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A World Class International School Leading Innovation in Education
Ethos is a bi-annual publication of ACS Athens showcasing the life and activity of the Institution Publisher: ACS Athens Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director: Leda Tsoukia Production team: Peggy Pelonis, John Papadakis, Stacy Filippou, Anna Velivasaki, Marianna Savvas Contributors: ACS Athens Faculty, Staff, Students, Parents and Alumni Art Direction and layout design: Artwise Printing: Demetrios A. Psillidis and Co Copyright © 2012. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine (text or images) may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher.
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.
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Cover Story ext. 201 ext. 263 ext. 263, 251 ext. 206, 233 ext. 207 ext. 204 ext. 202, 207 ext. 402 ext. 226 ext. 208 ext. 214 ext. 239 ext. 217 ext. 236 ext. 222 ext. 404 ext. 261 Middle school Discipline Elementary school Office iB Office stavros niarchos Learning Center Hs/Ms Media Center / Library Es Library Athletic Office Theater Office security night Entrance security ext. 267 ext. 229 ext. 247, 248 ext. 237, 265 ext. 219, 220 ext. 293 ext. 327, 401 ext. 331, 302 ext. 240 210 6393555 Socrates’ belief for the need of ethical leadership was so strong that he preferred to self-execute his death sentence for civil disobedience than betray his teachings, that eventually influenced people throughout history. Socrates’ views on leadership centered around finding and using the truth for the betterment of the self and society. He believed that people are born with knowledge already within them, and it is the duty of ethical leaders to bring truths out of others for the advancement of society.
American Community Schools of Athens
129 Aghias Paraskevis St, GR 152 34 Halandri, Athens, Greece Αγίας Παρασκευής 129, 152 34 Χαλάνδρι, Αθήνα, Ελλάδα Tel.: 210 639 3200-3 • 210 601 6152 • Fax: 210 639 0051 E-mail: email@example.com • Web: www.acs.gr
by LEda Tsoukia, Ethos Magazine Editor
Ethics and Leadership
Fearlessness is to me the heart of all Ethics. It’s clearer to see what’s good when nothing holds you back but a longing for the eternal. And most important, it is easier to act upon the good you have seen, if all else - ambition, jealousy, pride seems quite petty in front of the quiet giant that shapes our destinies, Time.
thos magazine is alive, a two-way street between our readers and the school. its breath comes from our authors, whose unique ideas claim their space into our everyday thoughts. This space is precious; we should preserve it along with our most cherished moments, those of our kids and of ourselves, in the campus of our school and in the homes of our schoolmates and friends. This is the essential character of our school. And the magazine you’re holding in your hands, aims to express this character and celebrate it as such; for whatever anyone thinks about the current state and predicament of this country, it is the small, protected spaces of happiness and wisdom that define the whole - and eventually change it. This was the spirit under which two months ago our president, Dr. stefanos gialamas, suggested the theme “Ethics and Leadership” for the current issue. i began receiving articles a few days later. Each essay worked as an intellectual springboard to generate new ideas, to shape classes and influence minds, to think of new ways to educate and create “True Leaders”. After reading these amazing pieces, one can reach the conclusion that a true leader does not look like the stereotypical winner, chieftain or boss we are used to. A true leader, one who really impacts future generations, has always been strong yet humble; he/she does not make a lot of noise; a true leader is bound to be more introverted and sage than boisterous and loud.
great names like socrates, gandhi, nelson Mandela, Christ, Buddha, but also georgia ‘O’ Keeffe or Mother Teresa (the list is endless), revealed their true self and the real power of their ideas by befriending Time. perhaps to do so, means that you do not fear Time’s silent approach but extend a hand to its passing, without fear but also, knowledgeable of its supreme power to heal and to also extinguish. To fear not this power but to turn this force into a fine ally, in my mind always means you have your hands free to engage and to hold, setting aside all concerns - for what can one really be fearful of, if he or she has conquered the greatest fear of all, that of his or her own passing? This fearlessness is to me the heart of all Ethics. it’s clearer to see what’s good when nothing holds you back but a longing for the eternal. And most important, it is easier to act upon the good you have seen, if all else - ambition, jealousy, pride - seems quite petty in front of the quiet giant that shapes our destinies, Time. so, there - after reading so many exemplary pieces of work from our great teachers, i hand you my own definition of a true leader: someone who does not fear time, understands what’s good for him and those around him, and acts upon it. i am hopeful our great school will keep producing them.
● Q&a The “new leaders” of society must utilize their intelligence, creativity, hard work, and innovation with Ethos ● ELEmEnTarySChooL reflections on the ECis Early Childhood Conference: The Changing Landscape of Early Childhood Education Elementary, My Dear Writers! Changing students Brains ...Literally Clubbing in the Elementary school The importance of school Celebrations ● grEEnFILES Creating the Consciousness and Culture for an ACs recycling project students Make and sell ACs Olive Oil for Charity ● visuaLANDpErformingArTS A Journey to ithaka sentio Ergo sum new and “Classic” Art by Jeff Bear ● sTudEnTSErVICES Bridges The many phases of transitioning through school ● opTimaLLEArNINg Mentor program: inspiring genious ● insTiTuTEForinnovaTionANDcrEaTiviTy Connecting the pieces seventh Annual Conference on Learning Differences ● inTErnaTionaLLEADErS 2012 UnEsCO symposium Today’s student Leaders, Tomorrow’s World Diplomats: Model United nations at ACs Athens 36 37 32 30 22 20 21 18 19 10 12 13 14 16 8 ● fiELdTrIPS Learning to be “Ethical” Travelers: The Humanities Class in France Biology Field Trip to Thessaloniki’s American Farm school ● aThLETicSPIrIT The End of a swimming Era “March Madness” issT Championships: ACs Athens Boys and girls Basketball Teams Bring Home the gold Medal The pain and gain of Basketball ● musingsoNEThicsANDLEadErship Elias Venezis A leader of greek literature Teaching students the importance of Collective responsibility Leading with a servant’s Heart Leadership and Ethics ● sciEncESCIENCE Collaborative Learning Communities at ACs Athens ACs Athens introduces Course in Lego robotics A science Conference for students by students The American Mathematics Competitions A summer Dream: splicing jellyfish DnA with bacterial DnA ● wELLnEsswEEk shaping Ethical Leaders through Wellness ● aLumniAFFAIrS Dear ACs Athens Alumni Connecting past & present Tips for parents: How to raise a socially Conscious Leader Chapter 1: Business Ethics* * “nOT applicable in times of crisis” 62 63 64 65 60 52 54 57 58 59 44 45 47 50 40 41 42 38 39
Q. How can the new values be applied in the educational curriculum? What are the enabling objectives offering students a new educational experience? Can this innovative approach in academic experience create future leaders? a. Any curriculum with substance and relevance to real life must include all the elements of the principles and values. When a curriculum provides the teaching and learning of skills, addressing topics and content in a Creative way, with relevance and innovation (sCri philosophy) then students will be able to be influential members of a global society. These objectives can be instilled in any course in any curriculum. Most importantly such objectives must be modeled by those who teach and interact with students. Making a school a safe place to learn and practice these values must be central in educational institutions today. By encouraging students to take the risk to do the right thing such curriculum can be effective. This type of critical thinking, innovation and ethos will create WisDOM. Wisdom is more than knowledge at the intellectual level; it is knowledge at the cellular level. This means that ethical decision making, leading and living becomes part of who we are and ultimately manifests in how we live, lead, decide. Q. You have mentioned that Educational Institutes of the Future have 4 pillars: a. The first is “Innovative Leadership”. How can an Institution prepare students and citizens of integrity with ideals which influence, inspire and instill confidence in a community? a. Beginning in Elementary school, we are committed to developing the idea of social interest (Adler 1981): an innate aptitude which deems one responsible to social situations. it may include interest beyond people to animals, the environment, the entire universe. social interest is an extension of oneself into the community. By Middle school there is more social Engagement: the ability Q. The values needed by the “new citizen of the world” to live and prosper in our troubled times have changed radically over the last few years. What do you think these new values which define him/her are? Do these values shape them individually and change the whole society around them? a. i believe that today’s society calls for strong values not only for survival and adaptation but also for young people to enjoy holistic success. By holistic i mean that they remain healthy physically, emotionally and ethically so that they can best enjoy the fruits of their labor. This however, is not easy today because as you mention values are being challenged and we are in the midst of an ethical crisis more than anything else. it takes courage to live by the following: 1. principles, values and ethical discipline; the discipline to withstand the temptation of cutting corners in 21st Century. 2. social responsibility- “acting for the benefit of society first and secondly for our own benefit”. 3. Aριστεία – Aristea – practicing excellence with greatness. 4. Modeling integrity and ethos. 5. Value learning. 6. Avoiding the temptation to instant judge people and their actions. 7. Authenticity. 8. generosity. 9. innovation and Creativity. 10. Courage to stand up for your principles and values. With such adopted principles and values people not only become architects of a life worth living but also become productive members of the community, and society in general. With ethical discipline one can avoid the temptation of taking advantage of people and resources. generosity, modeling integrity and courage for standing up for one’s principles and values are the guardians of a fulfilling life with ethos. Aristea and innovation, when combined with ethos, are good foundations for improving life, family, community and the world. intelligent, creative and just leaders are in a position to help others less fortunate. it is everyone’s ethical obligation to think and care about the non privileged. social responsibility, and fairness for “citizens” who are enjoying leadership positions must be the campus for their actions and these actions should consider the “benefit of the citizens”. similarly in an educational institution every decision must be made for the benefit of its students. i would say without hesitation the “new leaders” of society must be only those who utilize their intelligence, creativity, hard work, and innovation with ethos for the benefit of the less privileged members of the global society.
The “new leaders” of society must utilize their intelligence, creativity, hard work, and innovation with Ethos
Q&A with the President
sTEfanos giaLamas Ph.D. President, The American Community Schools of Athens
to put interest into practice. Becoming aware of a social condition is a step further for taking responsibility for part of the solution. in the Academy we move toward more social Commitment: the betterment of a situation or the improvement of a person’s life becomes a way of life for students as they develop a more positive mind set towards improving as many aspects of society as possible. We are not separate from our environment. The sooner we understand this the sooner we will learn to live in harmony with nature. b. Meaningful curriculum and delivery modalities: How can the educator take advantage of all learning tools and create an exciting learning experience enhanced with all technological support? Do you think that this kind of teaching can engage their minds and affect not only their academic life but also their personal, physical and spiritual development? a. professional Development (pD) is an essential and intricate part of the ACs Athens philosophy. Faculty driven pD initiatives are currently in place whereby the faculty decide and engage in exchanging ideas, acquiring updated knowledge and activities that they believe will enhance teaching and learning. Faculty takes ownership of their learning and responsibility of the teaching that engages the minds of students. it is not only possible but necessary to continuously make teaching and learning exciting, not only for the students, but for those who deliver the knowledge as well. i believe it is the only way to offer knowledge that is sustainable and will transfer into the other dimensions you mention: personal, physical, and spiritual. c. Faculty as Leaders: What are the personal qualities you seek when you meet a potential faculty member? How do you instill and maintain the school’s principles across the faculty? a. A faculty leader always acts on behalf of its students, builds trust and provides them with the most fulfilling and challenging Holistic, Meaningful and Harmonious educational experience. All decisions are guided by the underlying principles of innovation, together with continuous learning that enhances the educational experience of every student. i find faculty who are always hungry to learn new ways of teaching, who take the time to know and care about the individual student and who ‘risk’ new ways to engage minds, very attractive. d. The most important of all: “Ethos”. What is the one thing that marks a true leader who will be able to maintain the balance between the right of an individual community member and the right of the community as a whole? a. i am not looking for perfection. As humans we are bound to make mistakes but i do look for people who truly believe that the student is at the center of the institution. Doing the right or best for the community or for another human being ultimately involves the good of the individual as well. i do not see these as separate, rather as different pieces to the same puzzle. Q. The “Honor Code’ exists in many universities across the USA. What characterizes the “ACS Athens Honor Code”? Who is responsible for its implementation? a. Our belief that students, as early as the primary years, can learn to be ethically disciplined; do the right thing when no one is watching. ACs Athens is committed to cultivating ethical discipline. Being successful in this very difficult but critical objective will result in minimizing the “policies” of the implementation of the “Honor Code” and focus on preparing incoming students to understand, accept and most importantly internalize such values with guidance from faculty and counselors. This is a student-driven initiative, which will eventually become the ownership of all students individually and collectively. participating in the shaping one’s mind and character is a life-long process. The ethical discipline reflected through the Honor Code is already improving the ACs Athens community, especially these days where the examples of unethical behaviors by public figures are overwhelming to students. Faculty and counselors are guiding students by engaging them in discussions, challenging ideas, processes, rules and policies in order to develop the “best possible” approach in establishing and guiding ethical behavior. As the students move from grade to grade, year after year, they will be in superb positions to not only influence their local community, but also to make a difference globally. personally i am delighted with the maturity and the seriousness displayed by students and i see the earnestness with which they take this initiative. Becoming individuals with ethical discipline not only improves their “presence” in the classroom, on the campus, at home, within the local community, BUT they will influence and become the catalyst for the metamorphosis of the global society which often promotes materialistic values, selfishness, apathy and ethical amnesia. Q. It is obvious that the Honor Code will be able to benefit students in the long run, enhancing their sense of responsibility, availing their personal growth and empowering their social commitment. Nevertheless it would be interesting to know how it affects their everyday life in the short run. What is the feedback you are getting from the students themselves? Does that system influence their educational experience? Does it affect their relationships with other classmates, less dedicated to do the right thing in a negative way? a. i would like to be clear about the gradual establishment of the Honor Code. By creating an Honor Code i do not wish to imply that students or we as an institution are moving from being dishonorable to being honorable. The Honor Code initiative has been adopted in order to help students establish a baseline of appropriate, acceptable behavior within this institution. it is an agreement by students for students so that everyone is speaking and understanding the same language when it comes to values. More importantly however, as educators we know that two very basic human needs are: to belong and to be safe (loved). Thus, it is our ethical responsibility as leaders to provide such an environment for students; a place where every member of the institution has a sense of belonging and where everyone feels safe. These two needs are better met when everyone in the community agrees on how to accomplish such goals. We experience these two basic needs when our things are not taken, when we do well on exams based on our knowledge rather than cut corners because for example of the intense pressure to perform, when telling the truth makes us “cool” rather than the other way around, where respect for each other and our environment is a natural way to live. This is the mind set that students are interested in enhancing through the Honor Code and certainly we are already seeing examples of their work; lost money, expensive gadgets and clothing are being turned in when found, discussions among students are evident regarding telling the truth even if it means consequences and recently an exam policy protocol was developed by the Honor Code committee and agreed upon by all students and faculty. Ultimately when we all understand the rules, better yet, when we all participate in making the rules and agree to abide by them not for fear of being punished but because it enhances our well being, it makes life safer and leaves more room for its enjoyment.
By irini rovoLi, Elementary School greek Language Teacher
Reflections on the ECIS Early Childhood Conference:
The Changing Landscape of Early Childhood Education
According to Dr. Dahlberg, Early Childhood Education needs to aim towards a pedagogy of welcoming and hospitality built on listening first and then teaching. A listening approach generates children’s interest to learn. This is a pedagogy that is open to the unknown and the unexpected.
he European Council of international schools (ECis) Conference that took place at ACs Athens from March 16-18, 2012, was titled: The Changing Landscape of Early Childhood Education. This conference proved to be a rich educational experience in which i had the privilege to participate. i would like to highlight three of the sessions i attended that are seemingly different yet have many things in common. These sessions greatly broadened my teaching horizons and enriched my professional development as educator: Session 1: LEARNING AS A RELATIONAL FIELD OF POTENTIALITY in this session, keynote speaker Dr. gunilla Dahlberg began by stating that there are two approaches in Early Childhood Education: the academic and the sociopedagogical. The first approach is characterized by standards, tests, control and mistrust. The second approach is characterized by difference, multiplicity, autonomy and trust/participation. Dr. Dahlberg was skeptical about the role of the educator, as it largely remains unchanged in the classroom. The question and answer method widely used in the teaching practice often gets narrowed down to ‘‘guess what i (the teacher) am thinking’’. This guessing method does not promote the role of students as active learners and does not reinforce autonomy and independence in the learner. According to Dr. Dahlberg, Early Childhood Education needs to aim towards a pedagogy of welcoming and hospitality built on listening first and then teaching. A listening approach generates children’s interest to learn. This is a pedagogy that is open to the unknown and the unexpected. Session 2: THE LANGUAGE OF PHOTOGRAPHY - A creative research project for 3-4 year olds. The driving force of this project was the question: What proposals and provocations will deepen and broaden children and adults’ research of beautiful? If we handed the camera over to children themselves, what would they photograph? What would this reveal about photography, the photographer and their subjects? presenter Debi Keyte-Hartland developed the photography project with 3-4 year olds aiming at exploring the possibilities that photography holds for communication and thinking with children of this age.
Elementary Students performing during this year’s ECIS Early Childhood Conference hosted by ACS Athens.
1 Young performers waiting their cue to enter the Theater. 2 Participants of the Conference represented schools from all over Europe.
giving children the opportunity to use a camera, deepens their research and interest in the world that surround them, therefore immerses them in an ethical pedagogy. Based on this project, children are much more technologically minded than we are. surprisingly, children of different ages show a capacity of reading environments and recounting stories in their pictures that simultaneously develop their oral language skills. Keyte-Hartland has a documentation strategy that includes transcripts of children’s dialogues, educators’ questions as well as reflections from weekly group meetings. Through the language of photography, children show us that they know how to walk along the path to understanding. As Loris Malaguzzi of reggio Emilia school believes, ‘’the central act of adults is to activate indirectly the meaning-making competencies of children as a basis of all learning.’’ This is where photography leads children to, as children make choices and take on responsibility.
PERSONAL REFLECTIONS ON THE CONFERENCE: SELF QUESTIONING - THE CONFERENCE INTO DAILY TEACHING PRACTICE A pedagogy built on listening: Listening is the basis of learning and teaching. After this conference, instead of the obvious question “Are students listening to me?’’ i can hear another question louder: ‘’Do i listen to my students?’’ A pedagogy open to the unknown and the unexpected: The ‘’what would happen if…’’ question. in an atmosphere of welcoming and hospitality, experimenting with the new is a need instead of a threat. i as teacher am called upon inventing, rather than adopting, the new ideas or challenges that will take my teaching on to the next level. An ethical pedagogy: How can i deepen my students’ research and interest in the world that surrounds them? How can my lesson broaden my students’ horizons and expand their thinking? How can group work or group discussion in my classroom create knowledge for my students? How much physicality and movement is built in my lessons? since learning takes place when children are deeply involved, what in fact are the effective ingredients in my teaching? in conclusion, despite its Early Childhood component, the ECis Conference at ACs Athens centered on the foundations of lifelong learning and effective teaching. Looking back at what i learned, this conference essentially gives a new perspective in teaching and opens the door to the pedagogy that all our students deserve.
According to J. white, children need intimate contact with the natural world. Children express themselves differently inside than outside. white strongly believes that educators are often occupied with covering curriculum therefore have no space for outdoor experiences or daydreaming.
