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ACS Athens highlights - February 2018

ACS Athens highlights

President's Newsletter


As of today, 985 students are enrolled.

Fulbright Foundation and ACS Athens Organizing Education Forum

The Forum "Redesigning Educational Systems: from Theory to Praxis", is part of Fulbright's 70 years of educational and cultural exchanges between Greece and the United States. It is being organized in collaboration with ACS Athens. The forum will give the attendees an opportunity to engage in a critical exchange between educators (K-12 and Higher Education Institutions) and business leaders regarding the kinds of learners needed by the world today. This event aims to highlight the importance of developing educational systems that enable students to become productive responsible, civic-minded global citizens, ready to contribute proactively to societies in transformation. The two-day program is as follows:

Thursday April 26th: 5:45 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Welcome Remarks: Kostas Gavroglu, Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs | Geoffrey R. Pyatt, US Ambassador to Greece | Stefanos Gialamas, President, ACS Athens | Artemis A. Zenetou, Executive Director, Fulbright Foundation

Panel I: Maria Kapsokefalou, Vice-Rector, Agricultural University of Athens | Haris Makryniotis, Managing Director, Endeavor Greece | Allan Goodman, President, Institute of International Education. Moderator: Stefanos Gialamas, President, ACS Athens

Keynote Speaker: Allan Goodman, President, Institute of International Education

Friday, April 27th: 5:45 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Welcome Remarks: Stefanos Gialamas, President, ACS Athens | Artemis A. Zenetou, Executive Director, Fulbright Foundation

Panel II: Eleni Katsarou, Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL | Dimitris Sampson, Professor, Curtin University/University of Pireaus | Roxanne Giampapa, President, Pinewood Schools | Vincent Gray, Social Studies Teacher, Druid Hills High School, Atlanta, GA/2017-18 Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching Program | Elisavet Chorianopoulou, Administrator, Elementary Schools, "Maria Goudeli" Montessori Schools. Moderator: Peggy Pelonis, Dean of Student Affairs, ACS Athens.

Guest Speaker: Edward Burger, President, Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX

Model United Nations

ACS Athens students have had the opportunity to showcase their diplomacy at four MUN conferences this year:

  • Costeas Geitonas MUN, where two of our students chaired and one that received the "Best Delegate" award;
  • Twelve students attended The Hague Model United Nations, with two our students holding the positions of Ambassador and Deputy Chair as leaders.
  • For the first time in the history of ACS Athens, twelve students and two faculty members were invited and are currently participating at the Georgetown University Model United Nations in Washington, D.C.
  • Ten students will participate in the Athens Model United Nations in March.

A special thank you is extended to the S. Stamatiou family and ACS Athens for their generous support in providing two scholarships for students to participate in the International conferences, who might otherwise not have been able to do so. Once again, the community, students, and ACS Athens collaborated with ethos to provide the best educational opportunities for our students.

Professional Development

The 2018 NESA Spring Educators Conference is schedule to take place in Athens in April. Twelve faculty and administrators will engage their learning in one of the largest regional conferences, not only as participants, but also as presenters:
  • Sevasti Koniossis, Christina Bakoyannis and Rebecca Meyer will present their workshop entitled "Ethos Education through Collaborative Leadership" --  they will feature several service learning projects from the ACS Middle School made possible through the UN Day and by the work of all Middle School faculty in Advisory.  "Specific strategies, including an online i2flex platform, will be provided that can make service learning an integral part of a school curriculum and values. Everyone who attends will witness the ways in which a shared vision and passion for service among teachers and administrators can inspire students and empower, as well as unite, an entire school community."
  • Dora Andrikopoulos, will present her workshop entitled "Setting Learning on Fire through Project - Based Learning in Mathematics". Ms. Andrikopoulos will share lesson designs that she has developed so that visiting teachers can discover how "Project-Based Learning has been applied in Middle School Math to develop students as critical thinkers and autonomous learners."

ECIS Conference The following people led workshops/facilitated at the ECIS InspirEd Conference in November, in the following topics:

  • Sevasti Konniosis: How do we encourage students to feel connected to and responsible for their community?
  • Julia Tokatlidou: How do we move to project-based learning (PBL) without disrupting the entire timetable?
  • Rebecca Meyer: What can we do to support Mother Tongue maintenance and development across our school community?
  • Peggy Pelonis: Celebrating individuality: a Best Fit Approach
  • Chris Perakis: What would it look like if we became a more inclusive school? Ms. Perakis was invited by the International School of Luxembourg Head of Schools, to work with their Learning Support Staff on looking at other ways to meet their student needs; as they feel that ACS Athens has a "model" program.

Serving Humanity

  • The second phase of the Youth to Youth Program was successfully completed in December 2017. The program will continue throughout the Spring semester. The Spring program will be finalized within a few days and will be sent to you should you wish to join us.
  • Mr. Prokopakis provided invited the refugee students to the Danaos facilities where they were provided with information about the company, possible employee opportunities and the traits they look for hiring personnel
  • Koinwnos, a student-led initiative, collects and provides clothes to homeless people. Students, parents and faculty (with the support and guidance of Koinwnos personnel) personally deliver clothes, blankets and other materials to people in need. The ACS Athens community donated clothing and especially warm coats and jackets.

