“Sexy!”…is usually not a word or phrase used to describe education or anything related to it. However, it is used to describe cars. And one day, while surfing The Net to find a website that embodied the innovation, class and engineering design that I see in ACS Athens, I stumbled upon porsche.gr and found their latest concept car—the Porsche 918 Spyder…that is sexy.
For a ‘machine’ person like me—who got out of my parents’ car at age 14 when they stopped at a gas station off of the Munich Autobahn and who got down on my hands and knees and looked under the body of a Mercedes Benz and declared, “That is a car!”—intelligent design in engineering is a must. As an American teen watching cars drive at top speeds of 120 miles per hour and glide over bumps without a rattle…that experience sealed my allegiance to excellence in engineering.
So, what do sexiness and engineering have to do with education and ACS Athens? In my eyes, the sexy 918 Spyder concept car is the epitome of intelligent design in engineering and what the faculty and staff of ACS Athens are designing in educational concepts is the equivalent in the world of education. The same terms Porsche uses to describe its concept and those who built it are the same terms that describe the current direction at ACS Athens.
Porsche understands that excellence in design is about the future. It’s about performance. It’s about innovative intelligence. It’s about making concepts real. It’s about improving on the past. Porsche could not have said it better, "We don't have to win. We just have to get moving—forward." Our president, Dr. Gialamas, clearly sees the needed direction of education for which he has delineated the next five-year road map (outlined in the last edition of Ethos www. http://www.acs.gr/ethos-magazine/2010/7/2/volume-4-issue-2.html).
Besides sharing identical verbiage, the second correlation to ACS Athens and the development of the 918 Spyder is that our president and our ACS Athens community realize that, "Without the intelligence of our engineers, there is no performance." Therefore, this issue of Ethos is dedicated to the engineers—our faculty—who engineer innovation, who engineer critical thinking, who engineer content and who, most of all, engineer the future opportunities of our students.
Through “clever execution” ACS Athens is putting forth a “bold plan” for innovation in education. In this issue, you can read about faculty who are designing educational opportunities through global blogging (Penny Kynigou, 5th Grade) and mathematics (Tamyra Walker, ES Mathematics Specialist); new faculty who come with fresh new ideas; alumni who are returning to speak on stage with ACS student speakers through programs offered by the ACS Athens Institute for Innovation and Critical Thinking (TEDxYouthDay); off-campus learning opportunities (Freshman Connection, IB Retreat & Journalism in Palestine); university-level courses designed by Dr. Gialamas, Steve Medeiros, Peggy Pelonis and others (Bridging the gap to University); and finally, the training of faculty members who travel abroad (Nice, France) and who offer international training to local and international educators (ACS Athens’ Annual Learning Differences Conference).
So, I’m sorry, but when I look under the bodies and hoods of schools and see the innovative excellence that I see at ACS Athens, I may not say, “That’s a car,” but I can say, “That’s a school and it’s sexy!” ACS Athens is truly Engineering Thought for the 21st Century, as so intelligently depicted on the cover of this Ethos by our very own ACS Athens parent, James M. Lane.
Enjoy the intellectual ride!