Children comment on their pictures and evaluate them, using sound criteria. The discussion groups that are subsequently formed work along the lines of what Bonilari and Filippini state in their book Reggio Children (2000): Group discussion is a way in which to create knowledge, instead of being simply a method for discovering who has what knowledge. Session 3: CREATING AN INSPIRATIONAL OUTDOOR ENVIRONMENT FOR WELL-BEING AND LEARNING presenter Jan White explored six highly effective ingredients of outdoor provision that together offer a full menu of rich and satisfying play. These are: water, natural materials, living things, movement and physicality, imagination and creativity, construction. White illustrated how the above ingredients capture the special nature of the outdoors. Being fantastic sensory materials, they also serve as symbols: to be a mathematician one has to be a very good symbol user. According to White, children need intimate contact with the natural world. Children express themselves differently inside than outside. White strongly believes that educators are occupied with covering curriculum therefore have no space for outdoor experiences or daydreaming. The educational practice has become very restricted and constrained, thus does not allow much physicality and movement. Deep learning only takes place when children get deeply involved.
Elementary, My Dear Writers!
By irini rovoLi Elementary School greek Language Teacher
he Writing Center in the Elementary school is a welcoming and cozy classroom designed specifically for young writers. Emergent writers looking for inspiration, inspired writers who want to expand their ideas, all students from First through Fifth grades visit the Writing Center and spend productive writing time. it is a privilege to work with these students in small group situations. getting to know each child’s writing style and unique way of working helps build a strong relationship between teacher and students. students gain insight into good writing and become self-confident about their writing abilities. students acquire strong foundations for writing as a lifelong skill.
Welcome to the Wonderful World of the Elementary Writing Center (WWoW)!
Changing Students Brains ...Literally
By pEnny kynigou, Elementary School Fifth grade Teacher
EsA, the near East south Asia Council of Overseas schools, promotes, supports and celebrates best educational practice throughout the region. For teachers this chiefly means the spring Educators Conference, this year held at the intercontinental Hotel in Athens. For four days in April, the 12 delegates from ACs Athens had the opportunity to attend a selection of four hour institutes taught by teacher educators who are leaders in their field, and to sample teacher workshops where fellow colleagues shared their expertise. i thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to be a learner for a change and to exchange ideas with colleagues from other schools. The institutes i attended were inspiring, stimulating and challenging, and i have returned from the conference with a whirlwind of new ideas that need time to be explored, tested out and evaluated. Here is just a small taster of one of the institutes i followed: Having started out in the teaching profession as a Kindergarten teacher, i have always been very aware of the importance of making learning memorable through fun, action and a personal connection with my students. i found educational consultant Marcia Tate’s institute “Teacher Expectations and student Achievement” highly engaging as she taught the content of how to adapt brain based teaching strategies in the classroom while modeling them. neuroscience has been studying how the brain learns best and concludes that teachers literally change their students’ brains by creating new neural pathways through the densely connected, sensory-rich experiences they offer in the classroom.
The strongest—and most easily accessible—memories are created through dense, interwoven neural networks. Information has a much better chance at being recalled more quickly when it has been retrieved repeatedly and connected to as many other pieces of information as possible. From “What neuroscience Tells Us About Deepening Learning” By Wendi pillars, Education Weekly Marcia Tate states, “if you don’t expect much from your students, you won’t get much from your students.” During her institute we experienced 15 interactions that should be used to convey high expectations to all students. These interactions include calling on all students, taking a personal interest in students, standing in close proximity to them, praising their academic work and complimenting their personal characteristics, as well as remaining cool and calm when correcting misbehavior. We learned these interactions through active engagement. The participants, danced, sang, acted out, discussed and reviewed the material taught through gestures. information was shared in short intensive bursts interspersed by many varied activities. Each segment built upon the previous, and interconnections between elements were carefully highlighted, helping to knit everything together. Laughter and fun made it all memorable. The four hours flew by and i left the institute excited, energized and eager to extend my implementation of these approaches in my classroom, and share what i have learned with my colleagues at ACs Athens.
Elementary students participate in activities in the Writing Center.
Clubbing in the Elementary School
By irEnE soTErEs, Elementary School Fourth grade Teacher and irini rovoLi, Elementary School greek Teacher
his year, the Elementary school is proud to have an Ecology Club with a special focus on the Sea Turtle. As it meets twice a week during lunch recess, this inclusive club allows everyone in the elementary school to join in. As advisors, our aim is to focus on a variety of skills in order for students to gain knowledge, make connections and take action. We aspire to instill the importance of offering time and effort to a cause as well as building confidence, social skills and responsibility. By being a member of our club, students will gain life long lessons of civic responsibility and ethics, thus, empowering them to become active global citizens. As the Ecology Club started, it changed and blossomed because of student interest and talents. The club was therefore renamed to The Turtle Club. These students became the leaders of the meetings. Based on these student-driven meetings, we in turn became facilitators in developing 21st Century skills. some of these skills include: • Decision Making- On a weekly basis, club members have to make a crucial decision: “should i give up my recess for the Turtle Club?” By making this decision, students realize that they sacrifice time from recess for a grander cause and at the same time, they enjoy having made this choice. • Problem Solving- How can we save the
sea turtle? This question came up through discussions and research done in meetings. As a result, we incorporated the Young Volunteers in Action Program. • Collaboration- Club members work together on authentic tasks. Mixed age groups learn best by doing. The Turtle Club offers opportunities for all ages to collaborate. Based on their age and level, students use different ways to show what they know. • Inventive Thinking- The Turtle Club provokes students to struggle with an environmental issue. The challenge for our students is to explore ways of saving the sea turtle and to be active in the world. • Communication Skills- The Turtle Club members promote awareness as they present posters, books, powerpoint and other work around the elementary school community. students really spread the word! These 21st Century skills and more are all integrated in the Turtle Club activities. As advisors, we allow students to develop these skills at their own pace. This empowers them to become more confident and well rounded. Through these skills, students gain the potential of becoming movers and shakers in our ever-changing society.
on a weekly basis club members have to sacrifice time from recess for a grander cause: Participation in the Turtle Club.
The Turtle Club strives for an ultimate goal: Leadership in Action. Throughout the year, we have gained knowledge and developed our skills so that we can move beyond the confines of our classroom. in this effort, the Turtle Club in collaboration with the Archelon sea Turtle rescue Center of greece, created the Young Volunteers in Action program. The Turtle Club members who are willing to participate in three consecutive sessions at the rescue Center will receive training as a marine biologist, be active in the duties of the rescue center facilities and learn how to treat and care for injured sea turtles. After these sessions, students will be considered Young Volunteers. They will then lead tours, games and activities at the rescue center.
1 Ecology Club participants engaged in learning about marine life. 2 Fun and learning are not separated in the Club.
Through this process, students will be models for future club members. We feel fortunate to be leading this new initiative for our school. seeing the Turtle Club expand and change from and for our students has been a most fulfilling and productive educational experience for all!
1 Students fundraise for an environmental cause. 2 Elementary School students contribute to the balance of the environment by fundraising to save turtles.
By dora karaLi, Modern greek Language, E.S.
The Importance of School Celebrations
Greek Independence Day Celebration involves students from 56 nationalities
n March 23th, ACs Athens celebrated greek independence Day organized by the greek Language faculty. students in the Elementary School, from JK to 5th grade participated on three levels: native, near native and non native speakers. Celebrations reveal a great deal about how people link their past with their present. in this case while preparing for the celebration, students learned about events, values and ideas that changed history. Moreover celebrating holidays in schools, and especially in an international school like ACs Athens, teaches students to appreciate different cultures, and to appreciate different traditions. This contributes to the elimination of prejudice and pre-assumptions which can lead to misunderstandings.
Celebrations can also be a fun and enjoyable way of learning history, as well as learning important skills such as cooperation, following rules and being persistent in achieving a goal. students have a sense of accomplishment, and are motivated to give their best effort to tasks before them when they feel that those efforts will be noted and appreciated. Finally celebration is fun and one way to make learning meaningful. This was evident in the eagerness with which students anticipated the rehearsals. They did their very best within the little time available so that the rehearsals and performance didn’t interfere with lessons. p. M. senge (1994) sums it up best with: “What’s the point of building a learning community if we can’t have fun?”
An Act of a True Leader
Our Middle school’s 8th graders took part in the Kavouri beach cleanup - as part of their pledge for community service - and truly exemplified how a future citizen should think and act for the benefit of all. The event was organized by the Us Embassy in Athens and Hellenic Marine Environment protection Association HELMEpA, in celebration of Earth Day 2012.
2 1 3
U.S. Ambassador Daniel B. Smith and HELMEPA representatives surrounded by our 8th grade students at the end of their day cleaning up Kavouri Beach.
2-3 Kavouri Beach - Before and After the clean-up action!. 4 Students at work! Under the banner of HELMEPA, students, U.S. Embassy employees and HELMEPA volunteers are gathering garbage bags at the end of the day.
BEfoRE AND AfTER
By dEmETri pELidis, Academy Ninth and Tenth grade Counselor
Creating the Consciousness and Culture for an ACS Recycling Project
working collectively, the Academy Advisory students manage to collect and recycle paper from more than 100 classrooms!
t was a blistering August day under the Athens sun, where one could see the heat rising from the ACs Athens quad. ACs Athens president Dr. stefanos gialamas and i shared the idea of organizing an Advisory recycling project. That hot day will forever be etched in my mind. We both agreed that such a project should be studentinitiated and run by students in order to give them leadership opportunities.
are becoming more service-minded and the eventual agents of change. Working collectively, the Academy Advisory students manage to collect and recycle paper from more than 100 classrooms! Furthermore, in the Elementary school, Fourth grade Teacher patrick perry’s student Council members are actively involved in recycling paper from every Elementary classroom. Our ultimate goal is to nurture student leadership, in an initiative that involves all ACs Athens students, from the Elementary school to the Academy. This is an ACs Athens example of a school-wide recycling project that engages everyone: administrators, faculty, supporting staff and students. ACs teachers encourage students to collect paper in the specially designed recycling boxes, which have been constructed by our ninth grade Advisory students from recyclable materials. Our
How do we involve students in leadership development activities as an integral part of our ninth and Tenth grade Advisory program? We simply call it “recycling Friday.” Every Friday, ninth and tenth grade students visit classrooms to collect paper for recycling during their Advisory class under the guidance of the Advisory Counselors. Through the recycling project, we discovered that students
ultimate goal is to create a culture of environmentally conscious students. This process begins with the teacher educating the students about the importance of recycling; the students will then teach each other and encourage commitment to the recycling project. in the increasingly fast-paced world that our students live in, where teenagers get immediate rewards, school counselors can help them engage in character-building activities that develop leadership qualities, such as our ACs recycling project. Having students plan and implement this school-wide project also offers them the opportunity to develop skills that are necessary for life, such as patience, commitment and perseverance. recycling projects similar to ours have been active at ACs for many generations. As a student, under the guidance of my English teacher georgia Fotinelli, i fondly remember my involvement with the Ecology club. More recently, my colleagues science Teacher pauline Mamouzellos and Learning Enhancement programs Director Chris perakis have supervised the iB CAs recycling project and service clubs. Our new recycling initiative only continues the successful ACs traditions of the past. As one of the advisors i am proud of our student’s enthusiasm,
Students volunteer their time to develop a recycling culture in ACS Athens.
Making recycling fun.
effort, and leadership throughout the “recycling Friday” project. reflecting back on this endeavor we have provided students with leadership skills and have helped develop a more environmentally aware school culture, by teaching students to become less wasteful. Through our recycling project, students understand the importance of the 3 r’s: reduce, reuse, and recycle. After all, they are future caretakers of our world.
Students Make and Sell ACS olive oil for Charity
By carriE brinkman, Middle School/Academy Mathematics Teacher and ThErEsE wEimhoLT, Middle School English Teacher
n a chilly saturday morning last December, at the bright and early hour of 8 am, students, teachers, and parents from the Middle school and Academy Dogooder’s Club (Civic responsibility Club) gathered around the olive trees next to the Elementary school and prepared to harvest and bottle olive oil from ACs Athens trees to raise money for charity. The idea for harvesting the olives and raising money for charity came from ACs Athens Maintenance supervisor nasos neris. neris had noticed that year after year our school’s olives were going to waste, so he approached the Civic Responsibility Club about the idea, and with his help and expertise, the club produced 25 kilos of oil.
neris and other members of the maintenance crew taught the Do Gooders how to lay down tarp, shake the trees from top to bottom, sort and collect the olives. next, the olives were taken to a local press, and the club purchased and filled bottles of original, organic ACs olive oil. The club decided that since the oil was local, the money it yielded from sales should also remain with a local charity. The Do Gooders ultimately chose the SOS Children’s Village organization here in greece. The SOS Children’s Village assists families who struggle both emotionally and financially, and creates new families and whole villages with permanent volunteer “mothers” for children whose parents cannot afford to keep them.
As the organization states, “…[the village in Vari] comprises 13 family houses, the house of the Village Director, a Community Centre, a playground and an amphitheater, and as in almost every greek village, there is also a small chapel. One of the rooms serves as sOs Kindergarten for the smaller children, while the other children attend local public schools in Vari.” For more information on the work they do, visit: http://bit.ly/KnzbP4 The Civic Responsibility Club is made up of a small group of dedicated middle school and academy students whose mission is to “do good” in the school, surrounding community and greater world. The students have collected donations and raised money for several charities as well as volunteered their time.
Civic Responsibility Club students and administrators pose for their group photo under one of the olive trees harvested in the campus, holding bottles of the olive oil they helped produce.
By Lindy mcmuLLin, Middle School Drama Teacher
A Journey to Ithaka
ity and spontaneity. setting off on a personal journey to ithaka, the students have not only sailed smoothly, but have overcome tempestuous waters. They have doubted their own potential, wanted to give up practicing lines, and, at times, wondered how they could be expected to “perfect” their acting skills at such a young age. But, they have finally all reached their ithaka. As their drama teacher, i have taken great delight in watching all of the students blossom as they overcame the haunting song of the sirens and braved the rough seas. They brought together all the aspects of professionalism and confidence in their exceptional work. i decided to take the Drama Club that met once a week, at lunchtime, on board and into this process of growth. All students connected on many different levels and produced an outstanding performance on May 2, 2012. This is what some of the students had to say about Elective Drama & Drama Club. “I like Drama Club, it is fun. I like the plays we do and the teacher takes the class very seriously. I always know what to do because the teacher tells us. It is easy for me to learn my lines and next year I will probably do Drama Club again.” Maria Palios (sixth grade student) “Drama has been a great experience, as it helped me come out of my shell. I could not have tried for the talent show, if it wasn’t for the selfconfidence I gained from Drama. It has taught me how to control my voice level and project.” Celeste Hollingsworth (Eighth grade student)
Focus on selfconfidence, communication skills, mindfulness training, co-ordination, imagination, team collaboration, space, time and body awareness, creativity and spontaneity.
his year, the Elective Drama class began its exploration of the Ancient World in september 2011. The students began their journey in Ancient China, studying the origins of Chinese drama, and then stopped off in india. They spent time looking at the roles the Vedas played in Hindu drama, and then arrived in greece, carefully walking along a path, where they discovered the delights of the Ancient World of symbolism and Myth. Together, we enacted the gods, created Totem poles, learned about solar Myths, worked with guided imagination techniques, and established the necessary foundations that go into preparing for an end-of-year performance. Writing their own plays and acting them out, students were able to step into the different roles of actors, actresses, directors, producers, choreographers, gods and goddesses, building up their confidence to take them out onto the stage and in front of a large audience. The focus of the course is geared toward developing skills in selfinquiry, evaluation and the training of students in interpretation and acting. students were encouraged to focus on self-confidence, communication skills, mindfulness training, co-ordination, imagination, team collaboration, space, time and body awareness, creativ-
“Taking the part of Tiresias, it has been fun to act as a man. Since the beginning of the year, I seem to be more confident about being in front of people, thanks to drama. I hope that what we performed will be remembered as something extraordinary.” Malina Ueda (seventh grade student)
“When we are doing a play, it really helps me focus generally in life. As I am the main character of Odysseus, I learned how important it is to be more serious in life.” Ian Reininger (sixth grade student) “Playing a double role as Circe and Kharybdis is quite a hard thing to do, especially because they have opposite characteristics. However, I managed to do this with the help of Mindfulness and all the other things I learned. I feel that Drama class is a fun class that feels like an after school activity rather than an elective.” Stephanie Putri Dhinanti (seventh grade student) “Drama has been an interesting course and there have been lots of fun times and many innovative lectures. At the start of this year, I thought there would only be writing and reading, but I was 100% off. It has been the complete opposite, and I loved it!” Pratyax Kandpal (sixth grade student) “Drama has helped me use my voice to show expression. I have learned that I must speak clearly and slowly. I enjoy performing, but I am not crazy about learning my lines.” Anna Hollingswort (sixth grade student)
1-2 Students get a crash-course in ancient theater through this year’s Middle School Drama class performance.
Tiresias, the blind oracle, guided by the Gods, as performed by one of the middle school Drama students
Sentio Ergo Sum
Ethos: What is this exhibition about? Bear: How my artwork and its creation define me as a person, “i feel, therefore i am.” it also marks my impending retirement from full time teaching, when i will switch from being an educator-artist to being an artisteducator. Ethos: These pieces are quite varied in style and medium. Why is that? Bear: i have tried a little bit of everything in my 50 years as an artist. Why photography, drawing, collage, sculpture and poetry? Because i enjoy the varied challenges each medium presents. My style has evolved
New and “Classic” Art by Jeff Bear
over time, but i think it is uniquely my own. Creating a personal approach to art is every artist’s goal. Ethos: Would you comment on some specific pieces? Bear: Most of the work is from my 20 plus years here in greece at ACs Athens. The welded metal chess set, however, dates from 1968. i do not play chess but my father did, and i made this sculpture for him. The drawings in black and white were the most fun to do. They were just doodles at first but they became super doodles over time. The collage work is mostly related to family and poetry. That’s my mother in “Two Mirrors” for example, and its matching poem is about my father. This year’s new work literally spells out my philosophy: Art defines existence. When i finally “retire” from life, only my art will remain to mark my being here. Ethos: Is there any other message in your work? Bear: i am not into “deep hidden meaning.” i just hope people enjoy looking at it all. But if you want another “message,” read my poem “100” that inspired that particular collage. perhaps the show’s meaning is in that carpe diem poem and image.
Two of the pieces showcased in the art exhibition by retiring Art Teacher Jeff Bear, at the Theater Atrium, held May 18 - June 1, 2012.
established; thus presenting young children with ritualized and structured learning environments, leaving less time for breaks and play (sink, Edwards & Weir, 2007). Children’s attention is redirected from their personal educational interests to attaining preset academic competencies (sink, Edwards, & Weir, 2007). Teachers, counselors, parents and caregivers are recommended to collaborate on helping children transition from grade to grade. Other important factors such as family, culture, ethnicity and community should also be considered during this fundamental change (sink, Edwards, &Weir, 2007). in order to celebrate the wonders of moving from Kindergarten to first grade, school wide events such as Kindergarten graduations and activities can be followed in order to familiarize students with the changes in their learning environment. These reduce separation anxiety (and/or anxiety) and facilitate overall social, emotional and cognitive growth. At ACs-Athens, the Elementary and Middle school Counselors aim to provide support, guidance and care to all new students entering our learning community. From the beginning of the year and all throughout, examples of activities to assist our students transitioning into the new school environment include: Owl Buddy program (Elementary), new student Buddy program (Middle school), individual and group student sessions (Elementary and Middle school), Teacher and parent sessions (Elementary and Middle school), Transition group (Elementary school), and step Up Day (Middle school).
