries
without recognized credentials. Therefore, he felt it his
responsibility to find a program and curriculum that could
provide students with the academic certification they
needed; however, he wanted a curriculum structure that
matched with the American philosophy of student inquiry
and project-based learning. His search led him to Switzerland,
the headquarters of the IB Programme.
Bringing the IB Programme to Greece was not a particularly
simple feat as the mid-seventies granted Greece another wave
of the international political spot-light. Dorbis, however,
successfully convinced the Institution that ACS Athens was a
suitable candidate with a matching philosophy for its students.
Finally, the desired authorization was given in 1976. Today,
thirteen schools in Greece offer the IB Programme!
However, the introduction of the IB Programme to
is only one of many academic enhancements to the Jk-12 system that Dr.
Dorbis has, humbly, contributed. His lifelong engagement with education began at the
age of five, when his first grade teacher did nothing more than her job: she nurtured
minds; she encouraged little spirits and she made the world just a little bit bigger for
him and his classmates to see beyond their own existence. His teacher? Mrs. Cleo.
With a twinkle of joyous memory, he commends her saintly delivery of education,
"She marked my life." From there forward, a leader in education was born.
Growing up in an international surrounding, Dr. Dorbis attained fluency in five
languages, English, French, Arabic, Italian and, of course his native tongue -- Greek.
He went on to gain his Bachelor's degree from City University in London and
then, his Master's and Ph.D. in Education and Comparative Literature from the
Sorbonne, in Paris. Upon completion of his degrees, he returned to his birth city,
Cairo, and began teaching simultaneously in a high school and at the American
University of Cairo and the Egyptian University. However, on paper, the
aforementioned anthological review of events makes time fly and life look easy.
As Dr. Dorbis transitioned from the carelessness of childhood into the
responsibility of adulthood, he did not escape the eternally scaring decisions of
world leaders. WWII required his service. Though Greek, he was drafted by the
British Army. Once again, his life was marked, but this time by war. It marked how
he would lead as an educator and it marked the values that he would instill in his
students: His experiences emphasized the need to raise positive thinkers who
would understand the concept of peace and freedom, and who would appreciate
people’s differences. As Dr. Dorbis had grown up in an
internationally diverse community, with different cultures,
different tongues and different religions, he became well-
aware that the onus of ethical values lies in the hands of
leaders. War showed him that we should try very hard in life,
"to avoid hatred," but war did not deter him from his path of
becoming an educational leader.
Not surprisingly, the direct path that Dr. Dorbis did plan
to becoming a university lecturer did detour upon his marriage
to a highly educated and compassionate Greek woman. To
the benefit of so many of us today, he left his teaching jobs in
Egypt, and in 1957, he arrived in Athens. Through a family
member, he was introduced to the principal of an American
school in Kifissia that had recently chartered its name as the
American Community Schools of Athens. There, he accepted
a position with the English Department. Initially, he viewed
Julia Tokatlidou
Director IB Diploma Program
ACS Athens Student Profile: Principled - They act in accordance with fundamental principles of integrity, honesty, and humility,
with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities, among other values.
They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them.
1 Currently, there are over 2,100 IB Diploma
Schools in 139 countries. ACS Athens was the 60th applicant
to the program. IBO aims "to share educational experiences
across boundaries of religion, culture and ethnicity."
ACS_ETH_13-31_COVER STORY 9-06-10 18:27 ™ÂÏ›‰· 16
that position as a temporary
patch until he had an
opportunity to become a full
university lecturer. Ten years
later, while juggling evening
university lectures, he was still
serving as the Chairman of the
English Department. During
those years, he witnessed the
transition of his school from
the quaint tree-lined streets of
Kifissia to a quiet piece of open
land in Halandri where
wandering chickens and goats
constituted the neighboring
In the mid-Sixties, only a
few years after the school’s
relocation, surprisingly, Dr.
Dorbis received an evening call from the Board President, who urgently summoned
Dorbis to come to his Embassy residence in Psychico. An emergency meeting was
held with the participation of the serving superintendent. It was there that Dr. Dorbis
learned that he had been appointed to serve as ACS Assistant Superintendent.
However, his resolute goal of becoming a university
professor also stared him in his face. He had also been
appointed Lecturer to the Graduate School of
Economics and Administration of Athens. Nonetheless,
he accepted and his new position at ACS and at the
university permitted him to pursue his insatiable passion
for his own personal development and for further
understanding the American system of education and
constantly promoting it in Greece and on the
international scene. He flew to Boston and completed
Post- Doctoral courses at Harvard in School
Administration and Comparative Education. He
continued teaching during summers as a visiting professor
at Michigan State, Western Michigan, Peabody College,
Boston University and University of Arkansas.
His travels were not unscathed. He too, like many
foreigners on American soil, felt the raw edges of
change during the Sixties. However, Dr. Dorbis used
that experience to better understand the diverse
population of the 2500 students he served here in Athens. This torrent of social
transition simply reinforced the importance of what he had gained from childhood
and war_a strong belief in understanding diversity of our fellow global citizens.
Finally, in the late 70’s, after the cumulative years of professional training,
lecturing and serving as Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Dorbis was no longer asked
to become superintendent. The ACS Board stated, "You are the Superintendent!"
His path was set. In 1992 he was selected as "Superintendent of the Year" by the
American Association of School Administrators (AASA). He went on to deliver
great changes to ACS Athens, including the involvement of ACS teachers in the
National Writing Project; the encouragement of an Aeolian (wind generating)
electricity project operated by the students; the nascent adoption of school
Technology and the hiring of key staff members who
have continued to model his leadership and values to
this day.
Additionally, Dr. Dorbis holds five prestigious US
and international distinctions. In his honor, a portion of
the ACS campus was named the "John Dorbis Plaza."
In 1994, Dr. Dorbis retired from his position at ACS.
As an International Education Consultant, he is
frequently summoned by world leaders to share his
educational pedagogy and philosophy of leadership.
Modestly, he attends major school events to give
support to the students and families of the community
where he has left his indelible marks of global leadership.
Dr. Dorbis’ Six Tips for Creating a Great School:
1. Exchange of knowledge amongst international
2. American Educational System: create a curriculum
that allows for small class sizes in which individuals can
develop leadership
3. Team-teaching
4. Use of Library – very important tool for education; without a library
students simply memorize information from textbooks. A library gives meaning to
education and opens the mind
5. Gradual integration of Technology skills in teaching and research at all levels
through appropriate approach provided by well-trained teachers
6. Evaluation
ACS_ETH_13-31_COVER STORY 10-06-10 11:58 ™ÂÏ›‰· 17
C OV E R story
The String Theory and Educational Leadership
Desiree Michael
Editor, ACS Athens Ethos
In interviewing Dr. Gialamas on the simple question, "From your experience,
what makes a good leader and how do you, as the leader of ACS Athens,
implement your philosophy?" I was amazed at the depth of technicality and
process that drive his relaxed, caring and jovial leadership style. This two-hour
interview brought to mind scientific theories that reveal the complexities of such
simple events as the rising sun. The most suitable theory for a comparison to Dr.
Gialamas’ educational philosophy of leadership is the String Theory. Furthermore,
comparing our human interactions to the smallest particles that make up our
world seemed befitting given the themes of global citizenry and leadership.
Though there are various string theories, The Standard Model String Theory
holds that our world is made up of twelve basic building blocks that interact with
one another through four known forces (gravity, electromagnetism, and the weak
and strong nuclear forces). The twelve basic blocks consist of six quarks--the
smallest known particles to science--and six leptons.
The variations in the theory arise from the relevancy of dimensions.
Currently, there are 25 accepted dimensions and the dimension of time;
however, many of these dimensions are unobservable and fall into the realm of
the unknown. The String Theory posits that the above identified particles do not
exist in a three dimensional state, but rather, in one dimensional strings that often
function in these unobservable realms--sound familiar?
The problem in education arises from particles and elements operating in
unobservable realms. Educators receive students who come to them with many
unobservable conditions, and who may function in realms that the average
person finds hard to fathom; and yet, educational leaders are left with the task of
identifying the make-up of children and moving them forward. (Dr. Gialamas
shared a simple shoe scenario that if remembered may help educators better
identify solutions for all children.) Likewise, educational leaders at the
administrative level often face the daunting task of proving the existence of their
vision in the realm of the unknown. It is this task that Dr. Gialamas now faces in
leading his ACS staff into the future, which is one of the unobservable realms--
In Dr. Gialamas’ world, the smallest and most important particle of education
is the child. Then, there are the parents, the teachers, the administrators, the
school staff, the boards and the community support organizations (such as the
PTO & alumni). Beyond, there are the larger particles, the colleges, universities
and employers. According to Dr. Gialamas, the collective interaction of these
particles plays a significant role in creating a successful academic career and life-
path for the student. Employers want qualified personnel with skills that are
applicable to the future, "We are training students for jobs that do not even exist
yet." So, how does a leader of today’s institution guide students to reach their
end goal?
Like the four forces within the String Theory, Dr. Gialamas relies upon four
fundamental forces to lead:
1. Understanding
2. Partnering
3. Developing Professionally
4. Balancing with ethos
Theoretically, all of these elements create a simple manifestation of a string.
That string is what Dr. Gialamas refers to as the Theseus Thread, which he uses
to lead. Unlike the goal of winning, leading allows others to follow, primarily,
because of this connecting thread to the end goal and back. Thus, the challenge
he raises for educators at ACS Athens to see his vision is not for ACS to win a
title, but for a broader purpose--the lighthouse effect--so that other institutions
may follow as well.
In this interview, Dr. Gialamas carefully explained how he lays down a flexible
thread of leadership. And though it may appear to be a bit derisive, the fact of
the matter, very much like the old cliché, "There’s a method to the madness," is
that--in the world of academia from which Dr. Gialamas’ experiential foundation
is established--he has a history of valid assessments, valid observations and valid
Dr. Dorbis and Dr. Gialamas
ACS_ETH_13-31_COVER STORY 9-06-10 17:44 ™ÂÏ›‰· 18
applications that resulted in the discovery and development of new and authentic
elements to the world of education. By the end of my interview, I was left
thinking: The String Theory has one more new theory to add, The Gialamas
Particle Theory of Education.
The First Fundament Force in Educational Leadership: Understanding
Each child is a potential beacon of light and like the smallest particles, they
can have a profound impact on greater things. Thus, understanding the individual
make up of each child is critical. Protons and neutrons are both made up of three
quarks, but differing combinations of quarks. Children, the smallest of our
particles, are made up of a variety of quark-like combinations, resulting in
different behaviors and different functions in their future existence as global
citizens. In order to create a "best-fit" down the line, the onus is on educators to
understand the complete structure of a child. In a comparative scenario that Dr.
Gialamas uses in speeches, he states:
Imagine if you gave me a shoe_a size 35, when I wear 40. It would be painful
for me to walk in these shoes. Eventually, I will decide not to walk. People will
then label me lazy and stupid. They will say that I have no dreams. No stamina.
What happens if I continue to sit and not walk? I will eventually become a useless
element of society.
When considering the shoe size scenario--the educational approach to
teaching a child--Dr. Gialamas emphasizes the importance of educators to
identify the smaller combination of particles within a child, "the bones, the height,
the weight…and then find the shoe that fits! Then, our students can fly!" Imagine
if scientists did not take the time to identify the particles which they study….
The second part of Understanding is comprehending the students’ final
destination. The rapid changes in technology dictate that educational curriculum
follow suit. Given that Dr. Gialamas clearly understands where students need to
go, he is inviting his team to design an authentic shoe that is comfortable, flexible
and durable, yet, valued by others. This is his vision. Dr. Gialamas has
commissioned the staff of ACS Athens to pull all of their particles together and
reach into the realms of the unknown to develop a unique element_an authentic
ACS Athens diploma--that will give students value in the eyes of the greater
particles: universities and employers.
For Dr. Gialamas, this feat is easy for him to envisage, "When the vision and
the leader become one and the leader cannot be separated from the vision, this
is total leadership harmony. For the leader, there is no pretending or preparing
at that point. Whether others believe the vision or not, saying the truth makes it
easier to say one thing one time. Then, the leader and vision are inseparable."
However, for some, his vision is tantamount to those elements which exist and
function in unobservable dimensions. So, how is it that Dr. Gialamas is going to
make his next five year vision visible and understandable for others? Tangible
experience and time.
Dr. Gialamas is the first to admit that his expertise is not in the area of Jk-12
Education, but it is in the area of knowing how to lead schools to reach beyond
their fullest potential. "Five years ago, when I unveiled my vision stating that
colleges and universities would be knocking at our [ACS Athens] door, there
were those who did not believe me." At that time, Dr. Gialamas had envisioned
a new type of secondary school teacher, who would directly interact with
college-level professionals; because, it is the secondary teacher who makes the
last link in a child’s academic career before college: "We created an amalgamation
of sorts. You see, the beauty of this mix is that secondary teachers present,
publish articles, write grants, co-teach and invent with professors." Secondary
teachers and their students then gain a better understanding of where students
are going--a better understanding of greater particle dynamics (see supporting
article: Preparing Students for the College Experience--online @
Over the course of the first five years, ACS Athens developed partnerships
with the University of Richmond, University of Indianapolis, Tufts University,
Williams College and York University Toronto. "In November of last year, Ms.
Peggy Pelonis [Director of Student Affairs] and I flew to the United States to
receive the Nikolai N. Khaladjan International Award for innovation in higher
education. We were the first Jk-12 school ever to receive such an award. So,
you see, there will always be those who don’t believe."
Not surprisingly like electrons, that are full of charge, Dr. Gialamas goes on to
say, "Within any organization, there are two-to-three percent who are the movers
and shakers." Then there are the protons--they will move more actively when in
the right temperature. "Fifty percent are observers--they will watch events unfold
and when it is safe, they jump on board." Finally, there are the neutrons--Dr.
Gailamas refers to these as "the deniers and doubters." "They will find two million
reasons for not accepting change and they make up about 47%." However, once
in motion, Dr. Gialamas explains that the semblance of electrons, protons, and
neutrons will keep moving once the vision is realized. Thus, it is the dimension of
Dr. Gialamas and student Daniel Speckhard

ACS_ETH_13-31_COVER STORY 9-06-10 17:44 ™ÂÏ›‰· 19
C OV E R story
time that will help others understand
what is initially unobservable.
This positive association of particles
that occurs over the continuum of time
involves the next two forces in
educational leadership: partnering and
developing professionally.
The Second Fundament Force in
Educational Leadership: Partnering
Partnerships are associated with the
force of partnering and like the
analogous flexible shoe, Dr. Gialamas
believes that partnerships must be
flexible as well. He contends that many
people are afraid of partnerships very
much like their fear of unobservable
realms, "…they are afraid, because
people believe that partnerships have
to be divided equally, but partnerships
are not based on equality; they are
based on fairness. They can be divided
90:10, 80:20 and so on." As differing
variations of particles of an element
work together and determine an
element’s properties, Dr. Gialamas
states, "All of us in an academic
environment are partners; we have a
partnership with varying percentages.
Two or more people have to agree to
a partnership and how it will be divided.
Most importantly, they have to agree to
disagree and depending on the
progress and maturity of their
partnership, the flexibility can change.
Here, the element that has to be very well-defined is the relationship."
During his previous commitments as an administrator in higher education, Dr.
Gialamas created many successful elements of partnerships. He did so from using
the process of Understanding that he knows best: "A leader must make the first
move to understand the people who he is leading."
As Vice President of Academic Affairs at DeVry University, he had the
responsibility of establishing a strong academic partnership with other loosely
connected DeVry leaders on 20 campuses in 18 cities throughout 2 countries. In order
to develop a well-defined element, Dr. Gialamas flew to each campus, listened to
heads of departments and other representatives within the nuclei of those
communities. After three months, he identified the recurring problem. He identified
leaders_people who had the ability to lay down a Theseus Thread for others to follow.
He pulled them together, defining the first element--a flexible partnership. Later, he
invited the partnership to sit down with him and brainstorm the creation of a novel
element_a Practitioner’s-based Electronic
Engineering Technology Degree. Dr.
Gialamas notes:
In this partnership, there was
nothing to impose. I had 18 advocates
who had ownership of an idea. They
used the theories of Vertical Curriculum
Design and pulled out what was really
needed in the student curriculum. The
Electronic Engineering Technology
Degree was the best degree ever and it
is one of the most popular today. In
1999, these leaders came up with the
brilliant idea to implement this degree in
the Silicon Valley where the Fremont
campus is located.
However, to create an authentic
degree, Dr. Gialamas recounts that it did
not happen overnight, "That model
needed a lot of leadership as a
partnership with bounded flexibility.
Over time those boundaries changed."
Thus, understanding and partnering
are two key forces in creating successful
academic elements. At ACS Athens, Dr.
Gialamas took his time to understand
his population. He identified and
established nine-area leaders and he is
in the process of transitioning those
leaders through the third stage in order
to lead the creation of their own
authentic element--that means
advancing their own professional
development and leadership skills.
The Third Fundament Force in Educational Leadership: Developing
The goal of developing educational leaders is to create a sustainable vision
over time. Thus, after a leader has taken the time to understand the particle
dynamics of an educational community and worked to create cohesive elements
such as relationships, Dr. Gialamas expresses that in order to avoid instigative
leadership*: "A leader should always focus on developing other leaders. This is
the most important aspects of leadership. A complete leader must develop more
leaders." It is just as important for an institution to develop its leadership-base as
it is to develop its students. He continues, "It is about finding the right people for
the position or the right place and putting people there."
At DeVry University, Dr. Gialamas instituted a Leadership Academy in which
the previously identified 18 area-leaders could attend and were guaranteed a
promotional position at a DeVry campus upon completion.
Dr. Gialamas and a Nine-Area Leader, Chris Perakis
ACS_ETH_13-31_COVER STORY 9-06-10 17:45 ™ÂÏ›‰· 20
At ACS Athens, during the first phase of his vision at ACS Athens, Dr.
Gialamas initiated the formation of the Institute of Critical and Creative Thinking
(ICCT), which serves as a think-tank, incubator and launch pad for innovative
academic and technological ideas like the latest collaborative work of ACS
Athens staff member Ms. Helen Sarantes and the University of Pennsylvania
professor, Dr. Eleni Miltsakaki. Together, these two educators are developing an
educational search engine,
Choosito!. The ICCT focuses on
partnering with the ACS staff in
order to display their professional
development whether it is a
vertical-level workshop, technology
or an artistic display of personal
Furthermore, the Nine-Area
ACS Athens leaders and all staff
are encouraged to attend summer
leadership workshops to improve
their skills. Seven of the nine
leaders are currently pursuing their
MBA and one a Ph.D. For
educators, being students
themselves, while leading students,
can better bridge the gap of guiding
secondary students towards their
choices of higher education and
career paths.
Though the third force is a
critical force in Dr. Gialamas’
philosophy of educational leadership,
it is not the final force that brings
everything together. That role belongs to the force of balance.