College Placement

To date, we have had impressive college acceptances and offerings including:

  • USA: Stanford, Northwestern University, New York University, Rutgers University, Santa Clara University, and more.
  • UK: University of Glasgow, London School of Economics, University of Warwick, University College London, University of Bath, Kings College, Imperial College and more.
  • Other countries: University of Amsterdam, Trinity College Dublin, University of Groningen

PanHellenic Forensics Tournament

Amalia Zavacopoulos and Sophia Thanopoulou are Co-Chairs of the 2018 PanHellenic Forensics Tournament that is scheduled to take place at ACS Athens March 8, 9, 10, 11. Twenty schools from all over Greece, with more than 450 students, will participate. The competition events are: Debate, Group Discussion, Impromptu Speaking, Original Orators, Duet Acting, and Oral Interpretation of Literature.

DiL Program in Thessaloniki

Theo Koutsopoulos and Xenia Vafopoulou, Dogs in Learning instructors and three DiL dogs (Iro, Arno and Hugo) visited the Pinewood American International School and American Farm School in Thessaloniki on February 12 and 13, 2018 and delivered workshops on this program to the Elementary School students and faculty. The students who participated in the workshops enjoyed this learning experience immensely.

University of Delaware

Dr. Dennis Assanis, the 28th President of the University of Delaware and his administrative team visited and toured ACS Athens on January 25 th and met with school educators and leaders. The meeting was quite successful on many levels and solidified the agreement between ACS Athens and the UDEL.

Name a Seat

We will be reactivating this Board initiated fundraising initiative, which thus far has six seats sold. We are currently working on a campaign to re-launch this initiative.

ACS Athens Learning Commons

INCUBATOR of Student's Creative Ideas: The ACS Athens ISCI Council co-hosted, with the Hisar School in Istanbul Turkey, an inaugural Innovation Summit in December of 2017. The two day Summit was organized and taught primarily by the students running the incubator in the Learning Commons.

Topics presented included: Arduino programming language, Fusion 360, Scratch, Python, Adobe, Ancient Greek Ethics, Fashion Design and Creative Writing.

In the Spring, after school courses will be offered to students by a parent who has volunteered to offer Arduino and 3D printing courses.

Learning Enhancement Programs

  • Partnership for Student Success Monthly Sessions provide parents with important information on:
    • "Use of IT platforms (Skyward, Moodle) & internet safety"
    • "The Art of Effective Parenting: How to Raise Responsible and Autonomous Children"
    • "School support services (incl. OLP, Wellness, Testing, After School Program, OT, ST)"
    • "Behavioral, Learning and Socio-economic aspects of Vision Problems in Children"
    • "Positive-Rational Parenting & Sibling Rivalry"
They have all been very well attended.

Middle School Community Service Initiatives

  • MS Elderly Service visits twice a week through Advisory classes; students assist patients by conversing, coloring, playing music, etc.
  • MS Service Leaders lead Holiday shoebox gifts for shelter. Goal: 150 boxes. They raised over 180 boxes!
  • Fields trips once a quarter per grade-level; correspond with curriculum enhancement. This week's Greek LA 7 & 8 classes will be visiting Elliniko Kosmos to see a play about Alexander the Great.
  • MS students and faculty along with Academy are leading a recycling initiative to educate the institution's population over Green initiatives.
  • Mr. Alafouzos, the famous Greek actor and director, was a guest speaker in Ms. Sidiropoulou's Greek class on Friday 26th January 2018.
  • International Day of Mother Languages will be celebrated on: 21 February.
  • Weekly Wednesday Advisories have enabled students to meet with a club or advisory one time/month.


Below are the dates for the major upcoming events:
  • International Youth Basketball Tournament on February 23–25.
  • ISST Boys Basketball Tournament at Cobham, UK on March 8-9-10
  • ISST Girls Basketball Tournament at Bohn on March 8-9- 10
  • International Basketball coaches' Clinic on May 11-12
  • Annual Athletics Banquet on May 31

President's Recent Publications/Distinctions

  • Published the article: Transforming K-12 Educational Institutions: The Global Morfosis Paradigm (gMp) in the International Schools Journal Vol XXXVII No.1 November 2017, Dr. Stefanos Gialamas and Dr. Peggy Pelonis
  • Economist Special Greek issue, The World in 2018 "Η Καινοτομία στην εκπαίδευση μαγέυει την καρδιά των μαθητών", Dr. Stefanos Gialamas, February 2018
  • Leadership in Academic Institutions; Preparing Students Holistically for Life: Matters of the Heart and Mind, Dr. Stefanos Gialamas, Dr. Alessadra Sax-Lane, International Journal of Progressive Education, Volume 13 Number 3, 2017
  • Developing Mathematical Knowledge and Skills Through the Awareness Approach of Teaching and Learning, Dr. Stefanos Gialamas, Dr. Angeliki Stamati, Dr. Abour Cherif, Journal of Education and Practice Vol 8, Nov 13, 2017
  • Which Sweetener is Best for Yeast? An Inquiry-Based Learning for Conceptual Change. Dr. Stefanos Gialamas, Dr. Abour Cherif, Dr. Sana Kassem, Dr. Farahnaz Movahedzadeh, Journal of Education and Practice Vol 8 No 2, 2017
  • Co-chair and Moderator of The Forum of Redesigning Educational Systems: From Theory to Praxis

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