The many phases of transitioning through school
By ThE counsELing TEam, Student Services
Transitioning from one phase to another during the school years can be both an exciting and daunting experience. Students go through these changes in a variety of ways as they move from childhood, to adolescence, to young adulthood and beyond. Teachers, counselors and parents, gently support, quietly encourage, patiently await, eagerly teach or secretly worry but certainly we rarely just sit back and just watch it all happen. Then one day, with the blink of an eye it seems, they are young adults moving into the world beyond school to college and life beyond that. how did it all happen and what exactly happens? here is just a glimpse at the transitional phases of school that bridge childhood with adulthood.
The Bridge beyond childhood: Transitioning from Kindergarten to first Grade
By aLEssandra sax-LanE, Elementary School Counselor
Any transition to the next grade level can cause distress to all students, parents and caregivers. However, the change from Kindergarten to first grade is particularly challenging. Teachers, parents, caregivers and school counselors, all have critical roles to play assisting young children during the transition (Kg-First); as young students move away from the nurturing, play-centered, child-centered environment, to the less flexible and more intimidating first grade classroom (Yeom, 1998). it is this transition that is critical for young children’s social and academic development, as first graders need to adjust to many new educational structures and processes (Entewisele & Alexander, 1998; Laparo. pianta & Cox, 2000; Toohey & Day, 2001). First grade becomes the realization for students that formal learning has been
The Bridge to Middle School: Transitioning to Middle School and Beyond
By aLEssandra sax-LanE, Elementary School Counselor and JEff kaLas, Middle School Counselor
Transitioning between grade levels and schools and between developmental periods is not only an exciting time for young children and adolescents, but also a time that is chaotic and stressful
(Turner, 2007). Transitioning can thus be defined as passing from one condition, place or activity to another and can be understood as a psychological response to change (Turner, 2007). nevertheless, it is imperative to acknowledge not only the cognitive, but also the emotional and social aspects of child development during the transitions that they face. Adams and Hayes (as cited in Turner, 2007), describe a sequence of psychological responses that individuals undergo before, during and after transitions. These responses include: 1) uncertainty, 2) loss of confidence, 3) confusion, 4) depression, 5) crisis, 6) letting go, 7) acceptance, 8) exploring, 9) testing and 10) new confidences (Turner, 2007). such emotional and cognitive responses occur with more or less intensity depending on the importance of the transition and the social and psychological support available to students (Turner, 2007). school counselors, teachers and parents must be available to support pre-adolescents and adolescents not only during times of academic change, but through emotional, social and physical changes as well. Counselors, in particular, play an important role in shaping individual success via academic and career guidance to overcoming emotional challenges, by promoting a supportive learning environments that cater to academic, social and emotional intervention programs (Turner, 2007). Below are some of the major changes that adolescents face while transitioning both into Middle and High school. The transition from Elementary school to Middle school can be both exciting and distressing at the same time. some major changes that every student will experience are the following: • Different teacher for every subject – Each student has eight separate classes with a different teacher in each separate class, or block. • 80-minute class blocks – Each subject is taught in an 80-minute block, with the increased time allowing for more intensive discussions and focused classwork. Four classes are taught on Day 1, with the remaining four classes being taught on Day 2. • Lockers – students having their own personal storage area helps them become more organized by arranging their books, supplies and schoolwork. • Tardies – students are expected to be in class and ready to work before the bell rings. The breaks in between blocks allow plenty of time for students to go to their locker, briefly socialize, and be on time to each class. • Homework – Middle school students can expect two hours of homework per night. parents are encouraged to provide a quiet and structured homework environment each school night. • sports, clubs, dances – Extra-curricular life is an important part of the Middle school years. To help them develop both socially and physically, please encourage your child to participate in many extra-curricular school activities. The transition from Middle school to High school also brings many changes: • Academic rigor – The expectations of each subject area increase as you begin High school. • Transcript – Universities begin to look at your High school grades, also known as your transcript. • College advising – Counselors begin advising each student on their future university options. This is done both on a 1:1 basis and through the Advisory course. • Four Year plan – Counselors will meet with each student and their family to create a course framework. This Four Year plan will help students decide what courses they need to take to be accepted into a university/major of their choice. • Varsity sports – students in High school have the opportunity to compete through a more competitive sports level. Most varsity sports participate in the international schools sports Tournament (issT). References Turner, s. L. (2007). Transitional issues for K-12 students. professional school Counseling, 10, 224-226.
School counselors, teachers and parents must be available to support pre-adolescents and adolescents not only during times of academic change, but through emotional, social and physical changes as well.
The Bridge to High School: Transitioning to the Academy
By dEmETri pELidEs and ELLEn vrinioTis, Advisory Counselors
Academic Advisory-9 is designed to help students make a smooth transition into the Academy and develop positive skills, strategies and attitudes needed to achieve their personal and academic goals. The three major components of the AA-9 course include: Academic Development, Career and College exploration and personal/social development. The AA-9 class seminar includes information regarding course selection, four-year plans, Academy expectations and the opportunities available for student participation in athletics,
service helps students develop a sense of belonging and assuming responsibility of their environment. Through service, students develop an “ownership” of the world.
The bridge to getting a college degree: Transitioning to the best-fit college
By mandy dragaTakis, Junior/Senior Advisory
The difficulty of change is something we are all familiar with and what better way to embrace it and make it positive than to be prepared for it.
clubs, student government and service activities. Once the school year begins and students’ schedules are settled, ninth graders kick- off the new year with the annual Freshman Connection Day. students spend the day outdoors engaging in teambuilding, athletic and collaborative activities, in the natural environment away from academic pressures. it is a wonderful opportunity for incoming freshmen to connect with new and returning students, as well as their teachers and counselors, easing their transition into high school and making their mark as the Freshman Class. Last year, students spent the day at “The ranch” in Corinth. This year, students took to the hills with Trekking Hellas and orientated through the parnitha forest to find landmarks with their compass, coordinating their team members to cross the finish line on gigantic skis, crossing a crocodile river with two planks of wood and three bins and ending the day with a tug-of-war. At the end of the day, students have the option of participating in a weekend community service retreat to the Western peloponnese in the village of Lepreo, ileia, where ACs Athens has committed to the “Village project,” a partnership with a rural village that survived the summer fires of 2007. ACs Athens ninth and tenth graders have reforested nearly 1000 trees in the area of Zaharo and have contributed to financing a Technology & Youth Center for the children of Lepreo and the nearby villages. Among other things, Community
Life in its very core is an ongoing journey through transitions, from birth, to adolescence, to adulthood. Although, the latter stage has been considered in the past as an era of stability in ones life, the evolution of society has provided countless opportunities for ongoing progression; in other words, constant transitions. The difficulty of change is something we are all familiar with and what better way to embrace it and make it positive than to be prepared for it. The exponential growth of technology, the unlimited possibilities of expanding ones horizons in a multicultural and globalized world has allowed for the great potential of educating one’s self away from home at institutions where education is not simply based on information. University becomes a home away from home where all aspects of a person’s life expand. Travelling from the West to the Middle East even to simply get a glimpse of the world of higher education, one thing is for sure: no matter where you go, there are numerous opportunities and it’s all about what you do while you are there and how well you have been prepared. From Boston, UsA, the city known as the hub of higher education, to switzerland, a country that prides itself in holding the highest standards for education in the tourism industry, to Qatar, a country where tradition has found the perfect mix with the highest technology available to offer education, one can understand that these institutions prepare the leaders of tomorrow. strongly believing in a full rounded education and in finding the perfect fit for all its students, ACs Athens provides amazing opportunities both for students and counselors to visit universities abroad. Traveling is in itself an eye-opening experience. The ability to visit universities to view how the beginning of adulthood will be for students and to be able to know as a student how to make an informed decision about the future is a bequest to smooth over the transition. As a counselor, to be able to fully comprehend simply and precisely what is offered out there is the strongest tool to use to guide students for their decisions and first steps after high school. Visiting universities has multiple benefits. For a student, it is the gift of tasting their choices before they order. For a counselor, it is creating the best individual menu. For parents, it is simply
the security that these samples will create their child’s best fit for a full course meal and, of course, at the best price. The efficiency of these traveling programs ACs Athens offers is based on tours. in many cases, the programs include individualized information sessions and university student interactions for the students, and, for the counselors, professional workshops, tours and admissions discussions. The well-planned and prepared schedule of these programs offers both students and counselors the experience and the chance to embrace the transition that is about to happen in students’ lives. since we live in an ever-changing world, the opportunity to constantly familiarize oneself with all the prospects of the future will benefit the student in choosing and transitioning to college life. After all, we are all citizens of the world, and what better way to lead tomorrow than learning and knowing today.
The bridge to getting a college degree: Transitioning to the best fit college continued…
By sTELios kaLogridakis, Academy Counselor
The two-day conference consisted of an introduction to Oxford University –led by Mike nicholson, Head of Undergraduate Admissions and Cat Murdoch, Head of student recruitment. The session introduced us to Oxford University within the context of the UK Higher Education system and showed us how the academic life works at Oxford. We also were given a glimpse of the distinctive college structure of the University, seeing what makes Oxford so unique and special. After eating lunch at one of the College’s stunning dining halls, we were treated to the highlight of the two-day conference: the opportunity to observe an Undergraduate Tutorial! i was delighted to be able to experience one of the unique features of Oxford’s academic teaching at Colleges across the University. sitting in a Historiography tutorial with two students and their professor in his office, i was able to see exactly what type of students Oxford looks for, and, more importantly, what type of students can cut it and flourish in such an extremely high academic system. The following day included presentations on personal statement advice, reference letters and academic department requirements, including mock interviews with current Oxford undergraduates. Overall, it was an extremely insightful conference, networking with colleagues and getting the inside scoop on the type of students that this unique institution is looking for.
Visiting Universities in the U.S. is an important part of the decision making process.
ACS Counselor & alumnus during a recent college visit to Oxford.
Helping students choose the best-fit colleges and understand what is expected of them can be very significant in the transition process. This past February, I had the privilege to be one of 50 High school guidance counselors from around the world to attend a conference in Oxford University. This conference served largely in part for Oxford University to reach out to high schools around the world and connect with advisors in showing us exactly what Oxford looks for in their undergraduate students.
The Bridge to higher education: Transitioning to College
By sTaciE Lagrow, Academy Counselor
Leaving High school and going off to college may be one of life’s largest transitions. The English novelist Arnold Bennett says it best, “Any change, even for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.” Many similar themes emerge whether students go from greece to the Us, UK, Canada, Europe or Asia to study away from home. High school graduates grapple with themes of loss, in terms of parents and familiar friends missing in the daily life routine. They encounter a new sense of independence, a time of self awareness, combined with a questioning of “Who am i really and what do i want out of college and life?” And, they count the days until the return to greece (or wherever one calls home) for home cooking and the warmth of lifelong friends and family. Drastic changes all must be navigated while, at the same time, students are managing for the first time their life completely independently. This can be both exhilarating and overwhelming. i have learned long ago that i have as much if not more to learn from students as they do from me. so, with that being said, i would like to let last year’s seniors do the advising for this year’s senior class. Below are a few quotes from the class of 2011 sharing their
experience with the transition moving away to University this last year and providing some words of advice for the class of 2012. The famous quote i would like to end my section on is from Epicurus, “The greater the difficulty, the more the glory in surmounting it.” “Although coming to college thousands of miles from home might translate to not being able to see family and friends for extended periods of time, I’ve found a new life here that I truly cherish and hold dear to my heart. There is never a shortage of intellectually stimulating lectures to attend, fascinating knowledge to accrue, philosophical discussions to share with fellow minds, and most importantly, companionship from many great friends going through similar life experiences. For the current seniors, I think what I would most recommend is to take things slowly and embrace the first year of university for what it truly is -- rather than push oneself too hard with work and miss the big picture. Speaking as an almost-sophomore, I can say I’m shocked at how fast time flies when one is enjoying every minute spent! Even those numerous all-nighters full of problem sets, labs, and code seem worth it at the end - particularly the second when each last final of the semester is over (which I’m still waiting to happen!). As for family and old friends, independence also seems to come with increased distance, so make sure you’re keeping those connections alive :) I can also say that coming to college has helped me gain a better grasp of my identity, particularly who I have been and who I see myself as in the future. Living in many different countries for varying periods of time has served its role in confusing my self-identity, but university seems to have helped put all of those experiences into a fresh, more refined perspective. Finally, I truly miss all of you back in Greece: ACS friends, counselors, mentors, thank you for all you’ve given me :) (I probably won’t ever move back to Greece again, since my parents are back in Taiwan, but I’ll be sure to visit sometimes over summers, if ever possible!)” Jason Hu, University of California at Berkeley “ACS Athens made my transition to college very smooth. I came into the American system of education knowing a lot about it, yet I am very comfortable with students from any part of the world because of my friendships with international students at ACS. My IB Art class helped me to produce quality work. Knowing how to create a workbook might have possibly helped me a lot through most of my projects. Most of the students here did not know and understand the use of a workbook because they never had to have one in high school. My Humanities class and the trips to Italy, Delphi, Mystra, Acropolis, Paris, gave me valuable experiences and most of my art classes here always refer to different art pieces that are seen in most of these places, especially my Art History class. But, college also has a challenging side. Being away from family, in the beginning when everything is new you might not miss your family and friends as much because you’re having fun, but after a while when things get harder you start to get a bit home sick. The worst part of not being home is definitely the food, and, when you’re sick, you don’t have your mom to look after you. Academically, most of my art classes are very time consuming: big projects, things need to be handed in on time, the teachers will not go after you if you haven’t handed something in, and absences are a lot different from High School. Most of my art classes have a maximum of three or even five excused absences. In some classes, attendance is not taken, while, in other classes, you sign an attendance sheet. You don’t have someone to wake you up in the morning! You don’t have someone (a mom) telling you when to go to bed, do your homework, eat!” Evi Sotiropoulos, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, UsA “First off, I’d like to say that any ideas I had about challenges during college turned out to be completely not true, and sometimes even quite the opposite. Being away from friends and family is a good thing because you are forced out of your comfort zone and forced to do a lot of chores on your own (laundry, food, bills). Secondly, living in dorms is a must-do, especially for kids in the U.S. The kind of bonding that takes place in those often crammed spaces is one of a kind. Lastly, having a rough idea of what you are interested in and want to get out of your classes and outside is usually a good place to start. I knew I wanted to be active physically and mentally outside class. I ended up joining the Rowing team, a debate society and nonprofit business-consulting group. All of these fulfill different goals and needs I want to get out of college and my experience here. After all, I am a foreigner here and doing anything other than taking advantage of everything around me would be ridiculous.” Gaith Kalai, University of Virginia, USA “My advice when starting university or college is that you shouldn’t give up. Things are going to be hard in the beginning and it may seem that everyone else besides you already has friends but things are going to get better. Also, DO ask for help from your counselors and professors. It does actually help and that is what you are paying them to do. Being in a different country can be very difficult and you are bound to be homesick at some point, but friends can help with that. Even though everyone seems cool and relaxed, they are as homesick and nervous as you are. So, do not worry; it’s completely normal. Also, as appealing as procrastination may seem after your senior year in high school, it is a very bad idea. My conclusion after the first year at Leeds University is that, even though life as a student can be hard at times, it’s mostly incredible!” Maria Kokkinos , University of Leeds, UK “I am almost done with my freshman year at GWU, and I’ve got to say, it was a challenge. The beginning will be hard for everyone. There will be some adjustment. ACS taught me well, but there are always new things to learn. It is pretty amazing to live alone and not have your parents tell you what to do. Of course, there are so many things to get distracted with by. It will also take some time to make friends and feel like you fit in. But I promise that college will be full of experiences that will help you grow. It definitely isn’t what I expected. It’s even better! College will also make you appreciate how lucky you are to have the opportunity to have a well-rounded education. There is nowhere like Greece, of course. So my advice is study hard and has fun in college, but when you come to Greece, live it up and enjoy your summers with your friends and family!” Zacharo Gialamas, george Washington University, UsA
“... coming to college has helped me gain a better grasp of my identity, particularly who I have been and who I see myself as in the future.”
“Being a University student is definitely a brand new experience, and quite different from high school. The transition between these two backgrounds was, at least for me, smooth and easy. Many of your beliefs and ways of thinking will definitely change since you are now part of a multicultural environment; the same applies to your lifestyle as well. You are going to meet people from other places and cultures and eat pasta three times a week (when you get sick of it, you are going to simply switch to rice). Cooking is tiring, especially when it comes to cleaning. However, it’s nice trying and experimenting with new recipes. The friends you had in high school will be easy to reach only through Skype; the same applies for your parents. The first semester away from home will maybe be hard or maybe you will get mad at the weather. But all these things constitute a new chapter in your life that you definitely have to live and experience. Good luck with your exams Seniors 2012!” Dimitrios Dionysopoulos, University of Bath, UK “Although I had been in an American school for three years, coming to the United States was a shock, a culture shock. Greece is nothing like this vast, car-oriented, country. Entertainment is perceived completely differently. My school population is not that diverse and I had to deal with the fact of being the only Greek and maybe the only European in this African American community. My classes are easy, as ACS, and especially the IB program, were far more difficult and challenging. My advice for the graduating seniors is to be prepared emotionally for maybe the biggest change in their lifetime. The only way to feel the difference is to go through it. My overall feeling about my first year here in the States and in college is bittersweet. I miss home tremendously, and there were times I thought of leaving everything and never coming back. But, my education, my degree and an opportunity for a better future made me stay. It is a chance of a lifetime to be here, as a Division 1 student-athlete awarded with a full scholarship. My dream came true and I am grateful for that. However, the experience was not pleasurable to me personally. Nonetheless, it made me a stronger person, one who has full control of her own self. I wish all the best to the senior class of 2012!” Maria Kormpou, Mississippi state Valley University, UsA “As an ACS IB student, I can honestly say that transition to the life of a university student was not difficult. In fact, it was unbelievably easy. For me it was a great advantage to be academically ‘sorted’ during the first year of university, because it gave me time and energy to focus on adjusting to the other new aspects of life. Things like managing my budget, being independent and taking care of myself. One of my greatest fears about university was how I would make new friends. Once again, my fear was without reason. The thing to remember about starting university is that on your first day everyone is in the same position: we are all nervous and scared to meet new people that paradoxically makes things easier! Without wanting to repeat every college advice website out there, I have only one word of advice. Be brave and take chances during your first year. It is inevitable that you will miss the lovely warm atmosphere of ACS and all the people in it. But instead of retreating to your room and being homesick, you need to get out, talk to people and grasp the opportunities that are offered. All fears aside, my first year in university has been incredible and beyond any of my expectations. I know that part of that smooth transition is because of the preparation I received in ACS.” Illiana Kotini, University of Bath, UK “If there is any advice of value that I can give for the seniors this year, it is to be open and be yourself. Do not be shy, but actually take the initiative to meet others and be active within the community you will be living with. Be mature and mentally prepared to be away from your parents. Get in touch with them whenever you can, but attempt as much as possible to cope by yourself. Lastly, be open to other cultures.” Alex Klingert, Kings College London, UK “I’m studying engineering at McMaster University and it’s wonderful. But it was hard settling down since I came here by myself, and I have no one I know in this country. Most people here didn’t understand how much difficulty I went through to settle myself and take care of all the responsibility because they had parents here for them even if they were in a different city. I felt very alone because of that. It took me a long time to learn, and with studying, it really took a toll on me. But, I learned how to manage my own finances and live on my own. It took a long time, I made mistakes and I was scared to manage money for the first time. But, after a while, it just became normal. I even found a beautiful house for myself and three other wonderful girls for next year. With all the paper work and actually looking at different houses, it was quite a feat! I also felt alone because I always see other students’ parents pick them up during the weekend to spend time with them. It made me so homesick, especially since I have not seen my parents in over seven months. But I Skype with them and it really makes me feel better. I am used to moving around a lot, so it was not a shock to make new friends and meet new people or be culture shocked again. But when I tell people about myself, their eyes bulge out and they look so shocked when they hear how many countries I have lived in. I have never had that before. ACS and the other schools I have been in were full of people like me. It is very amusing. Some advice to the students who took IB math HL: remember the formula booklet with love because you will have to memorize all those formulas, trigonometric identities, standard derivatives, integrals, and much more. There is no formula booklet in university. Things are much harder and faster paced but, as Dr. Andreas Tsokos once said, your attitude will change toward your studies and you will actually do better. I really wish I had practiced more math instead of assuming I knew everything by reading over the notes. I wish I could apologize to Dr. Tsokos for my disappointing math grade. He is a great teacher but I was a terribly lazy and unmotivated student. But I have become a very different person and now my grades made me eligible for a position as a teaching assistant for first year calculus and/or first year programming. I might not get either but just being eligible is a great achievement for me. I have become a much better person, both as a student and as a young adult. Universities visited this academic year by members of the Student Services Staff include: Brown University, roger Williams, Tufts, rhode island school of Design, Brandeis, Boston College, georgetown, george Washington, University of Virginia, Mary Washington University, Emerson College, Harvard University, Oxford University, Bentley University, Boston University, northeastern University, Wheaton College, Virginia Commonwealth University, Weil Cornel Medical College, Texas A & M, Carnegie Mellon, northwestern, swiss Education group includes four schools: Cesar ritz, HiM (Hotel institute Montreux), iHHTi (school of Hotel Management neuchatel), sHMs (swiss Hotel Management school)
Class of 2011 Graduation Ceremony.