The Fourth Fundament Force in Educational Leadership:
Balancing with ethos
Dr. Gialamas reiterates his belief of why it is crucial for leaders to take the
first step to understand their population, "There are zillions of articles and books
to tell you how to become a leader, but that is nonsense because every situation
is different." This awareness is situational leadership. Nonetheless, there are
elemental forces that remain the same--the forces of good and bad. Dr. Gialamas
prefers to focus on the good forces of educational leadership: "There is no
problem with having power when it is utilized for the benefit of others. Everyone
tries to find an underlying agenda for leaders who want to give children
opportunities. What if there is no agenda and no scenario? Can’t it be that
someone simply loves children and wants to make them happy--not spoil them,
but give them the resources and the love they need to make mistakes, and help
them to overcome those mistakes and accomplish their dreams?"
On the other hand, Dr. Gialamas concedes if there has to be an agenda and
final element, it is this:
If you are hungry, learn how to grow rice; if you are thirsty, learn how to build
wells; if you want a peaceful and prosperous world, you want to learn how to
educate children. It is a rare opportunity to have the power to help young
Therefore, as a leader, Dr. Gialamas balances the elements of education
within a framework of ethos (philosophy/values) that he refers to as harmonious,
meaningful and holistic learning:
mind and body; education and
meaning; present and future
opportunities all come together. At
the nucleus of his educational
community, Dr. Gialamas says, "We
want to inspire students to find their
own leadership identity. We want
them to become the architects of
their own buildings." In achieving the
ability for students to design their
own new elements in life, their
learning process must include, "a
theoretical base, the experiential
approach, civic responsibility and
unique and authentic projects."
Within these guidelines, Dr.
Gialamas believes the educators at
ACS Athens will have no problem
creating a flexible authentic ACS
Athens Diploma and successfully
leading our tiny quark-like particles
to the Champion League of
Education and beyond. Continually,
his staff has shown evidence of their
abilities to incorporate these elements of learning into their work with students.
Furthermore, overall, they have shown a collaborative understanding of Dr.
Gialamas’ four forces of educational leadership.
Though the String Theory is often referred to as the Theory of Everything, of
its four major forces, there remains a void of understanding around the force of
gravity. Unlike the String Theory, though Dr. Gialamas may have doubters to his
vision, he has carefully constructed and strung together each of the forces of his
philosophy, wrought with examples for others to follow. He concludes, "In the
end, maybe leadership is all about integrity, love and vision!"
As a testament to leaders in our time, clearly, Dr. Gialamas has laid a path to
innovative educational leadership.
*Instigative Leadership is a useful style of leading for short spurts of time (i.e. one time or
annual projects).
Editor’s note: Like an onomatopoeia, the title The Gialamas Particle Theory of
Education would bring to mind the depth of concept with all of the above elements and forces,
so one need not repeat a two hour interview or read a six page paper--one would, simply hear
the phrase and understand.
Dr. Gialamas and his daughter Zaharo Gialamas
Dr. Gialamas' Summer Reading List:
The Servant Leader by Robert P. Neuschel
The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Works and Life Can Turn the Ordinary into the Extraordinary by Mark Sanborn
ACS_ETH_13-31_COVER STORY 9-06-10 17:45 ™ÂÏ›‰· 21
C OV E R story
Leading on Location
Interview with
Academy Principal Brian Kelly
By Desiree Michael
Leadership styles come in different forms with many titles
and examples of implementers. There are instigative leaders,
who find themselves being great initiators of concepts and
ideas--innovators, whose ideas go when they go. Military
leaders inform us that there are dictatorial leaders. These
leaders must be readily equipped with answers, as their
community may not have a driving vision or may not have
achieved a sufficient educational standing to interpret critical
thoughts, due to age, poverty, or many other factors. There
is collaborative leadership in which the collective knowledge
of a group drives a vision.
Two years ago, Academy Principal Brian Kelly
contributed his leadership style to the collective group at of
leaders at ACS Athens. He firmly believes that leadership depends on many factors,
one of which is location. For this reason, Mr. Kelly refers to himself as a situational
leader. One must apply the type of leadership that is relevant to a specific location
and even a specific occurrence.
Mr. Kelly gained his experience about leadership and location after
administrating in extremely different global cultures. He entered the international
scene of education after teaching with his childhood teachers at his alma mater in
Burlingame, California--Benjamin Franklin High School. Mr. Kelly started his career
there in 1994 and describes that experience as one of "the most rewarding things
in life." There, he had the opportunity to become a co-worker with teachers who
taught him. He may have stayed in that position for many years had he not awaken
one morning with an "incredible desire to see the world."
His desire took him to South Korea. Where, in that situation, he found himself
in a fledgling school under conditions that required more autocracy as the collective
experience level was quite low. In comparison, Mr. Kelly points out that one of the
greater strengths of ACS Athens is that there are local area
leaders with more than 20 to 30 years of experience. He
emphasizes the need for an administrator to switch to a
collaborative leadership style: For an international school,
"ACS has been lucky to get people to stay here. The teachers
are incredibly gifted. Here, they can think outside of the box
and be rewarded for that. Therefore, to not include that
professional experience would be a mistake." To sum up the
difference between his experience with the school in Korea
and ACS, he says that coming to ACS was like getting on "a
train that was already moving, and all you have to do is hang
on for your life!" This is why Mr. Kelly believes that one style
of leadership is never enough and one must be truly
cognizant of the location and when to implement each style.
For instance, Mr. Kelly points to a situation in Colombia where it was critical that
he switch from being a strict directive leader to a more compassionate leader. He
explains that this particular area was "a poor farming community where the people
lacked voice and civic contribution." The unethical activities carried out by the
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) affected "every family." Mr. Kelly
learned to have a level of sensitivity to students’ personal issues that was of no
relevance in other international locations: "Many of these students had witnessed or
lost relatives in a local village massacred for illegal land acquisitions." Mr. Kelly
confrms, it is very clear that, "Situational leadership requires a repletion of skills."
There are many other situations that "tested" Mr. Kelly’s spirit. Nonetheless, he
knows that being a good leader means understanding when to apply the correct
leadership skill. Now that he is moving on to lead another school population, he will
do so "with great regret," for he believes that the ACS Athens community is "a very
special community unlike any other in the world."
To the Leaders of the World
The leader that I want to advise will need to save the world from
I will want you to be creative and take control of the earth.
Be peaceful and believe in yourself.
These are the most important qualities that a good leader should
Try to make people believe in recycling and cleaning up the earth.
Remember, always do the right thing and be responsible and brave.
Be careful to invest in things that are not bad for the earth.
This is important; you have to take it seriously.
The most important thing that you have to insist on is don’t waste
too much water.
Whatever you say is a breath from the earth.
I wish you good luck and make the earth proud!!!
By: Catherine Koukouta
ACS_ETH_13-31_COVER STORY 9-06-10 17:45 ™ÂÏ›‰· 22
Leading from the Middle with Meaning
Interview with
Middle School Principal
MaryAnn Augoustatos
Once longing to become a Mathematical Research
Statistician and dabble in the realm of uncertainty,
Middle School Principal MaryAnn Augoustatos made a
major career choice instead. She took her knowledge of
mathematics and brought it to children--lots of children.
For the last 21 years of her career, Mrs.
Augoustatos has taken on leadership roles at ACS
Athens. After her fifth year of teaching and realizing
that she loved imparting knowledge to students, Mrs.
Augoustatos took on the challenge of leading the ACS
Mathematics Department from Junior Kindergarten
through twelfth grade. For 16 years, this commitment
afforded her the ability to co-develop programs like the
ACS Athens Math Competition and create an
Elementary School Math Specialist position to help
improve students’ performance. Currently, as the
Middle School Principal, Mrs. Augoustatos
implemented a Friday Group to keep students in the
academic fold and on target.
Mathematically speaking, for the most part,
teaching and leading provide a greater probability of
life-long utility to others; a clear example of this reality
occurred just as our interview was taking place: A
student, who is a part of Mrs. Augoustatos’ Friday
Group, enters her office. He begins cleaning the small
fish tank that is home to a lone goldfish and greets
parents and guests as they come into the office;
nonetheless, the student happily completes his mission
as it has become part of his civic duties. He then
informs Mrs. Augoustatos that the English writing
project, which a teacher assigned, is not to his liking.
Thinking fast on her feet, Mrs. Augoustatos uses her
background in statistics--using multiple options to find
solutions to uncertainties. In giving a student the
option to increase his probability of success, Mrs.
Augoustatos asks the student, "What are your
favorite subjects?" He responds, "P.E. and Art." As not
to lower academic expectations or circumvent his
teacher’s assigned project, she offers the student a
chance to create his own writing project: He is to
develop and write a sports brochure. He must
determine the sport, number of players, plan out their needs, describe facilities, etc.
Surprisingly, after carefully understanding his assignment, the student heads
towards the door excited about his new project; but
there is a catch as Principal Augoustatos reminds him,
"You just got yourself an additional project. You will still
have to complete your originally assigned project after
you create this brochure and outline." However,
without any show of disappointment, the student
acknowledges his responsibilities and heads out the
door. Now, he will gain meaning for learning: Writing
an outline that relates to what he likes makes his
learning experience tangible; it also creates a template
for his initial assignment and increases his chances for
writing both projects successfully.
Mrs. Augoustatos reassures me that the most
challenging uncertainties do not come from the
students, but from the unavoidable daily disruptions
that face school leaders. Therefore, she consciously
designs her day to "ensure that everything has student
learning as the focal point."
Keeping that focal point at the center requires the
collaborative efforts of team that is sharp,
knowledgeable and well-trained in the latest teaching
techniques. Mrs. Augoustatos emphasizes, "This is why
I strongly believe in professional development and I
believe that one of the best opportunities for
professional development is serving on accreditation
teams." Mrs. Augoustatos has served, not only as a
member of such a team, but also as the Co-chairperson
representing the Middle States Association of Colleges
and Schools. She also serves as the leader and
evaluator of all ACS Athens Chairs and Coordinators
from JK-12. In this position, Mrs. Augoustatos is able to
hold campus-wide workshops and impart the skills and
development that she has garnered from her own
training. In azddition to pointing out small tips on how
to engage students successfully for meaningful learning,
she collaborates with her staff members for improved
curriculum development and standards-and-
benchmarks implementation.
In her continued journey to give meaning to
learning and increase her students’ academic
probabilities for success, Mrs. Augoustatos will
complete her International Administrative Certificate from Lehigh University by
July of this year.
ACS_ETH_13-31_COVER STORY 9-06-10 17:45 ™ÂÏ›‰· 23
C OV E R story
In 1994, the year many 2010 seniors were born, Camilla Warrender, ventured
into an unfamiliar world that would not only change her life, but eventually the lives
of many to follow (many who were not yet born).
Accepting the invitation of a friend, Bibi Andersson (well-known actress of
director Ingmar Bergman), Warrender traveled to Bosnia in the dead of winter. She
accompanied her friend Bibi, who went to repair the heating system for the Sarajevo
National Theater. Warrender’s original goal was to assist in providing cultural relief to
besieged Sarajevans. However, after witnessing the reality of being in the middle of
a civil* war, it became quite clear to her that there was more happening than civilians
fighting one another. There was genocide. Grimly, while the world went on with its
daily routine and politicians debated the relevancy of using the word genocide, more
and more Bosnian civilians died. Warrender watched as little to no aid came from
surrounding European nations and Americans remained blithely unaware and
uninformed of the degree of human losses.
Ten years later and back on American soil, yet still harboring a disquieted soul,
Ms. Warrender set out to create an organization that would change the way audio-
visual information could be presented. As fate would have it, one evening while in
Boston, ACS Athens’ President Dr. Gialamas was introduced to a lady who was in
the process of giving shape to an idea. That lady was Ms. Warrender. The idea: What
if students were given support to seek out information for global issues that matter?
What if students were able to tell the truth about an issue or conflict? What if
students were able to do that from the fairest viewpoint possible? What if that
information were disseminated globally via the internet and students could
collaborate worldwide? And last but not least, what if their actions influenced the
actions and solutions of others?
The challenge: How to best deliver information that is as factual as possible and
as fair as possible, and in a way that would engage an otherwise disinterested
audience? Such an endeavor would require painstaking accuracy of research, the use
of reliable and varied sources, and imagination.
For Warrender, meeting a man with a vision "to shape the minds of young
people with ethos to make the world a better place," was an ideal connection and
best fit. From that point forward, the idea, the challenge and the vision known as
Newscoop, could now spread its wings. ACS Athens would become the premier
pilot school for other schools to model. As global citizens being nurtured in the
process of making ethical decisions, our students rose to the challenge.
The next step was to make the first Newscoop collaborative project meaningful
to the lives of students at ACS Athens. Ms. Warrender created a list of global issues
and events from which interested students could choose. The Cyprus Resolution,
The Macedonian Issue, The Elgin Marbles and The Israeli-Palestinian issues seemed
most plausible. However, students’ desires gravitated towards the investigation of
highly controversial issues, such as Blood Diamonds and Blood Minerals; the latter of
the two, less known, has resulted in the most deaths of any armed conflict since
Nonetheless, after careful review, the first group of students chose to uncover
the realities behind the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle. To support the students’ efforts,
The World’s Issues, through the Eyes of Children
*Historians still debate whether the resulting armed conflicts from the secession of areas in the former Yugoslavia should be labeled as civil wars or not.
ACS_ETH_13-31_COVER STORY 9-06-10 17:45 ™ÂÏ›‰· 24
Warrender flew to Athens twice. In April of this year, the final video documentary
was viewed in the presence of the Palestinian Ambassador, SKAI television, the well-
known former Superintendant of ACS Athens, Dr. Dorbis, and many more VIP
members of the Athens community. Very pleased with the outcome, Warrender
reflected on the initial and difficult steps that faced the students:
Sometimes it was a challenge to selectively pull facts and assemble them. The
research necessitated us stepping back from preconceptions and our own biases. The
fact and bias checking was really a lesson of the heart, because in the end, we still had
to trust our greater intuition to balance and see through to what the critical facts
were, as well as what would help our viewers understand the situation. If young
people have understanding of a global issue, they might, indeed, care enough to
become involved. But it all begins with understanding…understanding is the biggest
step towards meaningful change.
For Warrender, the release of a restless spirit came with the awareness that other
schools are now following the same process as ACS Athens to make Newscoop an
international project: Students of The Chapin School, an ACS partner school, are
about to uncover the issues around Blood Diamonds. A school in Cambridge,
Massachusetts is collaborating with a Cambodian school on coverage of Southeast
Asian childhood-trafficking. And there are many others. Ms. Warrender can now rest
in knowing that the cries of lives lost during a war that once was, have not gone
unheard. Matched with one man’s visions to create global citizens, Ms. Warrender’s
dream to deliver accurate news that is seldom heard is coming true. Through the eyes
and minds of children, it can be expected to continue for a long time to come.
To close one chapter and move on to the next, in May, Camilla Warrender
traveled with the first group of ACS students, Dr. Gialamas and other ACS staff
members to Tel Aviv, Hebron, Bethlehem and Ramallah. A true understanding of the
Israeli-Palestinian Struggle is underway for the next generation of leaders.
(To view the students’ news documentary go to
To the Leaders of the World
By Malcolm Mehrabian
You’d better clean up your act.
You’d better stop thinking of your people as a source of money.
It’s only you who cares about the money,
And it’s you who are willing to destroy the earth in the process of making it.
You entice us, so that you can live a more rich and luxurious life.
It is you who are destroying hundreds of ecosystems,
Killing us,
Killing yourselves,
Just for your precious money.
You are making all these bombs
And enough fire power to blow up the earth.
I wonder what you will do with all of these?
One bomb will destroy any ecosystem for centuries.
And all this again
Just for your precious money.
Everybody else has to suffer for you to get money.
You know very well what’s going on,
And all the problems you are causing,
You just don’t care.
So step down or fix this mess up.
What are you going to do with all your money
When we’re all dead?
If you kill us,
Who will you get your money from?
We’ve only got one world
And if you destroy it,
Where will we go?
You have plenty of money for space exploration,
But you are using it to build new shopping malls.
I hope you have understood,
So get going,
And clean up this mess!
ACS_ETH_13-31_COVER STORY 9-06-10 17:45 ™ÂÏ›‰· 25
C OV E R story
Advice and Warning: By Alexandros Markowitz
Leaders of the world, be dependable and honest to the world. Do not back away and do not be shy. Please, do not
be offended by even the worst of comments. Pick a good government that you can rely and depend on. Set some goals
and be assertive. Be alert for violent leaders and nuclear weapons in the wrong hands. Protect your country from crime
and murders. Deal with the economy bravely. Build your army very strong in case it is needed to defend your nation
or allies’ countries. Take space exploration one step further. Speak carefully and wisely.
Leaders, oh, leaders you have to do something about global warming. Help the Israelis and Palestinians solve their
problems in the West Bank. Please, take measures on the drug trade in Mexico and across the planet. Make laws to
help the environment and to make the Earth a better place for the next generations. The animals that are living on the
Earth with us are dying fast. Some of them are even facing extinction. Therefore, we mustn’t cut down the rain forest
at the rate we are.
Last but not least, just give peace a chance.
To the Leaders of the World
By Ji Yung Kim
I think that to be a good leader, you should try to help
nature and the environment. Be someone who will love the
Earth and help it. Try to be creative to stop pollution on the
You leaders will get to make hard choices. Watch out for
people trying to fool you and benefit themselves. Think
before acting! Avoid being persuaded into doing something
for money.
We have too many conflicts facing us. Before solving the
conflicts, you must think about how the world will change
from your decisions! You can only solve global warming by
presenting a solution that has many pros and less cons. You
should definitely make laws to enforce recycling, because if
you are too lazy to do something your people will die with
too much polluted air. Our world is not something that you
can play with. Although you’ll never fix deforestation, you can slow it down. So, try to stop it
now before it is too late.
You are the ones who can stop all the pollution. Your people will listen to you. They might
disagree with you, but you need to be brave and stand against them. Speak about what is
really needed rather than your self-interests. Be thoughtful before speaking, because your
decision may not be a good decision.
I believe you all can do it. Try your best and be persistent. You are the ones who can do it.
Believe in yourselves as we believe in you! This is for the world. You can change the world!
Leaders around
the World
By Alyssa Newman
Leaders of the world, be strong and
honest. Don’t be afraid to follow
what your heart tells you to do.
Speak with strength and love in
your voice. Share your ideas with
the people and the world. Be
careful of what you say. Think
before you speak. Watch out for
those trying to ruin your job and
ruin the world.
There are many responsibilities for
leaders. You need to think of all the
problems in the world. We have
problems with water and pollution.
We need clean healthy air. You must listen to all of us and help us.
Please help the animals. If you help us fix these problems, please be
patient. Please help us!
Your word can make a difference. Words can make war or peace.
Worlds can build a country or tear it apart. Words can cause death,
but also save lives. I am asking you to be strong, honest, kind and fair.
Please help the world.
ACS_ETH_13-31_COVER STORY 9-06-10 17:45 ™ÂÏ›‰· 26
To all the leaders
of the world,
By Kamal
Be assertive.
Try your best.
And remember always to be patient and persistent.
Do not harm the animals.
Do not pollute our beloved world.
Avoid being cruel.
Don’t think and care for whatever you like,
But listen to others.
If the animals become extinct,
There will be no animals to eat,
No birds to sing new songs,
And even blind people will have no dogs
To guide them on their way.
If you waste the earth’s water,
There will be no more water to drink,
To swim,
To plant,
To wash our clothes,
Or to live.
Your words affect us all,
If you tell us to stand up for you,
And help you,
We always will.
If you don’t try to make a difference,
No one will try.
Stick to your dreams,
For the future is there waiting for us all!
A Message to All Leaders
By Virgil Galatis
Leaders, say what you want to say.
Speak with your strength.
Don’t be nervous.
Do your best.
Share ideas with people.
Do not be dishonest and mean to people of
the world.
Be calm and don’t get angry.
Watch what you say.
Make sure it will help the world.
ACS_ETH_13-31_COVER STORY 9-06-10 17:45 ™ÂÏ›‰· 27
C OV E R story
Food for Thought
Dina Pappas
Elementary School Principal
More and more in the
world, we face the problems
of obesity in children.
Although rare in the past,
obesity now affects more
children and adolescents. It
has become a leading
medical problem and one of
our greatest health
Five years ago, the
leading five nations which
had the biggest problem of
obesity were:
ñ United States 30.6%
ñ Mexico 24.2%
ñ United Kingdom 23%
ñ Slovakia 22.4%
ñ Greece 21.9%
(OECD Health Data 2005)
Currently, the ten fattest
countries are American
Samoa, 93.5%, Kiribati (in
the Pacific Ocean), 81.5%, U.S., 66.7%, Egypt, 66%, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 62.9%,
Israel, 61.9%, Croatia, 61.4%, United Kingdom, 61% . The United States has
over 66% of its population overweight and Europe is on its tail at a staggering
48%. 750 million people worldwide are overweight, out of which 300 million
are obese. Obesity is responsible for 325,000 deaths every year and the biggest
threat is heart disease. What is happening? Why are most countries numbers
continuing to increase? What are we doing wrong?
Once a country
introduces the American fast
food chains that are high in
fat, salt and sugar, the
dangerous obesity trend
ultimately follows.
Additionally, as humans, we
are becoming increasingly
more sedentary. Our lifestyle
is becoming more
comfortable as a result of
modern day technologies.
At ACS Athens, we
tend to love global and
challenging problems that
we, then, tackle on a smaller
scale. We care about the
whole child: "academically,
intellectually, socially and
ethically to thrive as
responsible global citizens."
One aspect of our students’
well-being is what we offer
them to eat during lunchtime.
Being an Elementary Principal at ACS Athens for four years, I have seen a
tremendous improvement in the quality of food in our cafeteria. The problem
was first brought to my attention when a small group mothers of elementary
school students and faculty came to me. They asked if the menu could contain
more healthful choices. At that point, I formulated a small Cafeteria
Committee comprised of parents and faculty to hear their suggestions on what
ACS Athens Student Profile: Balanced - They understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to
achieve personal well-being for themselves and others.
ACS_ETH_13-31_COVER STORY 9-06-10 17:45 ™ÂÏ›‰· 28
could be improved. After observing and
meeting with them, I took on the responsibility
of creating the menu for the Elementary
Currently, together with Ms. Makropoulos,
the Kindergarten Faculty and Head of the Early
Childhood Department, we create the
elementary school’s monthly menus. Ms.
Makropoulos created a tally sheet template that
she distributes to all teachers who have
contained classroom lunches. This group
includes the Junior Kindergarten and
Kindergarten Departments. Daily, they
document if the students eat the prepared
meals. The feedback is important in creating
future menus, such as the below menu choices.
We make a conscious effort to provide meals
that are healthful and enjoyable. Pasta always
seems to be a big hit and so, we offer it once a
week. The other days of the week, we make
sure that we offer poultry, fish, beans and a
traditional Greek dish such as Pastichio (baked
meat and pasta casserole with besamel sauce),
Gemista (stuffed tomatoes) or Spanakorizo
(spinach with rice). As we have an international clientele, we try and include in
foods from different cultural origins, such as tacos and meatloaf. Mr. Niko, the
head of the cafeteria, is more than willing to try new dishes as long as we give
him a picture of what we want along with the recipe.
Since our improvement efforts began four years ago, we no longer offer
fried foods, soda pop or sugary drinks. Each meal we create is balanced to have
a main course, fresh vegetables or salad, and fruit. If students do not like the
hot meal, they always have the option of choosing a healthful sandwich, which
includes salad and juice or milk. Since the Elementary School students are
young, our goal is to try and teach them to eat healthful and nutritious foods.
A good solution to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, in addition to getting sufficient
exercise, is healthy eating.
As one can see, our students are always at the heart of our solutions. It
was especially touching when I received four letters from students in Ms.
Rivers’ class, Reileigh Fleeher, Ilia Sharp, Effie Labrinos and Billy Lambriniadis,
who wrote to me discussing their various concerns on the menu. I invited
them to observe the process of selecting menu items and permitted them to
voice their concerns since they were representing their classmates as well. As
a result, these 4th grade students made several healthful contributions to the
current May 2010 menu. In creating a harmonious, meaning and holistic
educational experience, every voice can be heard. Children have the
knowledge to make a difference and every individual has the choice of what
they put into their mouth. A balanced life is a happy life, which starts with
thinking about the foods we eat.
ACS_ETH_13-31_COVER STORY 9-06-10 17:45 ™ÂÏ›‰· 29
C OV E R story
Action Item: What’s on the Menu?
Interview with Mr. Nikos
Head of Cafeteria
How many ways can you serve a school lunch? How many ways can
you serve vegetables?
Well for six years, the cafeteria director, Mr. Nikos and his six-member
cafeteria staff have been serving ACS Students. With 21-years of experience,
Mr. Nikos ensures that someone from his staff is available from 6:30AM until
5PM, so that JK-12th grade students may have something to eat during their
academic hours.
Over the years, due to requests, the cafeteria team has seen the menu
change. It is changing towards a more healthy selection of foods (see Food for
Thought); however, Mr. Nikos points out, "Students will only eat what they have
learned to eat and that starts at home. We try to do our best in serving a
variety of food, but most of the time the students choose what they know."
Based on requests, the team of chefs prepare daily meals most of which are
made from scratch. Only in emergencies do the staff use frozen vegetables.
Otherwise, everything from fresh tomatoes and peppers, fresh carrots, cabbage
and broccoli to fresh seasonings like onions and garlic are used to create a
variety of tasty vegi-combinations. There is even Pop-eye’s favorite dish--freshly
steamed spinach!
Since ACS Athens is an international population comprised of more than
54 nationalities, satisfying the needs of more than 800 globally-diverse students
is a large order to fill. Thus, in an effort to help students choose a more
harmonious and balanced way of eating, ACS Athens is working to place the
menu online. This way students may check in advance, "What’s on the menu?"
and yes, it will be accompanied by thumbnails to assist those who may not
know what a Gemista, a stuffed tomato, is--in Greek or English.
If you have a dish that can enhance your child’s holistic, meaningful and
harmonious experience, email us at Your recipe may get picked
to be "On the Menu!" If Mr. Nikos chooses your dish, we may publish it in the
next Ethos. Bon Appétit or Kali Orexi!
ACS_ETH_13-31_COVER STORY 9-06-10 17:45 ™ÂÏ›‰· 30
Positive thinking is very important, but nowadays, it is rarely part of
our society. The current generations have to live in a very stressful
world, where, at any minute, things may go wrong. We are
dependent on many things and we have to face many problems that,
in the past, could be and were ignored. The current circumstances
do not allow us to be positive, to stay happy and look at the glass
half full, but, if we want to solve the problems of today, we must,
instead, think of them as opportunities to improve our world.
Dimitrios Kotinis
Ms. Spiliot’s: Public Announcement Project, Technology Computers 9
In my commercial I wanted to show the world that there are so
many choices in life instead of just sitting at home all day and doing
nothing. Life goes by very fast and every moment is important and
special to each one of us. We should have a balance between
going out, studying and relaxing. Life can be taken away in a matter
of seconds; and, in my opinion, we should live and experience as
much as we can--the more experiences you have and the more
people you meet, the more intelligent you become. Another very
important factor is that a healthy body and mind makes you a
stronger character. That is what I feel works best!
Sofia Papanikolaou
Ms. Spiliot’s: Public Announcement Project, Technology Computers 9
Come in and enjoy fresh baked Cookies, Brownies, or Muffins with your favorite beverage;
plus select a gift package from a wide range of ideas for your loved ones.
Make your moments special with a unique Cookie Cake or Cookie Card.
Custom made orders, You can order your own logo and create the cookie of your dreams.
Also featuring YOVANA Frozen Yogurt by TCBY.
Mrs. Fields Cookies, since 1977, is the worlds leader in fresh baked cookies.
10% discount on all gift packages, cookie cards, cookie cakes for all ACS Faculty,
Students & Alumni, until the 1st of June, 2010.
Agias Paraskevis 91, Chalandri, tel. 210 8077670
·Franchises available in select districts such as Glyfada, downtown Athens, etc.
Looking for Franchise’s all over Greece. Please contact 210 8077670
Anaxagoras 7, Nea Erythraia
ACS_ETH_13-31_COVER STORY 9-06-10 17:45 ™ÂÏ›‰· 31
Student Leaders:
Student Leaders is a new segment of Ethos that will
feature students who use their understanding of leadership
and set examples that others may follow. Throughout the
year, students will be featured on the website in a similar
section to give voice to students from Jk-12. We hope this
highlight is a feature you will enjoy.
Setting the Stage in IB Visual Arts:
Raphael Kokkinos and his classmates led the way in
student art displays; however, Raphael had an array of
drawings and paintings that did not follow the ordinary.
Raphael states that his creations are done in the
moment. In essence, he gives little thought to his work;
he feels something and then creates it. He rarely creates
art to send a message: "I look to other cultures for
inspiration and influence, but I think I create my own style. I try to create
something that looks nice to me."
However, from his submitted pieces, he says one piece, in particular, did have a
meaning (held in photo). Quite fitting for this issue and in-line with the
observations of many of our students, it is entitled The Destruction of Earth:
Nature’s Inevitable Death.
Raphael plans to continue studying art and techniques. If, in the end, he is able to
join the ranks of other unique artists, who have influenced and inspired, he says,
"It would be very flattering to leave my style behind, but my main goal is to achieve
quality work."
A selection of Raphael’s work (and his classmates) can be viewed online at
A Student on a Mission:
Gikas Theodossiou is a member of the National Honor
Society and the Environmental Club. As all members
make a commitment to serve their communities in one
way or another, Gikas decided to use his efforts to help
the earth. All those new colorful recycling collection
bins around campus…they are in place due to the
coordination and directorship of Gikas. Together with
his team, he arranges to have the municipalities called
once a week to pick up all the cans and paper items that
make their way to those colorful bins, and believe it or
not there is a need for more.
If you’d like to participate or support the Environmental Club in their mission to
promote our stewardship of the Earth, you can find them on Facebook at ACS
Athens Recycling Committee. Otherwise, simply toss your cans and paper
waste products into their respective bins.
Panagiotis Mertikas
Ms. Spiliot’s
Public Announcement Project
Technology Computers 9
It is important to send out positive information to the
community. Commercials are a great way to inform
the community because many people are either
listening to the radio or watching television. They can
show people that doing one or two things like picking
up the garbage is good for the community. When
there were commercials about seatbelts, overall, it
helped everyone. Public announcements can teach people something new. They
can teach people to go out for a run, how to be active citizens and how to put
their minds to use for positive change. This is why public service commercials and
information are important for the community.
Medical Minds:
Under the guiding hands of ACS Athens’ Dr. John
Moissidis, students Kareem, Remos, David, Efthimios
and Ionnis have started a skeleton medical publication
on the main website of ACS Athens. They have
entitled their online medical journal or e-zine, Health
and Lifestyle. Each student will have the opportunity
to name his own special category of medicine,
technology, psychology or research that suits his*
interests. For instance, one student created a sub-
category of the publication to address neurological findings that may interest
parents and students alike. He has named this page Mind and Brain. On the other
hand, student Kareem Yahya says his interest is in plastic surgery and he would
like to see various types of informative pieces published to the ACS website that
focus on the advanced findings in this field of surgery. He, too, will create his own
landing page.
If you would like to submit articles or share medical links with this young team of
medical-minded students, contact Dr. Moissidis at
The current landing page can be found on the ACS Athens website at
*All students are welcome join.
Student leaders in Action
Wise owl fact: Feb. 2010 American Psychological Association
News for alternative learning styles: According to new research, artists perceive the world differently than non-artists. Their brain literally
interprets the world as a collection of lines, shadows, shapes and contours; whereas, non-artists see the world as a collection of objects.
ACS_ETH_32-46_STUDENT LEADERS 9-06-10 17:51 ™ÂÏ›‰· 32
Tenacious, tough, aggressive, persistent, hardworking, a team player, a leader:
these are the words that describe Jessica Ogunnorin on and off the court. Always
part of the action on the court, Jessica consistently goes after the ball. She is the
last one to leave practice having always worked to her maximum capacity. Even
after practice she works on her game, a strong indication of her determination to
achieve her goals. Jessica is constantly giving of herself to her teammates to help
them become better players. What she gets in return is an internal satisfaction
and a team of people who look up to her: when the going gets tough, the team
looks for Jessica. Academics are just as important to Jessica who strives as high in
school as she does in sports. No doubt, her hard work has paid off: The
University of California at Riverside has awarded her a full athletic scholarship.
Born in Athens, Greece, to a Nigerian family, Jessica attended Greek public
school until ninth grade, when she heard that ACS Athens was making scholarship
possibilities available to top students and athletes. Jessica applied for the scholarship
and she was accepted. Visiting the campus, she was fascinated by what she
discovered: a very different world. A school filled with children from varied cultures,
with teachers who were excited about teaching and cared about instilling a love for
learning in students, counselors and administrators that she could actually talk to, a
supportive environment that was really set up to help students succeed and reach
their individual potential.
The atmosphere at ACS Athens made Jessica want to give the school her very
best. Yet at the beginning she wondered how she would fit in, how she would
come to belong and how she would tame her internal stress. Both academics and
basketball were daunting in a new and foreign environment. But Jessica’s spirit and
her determination to move ahead in life, to take advantage of the opportunity that
had presented itself, overtook her fear of the unknown. She drew strength and
confidence from her supportive teachers and fellow students. She wanted options
and the only way to get them, in her mind, was to learn. She did what came most
natural to her in her life; she played basketball and studied hard. Jessica comments:
"Basketball created options for me; it was the way to my future. It was hard
sometimes and I was discouraged. Discouragement however, turned to
determination when I got a low grade in American Studies. That shocked me and
made me want to turn it around." Turn it around she did. Jessica finished her high
school career on the Principal’s List, having compiled a straight A academic record.
Injured during her junior year, Jessica missed that year’s championship. Mastering
her disappointment, she cheered on her teammates, got back into top physical
condition and led them to first place in the ISST* this year. In these achievements,
the multiple strengths of her character are evident. Evelyn Pittas, her English teacher
sums up these qualities succinctly:
"Jessica is a creative individual, with a high
degree of personal initiative. Jessica is a
standout among her classmates. Her
class preparation is excellent and she
willingly shares her ideas with others.
Jessica is a young woman of a well-
rounded education, high ideals, and
sound integrity. She is a warm, friendly,
hard-working, thoughtful person."
There is no doubt that Jessica is ready
to once again embrace what lies ahead.
She says it best: "By coming to ACS my
dreams got bigger…. I am ready to go to
the USA and to do well, to make my
family proud. ACS was a safe and secure
place that has made me confident to take
risks. I am ready to face the unknown."
*International Schools Students
Jessica Ogunnorin
The Courage to Embrace the Unknown
Peggy Pelonis, Director of Student Services
Annie Constantinides, Director of Athletics
Dr. Gialamas and Jessica Ogunnorin
ACS_ETH_32-46_STUDENT LEADERS 9-06-10 17:51 ™ÂÏ›‰· 33
ACS Student Profile: Communicators - They understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than
one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They are capable of listening to and receiving ideas from others, both
from within and outside of their own cultures.
The New Student Initiative, NSI, was launched as
a result of two students’ attempt to make their
community a better place for ideas to prosper. Laith
and Gaith Kalai started with the idea that potential for
innovation within any given high school community is
endless--especially within the ACS Academy. Below,
is an overview of how the two brothers initiated their
first project for their organization, NSI.
Apart from our daily academic work, athletic
and extracurricular interests, we both wanted to
achieve something within the school that would
allow the participation of other students. Initially, our
idea was to start a Habitat For Humanity® chapter
at ACS,; however, due to the laws limiting minors
from manual labor (even for a charitable cause), we
were unable to organize a school chapter. As we moved on and brainstormed ideas
for projects that we could carry out, we hit another brick wall. We had diverging
ideas, all seemingly irrelevant to one another, with no coherence whatsoever. So our
solution was to start a local ACS club where all those seemingly incoherent ideas
could fall under one name and one group of students.
Unfortunately, with time being a restrictive factor, it took us about two school
quarters to actually form such a group and gather a team of dedicated members.
The first project which we decided to embark upon was one that held personal
value for both of us. We were new students in a new country and a new school.
As new students a year ago, we faced numerous difficulties adapting to our new
environment. As we entered school in the middle of a school year, we felt a simple
guidebook from the students’ perspective would have been extremely handy.
Instead of merely pointing this out, we decided to make it our first project. We
wanted something useful that could welcome new students to ACS Athens in the
years to come. This project involved utilizing our existing team of students, collectively
brainstorming, creating a table of contents and assigning roles to each chapter--the
gist of which aims to help new students transition to their new school and possibly
their new country. As we have completed our first mockup version of the New
Students’ Survival Kit, we will make an online version available for comments and
feedback to help us and future contributors to improve our first project*.
From another angle, the New Students’ Initiative has helped us to grow as students
and leaders within our community. This project inspired a friend of ours to start another
group project with similar aims as he moves to a school in a foreign country.
As once new students, if incoming students are not satisfied with what is being
offered, NSI will try to encourage and guide them to start their own projects based
on their own initiatives.
We, as a group, seek to encourage talented and creative ACS Academy students
to build upon the status quo in order to improve it and make our community a better
place in which ideas can and do flourish.
The New Student Initiative The fate of the Earth is in our
Maria Kormpou, Environmental Science Student
Teacher: Ms. Pauline Mamouzellos, M.Ph.
Gaith and Laith Kalai
Nowadays, there are many public awareness
commercials about how we should all try to save our planet.
Even though they are very informative and helpful, they are
not convincing enough. I think to really understand what
happens with the environment, we have to get involved!
That’s what I did. I took the high school’s Environmental
Science course and found out that it was a very interesting
and surprising experience. It completely changed my view of
the environment and the way we treat it. Making that
change is the best thing I have done as a global citizen. As it
combines all the other sciences applied in today’s environment, I found it to be the
most interesting science course I have taken. It is a mixture of chemistry, biology,
geology, meteorology, economics and many more subjects. Through interesting
topics, chapter discussions, research, lab activities and field trips, students are invited
to learn about our planet and the environment in which we all need to coexist.
Through this course, I realized that we are facing a huge number of problems that
need solutions as soon as possible. We have caused this beautiful environment to
suffer through consistent harmful activities like land destruction, overuse of pesticides
and fertilizers, water pollution, overuse of fossil fuels and overconsumption. Our
activities have created consequences; therefore, those activities need to be altered. If
we do not alter our actions as a whole, the future will be bleak for us and our children.
However, visiting the Gaia Center was a beautiful experience. Learning about the
five environmental challenges of water, energy, food, transportation and resources,
revealed how much we really have to face these challenges immediately. Earth is
unique and we need to take better care of it!