No matter how unattainable the goal may seem at times, it does happen; they graduate, celebrate, move on and look back with some nostalgia.
Also to all students: don’t sign up for early morning classes! You might think you’ll wake up, but you won’t.” Sudipta Das, McMaster University, Canada “My transition to college life was alright. But, it was a bit difficult to get used to the idea of being alone and having to meet new people. Even though I knew the area I live in, it was still a bit of a culture shock. It took me a year or more to get fully adjusted. The workload was something that hit me. At ACS, I didn’t really need to study that much to get good grades. But here, you need to study between two to four hours per day for each class! At ACS, if you don’t do so well on an exam, the teacher might cut you some slack. But, at a big university, you are just a number.” Christos Andrikopoulos, new Jersey institute of Technology, UsA
awaited for. it is an affirmation of accumulated knowledge and experiences. it is a letting go of the old and embracing of the new and a transition to the next phase of life. The class of 2011 hesitated to march off as the ceremony declaring them graduates ended. The graduates laughed, cried and embraced. And the adults marveled at the bond that kept our graduates on stage, as they exchanged silent promises to cherish their friendships, to stay in touch through the magic of technology and to, some day, reunite at an ACs Athens event. indeed this change into adulthood, where students are
The Bridge to Young Adulthood: Graduation
By pEggy pELonis, Director of Student Services
graduation is both an ending and a beginning. it is a shift from young adulthood to adulthood. it is memorable, emotional, long
ACS Athens President Dr. Stefanos Gialamas recognizes Commencement Speaker Dr. Richard Hurley, President of University of Mary Washington, VA, U.S.A.
called on to make life decisions, be independent and put to practice all that they learned in school, is now a reality. graduation, however, is one of the many transitions that take place in a young person’s life and the journey that leads to that culminating event has its countless twists and turns, unexpected adventures, tearful and joyful moments. While students travel through their life-school odyssey, skillfully bridging these phases, there is work that often takes place behind the “scenes,” through a collaboration of teachers, counselors, administrators, school staff and, of course, parents. no matter how unattainable the goal may seem at times, it does happen; they graduate, celebrate, move on and look back with some nostalgia. They are now adults and we, the parents, teachers and counselors remember their youthful ways yet eagerly watch as they cross the bridge transitioning them into adulthood. “Graduation will be one of the most memorable events of my life. I just remember all of my friends cheering for each other and we were all so proud of each other. Of course, it was a little more special for me because my father was giving me my high school diploma. His speech was moving as well. Hugging my father on stage touched me deeply and the moment will be etched in my memory forever. I hope whoever reads this article, whether it be the parents of ACS’s 2012 graduating class or the graduates themselves, that they understand, graduation will be the beginning of many unexpected yet thrilling things to come.” Zacharo Gialamas, george Washington University, UsA
Class of 2011 Graduation Ceremony.
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by chrysouLa pLouTou, optimal Learning Program Coordinator
Mentor Program: Inspiring Genius
Mentors determine the specific strengths of the students and tailor-make the course, allowing the students to work at their own level and advance at their own pace.
creative and innovative based on the students’ interests. The role of the mentor is to encourage and cultivate the students’ curiosity by designing a curriculum that will challenge them and promote learning. Mentors coach and guide students toward creating original and quality work. They determine the specific strengths of the students and tailor-make the course, allowing the students to work at their own level and advance at their own pace. Course topics include subjects such as: • immigration, • How the brain functions during sleep and how sleep patterns in turn affect the brain, • How to construct a forces diagram and write equations of motion for each component (newton’s second Law), • The understanding of Macro and Microeconomics with the application of mathematical concepts, • The combination of Chinese language, traditional Chinese music and the Chinese art of brush writing, • researching how a radio works, the necessary parts to make a radio and constructing a functioning radio, • simple electrical circuits that are studied experimentally, • Cell and Molecular Biology, • Creating a nature school and • Computer programming
he Mentor program developed by the Optimal Learning Department identifies students with exceptional strengths and provides a learning environment in where students can fully develop their talents and interests. An integral part of this program is the development of character and the inspiration of ethical behavior as well as leadership abilities in the student. The Mentor program aims to meet the individual needs of the talented and highly developed learners of ACs Athens and enables its participants to achieve their highest potential. The Mentor program strives to individualize instruction by allowing the students and mentors to develop an idea or project that is
Middle School student receives mentoring assistance by Academy faculty. Elementary student develops an Eco-school guided by Academy Writing Center expert.
Within the academic constructs of The Mentor program, the assessment of emotional intelligence is also incorporated in its teachings. The Emotional Quotient (EQ) gives insight into a person’s personality, psychological makeup and a person’s ability to perform under pressure, communicate, be social, resolve conflict and generally cope with challenges. The five core social-emotional competencies are: self-awareness, social awareness, self-management, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. The mentor, with the help of the counselor, look closely into developing the social and emotional side of the student. The Mentor program aspires towards creating leaders that have sufficient knowledge in their respective fields that exhibit principles, values and ethics as essential qualities for success and while doing so maintain a balance of emotional, mental and physical health; optimally coping with life challenges. in the words of Albert Camus, “A man without ethics is a wild beast loose upon this world.”
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Proudly Congratulates its 2012 Graduates
who were accepted at the following Colleges & Universities: University of Rochester University of San Francisco University of Vermont University of Virginia University of Wisconsin/Madison Virginia Commonwealth University Washington University St Louis Wesleyan University Wheaton College Wittenberg University Yale University U.K. Cardiff University City of Sunderland College European Business School of London Kings College Kingston University Kingston University Goldsmiths London Metropolitan University London School of Communications Loughborough University Newcastle University Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh Robert Gordon University Stirling University/Scotland UCA Epsom University College London University of Hertfordshire University of Aberdeen University of Arts London University of Bath University of Birmingham University of Bristol University of Dundee University of East Anglia University of Essex University of Exeter University of Glasgow University of Kent University of Lancaster University of London University of Nottingham University of Reading University of Southampton University of Stirling University of Swansea University of the West of Scotland University of Warwick University of Westminster University of York Other Countries American University of Beirut/Lebanon Bishops University/Canada Concordia University/Canada Erasmus University/Holland Georgetown University/Qatar Jonkoping Int’l Business School/Sweden McGill University/Canada Mediterranean College/Greece Stenden University/Holland University of Groningen/Holland University of Toronto/Canada
Allegheny College American University Bates College Bentley University Boston University Bowdin College Bryant University Chapman University Christopher Newport University Columbia College Chicago Columbia University Dickinson College Drexel University Embry-Riddle University Emerson College Florida Gulf Coast University Fordham University Franklin & Marshall Bryant University Franklin & Marshall Colby College George Mason University George Washington University Georgia Tech Grand Canyon University Hamilton College Harvard University Iowa State University Ithaca College James Madison University Knox College Kutztown University of PA Lynn University Marist College Mary Washington University Merrimack College New York University Northeastern University Northwestern University Oberlin College
Pace University Parsons School of Design Pennsylvania State University Pepperdine University Princeton University Purdue University Radford University Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Rutgers School of Business Rutgers University Saint Michaels College San Diego State University Skidmore College Southern New Hampshire University St John’s University Stonehill College Stonybrook University Suffolk University SUNY College/Cortland SUNY College/Old Westbury SUNY/Binghamton SUNY/New Paltz SUNY/Potsdam Syracuse University Texas Tech Tufts University University of Albany University of California, LA University of Chicago University of Colorado/Denver University of Delaware University of Illinois University of Mary Washington University of Massachussetts/Amherst University of Nevada, Las Vegas University of New Hampshire University of North Texas University of Oregon University of Richmond
by chrisTiana pErakis, Director, Learning Enhancement Programs & SNFLC
7th Annual Conference on Learning Differences:
Connecting the Pieces
Differentiation Strategies, Testing and Assessment, Inspiring genius and Creativity, and Socio-Emotional Development.
rom May 3-5, 2012, ACS Athens held its 7th Annual Conference on Learning Differences, Connecting the Pieces: Differentiation strategies, Testing and Assessment, inspiring genius and Creativity and social-Emotional Development.
institute presenters and a brief description of their workshops included: sarah Crowther Craig, M.Ed., is the Director of non-Degree programs at smith College in northampton, Massachusetts. Craig is dedicated to improving the transition to college for all students, as well as improving the classroom experience. she has presented at many domestic and international conferences on these topics, including the annual European Council of international schools (ECis) conference, national Academic Advising Association (nACADA) regional and national conferences and the Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) national conference.
ACs Athens faculty and administration are committed to promoting awareness and providing tools on the subject of educating children with learning differences. Toward this end, this year’s program included intensive two-day institutes, each focused on one of four conference strands: Differentiation strategies, Testing and Assessment, inspiring genius and Creativity and social-Emotional Development.
Craig conducted the institute “Understanding our students and implementing intentional Differentiation.” Differentiation is a term and practice that has educators simultaneously excited and scrambling. Craig worked from her fundamental question, “How is it possible to craft curricula that are accessible to everyone in the classroom, and still meet learning outcome goals?” and created a learning environment for participants whereby they experienced what it actually feels like to struggle with various learning profiles. Michael s. Castleberry, Ed.D. is professor of special Education at the george Washington University, Washington DC. He has been at the university since 1971 working first in undergraduate special education and, since 1974, in post-graduate and doctoral education. Despite advances in curriculum development, from both an instructional as well as a theoretical framework and Differentiated instruction as a theoretical approach, the march toward national assessments as the only indicator of instructional gains in Us schools has greatly slowed the ability to provide instruction that works for a specific child. Dr. Castleberry’s work and presentations have focused on these themes for the past two decades. His work has taken him to four continents and he remains committed to children and families who require more specialized educational approaches in order for the child to be successful. Dr. Castleberry conducted the institute on testing and assessment “programming From Developmental Assessment information (Testing).” participants were provided with the tools and knowledge they need to be able to assess the background, developmental levels, and learning style and characteristics of special needs children and families as well as to identify and describe the intent, use, and limitations of specific formal tests and authentic assessments used in the pre-referral, referral, and diagnostic process. in addition, training was provided to define the basic terminology and technical vocabulary used in the assessment process and to differentiate between norm referenced, criterion-referenced and authentic assessment instrumentation, to administer, score, and interpret selected formal and informal, non-biased assessment instruments, to communicate assessment procedures and results in descriptive, synthesized, and integrative reports and to give presentations to all stakeholders, discuss, select, and to utilize assessment devices that reflect universal design, are gender-free, non-biased, non-discriminatory, and are technologically based. Also, training to utilize instruments and procedures that reflect a knowledge of the impact of culture and language with special needs children and their families and to develop a data base of websites and organizational systems that provide professional information on the legislative, regulatory, statute, and accommodations related to special needs children and their families. Dr. William g. nicoll is a professor in the Department of Counselor Educator, College of Education, Florida Atlantic University, and is
A series of two-day institutes and one-day workshops attracted participants from 16 countries around the world.
1-2 Conference participants.
Conference annually attracts educational vendors showcasing the latest material on special education.
now involved in the development and implementation of an innovative graduate counseling program (online and modular courses) for FAU’s new, north campus on Florida’s Treasure Coast. Dr. nicoll serves as Director of the Adlerian Training institute, inc., which provides professional development programs for both mental health and education professionals in locations around the world and also serves as a consultant and trainer for the Us Department of state Office of Overseas schools helping parents, students and teachers cope with issues faced by international families in the successful adaptation to the international lifestyle and its unique stressors.
introduced to social-emotional learning activities for the classroom along with effective strategies for improving home-school collaboration in developing resilient, capable and successful youth. Dr. patricia Wallace is senior Director, CTYOnline and information Technology at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth. she heads the rapidly growing online learning program for gifted students, which now has more than 11,000 enrollments per year in math, computer science, biology, chemistry, physics, writing, language arts, and other subjects. she is also the principal investigator for Cogito.org, CTY’s award-winning website and online community of gifted students around the world who are interested in math and science. she has published nine books, many articles and several educational software programs. Books include The Psychology of the Internet (Cambridge University press), which has now been translated into nine other languages. Dr. Wallace’s institute “identifying and nurturing gifted “Digital natives” represented our inspiring genius and creativity strand, and explored the major themes of gifted education, emphasizing the changing characteristics and learning styles of 21st century students who are very comfortable using computers, mobile phones, the internet, and other technologies. The themes included:
Connecting the pieces of how children learn and identifying individual learning styles, as well as developing socio-emotional competencies is a formula of student success in the 21st century.
• identification strategies Dr. nicoll is internationally known for his work in the areas of brief counseling and therapy, family counseling, developing resilient youth, bullying preventions, and characteristics of effective school, classroom and family environments. He has received several professional honors including those for Outstanding graduate Teaching, Distinguished professional service, nAsAp president’s Award for professional achievement, FAU Faculty induction to phi Kappa phi, and was awarded the title of Honored Professor by st. petersburg state University of pedagogical Arts, russia. Dr. nicoll conducted the institute focused on creativity and socialemotional development, “Teaching resilience in our Classrooms: returning the missing 4th ‘r’ to education,” based on studies which indicate that while our students are often well-prepared academically for the college and workplace environments, they are deficient in essential social-emotional competencies. This missing component of their education often results in difficulties making a successful transition from school to college and to the workplace. resilience, research demonstrates, is both the antidote to these problems as well as the social vaccine that can immunize them from problems in academic and social adjustment. Dr. nicoll provided participants with practical skills and strategies for returning the fourth ‘r’ of education, resilience, into the classroom. strategies for improving the overall school culture classroom through management techniques were provided. participants were also • Characteristics of 21st century gifted learners • social and emotional aspects of development • Differentiation and programming strategies participants were able to learn strategies to identify, nurture, and develop appropriate programs for gifted students, focusing especially on differentiation strategies that foster creativity and innovation, and that resonate with computer-savvy 21st century students. A third day during the conference included a typical workshop format where participants had the opportunity to attend over 15 individual sessions, where practitioners from around the world shared best practice and current research. The aim of the conference institutes and workshops was to challenge participants to think, question, reconsider, wonder and are testament to ACs Athens’ commitment to promoting life-long learning and to the professional development of the community of educators. Connecting the pieces of how children learn and identifying individual learning styles, as well as developing socialemotional competencies is a formula of student success in the 21st century and a pledge toward developing well adjusted individuals for tomorrow’s society.
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By irEnE ignaTiadi, Twelfth grade Student and nEfELi nEamoniTaki, Tenth grade Student
2012 UNESCo Symposium
On the first day, the students participating from each school presented their artistic work, which had to be relevant to the topic of the symposium. The students were then separated into groups of ten to twelve students from different schools, and, under the supervision of a president (a student who facilitates the discussion) and a secretary (a student who writes down the resolution), the groups discussed the year’s issue. On the second day, the presidents of each groups presented their resolutions and, after students’ questions were answered, the resolutions were voted on to be adopted. The resolutions adopted were included in the record of Congress procedures, which are published for UnEsCO. “participating in such an event is an unforgettable experience. The anxiety and stress disappear completely when you enter a place where you are surrounded by students of your age. You are introduced to new people and have the amazing chance to establish friendships. You have the opportunity to talk about issues that interest you, in a pleasant and welcoming environment, exchange opinions, learn new things but also transmit some of your knowledge. You can come to resolutions that may change your world and life forever,” said one of the students who participated in the symposium.
You and every person separately have actually the power to change the world as long as you decide to step in and express your opinion.
he United nations Educational, scientific and Cultural Organization (UnEsCO) is a special group of the United nations whose aim is to “contribute to peace and international understanding by promoting collaboration through education, science, and culture.” One of the many activities of this organization is the UnEsCO Associated schools project (Aspnet), a program that supports schools around the world to educate students on major issues, concerning our world and daily life. The main activity of the UnEsCO Aspnet is a symposium, organized every year at the end of February, under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Education and the Hellenic National Commission for UNESCO. The symposium is hosted each year by a school-member of the Associated schools, on rotation basis, and it lasts two days. The students, with the aid of their advisor, prepare themselves by discussing the year’s topic and working on their artistic presentation. The symposium took place at Ekpaideftiria geitonas in Vari on February 16-17, 2012, and its topic was “The Transformation of the World.” Changes in the past years in the world were identified and discussed, while past and present were compared in order to give a better future. The subtopics that were discussed were the change in education, the economy and culture of greece. The roles, responsibilities and identity of citizens were defined and discussed and the groups closed with suggestions that would improve our world, all recognizing the significance of education.