One of the challenges, energy, provided information on simple ways that we can
limit energy consumption in the home: turning off electronic devices and unplugging
them when not in use; using energy efficient light bulbs; putting the computer into
Energy Saving mode, instead of putting it on screen saver; using the sun’s energy to
heat water instead of electricity; using solar batteries; and recycling electronic devices.
Upon returning from Gaia Center, I started applying these measures.
Moreover, I deeply understood the importance of recycling--we need to recycle!
As a global population, we are creating too much garbage. The Earth cannot support
us anymore. We can use less and limit our dependence on packaged products. To
help, I now use a permanent shopping bag to avoid using plastic bags.
Finally, I learned that the over cultivation of land along with new technological
equipment has caused deep wounds on the Earth’s surface. Unfortunately, improved
public awareness is needed to heal these wounds and re-establish a healthy
environment. Rotating crops and organic farming is a big step in this direction. To help
the Earth in this way, I continue to add more organic products to my diet.
To summarize, being a better global citizen means to understand, support and try
to save the Earth, our planet, through achievable individual and group efforts. Only if
we all try to do our duty towards our home, will we succeed in saving it and finally
saving ourselves. After all, the Earth’s fate is in our hands.
Gaith Kalai
ACS_ETH_32-46_STUDENT LEADERS 9-06-10 17:51 ™ÂÏ›‰· 34
Haiti needs help, and the students of the ACS Theory of Knowledge classes
have responded: In the spirit of action, TOK students raised $1,370.00 to
support the charitable organization, Partners in Health. The students chose the
organization themselves.
TOK in Action: By utilizing the various ways of knowledge, from IB History
and Economics to IB Art, Science and Mathematics, students informed the
public about the realities of Haiti in distress following the January 2010
earthquake. Through the use of various slogans and campaigns, students raised
the public’s awareness in creative ways. For example, the slogan 'Bring back
the color', related art to an Area of Knowledge. It utilized the metaphor that
the earthquake had stripped Haiti of its color as if turning a traditionally vibrant
painting from color to black and white. Another powerful campaign tool was
this poem, by Dina Ghazal, which related Language to an Area of Knowledge:
These powerful slogans produced powerful results.
Choosing Partners in Health: One group of students researched possible
charities to support, and then they narrowed their choices based on the
following set of class criteria: The organization had to have a foothold in Haiti
and a strong rapport with the local communities;, it had to be well-structured
and effectively staffed; and the charity had to utilize the donation for relief,
rather than for its own operational costs.
In the end, we decided that Partners in Health was the best choice; they
have had a center in Haiti since 1985. They are staffed by local professionals.
We also discovered that in the past, Partners in Health has used approximately
97% of the money it receives to bolster its efforts, while only using 3% in
operational costs. Since the charity was the most cost efficient and most
established organization there (as our research yielded), we decided to donate
to them.
This collaborative class service project inspired other, similar endeavors,
such as a raffle undertaken by the Spanish and French Foreign Language
departments. Next year, we plan to create a similar service project, due to the
success of this year's, and hopefully, to an even greater level of success.
The TOK classes, taught by Dave Nelson and Eli Pupovac, were motivated
in undertaking this task and lived up to wider aims of the course. Students
sought to increase their knowledge and awareness of the situation in Haiti by
using the five Areas of Knowledge of TOK, while promoting civic responsibility.
International donations and support for Haitians through Partners in Health
continues through the organization’s "Stand with Haiti" campaign:
Theory of Knowledge Students Model Leadership
for Haiti Service Learning in Action
Chris Monopolis
1st Year Full IB Student
Decision-Makers - They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of
spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs. They use their knowledge to set
goals and develop plans and deadlines for meeting them; as well as to make informed, ethical, moral, aesthetic and political choices.
I see people who are hungry,
Living in a country of no regulation.
People begging for help,
And no one willing to be their leader.
I see people fighting life itself,
Trying to survive.
People fighting against their destiny,
When even nature is their enemy.
See what I see?
I see people with no dreams,
But nightmares of their reality.
People imprisoned in their needs,
People of a lesser God.
I see children drowning in tears of loss,
Searching with empty arms for a tender
People completely distressed,
Lost in their misery,
Lost in the mire of human ignorance.
See what I see?
I see and I help.
Do you?
ACS_ETH_32-46_STUDENT LEADERS 9-06-10 17:51 ™ÂÏ›‰· 35
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ACS_ETH_32-46_STUDENT LEADERS 9-06-10 17:51 ™ÂÏ›‰· 37
Earth Club: "Leading By Example"
Toni Fleeher and Jane Mantarakis
It’s lunchtime! Volunteers from 2nd and 8th grades gather their food items and
head to the first meeting of the ACS Earth Club. The buzz of lively chatter and
greetings turns into a serious discussion as Earth Club members set ground rules for
how they will manage their time, share responsibilities, collaborate to learn more
about problems facing our planet and help transfer environmental awareness to the
larger student population, and eventually, even beyond the campus community.
Older students, taking the lead, organize the younger students into six rainbow
colored teams with each group taking on a specific topic related to environmental
Red Team – Protecting Animals and Their Habitats
Blue Team – Maintaining Water Resources
Green Team – Replenishing Vegetation and Protecting Forests
Orange Team – Retaining Agricultural Land and Avoiding Huge Landfills
Purple Team – Reducing Air Pollution
Yellow Team – Alternative Resources for Energy
Realistic Goals: Each group identifies problems, possible solutions and actions that
students themselves can do to contribute to positive changes for our planet Earth.
Students read, discuss, share ideas, take notes, write action plans and create a
slideshow to share with the total Elementary School student body on Earth Day
in April. Second graders agree to paint pictures of "Our Wonderful World" to
show what our Earth can continue to be if we take good care of it.
I learned how to interact with little kids and to see their point of view
towards the environment and other subjects as well. I also improved my
teamwork skills and learned to respect other people’s opinions. The
younger children are those who will lead the future and they have to learn
to love our planet and respect nature. This is how they can develop a
sensible and sensitive character.
Andriana Boudouraki
As a member of Earth Club, "I was able to experience what it was like to
work with younger kids. I had lots of fun getting to know the elementary
students and helping them learn. We got to exchange ideas and all of us
learned so much. I believe children are the leaders of our future. We
need to teach and show younger children the right way to live so they can
grow up and live healthy, enjoyable lives and save the Earth. Earth Club
is a fun, easy way to meet new people and also help the Earth.
Courtney Newman
ACS_ETH_32-46_STUDENT LEADERS 9-06-10 17:51 ™ÂÏ›‰· 38
Why Earth Club? Older members shared why they like Earth Club and think it is
a good idea:
"I thought it was nice being able to work with and teach the 2nd graders. I thought
they were really cute and some of the ideas they came up with were great. I think
Earth Club is a good idea because it is teaching kids about how important it is to
save the planet and we’re helping them help the Earth."
Nicole Spaulding
"I liked helping the elementary students and sending a message to the people to
think about the environment. At Earth Club we can learn about solutions for the
environment’s problems, and then we can inform other people about those
Alexia Celia Peza
"The elementary students gave many ideas about how to make things better for
the Earth. They have nice helpful ideas. For example, we can help the planet by
changing the minds of people who pollute the world."
Anastasia Kavvadia
"We exchange ideas and have a good time working together. We help other
students learn more about the environment and influence them. Together, we
can work towards having a better future."
Juliana Tsamantanis
"Earth Club is fun and productive. We help children understand how to help our Earth."
Anna Avgoustis
"It was fun interacting with the younger kids. I enjoyed hearing their ideas and
telling them mine about helping the environment. Earth Club is a good way to
inform people about the dangers that face the Earth."
Daniel Zoumaya
"If we teach others to help, there will be a bigger spread of people who know
how to help the Earth."
Gili Levit
On Earth Day, April 22, the Earth Club shared a meaningful presentation to the
total Elementary student body as planned and left their audience with a challenge
to "Make Every Day Earth Day"!
Modeling the ACS Athens Student Profile:
Through student driven initiatives, such as Earth Club, students reinforce and
apply many skills they’ve acquired across various curriculum disciplines as they
promote service and action for a better school / community and world:
Problem solving and higher level thinking in order to generate problems,
solutions and actions for environmental concerns facing our communities.
Research, using a variety of resources to find information and activities that
could help the Club involve others and build their environmental awareness.
Cooperative group work in which members assume various roles as leaders,
managers, team players and assistants.
Self-management and discipline required in order to manage time, space,
materials, collectively and independently while meeting, working and presenting
their topics to an audience.
Communication skills listening, discussing, note taking, reading, summarizing,
speaking, creating power point slide shows, painting images, connecting to lyrics of
"It’s A Wonderful World."
Earth Club has been a rewarding experience for both the 2nd and 8th grade
communities. Their collaborative efforts are a shining example of both leadership
and global citizenship. Earth Club members hope to continue their work to
promote environmental awareness and action for the rest of the school year and
plan to expand club initiatives next year. They challenge the whole ACS community
to join their efforts promoted by their motto, "Make Every Day Earth Day!"
ACS Student Profile: Reflective - They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess
and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development.
ACS_ETH_32-46_STUDENT LEADERS 9-06-10 17:52 ™ÂÏ›‰· 39
All around the world, teachers, parents and other community leaders are
recognizing that children are more than tomorrow’s leaders-they are leaders
today. Children often make the connection between what they learn in school
and the world in which they live, making them capable of being valuable
resources for schools and communities. They can learn how to deal effectively
with various disputes and how to contribute to their communities.
At the ACS Athens Elementary School, we believe it is not too early, or
too late for that matter, to begin teaching children the basics of leadership.
Children are taught the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have
others do unto you." As a result, children are learning to appreciate and
respect others who may see things differently than they do. They are
encouraged to communicate effectively with peers and to learn that everyone
is given two ears and only one mouth. So, they learn to listen twice as much
as they speak! Children understand that careful listening is the key to good
Additionally, children are learning about collaboration and teamwork. They
will need to learn how to get along in the world with a diverse group of
opinionated individuals. They will need to learn about compromising and how
to give and take so to ensure the task is complete. Therefore, they are learning
about responsibility, meeting deadlines, being prepared for class, as well as
persistence and determination, so that they have a foundation of personal pride.
Based upon all of these leadership values, two elementary students are
chosen from each grade level each month to serve as the Citizens of the
Month. These two children then depict all the qualities of leadership and
exemplify them each and every day. Also, they are asked to write a mini auto-
biography and attach their pictures.
Guests, teachers, parents, administrators and local leaders are welcome to
view these student-leader biographies as they are placed on display outside of
the Elementary School Library. Though, being a leader is a difficult task which
requires responsibility, perseverance, determination and confidence, at the
ACS Athens Elementary School, we believe that all students can be leaders!
"Who’s Leading Who?"
Stavroula Salouros
Physical Education Teacher
ACS_ETH_32-46_STUDENT LEADERS 9-06-10 17:52 ™ÂÏ›‰· 40
Parents often come to me and say, "Everyday, I ask Johnny what he does in
school and he always answers," "Nothing." It seems to be a common complaint
voiced by parents around the world in many types of educational settings.
Teachers regularly make it their duty to inform parents, both formally and
informally, what their children are taught during the school day. Perhaps one of
our Newsletter topics will spark a conversation about the math concepts covered
that week, or a story title will help them explain more about their projects that
were sent home.
Yet, Early Childhood educators face an even greater challenge of reporting
on students’ progress several times throughout the year on a written document.
Most of the learning that takes place cannot be recorded by the child on paper.
The teacher relies on his or her observations that are recorded as anecdotal notes
that have been collected throughout the year.
For these reasons, Student-Led Conferences for Parents are a unique and
important opportunity for parents and children alike. Student-Led Conferences
allow parents to celebrate their child’s growth. It is a hands-on approach which
allows parents to see the wealth of learning that takes place in the school setting.
They are performed in the most familiar setting for the child, his or her
classroom. During the conferences, the teacher, acting as the facilitator of the
process, will set-up the classroom with centers that are used daily. Material is
placed at the centers for children to
use. A card (for parent use) explains
what the child will be expected to do
at each center. Children have the
opportunity to showcase all that they
have learned!
At ACS Athens, we allow the
conference to be held in the language
that the family is most comfortable
with. It is amazing to watch the
parent/child interaction among the
families whose mother-tongue is not English. These children share with their
parents what we could never translate for them. Parents get a better picture of
the daily routine. This can even be taken a step further by video taping a typical
day in your classroom and playing the DVD as an introduction before the children
begin their center work.(Be prepared, parents will want to have a copy of this
The possibilities for celebrating learning are endless. The goal of giving those
little stars a chance to shine during Student-Led Conferences is crystal-clear!
Our Little Shining Stars
Cathy Makropoulos,
ACS Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher
ACS_ETH_32-46_STUDENT LEADERS 9-06-10 17:52 ™ÂÏ›‰· 41
Anyone who regularly visits the ACS Athens website might remember a
‘press release’ that was posted on February 28, just a week before ACS hosted
the 2010 Pan-Hellenic Forensics Association Tournament. That ‘post’ serves as a
perfect introduction to articles written by two of our forensics team stalwarts.
"Forensics, in the formal sense of the word, refers to public debates or formal
argumentation suitable for a court of law. For the school’s purposes, Forensics
provides an opportunity for students to be involved in various forms of public
speaking. Debate, Oral Interpretation of Literature, Original Oratory, Group
Discussion, Duet Acting, and Impromptu Speaking are included in the
competition. During the tournament, students have the chance to display a
number of skills acquired over a long period of training and preparation. They
gain experience from performing in front of peers, visitors, and guests and are
judged by independent judges. Students also learn through research in libraries
and on the Internet, practice their English (since the working language of the
tournament is English) and most of all are exposed to and able to discuss and
debate current issues. In addition to the enhancement of public speaking skills,
students sharpen their research skills, writing skills, and their ability to work in
cooperation with others through discussion and debate. The ultimate intent of
forensic events is to provide students with an opportunity to develop confidence
in their ability to communicate ideas and points of view. ACS Athens, a student-
centered international school, supports and embraces the philosophy of forensics
as a way to challenge all students to realize their potentials and become
responsible citizens."
One question has always concerned educators: How does one encourage
responsible citizenship? In the Forensics events of Debate and Group Discussion,
the answer is simple: through researching, analyzing and discussing the issues,
forensics students have ample practice in all three activities.
Debaters spend much of their time preparing their cases (both for and
against) on resolutions that this year included:
This House Believes That shop hours should not be regulated
THBT media reporting of the H1N1 virus has done more harm than good.
THBT the protection of the environment is the responsibility of developed
THBT parents should have the right to choose the gender of their child.
THBT public health care is preferable to private health care.
This House Believes in affirmative action for university entrance.
This House Would ban the production of non-green cars.
THW never release convicted felons on compassionate grounds.
Group Discussion also requires that a student know his topic well, but unlike
Debate, Group encourages participants to come to consensus and solve
problems related to the topic. This year the general topic was food, but the
students’ research included:
Eating disorders: anorexia, bulimia, diabetes, heart disease, health obsessions
Hunger/ feeding the world program; wastage
Health food versus junk food (advertising, education program, cooking skills,
good diet)
Food staples (corn and derivatives, effects on behavior, additives)
Organically cultivated crops; GM crops
When the Debaters and Group Discussants come together in their particular
rounds, they have collected their information and data, had a chance to synthesize
it, and now have the opportunity to use their analytical and speaking skills to
convince others of their viewpoints. They have all ventured beyond their
classroom walls and into the world in the process of becoming responsible world
It is from this vantage, that of becoming responsible world citizens, that the
students, Nasos Abuel (First Place Debater) offers his personal perspective on
what Forensics has meant to him.
Forensics Helps Students Develop Confidence and
Encourages Civic Responsibility
Marca A. Daley
Forensics Coordinator
ACS_ETH_32-46_STUDENT LEADERS 9-06-10 17:52 ™ÂÏ›‰· 42
Debate is a constructive emulation of arguments between two opposing sides.
The task of a debater is two-fold: The first facet is to determine a coherent
argumentation, which will be substantiated with examples and critical reasoning; the
second facet is to cogently present this argumentation to the judges and spectators,
while refuting and annulling the arguments of the opposing team. Possible topics
include important world issues and controversial social matters. The veritable thrill
of debate, however, is purely its objective: supporting one side, even if as an individual
you are fanatically against it. A debater quickly realizes that every issue has two
rhapsodies to it and that both can be argued.
Of course, in certain cases this is not very simple; being proposition, let’s say to
the topic, "This House Believes That Political Assassinations are a Legitimate Weapon
of Foreign Policy" is not a piece of cake. It requires a canny methodology and an
intelligent approach of the motion. The situation is further aggravated if we consider
the pressing time intervals that are given to debaters in order to build their case; then
the whole undertaking may seem extremely challenging. Quite frankly, it is. But don’t
worry. After your first debate you will understand that your greatest adversity is not
the motion or the opponent. It is your one-sidedness and your trepidation.
In essence, these are two things that you deal with in debate: your prejudices and
your fears. A debater becomes more open-minded and more prudent and sensible.
In the long run, determining arguments for both sides may make one evaluate his
actual perspective. Moreover, you become more considerate in your own life and
the way you deem the different viewpoints of others. In effect, you learn to regard
the glass both half full and half empty, depending on the circumstances. Inevitably,
you will succeed in conquering your fears. You will quickly see that by thinking freely,
you will be able to find some rational manifesto behind the side you have to support.
As you debate, you will gain primordial experience and transcend your known limits
and truly become a thinker and orator. Personally, more than preparing my case is
my moment of oratory. The casual debater will often simply consume himself in
explaining the issue and just iterating his team’s arguments. But the proficient and
excellent debater will give a show and entertain, in a sense, his audience. In the
Panhellenic Tournament, each debate team consists of three speakers: The first
speaker defines the motion in a way that will be most favorable for his team (first
speaker defines only if he is proposition; if he is opposition, he accepts the definition
and attempts to rebut it) and he presents the first argument of his side; the second
speaker, the case constructer, begins by countering and refuting the points of the
opposing side and continues by presenting the remaining arguments of his side in a
convincing manner; the third speaker, the summarizer, summarizes the points of
contention and picks-out any contradictions and fallacies in the opposing team’s case.
As second speaker, I find a particular exquisiteness in such rhetoric. I love to fascinate
and charm my audience and exemplify my case in such a way that I make a wider
impression both on the judges and on my viewers. Indeed, debate is a game of logic
but also of impression. Winning applause from the crowd brings tantamount joy and
contentment to a debater as winning the actual debate. This sensation is riveting and,
in fact, intriguing to the extent that it makes you want to debate more and more.
You become passionate; you become glib; and you become an orator. Finally, I would
like to make a brief mention of my team’s victory this year in the Panhellenic
Tournament. As a 10th grader, I had the unique and fortuitous opportunity to
cooperate with two of the best debaters that I have ever met: Peter and Jackie
To be honest, if it were not for them, I do not know if we would have gotten this
far. I do not even know if I would have become the debater that I am. From Peter
I learnt to think without restraints and develop a case that will be based on principle
rather than sentiment (of course, I then realized that one comes with the other while
you are speaking, but that is a different story). From Jackie I learnt to think on my feet
and pick-out contradictions. Indubitably, if Jackie were not always there to save the
day, I am not certain that we would have won several debates this year!!
Yet, clearly, presenting in the annual tournament is not just about winning: It is
also about the triumph of team cohesion. In October, under the ingenuous coaching
of Mr. Pupovac and Mr. Confer, a new cohort will learn the skill of balancing droll
performance with the exactitude and soundness of argumention. These keen novices
will experience a warm welcome not dissimilar from what I experienced with my
team; except, they will know in advance that debate is ultimately about the thrill.
Debate: The Thrill of Oration and Persuasion
Nasos Abuel
10th Grade Academy Student
ACS_ETH_32-46_STUDENT LEADERS 9-06-10 17:52 ™ÂÏ›‰· 43
Donations for Tanzanian Children
Jill Rivers
Fourth Grade Teacher
Being excited about my Tanzania experience, which
had taught me a lot about the Maasai culture and life in
another country, I was eager to share it with my
students. I created a Power Point presentation for the
fourth grade students and Room Mothers showing what
I did in Tanzania and what I learned. The students were
enthusiastic listeners and had wonderful ideas of ways
we could help both the young children and the older
students in this rural Maasai village, such as: sending
bricks so they could build better buildings; sending
bottled water; or maybe even sending computers. The
students’ suggestions were good ones as they
recognized the needs, but once we explained to them
how difficult it would be to send such heavy equipment
and that the village did not have electricity, their ideas
soon became more practical.
We focused our thoughts on how we could raise
money for sponsoring girls in high school and supplies
for the nursery school children. Again, the
brainstorming ideas of 42 nine-year-olds had variety and
creativity! However, someone hit the nail on the head
and said, "We could use our bake sale money!" Most
agreed that this was a super idea.
Not soon after this presentation, we had our 4th
grade bake sale. The students made many posters
advertising that the money raised would be used to
sponsor students in Tanzania and buy them supplies.
Having a specific goal for where our money would go
from the bake sale definitely helped persuade people to
make items to sell and for others to buy. All elementary
school bake sales are popular, yet our results showed
the importance of advertising for a specific cause. It was
a cold and rainy bake sale day in December; however,
the fourth grade sold sweets costing between 50 cents
to one Euro each and made a whooping 554 Euros!
To send one student to the boarding school of
Noonkodin Secondary School in Eluwai costs
approximately 400 Euros a year. This money provides
the student with room and board, money for supplies
and possibly their uniform. After connecting with my
contact in Tanzania I was provided with a list of six girls
who were desperate to receive sponsorship. We put
their profiles up on a wall and each fourth grader voted
for whom they thought should be sponsored. We later
discussed and wrote about why they chose their
particular girl. This fourth grade class (Class of 2018)
chose to sponsor a girl named Winnie Mussa. Winnie
is an orphan, her father died in 2005 and her mother
died in 2009.
I also shared my presentation with the present fifth
grade students who were my students last year.
Considering the bake sale money that they had raised
last year which had not been spent, they all agreed that
they wanted to use 400 Euros of that money to
sponsor a student also. Again, voting took place and
the fifth grade class (Class of 2017) sponsored a girl
named Josephine Frank. Josephine, age 18, has four
brothers and four sisters and her father has passed
away. However, once Josephine was chosen, the
students said they felt very sad about only voting for
one student because they felt that all the girls should be
sponsored and it did not seem fair to the other girls
who were not chosen. We had a dilemma. Between
the fourth and fifth grade students, we discussed and
brainstormed ideas to determine what we could do to
solve this problem.
It was December. People had Christmas presents
to buy. People were going on trips for the holidays, but
Christmas is also a time of giving. We decided
"ambassadors" would go from classroom to classroom
in the elementary school asking for money to help
sponsor more girls. We reached out to parents and
teachers too, and the donations were incredible. Some
parents went above and beyond with their donations,
and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your
generosity. We collected 1178 additional Euros!
Unbelievably we were able to sponsor 3 more girls:
Nanginyi Laitetei, age 18; Nemolel Saruni, age 17; and
Renatha Kimao, age 17.
I had mentioned in the last Ethos article that I was
going to sponsor the boy who had helped me while I
was in Tanzania working at the school. However, the
non-profit organization (
advised me it would be better to sponsor a girl rather
than a boy and that is why I sponsored the sixth girl
who desperately needed sponsorship, Nossim. You
ACS_ETH_32-46_STUDENT LEADERS 9-06-10 17:52 ™ÂÏ›‰· 44
Student PSA Projects
can find out all about the girls as
their profiles are in the display case
on the second floor of the
elementary school just outside the
fourth grade classrooms.
If you remember from my last
Ethos article, the nursery school in
the Eluwei area was a mud/dung
hut, had one teacher and up to 45
students, ages 4-8. Our fourth
grade class made flashcards for
those children with help from my
contact, Gemma (the founder of
the nursery school), who provided
words in Swahili that pertained to
the students. Our ACS Athens
students drew or colored pictures
on cards with the English and
Swahili names on them. We then
laminated the cards and used our
bake sale money to send them to Tanzania. We made over a hundred cards and
they were all received with excitement and enthusiasm.
Our fourth grade "ambassadors" also went around to each elementary
school classroom asking for a pencil from each child to send to the school. We
didn’t want the children to go out and buy new pencils - we wanted them to
donate the actual pencil they were using or one from their pencil case. This is
a great way for students to have an actual experience of giving up something
they have for someone who is in need. We collected over 100 pencils and sent
them to the nursery school along with pencil sharpeners bought from our bake
sale money.
The thank you letter that we received from the organization is also in the
display case commending us for our generous donation, the largest single donation
they have received from a school. More importantly, in this display case are the
letters from the girls we have sponsored. Their heart-felt expression of their
gratefulness gives me a sense of gratitude for the life I have and my continuing
passion to help make a difference some way, however large or small.
Raseel Sharaf
Ms. Spiliot’s
Public Announcement Project
Technology Computers 9
The topic I chose for my commercial was
peace because I believe that everyone should work
together to make the world a peaceful place. It is,
no doubt, everyone’s wish to make the world at
peace, and I believe that we can make it happen if we create more commercials
to raise awareness and get people to participate in peaceful events. There are
so many wars going on in the world and violence is taking place every day. We
can make that stop if we show people how much damage these wars are
causing the human race. Thousands of innocent people are getting killed every
day because of wars and violence, and many people are not aware of that. In
my commercial, I aimed to make people realize the importance of peace; to
show people the dangers of ignorance and carelessness; and to show how the
world can be a better place if we all work together to create world peace.
Danielle Ross
Ms. Spiliot’s
Public Announcement Project
Technology Computers 9
Positive thinking is an important thing to have in
our world today. Our world is full of horrible things
and horrible people. It is necessary to think positively
or you will only think about the bad. Our world is
also full of wonderful people who do helpful things.
One Saturday night, I was waiting at a bus stop to go home. I sat down just
as another bus was coming. A little old lady was trying to get onto that bus. She
was just about to step up to the step, and the bus drove away--just slammed its
doors in her face and drove off. She turned around and sat back down next to
me. She only spoke Greek and I only speak a tiny bit of Greek, but I really tried
to make a conversation with her. She complimented my bag, and we talked about
where I was from and where she was from. And when the next bus came, she
couldn’t make it onto the step, so I held her arm and helped her. Everyone else
had just walked right past her. So, you have to see the glass half full. Say to yourself
that yes, half of our world is bad, but then again, half of it is good. If everyone in
the world did something nice for another person, even those they don’t know,
then this world could become a better place for us to live.
ACS_ETH_32-46_STUDENT LEADERS 9-06-10 17:52 ™ÂÏ›‰· 45
The flag ceremony begins promptly at 10:00 am in the ACS Cafeteria – BSA
Troop 343’s monthly meeting is underway! The troop’s thirteen Scouts, ranging in
age from 11 to 15 (including an Eagle Scout), are organized into two patrols led by
a senior Scout. The patrol works together on various projects, mixing merit badge
and rank advancements with fun outings in Athens and around Greece.
Ascending Mount Olympus and staying overnight in the mid-mountain refuge;
experiencing firsthand the cockpit of an F16 fighter jet at the maintenance facility
at Tanagra Air Force base; learning fire safety skills from a captain in the Greek Fire
Brigade; identifying habitats in Halandri Creek and the urban environment around
ACS; discovering rocks and minerals of Greece at the Goulandris Natural History
Museum: these are just some of Troop 343’s activities this year.
As "Citizens of the World," each and every scout contributes to his community
– which in this case is all of Greece. Serving refreshments with a smile at the ACS
Christmas Fair; timing and guiding students at the Forensics Tournament; set up,
working, and taking down booths at the U.S. Embassy Spring Fair; cleaning ACS’
back field and planting colorful geraniums during Campus Beautification Day;
picking up Schineas Beach during the fall and preparing a beach-side campground
on Evia for the summer season during a camping trip this spring: the spirit of
volunteering is alive and well in Troop 343.
Watch for Troop 343 coming to help in your ACS neighborhood!
Boy Scouts of America Troop 343:
Citizens of the World
Amanda Arman, Middle School Technology
Robin Bradley and Stephanie Kutson
ACS Student Profile: Caring - They show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others.
They have a personal commitment to service, and to making a positive difference in the lives of others and to protecting
the environment.
ACS_ETH_32-46_STUDENT LEADERS 9-06-10 17:52 ™ÂÏ›‰· 46
HAILand farewell
The Journey: A Tribute to the Seniors
What do I remember from my school years? I
can definitely recall endless nights studying for my
finals and listening to my favorite songs on the
cassette player (no, we could not download songs
to our i-Pods or MP3s; devices like these and the
internet were beyond our imagination). I also
remember my mother asking me to take a nap
seeing as I would need a clear and relaxed mind in
the next morning. How typical this sounds….
What I mainly remember from my high school
years were the sports trips: the long term planning,
the endless efforts to make the team, the happy
moments as well as the disappointments, the wins
and the losses (they will all haunt me throughout my
life), the final team selection, the take off, the games,
the unforgettable times I had with my friends being
away from home and the inevitable return. To be honest, what carried me away was
the journey to the destination. That journey is best stated in the famous poem "Ithaca"
by Konstantinos Kavafis (see right column).
Being a student-athlete at ACS Athens, you definitely have a chance to become a
young Fileas Fog. You are given numerous opportunities to explore the world, to meet
new cultures, to visit historical sites, to taste new flavors and to meet people from all
over the globe. Athletes even get to live as a Belgian, a German, a Nigerian or a
Korean thanks to hospitable host families who "adopt" you for a few days.
Remember: it’s not the destination that should be your priority; it’s the "journey."
Live every moment. Stay humble and be thankful for the opportunities you are given.
You belong to a very privileged group.
As a student-athlete, you may think you differ from your peers. However, what really
makes you different and unique is your color, your height, your size, your personality and
the way you develop throughout the years. Your opponents are students who share
common goals, anxieties, worries, preferences and beliefs. What a wonderful feeling we
all felt when, at the end of the ISST Girls Basketball Tournament we hosted this year,
all of the participating teams joined hands to
dance to "Zorba’s" song in the middle of the
court, around the 1st place trophy. What a
great way to unite so many different
individuals, who share common goals!
Even though this "journey" came to an
end, we have surely all gained some
unforgettable memories, which we will share
with our families and friends in the future.
Oh yes, and the three-peat!
Well-done team and farewell seniors!
We’ll miss you.
Angelos Dimitropoulos, HS PE Teacher
Physical Education Department Coordinator
As you set out for Ithaca
hope your road is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
angry Poseidon - don't be afraid of them:
you' ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
wild Poseidon - you won't encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.
Hope your road is a long one.
May there be many summer mornings when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you enter harbours you're seeing for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind -
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to learn and go on learning from their scholars.
Keep Ithaca always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you're destined for.
But don't hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you're old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you've gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaca to make you rich.
Ithaca gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you wouldn't have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.
And if you find her poor, Ithaca won't have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you'll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.
ACS_ETH_47-48_HAIL 9-06-10 17:09 ™ÂÏ›‰· 47
HAILand farewell
As a former military
dependent, I thought I would
bring something to Ethos that
enjoyed in life – the community
Hail and Farewell. I think it is a
nice way to recognize the
contributions of those who
have served their community
and send them off with
appreciation. This time we had
a late start, so we are missing
many who are moving on, but
our best wishes go out to all of
the ACS staff who will follow a
new path in life. In the
December issue of Ethos, we
shall welcome those who will
join us.
This farewell interview
features Ms. Toni Fleeher and
Ms. Amanda Arman:
1) What great idea,
event, custom or activity (or
curriculum) did you contribute to ACS that you would like to see continued
beyond your stay?
Ms. Fleeher: The Earth Club was a partnership between the 2nd grade
community and the 8th grade community to help bring more environmental
awareness to our school. This was a collaboration effort between Jane Mantarakis
and myself to develop the club. I would love to see this club expanded and
continued for next year as it was such a positive experience.
Mrs. Arman: I have enjoyed being part of the ACS Middle School teaching staff.
It has been great fun developing the IT Exploratory class of Foundations of
Technology, Health, Research, and Guidance.
2) What do you think you gained from being a member of the ACS
community? What will you take with you to your next post that you gained
from ACS?
Ms. Fleeher: It was wonderful being in an international community and
benefiting from all the cultural experiences available. Also, my colleagues at ACS are
such a positive, dynamic, hard-working, and supportive group of individuals. I would
love to carry on their positive energy and creativity to my next assignment.
Mrs. Arman: Being part of the ACS community is like being part of a family. I
have made many friendships that I hope will last a life-time. I have fully enjoyed being
part of the Forensics
Tournament and attending
classes in the recent Teaching
Exceptional Learners at the
5th Annual ACS Athens
Learning Conference. The
knowledge and insight I gained
at this conference will certainly
help me in my next position in
Fairfax County Public Schools.
3) What is your
philosophy of life when the
chips are down--in essence,
how would you encourage
your teammates to keep up
the good fight--teaching?
Ms. Fleeher: Remaining
positive is a key to success. In
addition, always remember
what a positive influence we
have on the lives of our
students and that we have
their best interests at heart.
Mrs. Arman: I have met some excellent and dedicated teachers at ACS. They
know how to motivate and get the best out of children. I believe that all children
can learn and ACS embraces this concept. It has been my pleasure to teach and
learn in such an exciting environment.
ACS Athens
would like to wish
Ms. Terry McCarthy
and Ms. Mary Sexson
farewell as they are
both joining another
i n t e r n a t i o n a l
community school in
the southern part of
China. They have
promised to drop
Ethos a line once they
are settled. Thank you for all your hard work with the new library books and
the wonderful 5th grade play!!
Ms. Toni Fleeher (far left) and Ms. Amanda Arman (center)
ACS_ETH_47-48_HAIL 9-06-10 17:09 ™ÂÏ›‰· 48
PEDAGOGYin action
ACS Athens, in collaboration with Newscoop, proudly presented a mini-
documentary on the Israeli/Palestinian Struggle on April 19, 2010, at 2:00pm at
the ACS Athens Arts Center. This event was designed to showcase the ACS
Athens students’ work on a project that offered them a great opportunity to
explore and learn about a highly contested issue by researching, writing and
producing a video documentary piece aimed at portraying a fair and unbiased
view of the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle.
The purpose of the event was not to judge the objectivity or fairness of the
piece, but to stress the value of the dedicated and professional volunteer work
the students did on a subject where most media have failed to portray the view
of the youth. The documentary, which debuted for the first time at the NESA
Leadership Conference in Athens in 2009, received positive acclaim from the
public which included political figures and ambassadors, among them the
Ambassadors of the U.S. and Lebanon.
Students today are faced with a barrage of information on the internet. While
most students are comfortable using the web as a primary resource, there is great
concern for the reliability and validity of information found on its pages.
Furthermore, the perspective of young people is often lost or missing in media
broadcasts. At ACS Athens, students are tackling today’s contemporary problems
and current events through the creation of short documentaries and news pieces.
Over the last year, Newscoop, a media organization based in the U.S.,
partnered with ACS Athens to establish and refine a strong model of news
research and production. ACS Athens organized a Newscoop Club: The students
chose the very challenging issue of the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle for their first
news report. The intention of this partnership was to revolutionize the way
students access and share news-related information. The documentary is created
from the ground up, with the students researching, writing scripts, filming and
editing video. Students received support and advice from Newscoop via their
extensive list of professionals that support this endeavor.
Ms. Camilla Warrender, Founder and Executive Editor of Newscoop, who
was present at the event, commented: "When presenting the video at an
International School Leadership Conference in Athens in October 2009,
members of the audience commented that it was the most informative and
balanced piece on the conflict they had ever seen. This was powerful
confirmation that these students are capable of penetrating the big issues
largely ignored by mainstream media." Later on, she added: "The students of
ACS Athens, who collaborated with Newscoop on this project, were
thoughtful, serious, and creative beyond measure, with knowledge of the issues
and deep concern for just outcomes. This extraordinary group of young people
helped us all to see quickly that the Newscoop model of news production was
indeed perfect."
SKAI News Anchor Sia Kosioni, who presented and moderated the event,
commented: "These kids really managed to present a controversial issue, such as
this one, with no prejudice, something that we [the media] have failed to do over
the years. It is important to know that the new generation makes a difference in
our world. This documentary will be viewed by many students around the world.
Hopefully, it will affect many individuals in a positive way, and this is the beauty of
it all." Dr. Stefanos Gialamas, President of ACS Athens, in one of his interviews,
commented: "When young people attempt to explore such controversial issues
and we support them on that, the results are always positive. I believe we should
allow young minds to be creative and give them more opportunities to build a
safer world." Mr. Papadakis, Director of Enrollment, Communications and
Technology, commented: "What we wanted to do was to urge students to
explore this topic via extensive research and I believe we succeeded. It took the
students four months to
build the scenario and cut
it down to 27 minutes,
something that was difficult
to do since the first outline
of the documentary was an
hour long."
Follow up: Newscoop
and ACS Athens students
travelled to Palestine and
Israel to visit schools, talk
to students about their
hopes and expectations for
the future and collect
material for the creation of
a follow-up documentary.
Journalism and Democracy Project
A Seldom Seen Students’ View on News of our World
John Papadakis, Anna Valivesaki
and Camilla Warrender
ACS_ETH_49-54_PEDAGOGY 9-06-10 17:34 ™ÂÏ›‰· 49
PEDAGOGYin action
Wise owl fact: April 2010 - Dr. Valerie W. Hu and other researchers are working on DNA tagging and drugs that have revealed
positive results and potentially reversible outcomes for individuals with autism. Read more in the FASEB (Federation of American
Societies for Experimental Biology) Journal.
Here, at ACS Athens, a
network of teaching
professionals promote inclusive
education. Inclusion represents
the commitment to provide an
educational setting where
support services for students
with learning differences are
offered. At ACS, the Optimal
Match Department in
collaboration with ACS Staff
and shadow teachers strive to
provide the safest and most
effective learning environment
for each of these students. The
students themselves are
encouraged to be part of the
learning strategies by providing
feedback as to what helps them
learn. Parents are constantly
interacting with the teaching staff so as to bridge the link between home and
school. The growth of these students is highlighted because of the extensive,
meaningful collaborative practices that ACS follows.