“One thing that you learn from participating in the UnEsCO symposium is to trust yourself,” said another student. “You realize that you can do anything you want as long as you try. You can keep helpful notes for long hours of talking. You can express your opinion, even if it does not conform to the opinions of others. You can stand up in front of a crowd to deliver a speech and then answer posed questions. You can accomplish every task if you believe in yourself and let no one tell you the opposite,” the student concluded. “Another thing that you understand by taking part in the symposium is the fact that you and every person separately have actually the power to change the world as long as you decide to step in and express your opinion,” said a third student. “The future of our world depends on our decisions and by understanding existing problems and suggesting solutions we can create a better world for us and for the future generations. We don’t and shouldn’t wait for others to do what we believe that should be done; we must become ‘the change we want to see in the world’ and the UnEsCO symposium gives everyone the chance to do that.” Members of the 2012 UnEsCO symposium were the students: Andriana Bantra (twelfth grade), ioannis Doukas (twelfth grade), Agapi Flari (twelfth grade), irene ignatiadi (secretary, tenth grade), nefeli neamonitaki (president, twelfth grade), george passas (twelfth grade), ioanna Tzigkou (twelfth grade) and ion Vallianos (twelfth grade).
Today’s Student Leaders, Tomorrow’s World Diplomats:
Participating students in the UNESCO Symposium.
Model United Nations at ACS Athens
By david nELson, Academy Social Studies Teacher and EvELyn piTTas, Academy English Teacher
1 ACS Athens MUN Team members. 2 MUN activities are held in the Hague, the largest such conference held in Europe.
special recognition goes to this year’s senior THIMUN delegates: Rachel Todd, Hannah Achorn, Alex Tziolis and Angelo Angelides Our seven-student delegation to the georgetown Qatar Model United nations worked diligently in Doha, from February 2-6, 2012, to represent their assigned countries of China, south sudan and Yemen under the theme of “The Arab Awakening.” All our delegates played their roles with great diplomacy and success. We are certain that our students understood what it means to be Diplomats with responsibilities that influence the lives of people. The conference exposed our delegates to many critical world issues, such as Human rights in China (with special regards to Tibet), the Debt Crisis and austerity measures in Europe and the rest of the World, palestinian statehood and the problem of Famine. ACs students were recognized with the following awards: Alex Apostolides—“Most Eloquent speaker” “Most Likely to Work at the United nations” in the spirit of fun, our students also received the following awards: Konstantinos Rokanas— “The John Lennon Award” (for his resemblance to the artist) Nefeli Tatsina—“Most Likely to Establish a Country on Her Own” Samuel Reed—“Most Likely to Work at a Disco” (for his musical talent) We are extremely proud of our ACs Leaders! They were excellent representatives of our school! Over 350 students from more than 66 schools, from 37 countries, took part in the Qatar 2012 conference of MUn committee sessions and cultural experiences. While in Qatar, our ACs delegates also had the opportunity to tour Doha, visit the islamic Museum of Art, experience the culture of the Downtown souk and visit georgetown University for sample university lectures, a university admissions presentation, cultural games and activities.
tudents at ACs Athens have the opportunity to participate in some of the most challenging, yet rewarding, Model United nations simulations in the world. This year’s delegates represented nepal at the world’s largest student conference, The Hague Model United nations (THIMUN).
This annual event attracts over 3200 students from all over the globe to participate in this six-day event. Although all of our student delegates signed on and debated numerous resolutions in their individual committees, our Ambassador, rachel Todd, was uniquely successful in not only bringing her resolution out of the Disarmament Committee, but also presenting it to the general Assembly, where it was one of only three resolutions to pass. This is a very impressive achievement and with it came the obligation to propose and defend the resolution before an assembly of over 1500 guests and delegates. While in The Hague, from January 24-29, 2012, the student delegates from the ACs Athens Academy also had the opportunity to visit the rijksmuseum, tour the canals of Amsterdam, explore the Escher Museum and sightsee around the historical city, Delft.
Learning to be “Ethical” Travelers:
The Humanities Class in france
By kaThLEEn JasonidEs, Division Chair of Language & Literature JanET karvouniaris, Division Chair of Social Studies and amaLia ZavacopouLou, writing Center Supervisor
go beyond the “staged authenticity” designed to attract tourists and view travel as enlightening and character building.
ven if you have never been to France, the thought of paris conjures up a variety of standard images: the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Élysées and the Louvre to mention just a few. in fact, if you have been to paris, you have probably visited these places already. But what is the difference between being a truly thoughtful visitor and just checking attractions off your list? is travel inherently beneficial to human character? This is the question Dean MacCannell, professor Emeritus of Environmental Design at the University of California, Davis, explores in his latest book The Ethics of Sightseeing (UC press). During a recent presentation at ACs Athens, professor MacCannell encouraged us to go beyond the “staged authenticity” designed to attract tourists and to view travel as enlightening and character building. But how can we put ethical sightseeing into practice as educators?
These questions have shaped the philosophy of field study in the Humanities Honors program at ACs Athens. This year, 20 ACs Athens Academy students and nine students from The Chapin school in new York participated in a field study trip to France, held from March 17-24, 2012, as part of the Humanities Honors curriculum. Our aim is to provide students with an educational experience that goes beyond guides or advertisements geared towards commercializing travel. students are encouraged to use the knowledge gained in the course to explore each site independently, by engaging in thoughtful observation, note taking and sketching in their field study notebooks. Ethical sightseeing is further promoted through extended reflection. At the end of each day of the study trip, students share their observations of the day’s sites with teachers and peers in a group seminar. They continue this process on their own with an in-depth
written reflection. This personal engagement with the sites that enables students to gain character, insight and connection to the world, while enhancing their learning at the same time. Another aspect of the Humanities field study trip that promotes ethical sightseeing is the attempt to provide students with a more authentic learning experience. in addition to visiting important museums and sites, including the Louvre and the palace of Versailles, Humanities students also visit the house-studio of the 19th Century painter Jean Francois Millet. Located in the village of Barbizon, which was once an artists’ colony, this site provides students with the opportunity of exploring the life of one of the masters of the Barbizon school of painting. Walking past the Fontainebleau forest, where Millet and his fellow artists set up their easels every day to paint, and entering the small house where Millet lived with his wife and nine children and produced some of his most notable paintings, provides an experience that is not possible by simply viewing his works in a lifeless museum. Julian Barnes also expressed this idea in his recent article “silent symphonies,” featured in the Jan/ Feb 2012 issue of the magazine Intelligent Life. Barnes writes about his visit to the house of the musician Jean sibelius in Finland: “in some [artists’ houses] you feel only a vestige of the artist’s presence; others have had their spirit crushed by museumification, curatorial intervention and the accretion of study centres.” Just a few minutes in Millet’s house are enough to feel the site’s simplicity, originality and authenticity. From the artist’s wooden clogs tucked beneath a chair, to sketches and studies of his famous paintings haphazardly
The warmth of the Millet family dining room is captured in the details of Millet’s palette hanging above the carved wooden hearth, the spinning wheel and the grandfather clock stopped at 6 o’clock, the time at which Millet died. Photo by Margi Rentis, Humanities student.
scattered on the walls, this site still retains its character; we can feel Millet’s presence as well as appreciate his place in art history. Understanding the context and being thoughtful when visiting sites cultivates a sense of ethical learning and travel in our students. in an attempt to offer our students more representative experiences and sources of inspiration that will hopefully redefine their idea of thoughtful travel, the Humanities Honors program recognizes the need of learning through ethical sightseeing, and dares to stray off the beaten path. if asked, Humanities students will be able to bring a variety of images of France to mind; images that go beyond postcards of the Eiffel Tower and the Champs-Élysées, beyond a simple checklist of must-see attractions.
The entrance to the traditional country cottage where Millet painted his most famous works and raised his family. Photo by Dimosthenis Papaleonardos, Humanities student.
Biology field Trip to Thessaloniki’s
by Tina dELLas, Academy Science Teacher
American farm School
he American Farm school in Thessaloniki and the affiliated perrotis College are collaborating with ACs Athens in a school-to-school partnership to offer the opportunity for a research experience for students taking Biology 9 this year. Twenty ACs Athens Academy students were scheduled to visit AFs from May 20-23, 2012, and perform experiments in bacterial cultures and insect identification using the laboratories of perrotis College on the AFs campus. Dr. Tryfon Adamidis, professor of Food science, is collaborating with me to prepare the activities for the students. The students will stay in the AFs dormitories on campus. Mornings in the lab will be followed by visits to the farm and the milk production and animal care facilities, a visit to the science Center and Technology Museum “nOEsis”, the insECTOpiA Exhibition at the Thessaloniki international Fair pavilion, and a tour of the archeological sites of Thessaloniki. The students submitted applications to attend and are involved in after-school meetings to prepare for the laboratory work. They will maintain a field notebook of their activities. Judging by the enthusiasm of the students, we look forward to an exciting learning experience from this wonderful opportunity to expose students to biological experience beyond the classroom.
Dairy production and animal farming is one of the activities students are encouraged to observe during their stay in the American Farm School in Thessaloniki.
By irEnE TZELaLis, Twelfth grade Swimmer
Swimming to the Top
swimming Competition. The entire team was awarded the sportsmanship award, which has become an annual tradition for the Academy team. All our swimmers broke their own personal records while some broke our school event records. similar, yet even better performance was achieved in the seventh Annual Athens Cup hosted by ACs Athens. For the first time, both Middle school and Academy teams earned the championship. in this competition, every member of the ACs teams was deemed qualified to earn at least one medal in their personal events, and everyone was a finalist at least once. This is an accomplishment of its own, considering the competition was home to over 100 excellent swimmers. Excellence has always been a goal for our ACs Athens swimming teams. i have been a member and a captain of the ACs swimming team since the first team was created, so it comes very naturally to be close with the team and its’ accomplishments. i have been a proud member as we have struggled to make our way to the top and become one of the most recognized teams at this school. As one of the two seniors on this year’s swimming team, i am very proud to say that this year has been one of the very best. i am proud that i got to be a part of this particular team as we have grown very close and i will be sad to leave these exceptionally bright and talented boys and girls behind. i would like to offer a special thanks to my co-captain, a future senior member, sifis Xiradakis, as he helped in maintaining spirit and leadership, providing a handy translator between under and upperclassmen! it has been an honor to be part of this team and special thanks to our wonderful and alwayssupporting coach, Athanasia Kotsiani, for having the answers to every question, we have ever asked her and for supporting us and forcing us to be the very best we can. i will miss her! i’m glad that this year was my last and i wish all the members of the team good luck on everything. i hope they accomplish even more in the future!
The team this year was primarily comprised of underclassmen, which comforts me as I know that, when the upperclassmen graduate, the team will continue in their success.
s the year ends, we are forced to look back and reflect on our accomplishments of this past year. swimming has been a growing sport at ACs Athens and, this year, it grew even more. For the first time, in a long time, our swimming team has had so many participants that simply astounded everyone, especially the coaches. When the team was chosen, the swimmers selected were the most elite and most prestigious that the Academy had to offer. Our swimming season lasted approximately ten weeks, a time where we all grew not only as athletes, but also as individuals. As one of the few members of the team that has been present from the very beginning, i feel it is appropriate to say that this year’s team is one of the very best i have been a part of.
The team this year was primarily comprised of underclassmen, specifically ninth graders, which comforts me in the sense that i know, when the upperclassmen graduate, the team will continue in their success. This year’s swimming season was filled with the accomplishments of the team as a whole, and each individual member’s personal achievements. At least every member of the team received a medal in either swimming competition they participated in. The team participating in two swimming competitions, as is an annual tradition. The girls’ swimming team came in Third place and the boys’ team came in second place, achieving positions that have never before been attained by the high school team, participating in the sCis
“March Madness” ISST Championships:
ACS Athens Boys and Girls Basketball Teams Bring Home the Gold Medal
By anniE consTanTinidEs, Director of Athletics, Summer Camp and recreational Programs
he winter sports season is the longest and probably the most challenging one of the year for a number of reasons. The length of the season is an obvious reason as well as the many disruptions through the three months of practices, games and tournaments. Just when the basketball teams are determined in mid- november, we have the Thanksgiving break and as we return into some kind of a practice routine, the winter Holiday break is around the corner! Then, as we come back from the long festive season, our players have to focus on their midterm exams. For the seniors, there is added pressure since some of them also have their iB mock exams that will determine their predictions! Quite a lot for one student/athlete to have on one’s mind! The fact is that first and foremost, our athletes ArE students and no matter what the aspirations are for the season, school comes first! practices and games were scheduled in order to accommodate the students’ academic responsibilities and when there was a need students were excused from their
practices in order to make sure that they performed off the court just as successfully! The most demanding time of the season however is during the two final tournaments - the Anti Drug Boys and girls Basketball tournament in the third week-end of the February and of course, the culminating tournament of the season, the international schools sports Tournaments (issT) Division 1 Championships! There is pressure on and off the court – on the court for obvious reasons and off the court and in the classrooms in order to keep up with the academic obligations! The issT championship is our own “March Madness” and this year both the Boys and girls tournaments took place in Brussels, Belgium; the Boys at the international school of Brussels and the girls at the st. John’s school. Both teams had high expectations and they performed to their best of their ability! The girls’ team, after playing four games in two days, defeated the American school of London in the fifth and final game of the tournament capturing the gold medal. it was a
great performance by the entire team – three of which were selected in the tournament All-star team: penelope pavlopoulou (tenth grade), Melina Kolia (eleventh grade), natassa Koniali (eleventh grade). Across town, the Boys’ team also played four games before battling it out with the American school of London in the final – it was an exciting game indeed and one that will be remembered by many! A full house of spectators certainly “got their money’s worth”! Four of our boys received All-star recognition – stefanos Fasianos (eleventh grade), Vaggelis Loukas (twelfth grade), Konstantinos Mantalvanos (twelfth grade) and nate Todd (eleventh grade) – but the entire team had a superb tournament! Congratulations to our Varsity teams!
Members of this year’s winning Swimming Team.
1 ISST European Champions Boys Basketball Team. 2 ISST European Champions Girls Basketball Team.
By naTE Todd, Eleventh grade Student
The Pain and Gain of Basketball
The opportunity to learn from established NBA and NCAA coaches was unique and fulfilling.
he Third Annual ACs Athens Coaches’ Clinic was an educational and rewarding experience. As a basketball player at this clinic, held from April 20-22, 2012, i was able to take part in three of the four varied offensive, defensive and physical drills that the coaches highlighted. These drills were challenging yet gratifying, and i thank the coaches for their time and effort. For all of the ACs Boys Varsity Basketball players who were fortunate enough to perform, and survive, these drills, the opportunity to learn from established nBA and nCAA coaches was unique and fulfilling. Even more, i expanded upon my own definition of basketball. The four coaches came from across the United states of America. perhaps the most accomplished of the coaches was randy pfund. Coach pfund was extremely impressive due to his experience and expertise in nBA operations, from in front of the bench to the front
office. He knew exactly what a winning basketball team’s offense should look like. Being taught by Coach pfund was an awesome experience for the ACs Boys Varsity Basketball players because we not only met the man who was an assistant coach for the 1988 nBA Champions Los Angeles Lakers and Lakers head coach between 1992 and 1994, but also gained insight into how he got to wear a championship ring! Most intriguing was his offensive set, the “open set,” which was completely run by the players. The “open set” consists of many different options, making it extremely unpredictable and hard to defend against. As a player, i found this to be very exciting because, to some extent, your creativity is limited by a set play. But Coach pfund created the perfect bridge between the players and the coach, allowing for players’ creativity. The coach managed to create an offensive strategy that is not only exciting for the players, but, more importantly, difficult to defend.
Whereas Coach pfund promoted success through strategy, indiana University’s strength and Conditioning Coach Je’ney Jackson promoted success through athleticism. Coach Jackson’s drills we re exhausting, extremely difficult, but also eye opening. Through his drills, i learned a winning basketball team needs to be physically superior to opponents. Even though Coach Jackson’s drills were physically demanding, we were inspired by indiana University’s track record. The famous “Hoosiers” were one of two teams in the 2011-2012 nCAA basketball season to defeat the nCAA Champion Kentucky Wildcats, and they did this by out-hustling their opponents. Although indiana did not have the individual star-power of Kentucky, they made up this up because of their superior physical conditioning program. Thus, it was incredible that i took part in the same drills under the instruction of a strength and conditioning coach of a leading Division One basketball program. The inspiration i gained motivated me to push through the drills and learn as much as possible from Coach Jackson. Although i am not convinced that i could withstand this on a daily basis, i have newfound respect for nCAA Division One athletes. going hand in hand with physicality on the basketball court is mental toughness. i firmly believe that no one is more passionate about toughness on the court than Coach shimmy gray-Miller, head coach of the Women’s team at st. Louis University. Whether it was diving for the basketball, drawing a charge or positioning for a rebound, Coach Miller’s drills continually tested our toughness. Her mindset towards the game of basketball was something that i had never seen before, and to be honest, i would be a bit apprehensive to play any of Coach Miller’s teams on the court. i firmly believe that her focus on toughness can also add a unique dynamic to a basketball team. Coach Miller’s tough style of play can break down the will and drive of the opposition. she instilled a belief in me that women’s basketball, especially at the nCAA Division One level, is as tough as the men’s, and toughness is something that certainly can have a significant impact in a game. The fourth coach who attended the clinic was Ken Bone, the head coach of Washington state University. Although i was not fortunate enough to participate in any of his drills, ACs Athens Boys Varsity Basketball Coach Jakob House was impressed with Coach Bone’s sessions. According to Coach House, Coach Bone presented a number of set plays and explained that, even though it is important to choose the plays, a coach must ultimately keep in mind the kind of players on the basketball team. The Third Annual ACs Athens Coaches’ Clinic was a great way to spend my weekend, as i learned a lot from coaches who had a unique focus on the game of basketball. it was a wonderful experience and i thank ACs Athens Athletic Director Annie Constantinides for bringing in these top-notch coaches who provided us with unique insight into what it takes to compete at a high-level in the nBA and nCAA.
Coach Jackson directs student players on conditioning and strength drills.