In the school environment, collaboration is the open communication channels
between all teaching professionals and parents who engage in ongoing decision-
making, working towards a target
or goal. Emphasis is placed on
the need for effective
communication and an
understanding of one another's
frame of reference. Fostering a
collegial relationship among
classroom teachers, Optimal
Match specialists, shadow
teachers and parents produces
significant benefits for students
with learning differences as well
as for the school itself.
Leadership and organizational
skills instill a sense of coherence,
a consistency of individualized
needs and the ability for teachers
to detect and celebrate a pattern
of accomplishments within and
across classrooms. This process
may then lead to improved behaviour and achievement!
On this journey towards success, obstacles are dealt with in a systematic
way where all individual needs are taken into consideration. Each student with
a learning difference is provided with a support framework enabling them to
reach their full potential. Different learning strategies are provided to
ACS Athens: Leading the Way for Collaborative
Relationships between Students, Parents, Staff, Optimal
Match and Shadow Teachers
Angelik Grigoratos, Emily Mouratoglou and Christiana Perakis
ACS_ETH_49-54_PEDAGOGY 9-06-10 17:34 ™ÂÏ›‰· 50
"Recycle" and "reuse" are two words that we hear across the ACS Athens
campus. Whether it is members of the civic responsibility committee discussing their
goals for the year, or students bringing me their containers from snack, saying that
they thought it could be used for something, recycling and reusing are starting to
become habits instead of just afterthoughts. As the Elementary School Art teacher,
I have many opportunities to recycle and reuse; but even more importantly, I have
many opportunities to teach my students about the significance of recycling and
reusing: the earth that we live on and the air that we breathe are affected by each
and every one of our actions, so whatever measures, however small, towards
recycling and reusing we can take, can make a difference in our futures and the future
of the world in which we live.
This year, the theme of the elementary yearbook project is "A World of
Possibilities" as our students have their whole lives ahead of them and their futures
are full of possibilities. I wanted the elementary school to create a visual
representation of this theme to go on the front cover of the yearbook, but even
more than just making the art, I wanted the students to think about everything that
is possible for their futures if they have a healthy world in which to live.
To demonstrate the importance of taking care of our earth, we decided to make
the project out of recycled materials. I have been impressed by all of the different
colors of plastic bags found in Greece, so I asked the students to save all of the plastic
bags that they would have just thrown away. From there, we cut the bags into 1-
by-5 inch strips and sorted them by colors. Then, we painted an outline of the world
on a plastic grid and we began tying. A plastic knot of a corresponding color was
tied on each intersection of the grid. Over 6,000 double knots later, we had our
world filled with swirling plastic blue seas, yellow and green dotted continents, and
red plastic strips marking Athens. Every student in the school had an opportunity to
tie on at least one knot as they each did their part to contribute.
To demonstrate the possibilities that our futures hold, each student designed a
paper person that would encircle the world. The classes voted on their favorite
design and the winning student then recreated their design out of the leftover papers
from other projects. The final artwork is hanging in the entryway to the Elementary
School as a constant reminder of the importance of taking care of our world. As ACS
Athens is focused on molding global citizens and future leaders, what better reminder
of the small steps that each of us can take towards caring for our world and preparing
for our futures than a world created from the recycling and reusing efforts of children.
A World of Possibilities
Miah Confer
Elementary Art Teacher
accommodate each student in the areas which need strengthening. In the
classroom, shadow teachers, along with the classroom teachers, work together
to provide a comfortable and safe setting where the student with a learning
difference will be encouraged to function independently in the long run. To
begin in this journey towards independence, the student needs to begin with a
structured system. Clear systems established for schoolwork, homework and
appropriate behaviors are encouraged. These students are provided with clear
rules, task lists and visual memory aids, all of which are applied consistently.
Rules are clearly displayed and large assignments are broken down into steps.
Songs, poems, and pictures are also used to teach new concepts. At the same
time during the learning process the students are encouraged to reflect on
their strengths and efforts so as to provide them with the confidence to
persevere not only academically but also to work through their physical,
mental, social and emotional challenges.
The strategies mentioned above are applied by the shadow and classroom
teachers daily. The Optimal Match specialists collaborate with both the shadow
and classroom teachers so as to reinforce these strategies during OM times as
well. The idea is to use the abilities of all three area specialists in tandem so as
to help in the development of the student. Along this journey, we as shadow
teachers need to be intuitive about the student’s individualized needs and
tackle challenges with them. The shadow teachers constantly exchange ideas
and teaching strategies with the classroom teachers, Optimal Match specialists,
the parents and most importantly the students themselves. Applying strategies
that are conducive to the student and when necessary providing guidance for
completion of tasks is encouraged. At ACS Athens we share in the everyday
triumphs that the students achieve and promote a sense of self confidence in
their work. Simultaneously, provision for expressing themselves freely and
openly and, of course, joining in the laughter and fun of every moment!
So, teacher teamwork and applying the different learning strategies to meet
individualized needs is a goal for which we, here at ACS Athens, strive for. This
makes the everyday challenges and complex tasks more manageable, stimulates
new ideas, and promotes positive change in the classroom. The key practices
applied through collaboration foster a safe environment and promote growth
and learning for the students with learning differences. Each student’s
accomplishments is recognized, celebrated and eventually leads to
independence and a positive sense of self!
ACS_ETH_49-54_PEDAGOGY 9-06-10 17:34 ™ÂÏ›‰· 51
PEDAGOGYin action
Primary elections were held, campaign speeches given, posters designed, and
votes tallied. This is just your normal Third Grade class election. We’ve found that
discussing the democratic process isn’t enough and that actually walking through
it ourselves proves to be a life long learning experience.
When Third Grade takes an in-depth look into what makes up a community
and who makes sure it runs smoothly, our classroom turns into a well-oiled city.
Our helpers in class do not have titles like Line Leader, but instead, City Manager,
Inspector, and Postal Worker. Our desks put together to make groups of three
or four are transformed into neighborhoods within the city walls. These
neighborhoods with names such as "Lava Street" or "Las Vegas Road" are created
by the students.
At the beginning of the year,
we discuss what makes an effective
leader. From an elementary
students’ point of view, one will
typically hear that a leader has to
be smart, a very good listener, have
many ideas, and be someone who
isn’t too shy. If our social studies
curriculum leads into a unit on
democracy, this is where we
decide to take action and elect a
leader who is a "good fit" for the
role of a classroom mayor. We
follow most of the same steps as
the President does (give or take a
few million dollars and months of
campaigning) and we go through a
primary election. We discuss an
election ballot with all the different
types of political parties and that during the primaries, there are more people who
have a ‘shot’ at becoming the leader.
After we’ve narrowed the vote down to around three people, a general election
takes place. Neighborhoods start working together to campaign for their chosen
candidate. Giving them examples of real life campaign slogans and jingles usually gets
the conversation started: "What could we sing so she’s elected? What rhymes with
leader to put in our motto?" These are just a few of the quotes you will hear as you
meander around the room helping each neighborhood brainstorm ideas.
When it’s finalized to two or three candidates for mayor, there will be a few
broken hearts. You must put the pieces back together by getting them involved
in other areas. For instance, one year I noticed that a student of mine was not
taking an interest in school all that much. When I mentioned politics and what this
meant, he was right there hanging on my every word. When he lost the primary
election, he was crushed. Capitalizing on his interest, our class made him ‘business
cards’ and announced his new role as the Campaign Manager. From there on out,
he was all smiles and had no problem telling the candidates exactly what to do.
This is a just one example of a young boy, who might have otherwise become a
wall flower, but instead, rose to ‘third-grade stardom.’
Finally, it’s the day of general election. The homemade voting booth is in the
corner with its colored streamers attached. Ballots have been printed for the
students to mark their top choice. Everyone is anxious, including the teacher.
However, the election itself isn’t the big idea. It’s the process that makes the
end result priceless. Normally otherwise timid children become open and willing
to voice their opinions. In the past,
I’ve had students discuss such
issues as the troubles that exist
between their two countries at
that moment in time. One child
even remarked, "Just because the
places we come from are fighting
doesn’t mean we can’t be friends."
Everyone puts aside their
differences to work as one
cohesive whole.
Incorporating town hall
meetings into the mix also made
for a rich learning experience. This
is where the class gets together
and the mayor leads the meeting.
It’s amazing to watch the students
run the show without any
assistance from the adult
leader_the teacher. During these
town hall meetings, they are allowed to bring forth any concerns or compliments
they have with regards to their fellow classmates: "Mayor, I’m concerned about
Greek class. No one is listening to the teacher and we aren’t getting along. What
should we do about it?" This is just your typical town hall meeting conversation,
held each week for approximately 15 minutes.
We could all open a textbook and have our students read from the ‘top of
page 11’; however, in my opinion, learning this way is, and forever will be, the least
effective way to reach each type of learner. After the elections were held, the
classroom went back to being just a normal everyday community full of
concerned citizens. Lurking underneath was something completely different.
These citizens were not afraid to stand up for their class and make their voices
heard. Followers? Not here. Did the teacher just design her worst nightmare, a
classroom of leaders? Yes, and it was well worth it.
Democracy in Action
Kate Blaufuss
ACS_ETH_49-54_PEDAGOGY 9-06-10 17:34 ™ÂÏ›‰· 52
Learning Leadership, Culture and
Intuitiveness through Drama
Sophia Thanopoulou, IB Drama Instructor
We have been exploring unknown grounds here on the ACS Athens
theatre stage. During the last few weeks, we have been observing
people, ourselves and the way we relate to one another.
There is often struggle for power, yet, most of the time we are trying
to keep the balance: Sometimes we lean on one another–we often fall
as a result, or we see status differences and then try to overcome
them_are we masters over our own bodies; or are we letting someone
else so close that they master us? Is that a bad thing? We give up power,
and then take over again. Sometimes we are being "dragged by the
nose," or keeping someone on a "short leash." What is our comfort zone
with others? Where do we draw the line? One culture suggests keeping
others at arm’s length, whilst another feels comfortable with touching
and making contact.
When walking into a Drama class, one might see all these notions
translated into images that students create with their own bodies: leaning
against each other, playing
puppet and puppeteer, molding
each other into shapes,
mirroring, shadowing, balancing,
and literally, putting their weight
on one another, while learning
to trust. As stated in a student’s
reflection journal, "When you‘re
leaning on your partner you have
to really trust the other person
with your body weight. If you do
the joint movements for real, you
risk falling down and hurting
yourself pretty badly; if you don’t
do them and fake it, then, it
doesn’t look good." Isn’t this the
case with life too?
Thus, in IB Drama, we are
challenging habits,
preconceptions, cultural
notions and comfort zones.
Most of all, we are also spinning
the idea of leadership on its
head: as much as we learn to
accept a position of leadership,
we also have to learn how to
give it up.
Interdisciplinary and Team
Teaching at the IB Level
Dr. Lykourgos Hristako, IB Physics Instructor
In late March 2010, ACS Athens IB seniors from
the physics, chemistry and biology disciplines took a
day trip in Mati, Attiki as part of their collaborative
activity for the Group 4 IB Project. The topic was
light. The students had the opportunity to combine
and share their knowledge stemming from different
disciplines, so "as to encourage an understanding of
the relationships between scientific disciplines and
the overarching nature of the scientific method
(Aim 10 Group 4 IBO)."
Collaborative groups of students from each of
the three disciplines were formed. Then each group
attempted to uncover through thorough
theoretical, and where possible, experimental
approaches, the properties of light as applied and
relevant from the perspective of each of the three
basic sciences.
The process involved:
(i) Planning, i.e. brainstorming possible
experiments in all three sciences
(ii) Action, i.e. investigation of the topic
experimentally (fieldwork) and finally
(iii) Evaluation, i.e. the sharing of the findings
including successes and failures and
knowledge gained
The experience was extremely positive and all
accompanying faculty, Ms. Gourgourini, Ms. Dellas
and Dr. Histakos, as well as the IB Coordinator, Ms.
Tokatlidou, were impressed by the interest and
dedication that the students portrayed throughout
the process.
The accompanying faculty had the opportunity
to assist where necessary in all three stages
(planning, action and evaluation) and this made the
experience rewarding for everybody.
It was a rare and precious opportunity to
observe students, as well as faculty, coming from
different disciplines in the sciences and working
together on a single topic. This reinforced the idea
of scientific inquiry as a common endeavor.
ACS_ETH_49-54_PEDAGOGY 9-06-10 17:34 ™ÂÏ›‰· 53
PEDAGOGYin action
From the Classroom to the World
Irene Soteres
Fourth Grade Teacher
To become a global citizen is a life long venture for all people. We, at ACS
Athens, have a belief that our learners can and do become global citizens: citizens
who are fair, tolerant and self-motivated to make a positive contribution to our
world. In our school, students gain these skills from day one of their education.
They are guided by teachers and their environment.
At ACS, our classrooms are diverse microcosms of our world. Through our
lessons and curriculum, we teach global citizenry. Our students concerns and
thoughts, actions and reactions all have an impact on our daily lives and
eventually the world at large. Teachers play a huge role in developing attitudes
and skills that students acquire as they become global citizens of the world and
possibly future leaders.
Our young students are learning to look outside of themselves and become
aware of a varied group of peers who often represent a different culture and
belief system. In order to develop the skills they need to become a global citizen,
students have to be taught to be respectful, to communicate and how to make
proper choices to resolve conflicts.
In the fourth grade, we strive to develop skills and attitudes in our students in
order to reach the goal of global citizenship.
Communication Skills
In all facets of our curriculum, we communicate whether through written,
spoken or body language. Students present work and reports on a number of
different themes and genres. During presentations, students learn to speak with
clarity and proper intonation. They learn to stand with poise and proper posture.
They learn to look at their audience and most importantly know their material.
Students are also asked to call upon their creativity to present information
that will captivate their audience’s attention and hold their interest. Fourth
graders take pride in their own efforts and work when they see that their peers
are attracted by their work and are interested in the information that they
want to share.
Through these very important communication skills, students grow into self-
confident young adults who speak with conviction. They will be prepared to face
anyone on a global scale and speak with ease.
Interpersonal Skills
The diverse population at ACS Athens teaches tolerance to students. From
the students who are only just learning English to native speakers of English,
students are learning to trust their peers and classroom community. Students are
taught to work through conflicts and difficulties to reach resolutions for peace
within the classroom.
In the 4th grade, students show respect as they listen to their peers and give
feedback and constructive criticism. Students understand the power of spoken
language. Their comments immediately cause reactions in their peers that they
then modify or adjust in order to show respect towards their peers.
Discussions are held to teach appropriate phrases and comments that will be
accepted by their peers. We focus on questions that require students to put
themselves in the position of the listener or person receiving a comment. An
example of this is: How do you think someone would feel if you said, "Your poster
presentation was ugly?" By placing themselves in the position to answer questions
like this, students learn to speak responsibly and respectfully.
Classroom Responsibility
In order to instill responsibility, 4th graders are assigned weekly
responsibilities. These simple classroom tasks provide students with an awareness
of community. Students who neglect their responsibilities often answer to their
peers instead of their teacher. As a result, few students are let off of the hook by
their classmates; therefore, the reactions of their peers encourage responsibility
and participation. The message then becomes, "Am I the weak link in the
classroom chain?" and if so, "Do I need to become more responsible?"
These examples are just a glimpse at the foundation of our teaching. We
believe that all students have the potential to be great! Through our wonderful
and diverse potpourri of cultures and ethnicities at ACS, our students have the
opportunity to acquire lifelong skills and make a positive contribution to our
global society.
Our IT instructor’s,
Ms. Spiliot’s, favorite
quote on modeling
"We are the decisive
element in the
classroom. As teachers,
we possess a tremendous
power to make a child's
life miserable or joyous.
We can be a tool of
torture or an instrument of inspiration. We can humiliate or humor,
hurt or heal. In all situations, it is our response that decides whether
a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a person humanized or
-Haim Ginott
ACS_ETH_49-54_PEDAGOGY 9-06-10 17:34 ™ÂÏ›‰· 54
Following up on our highly successful
college visit trip of 2009, this past spring break
we were able to take ten more of our
Academy juniors on their first college visit trip
to Boston and the greater Boston area. With
an extra day in hand, in comparison to last
year, our students along with three non-ACS
students were able to experience US
university campus settings, college life,
classroom visits, meetings with ACS alums,
privatized tours and admissions information
sessions. All of the students participated in an
effort to receive a better understanding of the
selection process and to make a choice for
the college that is the best fit.
As ACS Athens staff, our main objectives
of our college visit tours are to introduce
students to the different types of institutions available in the United States; to
provide for an easier transition from high school to higher education and into
college life; and to enhance their understanding of the college admission process.
While attending these visits does not at any point guarantee entry to these
schools, it does open up possible communication with admissions officers. It is
always a key for admissions officers to be able to put a face to the name of the
applicant that will be applying the following year.
This year, we had the time to go to New Haven and visit Yale University along
with the opportunity for our students to participate in a multitude of introduction
classes available to us by the University. After their initial taste of visiting a college
campus and taking part in classes, the students had an opportunity to experience
the life and culture of Boston in a weekend filled with activities such as museum
visits, sightseeing around Boston, a theatrical performance and even an NBA
basketball game.
During the week, the following higher level institutions were visited: Harvard
University, Northeastern University, Boston College, Tufts, Massachusetts Institute
of Technology, Brown University, Emerson College and Boston University. The
students also experienced an impromptu private group information session with
Professor David Scott Palmer of the International Relations Department.
Along with our ICCT Director, Steve Medeiros, our goal is to not only
provide campus tours and information sessions for our students, but for them to
get an actual feel of the college experience and even participate in college courses
when possible. For the past two years, these college visit tours have been essential
in bridging the distance from secondary education to the universities for our
students and enhancing the global feel they have already experienced as students
in an international school.
Some memorable quotes from the students on their trip and visits:
✓ "Collaboration in the school is important and equals a feeling of community."
✓ "All the students get to know each other; there are many things to do, like
clubs and sports. I would fit in well."
✓ "There are so many things you can
study in addition to your chosen
major, so this makes students happy!"
✓ "I liked the fact that the campus offered
a very good level of education and that
there are over 26,000 students, which
gives one an opportunity to meet
more people. It also increases my
chances to find people who I match
✓ "I value multiculturalism in a university;
it is refreshing for me to hear foreign
languages and to absorb others’ views
of the world."
✓ "Most of Brown students I spoke to
were cheerful and lively."
✓ "I liked the way they approach
education. I could fit in there because
I think in a similar way."
✓ "There is a good possibility that I could
fit in with the students at BU, since
they looked like hard workers, but like
they still know how to have fun."
✓"I liked the academics, the professors
were very professional and helpful and,
at the same time, they were constantly
involving you in the class."
ICCT/Student Services: Making the World Just a Little Bit Bigger
2nd Annual ACS COLLEGE VISITS to the Boston Area
Spring Break 2010-Special Events
Stelios Kalogridakis
11th and 12th grade Academy Counselor
ACS_ETH_55-61_COMMUNITY 9-06-10 17:07 ™ÂÏ›‰· 55
There were other discoveries made about the natural world on this trip,
which serve as reminders of how vast and beautiful Earth’s ecosystems are. My
favorite country on the trip was Namibia, where, I never had imagined being in a
desert and witnessing rain and fog. As the truck inched closer to the Atlantic
Coast, the temperature dropped, ice formed on the windows, and the fog got
thicker. Fog, rain, ice and desert are not usually associated together, but if one puts
together their knowledge of earth science, one will remember that the cool
moisture mixing with hot desert air will indeed lead to the formation of fog.
In Sossusvlei, Namibia, I also experienced orange sand dunes over 200 meters
high and found that walking up sand dunes is very strenuous, especially if one is
the person making the path! The sand dunes are an orange color because they
contain iron. I also learned from a Nama tribesman guide the ways that his people
survive in the Namib desert, including how different plants contain water. I took
a piece of ostrich salad plant, cut it to reveal droplets of water, and even tasted
its refreshing liquid to satisfy my thirst in the desert heat.
Being in the desert also makes a person aware of how much artificial light
there is in first-world nations and how this light has the major disadvantage of
blocking people’s access to the vast array of stars in the night sky. Going to sleep
every night with a view of bright
constellations is quite the treat.
Discoveries about the
natural world also include
learning different ways that
humans interact with their
environment. For instance, I had
known that rubber trees
existed, but did not know what
they looked like or how they
produced rubber. In Malawi, the
group drove through a rubber
tree plantation and on request,
the guides stopped the truck. A
few of the travelers and I
promptly ran out of the truck
to touch the trees and witness
the small incisions made in the
bark to reach the sap vessels,
which do not harm the tree. What I discovered through sensory experience is
that the sap of this tree is where rubber comes from. The sap (also called
latex) is white, feels quite a bit like an eraser, and smells like latex gloves – all
of this fresh from a tree! I always thought that the tree was processed in some
way to make rubber, but this was not the case. Another important event was
the spice plantation tour in Zanzibar, which engages all five senses to discover
where spices come from and how they are processed. For instance, I learned
about cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, lemon grass, citronella, vanilla, saffron, cumin,
cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg by seeing the plants they originated from, and
sometimes touching, tasting, or smelling them. This plantation also grew
unusual tropical fruits, such as coco fruit, jack fruit, custard apples, pummeloes,
lychees, and star fruit – I tasted them and was able to shake some of them to
listen to their contents. At the end of the tour, I sampled several teas made
with the spices of the plantation, such as lemon grass tea with vanilla and
marsala tea, as well as young coconut juice. For lunch, I ate in a traditional
home, sitting on the floor and feasting upon pilau rice made with over 10
different spices in it, as well as veggie curry and steamed greens. Food offers
insights into the cultures of the various tribes of people that the group came
into contact with on this trip.
During the Luwawa forest walk in Malawi, the group visited the village of
Donija Nkhoma. Here, I rediscovered how fun it is to eat with only my fingers.
It is not as easy as I remembered, as in this culture and many cultures around
Discovery Through Travel – Part II
Rannelle McCoy
Social Studies Coordinator & MS Teacher
Editor’s note: This article is Part 2 of an article that appeared in the Fall
2009 issue of Ethos. As the previous Editor, Marca stated: Ms. McCoy
contemplates the natural beauties of our world, the fragility of our
ecosystem and a simpler life that is not dependent on technology.
ACS_ETH_55-61_COMMUNITY 9-06-10 17:07 ™ÂÏ›‰· 56
the world, it is improper to eat with one’s left hand. My traveling companions
and I were served a meal of chicken, beans, and maize meal, as well as maize
cake. At this village, I also learned the fine art of making mud bricks and building
mud-brick homes. I also witnessed first-hand the importance of water pumps,
donated by international charities, at improving the lives of the villagers. Having
a water pump in the village meant that girls, traditionally in charge of getting
water for the family, were able to be present for all classes in school as they
did not have to walk far to get the water for their families and thus miss this
valuable class time. Another important observation and understanding was that
of deforestation in Malawi, particularly since the
Luwawa Forest was only 15 years old. Driving through
Malawi revealed tree-less hills as the norm, due to
clear-cutting for charcoal-making and agricultural
activity, and the Luwawa Forest was replanted in an
attempt to reverse this trend.
While visiting the village of Donija Nkhoma in
Malawi, I was reminded that people of first world
countries are quite soft and pampered when it comes
to physical activity because of the many machines and
tools used to do the heavy work for them. For
example, I was given the opportunity to carry a basket
on my head, full of potatoes and other produce, and
walk up and down hills with it to gain a better
understanding of the challenges of rural life. In the
various countries I visited, people used their bodies or
bicycles mostly to carry heavy items from one place to
another. In using their bodies, people carried anything
from large branches to jugs of water on their heads,
while bicycles carried bunches of bananas and various water containers on
them along roads. Women often balanced items on their heads while carrying
babies tied to their backs with cloths, reminding the rest of the world just how
strong women really are. All people in the rural areas truly do walk long
distances to go to school or to a health clinic – as much as 10 to 20 kilometers,
something we rely on cars and busses for.
As I boarded the plane for home, I reflected upon three different lessons.
The most important one is that less truly is more. While readers have heard
this "wisdom" over and over, many truly do not believe it or get it. While
traveling, I understood that having less allows people to be more creative; they
make tools out of items they already have, such as digging with a stick instead
of a shovel or using a rock instead of hammer to put a tent peg into the
ground. Even the children showed their ingenuity with toys made from wood,
such as toy cars and bicycles, and dolls made from cloth. The children there
smiled a lot more than the students at ACS, who are more privileged than they
are. These children seemed full of life and joy, and were content to be in the
company of me and my fellow travelers through games of jump rope and
soccer with a ball made from bundled fabrics. In general, the many
conversations with locals reminded me of how important it is to lead a simple
life with less "things". The second lesson is travel leaves one hungering for
more answers. A few of my fellow travelers bought books after game drives to
do further research on the animals they saw.
Thus, once a traveler returns home, he or I needs to follow up on and validate
some of the experiences through further research. This can help eliminate any
false generalizations made during the trip, but also help process what was
observed at a deeper level. The final lesson is that travel is quite addicting; the
more I do it, the more future travel plans I hunger for and arrange. Everyone
should travel outside of their homeland, as they will not see their homeland quite
in the same way they did prior to the trip. Nor, will they return from the trip
without new knowledge about themselves and the world around them.
ACS_ETH_55-61_COMMUNITY 9-06-10 17:07 ™ÂÏ›‰· 57
Imagine exploring ancient Athens and modern Paris with other
international students…and getting high school credit. This opportunity was
made available to students from two different continents for the first time this
year through the ACS Athens Institute for Creative and Critical Thinking
Eleven students from the Chapin School in Manhattan joined 13 students
from ACS, Athens, in a shared learning experience that included course work
and field study. The on-line course, "Classicism and Romanticism in French Art
& Thought," developed by Humanities Instructors Kathleen Jasonides and Janet
Karvouniaris, is based on the internationally recognized Humanities program
that has been a part of the ACS curriculum for over 30 years. This on-line
course focuses on the influence of Classical Greek civilization on French art and
thought in the 18th and 19th centuries, and offers a variety of readings and
assignments to prepare students for on-site study in Athens and Paris.
Students from the Chapin School, accompanied by three adults, arrived in
Athens on March 17th to begin their field study of classical Greek sculpture and
architecture. Upon arrival they were welcomed by the ACS Humanities class
and three ACS students enrolled in the on-line course. During the next two
days they were guided in their field study at archaeological sites by the
Humanities instructors.
ACS Student Profile: Inquirers - They develop their natural curiosity and encounter the world and embrace the future with sense
of imagination and wonder. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning.
They actively enjoy learning and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.
On-Line and On-Site: Education for Global Citizenship
Janet Karvouniaris and Kathleen Jasonides
Humanities Instructors
ACS_ETH_55-61_COMMUNITY 9-06-10 17:07 ™ÂÏ›‰· 58
The combined group of ACS and Chapin students departed on March 20th
for Paris, where they spent a very busy week visiting important art museums,
historical monuments and sites such as the Invalides, Fontainebleau, Versailles,
and Chartres. During the week students kept a field notebook in which they
documented their study through observation notes, sketches, photographs and
reflective writing. In the evening, students participated in seminars in which
they shared their observations and questions with the rest of the group.
As a result of this innovative educational experience, the students became
well-acquainted with new ideas, new places, and new friends. Working
together toward a common purpose, students and educators from different
continents discovered an
exciting partnership in
learning. To build on this
foundation, the ICCT will
offer another on-line course
next year, "The Renaissance:
A Rebirth of Classical Ideas in
Italian Art and Thought,"
based on the second
semester of the ACS
Humanities program, Year 2.
The field study
component will include sites
in Athens, Florence, Rome,
Siena, and Arezzo.
Over the many years of its existence, the ACS Humanities program has
continued to adapt to the changing needs of its students without losing sight
of its core values. Educating students for life and work in a global society
presents challenges to educators.
In his book The World is Flat, Thomas Friedman states: "... in the future, how
we educate our children may prove to be more important than how much we
educate them."
An interdisciplinary education allows students to experiment with the goal
of becoming well-rounded. As technology has made the world smaller and
more interconnected, the possibilities for interdisciplinary education increase.
By combining on-line education with on-site field study, students take greater
responsibility for their own learning and develop the skills and attitudes needed
for global citizenship.
ACS_ETH_55-61_COMMUNITY 9-06-10 17:07 ™ÂÏ›‰· 59
To commemorate the centennial of Florence Nightingale’s passing and to
honor her life-long contribution to serving others, ACS Athens participated in
the "Nightingale Initiative for Global Health" hosted at the Megaron Mousikis
on March 8, 2010.
The event was dedicated to the thousands of nurses, health care workers
and educators devoted to building a healthy world.
ACS Athens Elementary School students opened the evening with a
musical presentation. One of several guest speakers, President of ACS Athens,
Dr. Stefanos Gialamas, stressed the importance of cultivating ethical leadership
through a holistic, meaningful and
harmonious education that aims to
develop the whole child, with ethos as a
means of building a healthier and more
humane world. Later, members of the
local and international community were
recognized and awarded for their
leadership, initiative and commitment to
serve those from less privileged
The event was organized under the
auspices of the City of Athens and in
collaboration with Johns Hopkins
University, Centre for European Studies
and Humanities, "Ioannis Capodistrias,"
ACS Athens and the University of Indianapolis’ Leadership and Creativity
Following the event, ACS students, Phillip Tripodakis, Zacharo Gialamas
and Evi Sotiropoulos participated in a day-long workshop at the MDA Hellas
Rehabilitation Center, Filoktitis, as a follow up of the 2
Heartsongs Summit that was funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Co-
Director of the summit, Dr. Cynda Hylton Rushton from the Johns Hopkins
Berman Institute of Bioethics, brought together teams of medical and mental
health professionals, including educators and students to collaborate on
understanding and integrating the physical, psychological, social, emotional and
spiritual dimensions of palliative care to better support families challenged with
neuromuscular disorders.
Accompanying the Nightingale Global Initiative Project, spiritual healer and
dancer Zuleikha, performed at the Megaron Mousikis, lead the teambuilding
activities at the Heartsongs Project seminar and, later, graciously, conducted a
workshop for ACS Athens IB Theater Arts students. Zuhleikha demonstrated
how her love of dance and wellness inspired her to initiate the Storydancer
Project, a humanitarian organization that brings awareness of physical and mental
health through stories, music, rhythm and movement to women and children
challenged by life's circumstances in every corner and culture of the world.
If it is one thread that connected these events, it is people with vision from
diverse ages, professions and backgrounds coming together to celebrate the
uniqueness of each individual with an innate potential to nurture the human
spirit and to do good in the world_a tremendous way to model, educate and
empower youth by involving them in the process and the solution towards
developing a more humane world.
Nightingale Initiative for Global Health & the International
Heartsongs Project
Ellen Froustis Vriniotis M.Ed, M.A.
Academic Advisory/Counseling
ACS_ETH_55-61_COMMUNITY 9-06-10 17:08 ™ÂÏ›‰· 60
Collaboration at its Best: The PTO
Patty Dimitriadis, PTO President
It is always good to be a part of something bigger
than yourself and even better when that something
gives back to the community. At ACS Athens, that
something is the PTO. Its main goal is to provide a
venue for parents to give support to the school
community, which, in turn, gives back to us. It is a
grand circle.
The PTO is a dedicated volunteer-supported
organization. We are doctors, business people,
government workers, artists, lawyers, homemakers,
technicians and the like. We are parents, who, while
having the best interests for our children at heart, also
realize that many pieces make up the whole and that
our children’s experiences at school are bigger than one person. The PTO is
structured in such a way that parents, guardians and teachers are automatically
The PTO becomes a collective, yet supportive, voice ensuring that our children
are in the best learning environment. We all know that many of our own best
memories of school are not just of those lessons
learned about the 3R’s; they are also the most fun
times of our lives that we look back on with fondness.
We remember, fondly, the carnivals, fairs, barbeques,
gatherings, graduation brunches and our friends. With
our collaborative effort, the PTO makes these events
possible. We are dedicated to providing our students
with the most promising academic experiences, but
doing so in a safe, fun and happy environment.
Being involved with the PTO is not only a benefit
for the school, but in giving, it can be a benefit for all
involved. The PTO helps one to build ties and
become a part of the ACS Athens family. Like a family
committed to creating strong bonds, the PTO is no different. Our varied life
experiences, cultures, dedication and love for our school, help to bring us closer
together and create a bond that makes all things possible.
Working for common goals has been very satisfying, especially when the
outcomes of those goals benefit all of our children.
ACS_ETH_55-61_COMMUNITY 9-06-10 17:08 ™ÂÏ›‰· 61
When I was a student at Faulkner Street Elementary School in New
Smyrna Beach, Florida, I discovered two things: I was an artist and I wanted to
teach art. That these revelations were inspired by my art teacher, Faith Lee, I
record here along with my regret that I never really told her how much she
meant to my life. I taught myself how to draw and paint; Mrs. Lee taught me
how one shares a love of art through teaching.
At the Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, I found that I had a talent for
caricature and cartooning and I also learned how to write. Then during four
years at Wesleyan University in the 1960’s, I discovered that sculpture and
welding were fun. I worked in metal during the years I taught and exhibited in
Florida before moving to New England.
For the decade that I taught in the greater Boston area, I became more
interested in photography and painting as I discovered that sculpture was
neither portable nor profitable. The portability requirement became even
more relevant when I took my first teaching post outside of the U.S.A. in 1981.
Actually, Athens, Greece, already had enough sculpture, although TASIS, at
that time, needed an art teacher. My first years in Greece were well spent,
since I met my lovely Scottish wife, Chris.
During work and residence in Indonesia, England, Spain and Jordan, my
personal artwork was mostly photography and drawing. Upon a return to
Greece, I entered what I think of as my "doodle period." Those drawings
featured high contrast patterns and whimsical, intricate subjects that satisfied
some neurotic inner need
for minute detail.
My newest work is
related to my early
sculpture in that I used
scrap metal and junk to
assemble those ancient
pieces. I no longer weld,
but the process remains
the same: now I use glue
and new junk and I still
have a great amount of fun
doing this "stuff" that I do.
Jeff Bear
210 601 7536
Talents Uncovered
Jeff Bear
Academy/MS Art Teacher
ACS_ETH_62-63_PROFES 9-06-10 17:04 ™ÂÏ›‰· 62
Other Conferences/
Mary Ann Augustastos conducted Department Chair training workshops to the
ACS Athens Department chairs and coordinators in December of 2009. She will
be completing her International Administrative Certification, July 2010.
Ellen Froustis-Vriniotis attended 100 hours of seminars toward professional
training and certification in psychotherapy from the U.S. based Adlerian Training
Institute. The focus of the seminars were on Resilience Based Counseling and
Therapy, Grief Therapy and Gestalt Therapy. Ellen is also enrolled in a summer course
with the University of Pennsylvania on Positive Psychology.
Steve Kakaris participated in the European Council of International Schools
(ECIS) Spring 2010 Administrators conference. It took place in Malta, from 8th to
11th of April. The focus was an in-depth look at trends of current educational
issues from the administrators view point. Also, he had the opportunity to interact
with about 50 other Business Managers of European international schools and
create contacts for communicating issues and ideas that are important to us. "It was
my first attendance of an ECIS conference and it was a great professional
development experience."
Stelios Kalogridakis is currently completing a Masters of Arts in Mental Health
Mary Manos attended the International school collaborative NVS (Blackboard)
Systems Administration Conference in Bangkok, Thailand on March 24th and 25th,
2010. The conference focused on the transition from Blackboard into Moodle. Ms.
Manos will train the entire ACS Athens Faculty and Staff on the use of Moodle.
In January 2010, Ms. Chris Perakis accepted an appointment to serve ECIS Special
Education Needs Committee; she has been involved with following conferences
and committees: CIS Conference: Munich, Germany November 2009; ECIS
Conference: Hamburg, Germany November 2009; MSA Accreditation Team Visit:
Nice France March 2010; 5th Annual Conference on Learning Differences: May
2010 Co-chair; Special Olympics 2011: ACS Athens committee member; Stavros
Niarchos Foundation: Advisory committee for Special Education Needs. Ms.
Perakis was invited to speak as Guest Lecturer, May 26th – May 28th at the
University of Crete. She is also gaining credits towards an MBA in Organizational
Lambrini Rontogiannis completed an online course called Collaborative
Technologies. This was her 6th course on her way to a Masters ofTechnology in
Education through the University of Calgary, Canada.
Georgina Spyres has co-written and published an article: T. Meador, A. Gogou,
G. Spyres et al., (2010) Biogeochemical relationships between ultra-filtered
dissolved organic matter and pico-plankton activity in the Eastern Mediterranean
Sea, Deep Sea Research Part II - Topical Studies in Oceanography, in press.;
Stephanos Gilamas co-authored and published, "Retention in College and
Universities: Meeting the Challenge by Preparing High School Students for a Meaningful
and Successful College Life," together with P. Pelonis, Dr. Don King, Vice President
Academic Affairs, Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, Dr. Abour
Cherif, Dean of Program Development, Headquarters DeVry Univeristy, Dr. David
Overbye, Dean of Outreach Programs, Head Quarter DeVry University in The
Journal of Higher Education Management, fall issue November 2009 – You may
read it in this issue of Ethos in our Pedagogy in Action section.
Together with ACS Athens faculty member, Ellen Froustis –Vriniotis, Dr.
Gialamas has published: Learning through Service in the International Schools
Magazine Fall 2009, Volume 12, Issue 1.
Dr. Gialamas was an invited speaker at the following: Speech Title - Morfosis
Leadership, 2009 IBO World Conference of Head of School, Seville Spain in
October 14, 2009; the AAUA 38 Annual Conference (with P.Pelonis).
ACS_ETH_62-63_PROFES 9-06-10 17:05 ™ÂÏ›‰· 63
Ellen Vriniotis
The Third Panhellenic School Tournament in Chess took
place at the Porto Karras Hotel in the area of Halkidiki, on
April 23 – 25th. More than 700 students from all over
Greece used their skill, determination and concentration
to face off in Chess. ACS 11th grade student, Nastazia
Champesi, participated in the category of the Open
Tournament that brought together various students of
different backgrounds. After two days of intense
concentration, Nastazia received the First Place Medal in
the female category and ranked in the top 5 overall in the
tournament! Congratulations for a job well done!
ACS Student Wins Panhellenic
Tournament in Chess
The Middle School advanced math classes have been participating
successfully in the Math Olympiads program for many years. This program
begins in the Elementary School and continues through grade 8.