1 Coach Shimmy GrayMiller, head coach of the Women’s team at St. Louis University, signs in the Celebrity Wall. 1 2 2 Visiting Coaches with our Athletic Director and Boys Basketball Coach: (L to R) Ken Bone, head coach of Washington State University; Shimmy Gray-Miller, head coach of the Women’s team at St. Louis University; Annie Constantinides, ACS Athens Athletics Director Boys Varsity Team Coach; Je’Ney Jackson, Indiana University’s Strength and Conditioning Coach; and Randy Pfund, former LA Lakers Coach. 3 A student player receives instructions from Coach Pfund. 3
by vEniE gaki, greek Language Faculty
A leader of Greek literature
The students’ responses came quickly and excitedly: “The story was like a circle of life, and we must make this circle meaningful.”
hy do we read?” Why are we taught classical authors?” “How can we connect to these people’s backgrounds and hidden messages?” “What does a story written in the 40’s referring to the early 20th century have to tell us?” “Where on earth are Aivali and the Kimintenia mountains, and why should we care?” These were some of the questions i was bombarded with when i started teaching the book Aioliki Gi by Elias Venezis (1904 – 1973), one of greece’s most famous and popular authors, who led the generation of ‘30s and inspired later writers. However hard i tried to persuade my students with fervent speeches about the timeless value of books and stories, i still felt that they were trying to get the “A” rather than reading for pleasure and the pure acquisition of knowledge. “Aioliki gi” is another name for Asia Minor. Elias Venezis was born and raised there, in the city of Aivali, until the difficult year of the destruction of smyrna, 1922. in his book he depicts the innocent years of his childhood, the hardships, but also the happy moments he had had with his family, until it was time for all the greek populations of Asia Minor to depart from their “estia” (vesta in Latin, “hearth” in English) because of the break out of World War i, in 1914. One day, Constadinos papadimitriou, an insightful 9th grader in my greek Language Arts Honors class, came up to me and said, “Miss, you know, i think my grandmother is very close friends with the daughter of Elias Venezis!” it only took one phone call to persuade this wonderful, larger-than-life woman to visit ACs Athens and talk to all
9th graders who had read and studies her father’s book. Ms. Venezi came to our school on February 23 and provided us with pictures of the author when he was an adolescent and many more, which had never been shown in public before. We saw and read documents of the time Elias Venezis was in prison during World War ii, captured by the nazis; personal notes and letters received from other great leader authors of the times. The most astonishing was from Angelos Terzakis, who wrote: Dear Elias, I have been lying in bed for four days now, sick with flu and I am about to finish your book Aioliki Gi. Congratulations! You have written your best book and the most wonderful book of our generation! I thank you and I kiss you, Angelos Terzakis Ms. Venezi talked about her father, answering the students’ questions and responding with genuine interest about the life and works of the author and the extent to which the book Aioliki Gi derived from his personal experiences. she engaged the students
in conversation about the refugees from Asia Minor and the way they were treated when they arrived in greece – something that gave us all a chance to think of the way we behave towards refugees today. The students wanted to know how much the actual event of the destruction of smyrna in 1922 affected the mentality and the writings of the authors who wrote in the ‘30s and ‘40s and had come as refugees from smyrna and other places of Minor Asia. They were interested in finding out the impact Elias Venezis’ capture as an adolescent and incarceration in the Amele Tambourou concentration camp had on him. The atmosphere in the Theater Atrium was alive with 15-year-olds asking and discussing and debating. One of the most important and fruitful discussions took place when Ms. Venezi asked the ninth graders what they had acquired from the book! And it was then when everything became clear! The students’ responses came quickly and excitedly: “The story was like a circle of life, and we must make this circle meaningful.” “It made clear how much alike adolescents are no matter when and where they live; they go through the same internal search to find out who they are and what their purpose is in the world.” “It taught me that we should always try, not give up; we are the ones who
can change our fate!” And this was a lesson of leadership! people should try and do the best they can to overcome difficulties they may face in life! Their responses showed that students could actually see the meaning in everything we had done in our study of the book! i have to say that i was really proud, not only of the insightful comments, but also of the maturity ACs Athens students displayed during this event. What was really impressive, though, was the fact that even students who demonstrate less interest in literature than in science or other subjects were motivated and inspired! Ms. Venezi had the kindness to provide all students with photocopies of the first draft manuscripts of Aioliki Gi in the author’s own handwriting and with his corrections in the margins, an artifact i am sure our students will always treasure. We offered her a small gift as a little token of gratitude for her eagerness to be with us, for her contribution to the knowledge of our students and for being who she is. All greek 9 Language Arts Honors students composed and signed a card: Dear Ms. Venezi, Thank you so much for honoring us with your visit to our school. Thank you for talking to us. We truly appreciate the effort you have made to come here and the eagerness you have had to share with us all this information about your father and Aioliki Gi. It was a unique privilege and asset to have you here today. The greek Department and i personally would like to thank this magnificent woman, Ms. Anna Venezi, and of course our student Constadinos papadimitriou - without the help of whom this would never have happened - for the unique opportunity we had to meet with her and “see” an old time classic author through the eyes of his beloved daughter. We thank her for giving more meaning to what we do as educators, who wish to teach our students both knowledge and ethos in an effort to create true leaders of the future. We thank her for her vividness and her inspiring words. We thank her for giving us the chance to prove what a dear colleague always says “Exposure, exposure, exposure! That’s the key to meaningful learning!”
1 Student exhibit of Aioliki Gi by Venezis. 2 Manuscript letter to Venezis by fellow writer Aggelos Terzakis.
Teaching Students the Importance of Collective Responsibility
By EmiLia drogaris, Social Studies Faculty
ssume several thousand people are having a wonderful time dancing on a cruise ship. They have been repeatedly warned that if they do not stop dancing, the ship will sink. Yet no one stops dancing, and finally, the ship sinks. Economics can of course explain this behavior; each person believes that the other will stop dancing, so the individual dancing continues. They believe their personal choice does not matter, but when a critical mass is reached, in the end it does. Economics is a science that looks at human behavior and the choices people make to get what they want, given the resources available. A form of science does not address morality and ethics. Yet, it
has become increasingly obvious that such a science should exist. Because, by the sinking of the ship, we mean the breakdown of a system; a system whose proper functioning requires we collectively choose to follow the rules put in place. in discussing this in class, my students have astutely concluded that a fiscal crisis does not happen by itself. They repeatedly remark that there is an underlying dimension. since people make systems, we can only claim our institutions have value if we each take personal responsibility for upholding them, and create a culture where our fellow citizens have understood the importance of not collectively “sinking the ship.”
The same holds true for education. Of what value is education when the people who attain it think of nothing but their own personal good fortune? Of what value is education, if the process of shaping the mind was guided, not by virtue, but by shortcuts that students have discovered along the way to “beat the system”? it is this individual mentality which can eventually drive down the true value of what was achieved, transforming an enormously positive act into a worthless one. recently, my seven-year-old daughter had to complete a sentence for homework: “i tell the truth because…” she innocently
idea into young minds that what you do does matter at the end of the day, because our institutions, our government, our civilization, are only as strong as the principles upon which they were built. i say this as we watch our institutions unravel around us on a daily basis. i attended a university that had an Honor Code. i can definitively describe this experience with one word: liberating. it was riveting to know that all the work around me was original and student-generated. i knew my “A” was earned through merit and hard work, and that my paper was not going to go unnoticed because my classmate’s paper was phenomenal and perfect, but plagiarized. The “A” not only was all mine, but i knew that it expanded my skills and horizons, and sharpened my mind as i was working for it. i felt so proud that the process was about learning, and that my school was going to trust me, respect me, and not pigeonhole me as potential “cheater.” i could rise to the challenge and be that virtuous person; and i was elated to be given this chance. it took my focus off the grade, and made it more about the wonderful process of discovery and creation. A good Honor Code involves everyone. students do their part, by committing to be honest in all matters, at all times. The institution can do its part as well, by designing assessments where the temptation to copy is minimized and where expected outcomes are clear and manageable, so cheating fizzles out as a reasonable alternative. This summer the ACs Academy will implement a new exam protocol with which we will try to develop highly secure exam procedures. But as the students and we are aware, there is no system that can anticipate every possible way to cheat and then create a rule to prevent it from occurring. The long-term goal must be to take the focus off policing. students need to become comfortable with the idea that it is not about punishment; it is about each individual taking responsibility for him or herself to do what is right. This, while being liberating, is also what is best for the common good, and for the credibility of the educational experience. some evidence that this has begun to permeate students’ minds is beginning to surface. students are returning lost items they find around campus, including wallets with money. students are voluntarily leaving their cell phones on my desk when they ask to go to the bathroom during an exam. students are more willing to say, “i am coming to class to take my test even though i didn’t study”, when they and i both know they have the option of “calling in sick” and taking it the next day. i find that the vast majority of students want to be honest, and they feel, as i did, a sense of relief that they are at an institution where the truth is expected and respected. While these are great steps forward, we know that no system that is force-fed will ever work. students have a lot to say on this matter, and we must listen. Their input is needed for success. They are facing concerns we don’t see, fears and pressures we haven’t experienced, and of course access to new technologies which have drastically changed the landscape. But what we can impart to them is our wisdom. neil postman, great American educator and author, holds the distinction of having written this profound observation, “Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.” i know that all educators are moved by these words. We appreciate that we are the channels through which the next generation is shaped. The generation that will, in its own right and turn, determine the fate of humanity. We live with this honor every day, knowing that we are producing human beings, with all the complexity implied therein. if education is to be holistic and meaningful, students need to be exposed to the greater implications of their actions, knowing full well that seemingly small choices have the potential of causing many aftershocks. We must help them understand that in the end, unless we all take responsibility, none of us will escape the sinking ship.
I felt so proud that the process was about learning, and that my school was going to trust me, respect me, and not pigeonhole me as potential “cheater.”
said, “so i don’t have trouble!” i replied, “pretend there was no trouble, why then, would you tell the truth?” Her answer, “i don’t know, mommy!” she is very young and still learning right from wrong. But it becomes all too obvious that just like many other things, desired behavior needs to be cultivated and reinforced in order to be achieved. school must play a role in instilling values in young people. And students must play a role as well. They must discover first-hand that there is value in upholding a system based on principles of integrity. i notice with delight that the moment students have such moments of realization they immediately want to do something: to talk about it, to get it out into the open, to fix it. We are lucky to be surrounded by people with this kind of fervor and energy, because it motivates us all into action. We are also lucky to be in this community, where we can promote the values and ideals we believe in, and use them to create a future. One way to do this is to start looking at the idea of implementing an Honor Code. Having an Honor Code is a way to plant the
Leading with a Servant’s Heart
By sEvasTi koniossis, English Faculty
reat leadership is never motivated by gain and glory and can never be accomplished without personal sacrifice. This clearly contradicts the current image we have of leaders, especially those in the political arena, as made evident by the negative remarks made in daily conversation and the media. Everywhere you turn, people are sharing their disappointment and disillusionment with those in leadership, ranging from politics, religion and even local public offices. The current image of a leader is often clothed with glamour and privilege. But if we challenge the stereotypes we have created and take a more holistic look into leadership both past and present and encourage our students to do so as well, we will see that leaders who have made real change in the world were actually clothed with humility, sacrifice and, above all else, a servant’s heart. The challenge this poses to us as educators is to redefine what true leadership is by pointing to the positive rather than the negative, modeling proper leadership ourselves and, most importantly, guiding our students to be the change they want to see in the world. in other words, we need to reassess the way in which we ourselves perceive leadership and what we can do to change students’ pessimistic perception rather than, unwillingly perhaps, further perpetuate the constant criticism of those in power and resulting apathy. if we want a revolution in the hearts and minds of children, then we need to demonstrate, both in word and in deed, that true leaders put the interest of others above themselves. The leaders that we need to point to are those who have counted the cost and found it worthwhile to make sacrifices in order that others may benefit. This is what the heart of service is all about- using one’s position of authority to serve others.
We may now glory in the legacy of men like Martin Luther King, Jr., but we fail to realize that their glory came after their death. it is doubtful that Martin Luther King, Jr. envisioned that students in the United states would have the day off to commemorate his achievements because in the midst of his struggle for civil rights he was constantly surrounded by violent acts of terror against himself and his family. When asked whether he was afraid following the bombing of his home, he confidently responded, “My great prayer is always for god to save me from the paralysis of crippling fear, because i think when a person lives with the fears of the consequences for his personal life he can never do anything in terms of lifting the whole of humanity and solving many of the social problems which we confront in every age and every generation.” Martin Luther King, Jr. knew very well that in fighting for racial justice his own life was in danger. Yet, his dream meant more to him than his own safety. The longed for outcome must be of such importance that leaders are willing to look beyond the sphere of their own interest and profit. A key component of leading with a servant’s heart is that vision is required. A Hebrew proverb states, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Corrie ten Boom and her family hid and protected many Jews from nazi persecution during the second World War. Even though they themselves were Dutch and not directly threatened by the anti-semitism of their time, they used their privileged status to align themselves with the cause of saving Jewish people from the horrors of the Holocaust. During the height of Adolph Hitler’s Final solution, as many as seven people were living
1 Spreading Holiday Cheer: Faculty and Administrators serve hot chocolate to students. 2 Students involved in tree planting activities.
stant news coverage of vile events, there remains the possibility of goodness in the world and that they could be the change, however small, that is needed. political leaders do not influence children to the extent that their parents, teachers and peers transform them. Leading with a servant’s heart can apply to daily or long-term opportunities that give us the chance to share our privileges, stripped of all arrogance, with others. On December 23, 2012, ACs Athens president Dr. stefanos gialamas, institute for innovation and Creativity Director steve Medeiros, Academy principal Antonia Hapsis, student services Director peggy pelonis, Learning Enhancement programs Director Chris perakis, and many ACs Athens faculty members served students hot chocolate and cookies with bright smiles and compassion. This is a perfect illustration of humility and servitude. This simple act of kindness gave a powerful message: school leaders care about students and, despite their position of power, they want to serve students on a very personal level. The Do-Gooder’s Club (Civic Responsibility Club), led by Middle school/Academy Math teacher Carrie Brinkman and Middle school English teacher Therese Weimholt, organizes student activities of service to their communities. in the recent past, they have walked dogs at a dog shelter in nea philadelphia and collected donations during the Five Days of giving for the Hellenic Ministries’ soup kitchen and Lyrion Orphanages. Additionally, they took the advice of ACs Athens Maintenance supervisor nasos neris, collected olives from campus and contributed the proceeds from the olive oil to the sOs Villages here in greece. These teachers and school staff came to campus on saturday and joined the students in actually picking the olives from the trees, sent them to be made into oil, bottled it and are currently selling it without any personal profit. True leadership empowers rather than demotes; it helps people see their true value and importance in society, even when situa2
we need to be passionate about what is noble and kind if we want students to have vision.
illegally in the ten Boom home at all times- both Jews and members of the Dutch underground. Even more, the ten Boom family would encourage and train other Dutch families to hide Jewish refugees in their homes. Through these activities, it is estimated that over 800 Jewish men, women and children were saved. When the gestapo discovered their efforts, members of the ten Boom family were imprisoned, interned in concentration camps and some even died from maltreatment while in german custody. Likewise, Mahatma gandhi, being part of the trade caste, sacrificed his privileges in his efforts to eradicate the unfair caste system that predestined many to an inferior social and economic status. greatly troubled by the treatment of the Untouchables, he chose to live with the poorest and most downtrodden of india to better appreciate their suffering, and he struggled to persuade the indian government to outlaw the Untouchables’ social and economic status. We need to be passionate about what is noble and kind if we want students to have vision. Our life may not be at stake and a hunger strike unnecessary, but we can incorporate these principles into our daily lesson plans and school clubs, and model them through our very own behavior. students may forget the date of the United states Civil War or how to solve a quadratic equation but they will surely remember the sacrifices we have made and our acts of kindness. in a world inundated by selfishness and corruption, these acts of selflessness will instill in them a conviction that despite the con-
1 Students in the Civic Responsibility Club sort donations during the Five Days of Giving. 2 Students unpack computer supplies donated to a Greek public school where a classroom was converted into a computer lab - in Lepreo, Ileia.
tions are trying. since 2007, Academy social studies teacher Ellen Vriniotis has led an ACs outreach to a region in the peloponnese devastated by the fires during the summer of 2007. This has transcended simply collecting and sending monetary funds. students and teachers have taken time out of their busy schedules to go and help through various means: planting trees in Zacharo, creating informational pamphlets on fire prevention and awareness, constructing a Youth Center with computers in the village of Lepreo and, above all else, building personal relationships with people who need their voices heard. After the 2011 outreach, Theodoris Maragos, a student from Lepreo, shared his conviction that students “can change anything in our society; but we need equality, teamwork and true democracy.” A few years earlier ACs Athens student natalia Botonaki stated that what made the biggest impression on her was “how we all changed from the experience, sharing our knowledge, care, and good fortune with kids who had far less opportunities in life. This experience taught me that we must use every gift we have to help ourselves and others.” Vriniotis and several other ACs Athens Academy colleagues, including iB & Ap programs Director Julia Tokatlidou, English teacher Marca Daley, Chemistry teacher sana Kassem, Mathematics teacher Maria Falidas, English teacher Dionysia Balaskas and History teacher Jakob House, have modeled true leadership for the students who participated in the Village Project during the last four years. They have given students a taste of the hope that there is in putting others above yourself and the satisfaction in serving and blessing others. Leading with a servant’s heart is never easy. it requires that we give up things we cherish. it demands that we challenge the way we perceive people and situations and be able to consistently transform ourselves for the better. it expects that we put others’ needs above our own in a hurting, hostile and needy world and that when we accept positions of power, whether through hard work or privilege, we understand the great responsibility we have to those we lead. selfish leadership should never overshadow the long sacrifice of those who took power in their hands to alleviate the suffering of others
often at the cost of their own well-being and even life. Our responsibility as educators is not to overwhelm students with facts and data but help them understand that everything they learn is relevant to their lives and everything they do affects the lives of others.
1-2 ACS students serve refugees at Hellenic Ministries’ soup kitchen in downtown Athens.
By manoLis rEnTumis, Eleventh grade Student
Leadership and Ethics
more on the basics and little secrets of how to get started and how to keep that ever-evaluating third eye open for the future. Let the idea of premeditated strategy enter your minds and remain there to ferment. Leaders encounter problems and obstacles every moment of the day, and it is important to counteract on them, but not to do so immediately. Humans have this psychology about problems that triggers the ‘fight or flight’ sector in the brain, which is what most will call one of two names: fear, or shock. it is very important to become analytical and make sense of an increasing number of people, ideas and events in order to control this ‘fear’, because fear shuts off the critical mind of the human and evokes the instinctual mind of a primate (not that chimps are not smart). in other words, what one should eliminate before taking initiative is any and all ignorance from one’s life that opens the road for experimentation with reason, in order to expand one’s ability to think critically about problems and obstacles and make premeditated final decisions on how to act on the problems. An example of premeditated decision making and action taking is offered through ACs Athens Academy science teacher pauline Mamouzellos. in her early teaching career, she was placed as the teacher of a class that was reserved for students who were behind in their studies perceived as “lazy and dumb.” Mamouzellos had a choice to make: teach passively and neutrally without questioning the general perception of the class, or take an initiative of mental action. Mamouzellos chose to take action with premeditation. As she was teaching one day, she made a satirical joke the class should not have understood if the students were actually “lazy and dumb.” But, in fact, the students chuckled at the joke. What kind of leadership was exemplified and what were the results? it was a simple joke that was premeditated to do two things. First, to get the students to pay more attention to the teacher (dismissing their “laziness”). second, to find evidence of the students’ intelligence from their comprehension of the joke (dismissing their “dumbness”). As the two most important basics of leadership (actively taking initiative and being critical) have been covered, it is time to talk ethics. Ethics are a set of ideas, principals and values that are accepted and adopted by a common mass to live by and cultivate their culture and lifestyle. Christ is known in history as a leader based on ethics, obviously Christian ethics. it is very important for a leader to be ethical. Ethics set boundaries and standards that keep leaders from being glutinous and overindulging in their
Ethics set boundaries and standards that keep leaders from being glutinous and overindulging in their power.
o be a successful leader, one does not need to be an ethical leader. To start off, let it be apparent that there is only one basic and seemingly secret step to being a leader: taking initiative. Taking initiative is taking both responsibility and action into your hands. Taking initiative can be done in one or more of three ways: mentally, spiritually and/or physically. Both niccolo Machiavelli and Christ alike are known for their minds, ethics and leadership skills. Jesus was known for his Christian ethics and Machiavelli for his... not so Christian ethics. These men were total opposites, yet quite similar in that both took the initiative to teach their philosophy. When Machiavelli wrote his book of maxims, The Prince, in 1532, he did not fail to be laconic about taking initiative. Machiavelli found it an obvious thing, but surprisingly enough, some people reading this right now will ask “really?” There are so many leaders in the world, and there is so much to say about successful leadership and its relationship with ethics. This is precisely why this article will focus
power. One of the oldest maxims of leading a healthy life is an Apollonian saying “nothing to excess,” which many cultures today including Christianity have had derivations. As for the sixth, seventh, Eighth, ninth and Tenth Commandments, they are against gluttony and excess of any kind. Of course, one should hold a progressive point of view on ethics, filtering out what are mature ethics, that shall remain stationary and permanent (like a national currency), and what are more juvenile ethics, that should be subject to change until accepted as mature. To offer an example of a successful ethical and progressive leader: Thomas Jefferson was a Christian. He was against thievery. This was one of his ethics. However, Jefferson was trying to bring Chinese rice to America to have a higher abundance of food. After years of trying to find seeds, a friend of Jefferson’s who was conducting experiments with seeds had managed to possess a box of Chinese rice seed. As Jefferson was delivering the box to him, it was rumored that Jefferson may not have resisted breaking his anti-theft ethic for the greater good, and he pocketed a handful of seeds during delivery . This example shows Jefferson taking initiative by taking the rice seeds, to plant them to repel hunger, while being progressive and premeditating the idea of stealing the seeds, thinking that if it is for the greater good then it is a justified theft. Libya’s Muammar gaddafi was a leader with little to no ethics; he overindulged in his authority and was dismissed in a rather dishonorable fashion. His fall was an obvious result of his gluttony, excess and lack of serious ethics. practice and experimentation are the most important parts of leadership. One cannot simply become a real leader over night; in fact, one may never become just a leader, because a true leader must first be an attentive, disciplined student. This requires the instruction of wise ethics from a wise teacher. The student will then be in a position to set ethics, by the filtering of the young and elder ethics for him/her-self, and can become a true leader. Anyone can be elected into office in a democracy, but it takes a true leader to counter the problems for the greater good.
Bibliography: 1. “rice.” “Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.” Web. 10 Apr. 2012. http://www. monticello.org/site/house-and-gardens/rice.
By david nELson, CLC Coordinator & ACS representative to NESA pEnny kynigou, CLC Co-Coordinator
Collaborative Learning Communities at ACS Athens
teachers has experienced the process of being members of a CLC and in June they will become trained facilitators. From June 17-22, 2012, ACs Athens will welcome a representative from the national reform Faculty out of Bloomington, indiana who will train our facilitators in the Critical Friends model, which will become a base for our CLCs. Each of the schools will have trained facilitators in 2012-2013 so that Collaborative Learning Communities may be integrated into ACs as an innovative way to empower teachers to enhance student learning while also enriching the school culture. On a second level, CLCs have helped to enhance faculty participation in local educational conferences. This year, Athens and ACs have played host to some of the most dynamic professional development opportunities in the entire region, bringing together educators and experts from all around the world. Our school hosted the ECis Early Childhood Conference, allowing twelve of our elementary school faculty to explore the latest research and best practices presented by visiting faculty. Additionally, nEsA (the near East south Asia Council of Overseas schools) hosted its annual spring Educators Conference in Athens, playing host to over 600 educators from all around the world. Twelve ACs teachers from a variety of levels were able to attend this four day conference. Finally, dozens of our teachers will participate in the 2012 ACs Learning Differences Conference sponsored by ACs Athens. What makes this year different is not only the number of high profile conferences offered in Athens but also the collaborative structure that has been devised to promote pre-conference planning among colleagues and post conference sharing in CLC style groups. This innovative approach to professional development invites teachers to apply new learning, while allowing them time to reflect on those applied practices in a collaborative environment. By communicating closely throughout the entire conference experience, faculty members build upon each other’s interests and practices to make the most of the professional opportunities. Comments from some of this year’s NESA Spring Conference Participants and CLC participants: “It was a very energizing and reflective time. …In general, it really got me excited about getting back to the classroom and planning for the rest of this year, and especially for next year! The time was so worth-
The innovative approach (of ACS Athens) to professional development invites teachers to apply new learning, while allowing them time to reflect on those applied practices in a collaborative environment.
ollaborative Learning Communities (CLCs) are innovative Professional Learning Communities that have been introduced by ACS faculty to help move collaboration and instruction to new levels. This year CLCs have quickly found success in two areas of professional growth as they have set the stage for encouraging teachers to work closely together on issues that directly relate to instruction and to the enhancement of student learning. On one level, faculty members have volunteered to participate in a pilot ACS Collaborative Learning Community, which has met on a monthly basis to examine data, investigate best practices and provide a support network for improving student learning. What makes CLCs unique is that the needs of the group members define what is actionable. This year’s pilot CLC is made up of a heterogeneous group of teachers from all three schools, a variety of disciplines and multiple levels of experience. This year’s pilot group of
while that it’s going to take some time to really process and focus to understand exactly what I need to do to make my “vision” of an ideal classroom into more of a reality. The learning and focus and energy will be with me for more than just those four days!” April Wanex, ACs English Teacher reflects on her experience with nEsA and the CLC “The NESA workshop on “Inquiry-based lessons in science” was excellent. It reminded me that what should happen in classrooms is not teaching but learning. The presenter gave many models of inquirybased lessons with simple science experiments and authentic assessment examples. I will be sharing all the information with science and math teachers in a mini-workshop during our next meeting. I was very excited to come back to my classroom with new ideas. The whole experience with the NESA conference was indeed very energizing.” Sana Kassem, ACs science Teacher reflects on her experience at nEsA “The keynote speakers were well-chosen and gave insights into the forefront of current thinking about teaching and learning….I think the new research into how the brain makes connections and how learning takes place in physiological terms is fascinating and should be available to every teacher at all levels.” Tina Dellas, ACs science Teacher reflects on her experience at nEsA “I found the conference a great way to observe and absorb the enthusiasm that teachers from different corners of the world brought with them… Coming away from the conference, I am even more committed that I was in trying to make the learning process beneficial not only to my students but also to myself. How many outdated ideas can I let
ACS Athens faculty and staff involved in the Collaborative Learning Communities.
1 CLC members attend one of the numerous educational conferences in Athens. 2 CLC meeting in the Academy Library. 2
go of, that are really not as important when viewed more holistically? I found the conference to be an essential component of my professional development because change requires open-heartedness, enthusiasm, humility and trust, and reinforcement, the renewed essence of commitment to my role as a teacher.” Lindy McMullin, ACs Middle school Teacher reflects on her experience with nEsA and the CLC at ACs “Working in the classroom can be a very isolating experience for teachers. Participating in the conference opens a window onto a galaxy of new ideas, and lets in the breath of creativity, if not the wind of change. Our CLC groups help break down that isolation, as we share experiences, build new bonds of trust, and exchange ideas. They form a ‘sandbox’ where we all have the chance to play and experiment with what we have learned at the conference in a mutually supportive atmosphere.” Penny Kynigou, ACS 5th grade teacher and CLC co-coordinator
botics.” The flyer informing students and parents of this new class was out right before Christmas 2011. so why is Lego robotics something to take notice? Legos have been identified to student and parent psyche alike as a toy – especially during the holidays. Lego robotics, though, is not a toy at all: it is serious business. it entails designing, building and programming robots that will perform tasks in the real world. The Lego Mindstorms Kit contains all the building blocks like gears, servos, connectors, wheels, differentials and a variety of sensors, as well as a programmable computer unit – the Mindstorms Brick – to make a moving, sensing (seeing, hearing, touching, estimating), grabbing, deciding, performing robotic machine that successfully, repeatedly, tirelessly executes a real world task. ACs Athens physics teacher Dr. Andreas Tsokos said, “Lego robotics is a cool course. physics and robotics go hand in hand. i am sure students are going to have an exciting time both learning new scientific concepts and applying their knowledge.” Actually, a course that combines theoretical knowledge and practical experience was what ACs Athens president Dr. stefanos gialamas – a math ph.D. – wanted. “students today learn too much theory, solve difficult contrived problems, but rarely get to see exactly what their knowledge can be used for, until much later in their studies,” said Dr. gialamas. “i want a hands-on course with advanced technology topics.” The robotics class that i taught ACs Athens Academy students this semester was all that and a lot more. students were taught the basics of programming using a visual environment, applied physics and trigonometry to solve real world problems in a practical manner, and explored the capabilities, limitations and errors of sensors and sensor readings. All that effort culminated in a challenge: Build and program a robot that can start from any point, find a wall and start mov2 3
ACS Athens Introduces Course in Lego Robotics
By Prof. LaZaros poLymEnakos, head of Autonomic & grid Computing Laboratory at Athens Information Technology
ing in parallel to it, until it finds a parking space big enough to fit, and then park! not very different from what every driver in the streets of every city learns to do well, after months or years of practice! The challenge is explained below with an example. After measuring the two distances (1109 mm and 865 mm) and calculating the distance we moved forward via counting wheel turns (473 mm), we can calculate the angle relative to the wall and turn the robot to be parallel to the wall at a small distance (294 mm). Basic trigonometry is transformed to simple divisions and rotor/wheel turns that the robot can easily follow. Careful programming instructions have to be issued because measurements may be erroneous. Thus correcting accumulated errors is important. Then we move forward until the measured distance from the wall suddenly increases (to 599 mm), we mark the starting point and go forward until the measured distance from the wall is again small. This is a gap, a possible parking space. if the gap is not big enough, we skip it and go to next one.
Lego robotics is not a toy at all: It is serious business.
ack in november 2011, at the request of ACs Athens president Dr. stefanos gialamas, institute for innovation and Creativity Director steve Medeiros was given the task to propose advanced courses in mathematics, engineering or technology for talented Academy students in order to enhance the curriculum and offerings available to them. After weeding out courses like “Computer Vision & Audio Laboratory” and a variety of programming course choices as either too difficult or not exciting enough, Medeiros and i finally agreed that a Lego robotics course would be both fun and educational. Within a couple of weeks, we hammered out an agreement for our collaboration and a complete program and methodology for this novel class: “introduction to Lego ro-
Once we find a gap big enough (e.g. twice the length of the vehicle), we try to park with a parking maneuver – many different choices are available. The various photographs of happy students holding proudly their robots are only the capstone of a semester long effort. successfully building a robot that completes the challenge was not an easy task. Two AiT professors, Lazaros polymenakos and Aristodemos pnevmantikakis covered the theoretical material and the programming methodology. This including kinematics, geared transmission, exploring sensor capabilities and learning how to program motion, perform calculations, reading and calibrating sensors and taking and implementing decisions into actions. Three AiT senior researchers and ph.D. candidates (A. stergiou, n. Katsarakis, and Th. petsatodes) became the mentors – one per student team – teaching them the tricky aspects of programming and helping students debug their programs as well as assisting them in building functional robots for the task. ACs faculty, A. Tsokos and Ed. Woolbert oversaw student work and assisted in assimilating the material. Lecture notes, examples, book chapters and sample programs where uploaded on the ACs Moodle e-learning platform for students to study at home. Two visits to the AiT Autonomic & grid Computing laboratory were scheduled so that students could get a glimpse of a university level environment and work in real laboratory conditions. in all, it took 10 full 3-hour teaching and mentoring sessions and the completion of an easier challenge for a line following robot as proving ground of knowledge acquired in order to reach the level of skills required to solve the challenge. The end result is easily summarized: After several failed attempts, one of the teams made a final revision to the program that resulted in a correctly functioning robot that completed the challenge. One of the students, a member of the team, could not stop exclaiming: “That’s My robot!! That’s My robot doing this!!” One-by-one all teams succeeded, each with different programs and variations of parking technique. Based on these results and student interest, ACs Athens is considering introducing two regular courses (one introductory and one advanced) on Lego robotics, thus giving students the opportunity to explore additional programming languages (robot C) and complete considerably more difficult tasks. Who will be next year’s ACs Athens robotics champions? Prof. Lazaros Polymenakos is the Head of Autonomic & grid Computing Laboratory at Athens information Technology (AiT) and Director of the Master on Web science and networked Media. He graduated from the national Technical University of Athens with an Electrical and Computer Engineering Degree, and got his Master and ph.D. Degree from the Massachusetts institute of Technology. While in the UsA, he worked at the iBM T. J. Watson research Lab on speech recognition and Human Computer interaction. He is the inceptor of state-of4
the-art funded research projects and the author of more than 60 publications in scientific journals. AIT is a non-profit, independent technology institute that combines its talented faculty, industry links and partnerships to foster excellent education and advanced research in innovative technologies. A faculty of internationally renowned professors - all graduates of top Universities in greece, Europe or the UsA with prior careers abroad and in greece - creates an exceptional environment for technology research & education and ensures success in future academic or industry networking and placement. AiT is affiliated with top Universities (Carnegie Mellon, Harvard, Aalborg) and provides educational opportunities that span the full range of information technology study starting from Accredited Undergraduate program in Computer Engineering all the way to an accredited ph.D. in Electrical & Computer Engineering, as well as 3 Master programs with different emphasis and specializations. Our unique educational method of problem Based Learning (pBL - supported by UnEsCO) leading to hands-on problem solving, the integration of cutting-edge research into the curriculum, the dynamic curricula, our international student body and the state-of-the-art facilities ensure success in academia and the market place. For further information please check our website http://www.ait.gr
Group student photo of the Lego Robotics class.
2-3 Student photos from the class.
1-3 Students used imagination and science to create functional and operating robots from Legos. 4 Lego Robotics class student photo.
A Science Conference for Students by Students
By Dr. ELina prodromidi, Academy Science Faculty
he journey to knowledge starts from school, continues throughout the university or college, and is later completed in one’s professional life. This journey may be a long, difficult and often tiring experience but at the same time, it is extremely interesting, valuable and often rewarding. providing students with the opportunity to find a way early enough to travel this journey on their own, take initiatives to resolve problems on their way, and be able to communicate knowledge to their peers is fundamental in shaping our youth into ethical leaders of the future social communities they will be members of. The second Annual student Conference of science and Technology organized by Anatolia College (ACsTAC) in Thessaloniki in March 2012 offered the opportunity for students to observe and apply the research approaches and methods used to advance scientific thinking and knowledge. “Creating an environment that simulates a scientific conference and gives the opportunity to conduct real and innovative research along with the authoring and presentation of a scientific paper proved to be an intellectually exciting and challenging learning experience” as both organizers and participants admitted. students actively participated in the organization of the whole conference and assessment of scientific papers submitted by their peers. This way, students became leaders of small scientific committees, objectively evaluated the quality and context of scientific papers and rewarded the best ones. students also competed, learned, interrogated, doubted, and sought for experimental evidence thus challenging
their peers and motivating them to act as young researchers and think as scientists. in all this effort, teachers served as their advisors and guides who showed them the way to broaden their horizons and apply knowledge outside the restricted environment of a simple school class. Four of our own senior students participated this year in the ACsTAC conference by submitting a research paper for projects they had conducted in the school in the context of the iB programme. The paper entitled “The effect of the over-expression of calreticulin protein on the phosphotyrosine levels in kidney cells” that was submitted by ACs Athens senior sandra Maria Tsoti and supervised by myself in collaboration with the Bioacademy of Athens, was awarded the prize of the most-well documented English paper among almost 500 papers submitted from schools all over greece. ACs Athens senior Alex Apostolides took part in an extensive research project that involved installing photovoltaic panels on one of the school’s rooftops and presented his findings to over 700 participants at the ACsTAC conference. “By engaging in this scientific process, my friend george passas and i had the opportunity to connect all scientific fields of physics, Chemistry, Biology and Environmental systems and societies,” said Apostolides. in addition, ACs Athens senior nefeli Tatsina submitted a very interesting paper on plant gene expression, which received very positive comments by the scientific committee.
By contributing to such activities, our students and many other students from all around greece manage to demonstrate their abilities through science, spread their knowledge, acquire new skills and show that they can be the bright future of every society starting even from within the protected school environment. What is left to us, as adults and educators is to encourage them in this long journey of learning and make them realize that values and ethics do go hand to hand with competition and success if they wish to reach their destination in life, whatever this may be.
1 View of the ACSTAC Conference floor. 2 Greek American scientist Stamatis Krimigis, a world renowned expert in space exploration, addresses the conference.
By nick parakaTis, Academy Mathematics Faculty
The American Mathematics Competitions
contest, given the Tuesday before Thanksgiving week. A student’s score is the number of problems correctly solved and there is no penalty for guessing. The material covered is the Middle school mathematics curriculum. no problem requires the use of algebra or a calculator. AMC 8 eligibility extends to any student 14.5 years of age or younger on the day of the contest and not enrolled in grades 9, 10, 11 or 12 or equivalent. After the contest is taken in the school, the contest administrator sends AMC the answer forms, which are scored and compiled. The AMC emails results back to the school, usually within three weeks. We then follow up with a written report, accompanied by the awards for the school. students who score 20 or better on the AMC 8 are invited to take the next set of contests, the AMC 10/AMC 12. The American Mathematics Contest 12 (AMC 12) is a 25 question, 75 minute multiple choice examination in secondary school mathematics containing problems that can be understood and solved with pre-calculus concepts. The AMC 12 is designed for students in a program leading to a high school diploma and under 19.5 years of age on the day of the contest. The American Mathematics Contest 10 (AMC 10) is also a 25 question, 75 minute multiple choice examination in secondary school mathematics containing problems which can be understood and solved with pre-calculus concepts. The AMC 10 is designed for students in a program leading to a high school diploma, under 17.5 years of age on the day of the contest and not enrolled in grades 11 or 12 or equivalent. The AMC 12 and AMC 10 Contests are given on two different dates, (designated by the use of the “A” and “B” suffix on the contest names - AMC 12A, AMC 10A, AMC 12B or AMC 10B) about two weeks apart, in February. A student may choose to take one contest on both dates. in other words, an eleventh or twelfth grader may take the AMC 12 on both dates. A student in tenth grade or below may choose whether he/ she will take the AMC 10 or the AMC 12 on each date. Therefore, a tenth grader can take the AMC 10 A and the AMC 12B, the AMC 12A and the AMC 10B, the AMC 12A and the AMC 12B or the AMC 10A and the AMC 10B. After the contest is taken in the school, the contest administrator sends AMC the answer forms, the AMC organization scores, compiles and sends email results back to the schools, usually within three weeks. A written report then follows, accompanied by the awards for the school. AMC 12 students who rank in the top 5% nationally/internationally (or score at least 100 out of 150 points) will qualify for the American invitational Mathematics Exam (AiME). AMC 10 students who rank in the top 2.5% nationally/internationally (or score at least 120 out of 150 points) will also qualify for the AiME. The American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME) is a 15 question, 3 hour examination in which each answer is an integer number from 0 to 999. it is given on two different dates, (designated by the use of the “i” and “ii” suffix on the contest names - AiME-i and AiME -ii) about two weeks apart, in late March. The questions on the AiME are much more difficult than the AMC 10 and the AMC 12 students are very unlikely to obtain the correct answer by guessing. As with the AMC 10 and AMC 12 (and the UsAMO), all problems on the AiME can be solved by pre-calculus methods. Unlike on the AMC 10 and the
The AMC year culminates with the International Mathematical olympiad (IMo) which is a 10-14 day trip and contest for the top six students worldwide, who comprise the united States IMo team and represent the united States at the IMo.