The goals of this program are to: stimulate enthusiasm and a love for
mathematics, introduce important mathematical concepts, teach major
strategies for problem solving, develop Mathematical flexibility in solving
problems, strengthen Mathematical intuition, foster Mathematical creativity and
ingenuity, and provide for the satisfaction, joy, and thrill of meeting challenges.
There are more than 5,000 teams worldwide, including all 50 states and 25
countries. There are 5 contests during the school year, each containing 5 non-
routine problems. Each problem has a time limit, and requires careful
mathematical thinking. Each problem is worth 1 point, so a student can earn up
to 25 points. No calculators are allowed.
The outstanding student on each team is awarded a special trophy and
runners-up are recognized with honorable mention trophies.
This year’s trophy winners are:
Sixth grade team:
Winner trophy: Peter Gyorgy
Seventh grade team:
Winner trophy: Aliyah White
Runner-up trophy: Georgia Siorokos
Eighth grade team:
Winner trophy: Demetri Kakaris
Runner-up trophy: Gili Levit
Sue Protopsaltis/Dora Andrikopoulos
Mathematics Teachers Middle School
Each year the Middle School advanced
mathematics classes participate in the annual
American Mathematics Competitions, the
American Mathematics Contest 8. We are
proud of the fact that that we have been
taking part in this contest for 25 years.
This contest is for students from grade six
through eight. It is a 40 minute contest containing
25 multiple-choice questions. The purpose is to
promote the development and enhancement of problem solving skills. Concepts that are
taught in Middle School are applied to problems ranging from easy to difficult.
One purpose is to demonstrate the broad range of topics that are available in
the curriculum. Other purposes are to promote excitement, enthusiasm, and
positive attitudes toward mathematics and to stimulate interest in continuing the
study of mathematics.
The top 20 scorers at ACS this year were: Alia Burgan, Robert Drummond, Cole
Sitar, Alexander Georgiopoulos, Courtney Newman, Irinna Vavaletskou, Michael
Economopoulos, Demetri Kakaris, Zeena Shawa, Georgia Siorokos, Ryan Sitar, Nicole
Spaulding, Zoe Verouti, Achilleas Vriniotis, Aliyah White, Daniel Zoumaya, Konstantinos
Anthis, Conner Arman, and Andriana Boudouraki, and George Christopoulos.
AMC 8 Intramural Awards:
✓ A Certificate of Distinction is given to all students who receive a perfect score.
✓ An AMC 8 Winner Pin is given to the student(s) in each school with the highest score.
✓ The top three students for each school section receive, respectively, a gold, silver,
or bronze Certificate for Outstanding Achievement.
✓ An AMC 8 Honor Roll Certificate is given to all high scoring students.
✓ An AMC 8 Merit Certificate is given to high scoring students who are in 6th grade
or below.
✓ A Certificate of Merit Award is given to any school with a Team Score of 50 or more.
Class awards for first, second, and third places:
American Mathematics Contest 8
Gold: Zeena Shawa
Silver (tie):
Konstantinos Anthis/
George Christopoulos/
Peter Gyorgy/
Vassilis Sotiropoulos
Bronze: Yazan Arafeh
Gold: Alia Burgan
Silver (tie):
Georgia Siorokos/
Achilleas Vriniotis/
Aliyah White
Bronze (tie):
Christina Kapatou/
Christina Maxouris
Gold: Robert
Silver: Cole Sitar
Bronze (tie):
Courtney Newman
Congratulations for a job well done! Congratulations to all participants!
Section A Section B Section C
ACS_ETH_64-66_FOOTNOTES 9-06-10 17:01 ™ÂÏ›‰· 64
The ACS Athens Forensics Club offers high school and middle school
students the opportunity to compete every year with students from private
schools all over Greece in the Pan-Hellenic Forensics Tournament. After months
of coaching and practice, the team is chosen and team members participate in a
variety of public-speaking events: impromptu speaking, oratory, debate, group
discussion, oral interpretation of literature, and duet acting.
This year, from March 4-7, ACS Athens hosted the tournament which
involved seventeen schools, more than 400 participants and 150 judges from
participating schools and the greater ACS and
Athens community. It was a mammoth
undertaking, but one that capitalized on the
talents of our students, the willingness of our
volunteers, the support of our administration, the
innovations of our technology department and
the unrivaled excellence of our school facilities.
ACS Students and Coaches outdid themselves
and brought honor as well as awards to our
school. Kudos to the following team members:
✓ Winner of the Pat Kastritsis Award (to the student who most embodies the
spirit of Forensics) - Jackie Cremos
✓ 1st Place in Debate - Nasos Abuel-Basal, Peter Zachares and Jackie Cremos
✓ 1st Place in Duet Acting Dramatic - Chris Kalleris and George Seremetis
✓ Finalist in Group Discussion - Konstantinos Kanellopoulos
✓ One of the top 10 speakers in Debate - Peter Zachares
✓ Honorable Mention in Oral Interpretation of Literature: Comic - Jackie Cremos
✓ Honorable Mention in Impromptu Speaking - Jackie Cremos and Stephanie
Congratulations to all students who participated in the Forensics Tournament.
It was an amazing weekend. Thank you to the ACS Community: students,
teachers, alumni, and parent volunteers who really came together and worked so
hard at and for the tournament. Special congratulations and thanks to the more
than 70 students who volunteered as Timekeepers and Guides throughout the
four days of the tournament. They gave up their time with no expectation of
reward, simply a willingness to help their friends and school. We truly couldn't
have done it without them!
Marca A. Daley
Forensics Coordinator & Tournament Director
ACS Athens Hosts the 2010 Pan-Hellenic
Association Forensics Tournament
School-wide: The IT Department now encompasses the Audio/Visual
Department as well. Over the last few months, the new team worked diligently
to move ACS Athens closer to becoming the premier 21st Century Technology
JK-12 school in Greece. According to the team, the school is creating, "the building
blocks all the way up to the real world."
Live-streaming: The use of multimedia communication alternatives increased
after IT Project Manager, Joe Potak, introduced live streaming abilities to ACS. In
February, the Forensics Competition and the ISST Girls’ Basketball Championship
showed the interests of local and international viewers for this type of media
option. The Forensics competition had more than 2100 viewers. The international
collaboration of Newscoop also took advantage of this technology for the April
19th screening of the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle, and it was later used to air Mr.
Dave Nelson’s annual living lesson of the Truman Trials. Finally, the Keynote
Speaker, Dr. Sandra Peart, of ACS Athens’ 5th Annual Learning Difference
Conference took center-stage and made use of this technology as well.
The past streamed content is accessible via the ACS website at
Bandwidth: Forthnet provided ACS Athens with a "huge cost savings" by offering
an increase in bandwidth by eight-fold at a
discounted rate. Additionally, they equipped
the school with Full-Primary Rate Interface
(PRI) allowing 30 calls to be made at once.
Workstations: As part of a fix-infrastructure, all campus computers are wired
to the 10G Ethernet module and have 1G of connectivity. In layman’s terms, this
means that the ACS on-site community will have a faster internet experience.
Wireless Cloud: The entire campus of ACS will soon be under a wireless
cloud for mobile-device connectivity. ACS Athens credentials, firewalls and other
restrictions will still apply.
Classrooms: The PTO donated over 100 DVDs for use in the classrooms,
primarily in the area of science and technology.
Staff Related: Computer Services - Mary Manos, attended the NESA Virtual
School Conference in Bangkok, Thailand with a collaboration of 18 participating
schools. As a result, the meeting focused almost entirely on the migration process
from Blackboard to Moodle. Staff training will take place on course migration and
how to maneuver within Moodle. For more information on the NESA Virtual
School Project visit:
What’s New in IT?
By Desiree Michael and Mary Manos
ACS_ETH_64-66_FOOTNOTES 9-06-10 17:01 ™ÂÏ›‰· 65
Alexander and Daphne Apostolidis
Cross Country: Something more than Devotion
The Setting: "Please take your positions; in about two minutes we will begin the
race. Now remember, I want a clean race with no pushing and no drama. As you
all saw yesterday, the course is very demanding since the weather conditions the
past few days have included a snow storm here in the Alps. The course is even
more challenging than usual. Keep a safe distance between yourselves and the
runner in front of you. This is a big race, and there are over one hundred
participants. Thirty seconds. Twenty seconds. Ten seconds. Runners set!", and with
the blink of an eye the 2009 ISST Cross Country race begun. When the gun goes
off and the race begins, the whole world disappears, and the only thing we focus on
is the race and doing the best we can!
The Race: The 2009 International Schools Students Tournament (ISST) was
sponsored by the American International School of Vienna, and welcomed over 350
runners from all over Europe. The tournament was the largest ever sponsored by
the ISST organization.
Reflecting on the race day of Friday, November, 13th, certain people and ideals
stand out in our minds. Without these elements, our team would have never
finished the race. The completion of each kilometer was a way of saying thank you
to each of these people and team ideals; they are the symbols of the hard work and
the devotion of our ACS Cross Country Team.
Kilometer One: To honor Mr. Nelson before anyone else: This kilometer is
what determines the race. Similarly, it was he who pushed us to our limits during
the race and throughout each practice. Mr. David Nelson, with his 20 years of
experience in Oregon and in Greece, was able to teach us the secrets of the sport.
He motivated us in every possible way, even with his humor. Thank You Mr. Nelson!
Kilometer Two: Ms. McCoy never left our side. To understand the love she has
for the team, she ran from the beginning of the race to the end with a camera in
her hand, while screaming "Go ACS Athens!", along the way. Her team spirit made
us believe in ourselves and helped us to do so well. Thank You Ms. McCoy!
Kilometer Three: During a five kilometer race, the third kilometer is considered
to be the most difficult to complete because it is the most demanding part of the
race. As a result, team spirit was a crucial
factor in helping us to run the extremely
steep and muddy hills and to attack the
fourth kilometer. Each and every member of
the squad contributed to the excellent spirit
of the team and made us believe that,
"Impossible is nothing!"
Kilometer Four: The race in Vienna
required that we push ourselves to our
limits since we were forced to raise our
running pace. In order to keep up with
another 100 runners that were speeding to
the finish line, every athlete of ACS Athens
worked their hardest to achieve a new best.
None of this would have been possible
without the two months of hard work and
practice that preceded the race.
Kilometer Five: This is the most important
kilometer. We’re almost done, we need to
finish. Our legs and our bodies are aching but
in the end, all of the pain and practice comes
down to one person: the runner. Ultimately, Cross Country is an individual sport that
rarely depends on anyone else but the runner. It requires the values of self reliance and
individualism – ironically, these values are what the team tries to teach us.
The Finish: Alexander Apostolides and later Daphne Apostolides cross the line
2nd and 5th, a first for ACS Athens. This race was one of the hardest things we
have ever done in our lives; but, in the end, it was all worth it. There is no better
feeling than knowing that you have just finished a five kilometer race and competed
with some of the most talented athletes in Europe. Even though this year’s team
was small and relatively inexperienced, with many of the members never having
competed in a race before, each and every one of the athletes was devoted to the
team and showed great passion throughout the entire season. These athletes set an
excellent example for future runners and proved to everyone else that Cross
Country is a sport that is extremely challenging and demands both physical and
mental skills. Congratulations to Theo Sarafeas, Ryan Sitar, Billy Tsioumas, Kyriakos
Petrakos, Robert Drummond, Conner Arman, Andriana Skalkos, and Carli Venter,
who competed in Vienna this year.
The season would not have been possible without the hard work of our JV
Athletes who look forward to earning the chance to travel in 2010: Eleni
Papanikolaou, Nasos Abuel Basal, Alec Newman, Ares Adam, Cole Sitar, Filippos
Minaretzis, and George Tzelalis.
Placing 2nd and 5th respectively, the Apostolides siblings returned home from
Vienna with the first two medals ever to be won in an ISST Cross Country
Tournament in the history of ACS Athens. These two team captains were awarded
for their long hours of devotion to the sport and to the team. Both of these
athletes, as well as the rest of the team members, were constantly looking up to a
legend in the sport of Cross Country, Steve Prefontaine. One of his quotes depicts
the idea behind the Cross Country season of 2009: "Some people create with
words or with music or with a brush and paints. I like to make something beautiful
when I run. I like to make people stop and say, 'I've never seen anyone run like that
before.' It's more than just a race, it's a style. It's doing something better than anyone
else. It's being creative."
‘‘Impossible is nothing’’
ACS_ETH_64-66_FOOTNOTES 9-06-10 17:01 ™ÂÏ›‰· 66
ACS Athens Graduate
Wins Associated Press
Writing Award
Dear Alumni,
Welcome to the Alumni Section of the seventh issue of ACS Athens Ethos. To
submit your information in the next issue, please email Visit
our website at, under Alumni, so that you too, can be updated on
news and events.
Marianna Savvas (‘98)
Alumni Affairs
Since the first school publication of the "ACS Athens Ethos" magazine, many of
our ACS Athens alumni and former teachers have shown a great interest in sharing
their success stories with the ACS Athens community on their professional
The following news comes from ACS Athens alumnus, Mr. Telly Halkias (’78) and
former faculty member Dr. Marina McCarthy (1976-1978).
Once again, ACS Athens has much to be proud of!!!
March 15, 2010
Press contact: Sylvia Thompson,
Vermont, USA. - The New England Associated Press News
Executives Association recently announced its 2009-2010 news writing
awards. Among those honored was Telly Halkias, a writer and editor
from Bennington, Vermont. Halkias also teaches college English and
humanities courses, and is a 1978 graduate of the American
Community Schools of Athens, Greece.
Contestants were nominated by their editors. Halkias, whose work
has appeared regionally in New England Newspapers, Hersam-Acorn
Newspapers, Elk Publishing, and nationally in Gannett Newspapers,
took home an award for his weekly op-ed column "From The Stacks,"
which appears in the Bennington (Vermont, USA) Banner, and the
Berkshires (Massachusetts, USA) Advocate Weekly.
This was Halkias’ first nomination to the AP competition. "From
The Stacks" had previously been nominated twice for New England
Press Association writing honors.
Awards were presented at the association’s annual conference in
Warwick, Rhode Island. Halkias is a member of the League of Vermont
Writers and the National Association of Newspaper Columnists.
ACS_ETH_67-68_ALUMNI 9-06-10 17:06 ™ÂÏ›‰· 67
On April 6, 2010, US President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint
certain individuals to key administration posts. Amongst the twelve (12) individuals
is former ACS Athens faculty member (1976-1978), Dr. Marina McCarthy who has
been appointed as Chair, Commission on Presidential Scholars.
Dr. McCarthy has over three decades of research, teaching, administrative, and
consulting experience in education. She has also taught in education at Harvard
and Brown Universities and at Boston College. In addition, Dr. McCarthy has
supervised student teachers in the Brown University teacher training program and
has been a case writer for a University-wide faculty development program run by
the Harvard Business School. She has served as an Allston Burr Senior Tutor
(resident academic dean) at Harvard College and as a Study Group Leader on
educational policy and politics at Harvard’s Institute of Politics and also taught in
public and independent schools in the U.S. and Europe, and has served on a
number of educational boards and committees including the MATCH Charter
school in Boston. She holds an Ed.D. in Administration, Planning and Social Policy
from Harvard.
All twelve individuals will join the National Teacher of the Year, Anthony Mullen,
as members on the Commission.
President Obama said, "The Commission on Presidential Scholars is charged with
recognizing the future leaders of our country and honoring them for their
outstanding achievements. I am grateful that these impressive men and woman
have agreed to serve on this commission and help a new generation realize their
potential and pursue their dreams."
President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts
Marianna Savvas
Alumni Affairs
More than 300 alumni have shown an enthusiastic interest and nearly 100
have already registered for this event. By the time you read this they’ll be lots
more. The Hotel has only 30 more rooms left in the Block.
Philadelphia has so much to offer. Famous as the birthplace of "life, liberty, and
its pursuit of happiness," Philadelphia offers more than cobblestoned streets and
historic landmarks. You can stroll America’s most historic square mile and see
Independence National Historic Park with more than 20 landmarks open to the
public including our Liberty Bell. Soak up the Arts on the Avenue of the Arts
A/K/A Broad Street… and ladies….shopping with no tax on clothing or shoes.
Philly is located from the northeast, just 1 hour and 20 minutes from New
York City, 1 hour and 45 minutes from Washington D.C. via Amtrack’s Acela
express line. Twenty Nine (29) airlines serve Philly (PHL) with more than
1400 daily flights including 120 international flights. By car it’s simple too; I-95,
I-76 and the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Turnpikes provide access from all
points on the compass.
Our reunion Hotel, The Loews, is in the heart of the city and is waiting for
ACS to arrive. With your $250 per person reunion fee/ $450 per couple
reunion fee, you’ll enjoy 3 great dinners, treats in the hospitality suite, lots of
camaraderie and so much more. Can’t tell you everything, you have to come
and find out. In addition to the reunion fee, each room is $119 per night (plus
tax of course). Share the room and save some money.
C’mon, register today-----tell your friends and family. You’ll have a great time
and a wonderful vacation too!
Please contact the ACS Athens Stateside reunion coordinator (see info
below) for complete details or visit the ACS Athens website
under Alumni, Alumni Stateside News.
Don’t miss this one!!!
Ann Lappas-Stiles
4430 NW 19th Way
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
(ph.) 954-491-2352
Alumni Stateside News
Ann Lappas-Stiles (‘66)
ACS Athens Stateside Representative
Reunion Coordinator
ACS_ETH_67-68_ALUMNI 9-06-10 17:06 ™ÂÏ›‰· 68
Office of the President ext. 201
Office of Enrollment Management & Community Relations ext. 263
Admissions Office ext. 263, 251
Reception ext. 206, 233
Office of Alumni Affairs ext. 207
Human Resources Office ext. 204
Business Office ext. 202, 207
Office of Academic Affairs & Innovative Programs ext. 402, 409
Office of Student Services ext. 226
Cashier ext. 208
Bookstore ext. 214
Transportation Office ext. 239
Health Office ext. 217
Cafeteria ext. 236
Academy Office ext. 222
Academy Discipline ext. 404
Middle School Office ext. 261
Middle School Discipline ext. 267
Elementary School Office ext. 229
IB Office ext. 247, 244
Stavros Niarchos Learning Center ext. 237, 265
HS/MS Media Center / Library ext. 219, 220
ES Library ext. 293
Publications Office ext. 271
Athletic Office ext. 327, 401
Theater Office ext. 331, 302
Security ext. 240
Night Entrance Security 210-6393555
American Community Schools of Athens
129 Aghias Paraskevis ∞Á›·˜ ¶·Ú·Û΢‹˜ 129 Tel.: 210-639-3200-3
GR 152 34 Halandri 152 34 ÷ϿӉÚÈ 210-601-6152
Athens, Greece ∞ı‹Ó·, ∂ÏÏ¿‰· Fax: 210-639-0051
How to Contact Us
Holistic means understanding and successfully combining academic, emotional, physical, intellectual and ethical components
to ensure a healthy, balanced individual
ACS_ETH_69_CONTACT 9-06-10 16:57 ™ÂÏ›‰· 69
Smi l esar oundCampus
ACS_ETH_70_SMILES 9-06-10 16:55 ™ÂÏ›‰· 70
ACS_ETH_C EXOFYLLOY 9-06-10 17:12 ™ÂÏ›‰· 3
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