HISTORICAL BEGINNING On Thursday, May 11, 1950, the first Mathematical Contest, sponsored by the new York Metropolitan section of the Mathematics Association of America (MAA) took place. it was given in approximately 238 schools to around 6,000 students in the new York area only. Today, over 50 years and three generations later, the overall success of this program can be viewed by simply looking at our growth in numbers. This last year over 413,000 students in over 5,100 schools participated in the American Mathematics Competitions (AMC). Of these, 10,000 students qualify each year to participate in the AiME scheduled for late March/early April. TODAY The AMC year begins in the fall with the American Mathematics Contest 8 (AMC 8) held in november of each year. The AMC 8 is for students in the sixth, seventh or eighth grade; accelerated fourth and fifth grade students also take part. it is a 25-question, 40-minute multiple-choice
AMC 12, a student can only take the AiME once, and are encouraged to take the AiME-i on the first date offered. Again, after the contest is taken in the school, the contest administrator sends AMC the answer forms, which are scored. The AMC emails results back to the school, usually within three weeks. A written report follows, accompanied by the awards for the school. AMC 12 students who rank in the top 5% nationally/internationally (or score at least 100 out of 150 points) will qualify for the American invitational Mathematics Exam (AiME). AMC 10 students who rank in the top 2.5% nationally/internationally. The AMC year culminates with the international Mathematical Olympiad (iMO) which is a 10-14 day trip and contest for the top six students worldwide, who comprise the United states iMO team and represent the United states at the iMO. THE AMC at ACS ATHENS The Mathematics Department is proud to announce this year’s winners of the Annual American Mathematics Competitions. Congratulations to our AMC-10 student Winners: • David Johansson (First place) • Demetris Kakaris (second place) • Eitan Weil (Third place) Congratulations also go out to AMC-12 student winners: • nicholas papaconstantinou (First place) • guanyi Ji (second place) • peter Mitropoulos (Third place) The Mathematics/Technology Department would like to commend these students for their high achievement in Mathematics!
A Summer Dream:
Splicing jellyfish DNA with bacterial DNA
By aLEx nikoLaidis, Ninth grade Student
ast year, i was allowed to sit for the sAT test in hopes of getting accepted into the Johns Hopkins University-Center for Talented Youth. i was extremely glad when i found out that i had qualified and was given an opportunity of a lifetime. The opportunity allowed me to study during a summer program at one of many universities in the United states. Based on my interest, i chose to study Biotechnology at roger Williams University in rhode island, UsA. This may sound weird to you, taking a class during the summer of 2011 when i could just sit down and relax. But traveling to another country, making many remarkable friendships and having fun was time well spent. Learning was engaging during the summer course, as we did many hands-on experiments. splicing jellyfish DnA with bacterial DnA while making the jellyfish glow was one of the most memorable experiences of the class.
Another fond memory in the camp was experiencing a diversity of cultures. i made close friendships with other students from puerto rico and the United states. My friends thought it was funny that i came all the way from greece to participate in this course! This course helped me as a foundation for the ninth grade Biology course, and made me understand certain concepts that helped me all along this year. Furthermore, the course changed my career choice. i decided i want to become a surgeon since i found out that i am interested in these subjects. Moreover, apart from the classes, we had several activities that bonded us as a group. Depending on the course, you were usually taken to a place relevant to your subject. The activities we took part in helped us get to know each other better, and connected us. On the first to second day, i made great friends. Also, the way the camp was set up, you slept in one of three buildings that had several “halls.” in each hall, there were about eight to ten people. since we passed our time with these students, we got to know them better than others. some of them with whom i shared activities became my best friends. in conclusion, this experience widens one’s horizons. Everyone who has an opportunity to take part is such a program should surely do so. And since you have to take care of yourself for three weeks, the summer program teaches life-long lessons and gives you a glimpse of university life.
Students participating in the American Mathematics Contest.
Students attending summer programs in the U.S. have the opportunity to get a first look at what academic life looks like.
By hELEn Liakos, Psychologist Jk-12/Student Life and wellness Center and Zaharo hiLEnTZaris, Assistant to the Student Life and wellness Center
Shaping Ethical Leaders through Wellness
manufacture character. it becomes evident that the question of how one develops character cannot simply be answered in one or two words. instead, one comes to realize that character is fostered in an individual throughout their lives by many factors, including their experiences, life lessons, social and personal lives, as well as what they learn in their educational environment from early on in their childhood and throughout their whole lives. Leaders, like character, develop with time. Therefore, it is critical that every individual is taught from a young age to be caring, balanced, principled, open minded thinkers that are knowledgeable about the world around them, and most importantly, aware of their right, power and even responsibility to change the injustices in the world. The student Life and Wellness Center is dedicated to educating the students of ACs Athens about various topics that shape their intellectual, emotional, social and physical health. Factors of personal wellness can also be a good predictor of how individuals will care and lead others in the future. Every year, a week in February is dedicated to “Wellness Week” where topics are carefully chosen based on the circumstances and needs of the students at ACs Athens and our society as a whole.
It is critical that every individual is taught from a young age to be caring, balanced, principled, open minded thinkers that are knowledgeable about the world.
t the Cis/ECis conference in november, 2010, in nice, France, as well as in 2011 in Lisbon, portugal, ACs Athens was highlighted for its unique comprehensive JK-12 guidance Counseling program, an integral part of the student services at our school. The Ethos magazine was very popular and mentioned in several instances. These are only two of many honorable mentions that help us realize how our school is heralded and that our community collaborates to work hard to present an inspiring experience for students. Leadership, ethics, positive approaches to learning, wellness has become part of the school’s everyday working vocabulary.
This year the two main topics that where explored in detail were: “Communication without Aggression,” and “Alcohol Abuse.” Our school was honored to collaborate with professionals from our school as well as the community at large. (We were honored to have presenters who are experts in their fields discuss personal and social wellness.) Discussions included matters of communicating
Many have said that leaders are made and not born and that the ethics of a leader is portrayed in the actions he/she makes or chooses not to make. The real question is “How does a leader gain the proper character, vision, inspiration and accountability to appropriately make the decisions that will affect other people and the world around them?” Education, of course is considered a necessity, however, it is obvious that this alone does not build character. persistence and practice is known to increase discipline, competency and even perhaps responsibility, however these also cannot
1 Students in ACS Athens frequently attend Wellness and Health related events and presentation from world renowned professionals. 2 Nifalioi (Sobriety) Rehabilitation group members talk to students about substance and alcohol abuse.
effectively and fairly, confronting aggression and other challenges, tolerance and teamwork and overall healthy decision-making. students from first to eleventh grade listened to speakers, participated in workshops, brainstormed and role played, in addition to taking part in intense discussions on everything from substance dependency to treating others and oneself with respect. The main challenge this year for the planning committee was to find speakers who engage students to initiate thinking about making healthy choices. The speakers were successful in engaging students in a wide range of topics concerning Wellness. KEDE (Center for research and Action on peace) was represented by Fotini sianou and Vassiliki Katrivanou with a central topic “Communication without Aggression.” Ms. Ballard representing Win HELLAs focused on “positive Living and Anger Management.” nifalioi speakers in their fifth year of our collaboration focused on “What is Alcohol and Alcoholism?” and personal accounts on the decision to use Drugs. patrick Akrivou spoke to Elementary and Middle school students about “Effective interpersonal Communication.” Alexandra saxLane, who has initiated the Elementary school program, continues to engage our students with thoughtful activities in “Making Healthy Choices.” Along with this program, Dr. Zervou, Dentist, spoke of Dental Hygiene. Athletes J. and C. Diebler and Athlete pychologist nick georgiades spoke of teamwork and effective communication. Dr. Campbell, American Embassy psychiatrist, led the students through a group activity that focused on behavior, aggression, communication skills and personal interaction. The culminating activity organized by ACs Athens Athletic Director Annie Constantinides was the Anti-Drug basketball tournament that brings teams together from all of greece. Experiences such as these help children grow and learn in a changing and fast developing world. The goal of “Wellness Week” was not only to educate, as we have established that this alone cannot build the ethical leaders needed for our future. instead, we hope to instill
accountability in our students in regards to their personal health, which ultimately affects the health and well being of everyone around them. Teaching students how to take care of themselves and others emotionally, socially and physically will give them the credibility, integrity and values needed to be an efficient and ethical leader that genuinely cares about the wellbeing and benefit of everyone. As John Quincy Adams said, “if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” The names of the participants are Ms. simone Xanthogiorgos nifalioi Ms. Michelle Ballard, Win HELLAs Dr. Christina Zervou, Orthodontist Ms. Fotini sianou KEDE Ms. Vassiliki Katrivanou KEDE Mr. Jon and Ms. Caitlin Diebler- Athletes Mr. patrick Akrivou Dr. nick georgiades, sports psychologist Dr. Herbert Campbell, psychiatrist
1 Wellness activities often are interactive and engaging. 2 Elementary students are engaged in student life activities from a young age.
referenced reading gialamas, s., pelonis, p. (2010). An international perspective of academic leadership. international schools Journal Vol. XXXno.1 (p. 72-86) gialamas, s. (2011) Leadership collaboration: high school and college environments. international Herald Tribune.
Dear ACS Athens Alumni,
welcome to the Alumni section of the eleventh issue of the ACS Athens Ethos. To submit your information in the next issue, please email email@example.com. To join the ACS Athens Alumni Directory, please visit our website at www.acs.gr and follow these steps: 1. ‘Profile’ on the Navigation Bar 2. Scroll down to ‘Alumni’ - click 3. Scroll down to ‘Verification for Alumni Directory Form’ 4. Complete the form and await approval link that will be sent by email. 5. upon receipt, click link to direct you to the Alumni Directory Form. 6. Login with your ‘username’ and ‘Password.’ 7. Complete Alumni Directory Form. 8. Be sure to note the request to ‘check’ or ‘not check’ the visibility of your social networks and personal information to other alumni. 9. Bookmark Alumni Directory Form page for future reference.
Connecting Past & Present
ACS Athens Alumni Association
he ACs Alumni Association would like to thank all ACser’s for their continuous support to all the events held throughout the year so far! Your participation has been greatly appreciated. Our target so far has been achieved but not accomplished. We still have things to do and to bring more and more ACs Athens Alumni “back to school” through the Alumni Association by either joining us at events or electronically via Facebook. The participation and interest has been unbelievable. Without YOU, nothing would have been accomplished.
During our Annual ACs Athens reunion-Dinner in november of 2011, more than 170 people turned up from the “ACs Alumni family” to see familiar faces, mingle, dance and taste the delicious buffet. Even a few of our teachers honored us with their presence. These included former teachers Toula Aravanis, george peppas, georgia Dadoly, plus current teachers steve Medeiros, Demetri pelides, pauline Mamouzellos, stavroula salouros. it was a privilege to have
them with us and to see former Alumni speak with them and reminisce of the glorious ACs Athens past! Alumni from all decades were there, beginning from the late 60’s to 2000! We even had raffle tickets where ten Alumni won various gifts, from a TV-video set to ACs Alumni shirts, which were donated to the Association. The Annual Carnival party in February 2012 at “nargile club” was wild and proved to be successful as every year! There was nonstop dancing in a Halloween atmosphere. All dressed up were more than 200 Alumni! in March 2012, the Annual rock gig was held at Le roi rock Club in Halandri. The 120 “supporters” who turned up had a once in a lifetime live experience! The band “prOJECT 7,” with Johnny Vavouras (ACs Alumnus, class of 1973) and Costa iraclides (ACs Alumnus, class of 1971), all proved that they can still rOCK THE HOUsE with their music!
As a last note, i would like to mention how much all Alumni mean to the ACs Athens Alumni Association. You really have been very supportive and believe me, above all, we VALUE this. it is our target to bring as many more alumni back to school, meet up and exchange ACs experiences. The times that you spent at ACs Athens should nEVEr be forgotten. We were all a part of the school, added to its growth and, in return, received quality education. The fond memories of each and every part of the school, from the amphitheater outside, to the classrooms, lockers, teachers, library, athletics, friendships created, music of the time, should be cherished! savor the moments that are warm, special and giggly. What can i say? i remain a hopeless, living in the past, romantic! Those were the days, my friends! so, come and join us! spread the word to more Alumni here and abroad. Join our Facebook (ACs Alumni Association) page for details and information on future events, and Alumni news!
The times that you spent at ACS Athens should NEVEr be forgotten.
praise them for coming up with a solution to a problem, praise them for trying, and praise them for winning. praise them also for being kind, for taking care of another child, for doing the “right” thing and for sharing. Ask your child to teach you something. Believe me, there is much you have forgotten from your time in school. Your child can teach you how to paper mache, or how to do long division, or the rules to hop scotch, or how to draw a dinosaur. Let them feel they have something to offer, and let them practice teaching. Encourage them to do things themselves, whether that’s making Jell-O or pancakes, completing a school project, putting their toys away, washing their bike. Yes, it’s hard to stand by sometimes and watch them make mistakes or to make things less perfectly than you could. However, remember that younger kids don’t yet know what things are “supposed” to be like, and that all kids will not feel good if they are praised for something they did not do! so drop those markers and hand them back their science project; let them do the work and earn the praise! if they fail to get a desired result, ask them what they could and will do differently next time. Combine ethics with leading: get them interested in a social cause, be it homelessness, or the environment, or animal preservation. When they are very young (they are never too young!), introduce them to your favorite cause. Take them to an orphanage to donate time or toys, pick up garbage around you on the beach, recycle items in your house. Ask them what they think of this topic or cause. Ask them to think of solutions. if they are of age, let them research ways that they can make a difference in that arena. Encourage them to make this a personal project and have them create some goals to raise awareness or make a change. For example, let them arrange a beach clean up with their friends, or invite their friends over for a short presentation on an important issue. The importance here is to let them come up with the project and the solution themselves. They just need your encouragement, your praise, and your help acquiring information (age appropriate help!). reframe negative statements and situations in a positive manner. i’m not asking you to be unrealistic or to lie. However, some people tend to see things in an overly negative manner than is called for and that often keeps them from trying to achieve things. i hear lots of kids saying “i don’t know” and “i can’t” when they are just too lazy to try. if you feel there is no positive way to view a situation (such as losing at a game that is important to the child), focus on what the solution is or what to do to improve next time. Most situations do have a solution and it is important to focus on that instead of allowing your child to get overwhelmed by negative thinking, fear and worry. Teach effective communication. Encourage your child to use their words. Kids often act out in response to events or feelings. As adults, we are often more capable of viewing the relationships between events and subsequent feelings and that is something we can teach the children around us. Be the best model you can be. Even in times of adversity, show your child that you are thinking about ways of solving your problems. Model positive thinking. Try new things. Communicate with those around you instead of acting out (yelling, slamming doors, hitting). show you care about others around you. raising a successful child who is also socially responsible is not impossible. However, it does require a juggling act! And that is what parents do best!
Tips for Parents:
How to Raise a Socially Conscious Leader
n today’s world, how do we raise a child who is strong and capable of being a leader while fostering in that child an important, yet often overlooked, sense of kindness and social responsibility? How do you teach your child the difference between “right” and “wrong” when that child is faced with daily examples of self-interest and the importance of being ambitious and “strong?” part of the problem lies in the language itself and in defining what “leadership” and what “ethics” is to the everyday parent. Ask a parent what it is that they want to foster in their toddler, their preteen, or their adolescent, and most of them will tell you, in their own different ways, that they want a happy child who does well in school, can make friends, and will have a good job and be successful (behaviors and characteristics that are usually ascribed to “leaders”). it is rare to hear a parent say that they also want a child who is kind to others or who will do the right thing (behaviors usually ascribed to “ethics”). How do you realistically raise a child who is capable of initiating friendships, of positively affecting the world around him or herself, and who can defend him or herself, but does not go around treating other children badly? Here are some things that parents (and other adults) can do to raise a leader who is also conscious of his or her effect on the world around. praise your child often for doing things that are really praise worthy. You will find that praise is warranted more often than not.
By mELina Tsiris, Class of 1992
Ask your child to teach you something. Believe me, there is much you have forgotten from your time in school.
Dr. Melina Tsiris obtained her psy.D. Doctorate in Clinical psychology in the United states. Her experience includes working with individuals and families from varied backgrounds in dealing with anxiety, depression, divorce and other disruptions. she has worked in hospitals, schools, and neighborhood clinics with children and their families, helping them to negotiate behavior problems, life stressors, and emotional issues. Dr. Tsiris is now practicing privately in the southern suburbs of Athens, greece.
Chapter 1: Business Ethics*
“NoT applicable in times of crisis”
By Dr. dEmETrios kiriTsis, President, ACS Alumni Association (Class of 1984) Director of Admissions, university of Indianapolis Athens Campus and Dr. consTanTinE kiriTsis, PQ Lead ICAP & StudySmart
he crisis in greece has heightened numerous issues relating to leadership, professionalism and ethics. The question of what is “right or wrong” within an individual, corporate and/or societal framework has become even more challenging as a growing number of dilemmas such as downsizing, cost-cutting and human resource assessments are putting leaders to the test. How can leaders handle such challenges ethically? should they use a more “teleological” approach by focusing on the consequence of a decision? This approach suggests that as long as the outcome is right, then the action is irrelevant. Or should they use a more “deontological” approach that suggests that an action can only be deemed right or wrong when the morals for taking that action are known and ethical? From our experience in the corporate environment in greece for close to 20 years, there seems to be a more “situational” approach to leadership and ethics all together. if we agree that “professionalism” may be defined as taking action to support the public interest, it seems that the greek crisis has made the greater percentage of greek leaders put aside their professionalism. Corporate governance arrangements, Corporate social responsibility programs and activities as well as proactive approaches to contribute to society seem to have vanished. The question that arises is whether “professionalism,” “ethics,” “integrity,” “honesty” and other aspects of good practice are applicable in times of crisis. Even though we cannot arrive to safe conclusions on how leaders in greece are tackling this crisis as any such research activity is still on going, one could base conclusions our daily experiences and observations until proven guilty. The methods used by organizations to announce pay cuts, redundancies, terminations (or the absence of any methods) suggest – arguably – that leaders either failed their
Alumni Association President Dr. Demetrios Kiritsis with ACS Athens President Dr. Stefanos Gialamas.
ethics course at college, never took any such course, or feel that the “absolutist” teleological approach is the only ethical framework applicable in times of crisis. research can easily prove them wrong of course. What is rather ironic from our observations and discussions with employees and through our professional workshops these past two years is that leaders who actually forgot their ethics and professionalism have been the same individuals preaching them some years ago when corporate budgets allowed for Csr programs, community activities and workshops on “company values”, “integrity” and keeping promises through handshakes. The question is what may happen to them when things turn around? professionalism, morals and ethical leadership should apply at all times and those leaders who set this tone at their top level are those that are sustainable. if you don’t think so, then we suggest we place a note under the Business Ethics chapters in all books around the world stating “nOT AppLiCABLE in TiMEs OF Crisis”!
International Spring fair 2012
Leadership in action:
Candidate for student council addresses the assembly
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