Learning Commons Faculty & Staff
Mary-Ann Augoustatos is from Manhattan, New York and is currently the Director of Academics, JK-12 Research & Learning Studios. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a Masters of Arts in Education. She is a certified International School Administrator and received her certification as a High School Mathematics teacher from the State of New York. She has spent multiple enjoyable decades as an educator, most of which was spent at ACS Athens.
She was a secondary Principal at ACS Athens for almost a decade. Her teaching experience consists of High School Mathematics courses throughout all academic levels with an emphasis on IB and Honors level courses. She has 19 years of mathematics teaching experience with ACS Athens. In addition to her responsibilities as a teacher and a Principal, she has held a variety of professional positions within the ACS Athens community. For 16 years of her instructional career she acted as the JK-12 Mathematics Department Chair at having created the position of Elementary School Math Specialist and the ACS Athens Mathematics Competition as a few of her highlights. Two years prior to becoming Principal, she assumed the position of JK-12 Technology Department Chair concurrently.
She also served as a team member on the Committee of Institution-wide Accreditation of the Middle School Association of Colleges and School (MSA). In addition, she was also was invited to attend an MSA Chair training Workshop and shortly after its completion she acted as a Co-Chair and Chair of the MSA. For the academic year 2009-2011 she also held the position of JK-12 Academic Department Chair Council Coordinator. She is currently a chair of the Middle States Association. For many years, she also held the position of JK-12 Academic Department Chair Council Coordinator and began and completed a full curriculum review process for all courses school wide.
Ms. Anderson received a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Douglass College, an Master of Science from Rutgers University in Chemical Engineering and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Columbia University in Finance.
She is the library manager for the Elementary and the Academy / Middle School Libraries.
A native of Athens, Greece, Maria D. Avgerinou graduated from the National and Capodistrian University of Athens (GR), with a B.Litt. in Byzantine and Modern Greek Language and Literature. For her graduate studies she attended the University of Bath, England where she received an M.Ed. in Educational Technology, and a Ph.D. in Educational Technology and Psychology with research focus on Visual Literacy, Assessment, and Mixed Research Methods. Dr. Avgerinou holds postdoctoral diplomas on eLearning Design, Implementation, and Evaluation from the Institute of Education, University of London (UK), the University of Hull (UK), and more recently from Indiana University (US). She is also a Master Reviewer for Higher Education and K12 for Quality Matters, MarylandOnline (US). Dr. Avgerinou has been with the ACS Athens community of learners since 2013 as the Director for Educational Technology and eLearning (i2Flex). Most recently, her role has been extended to incorporate that of the Lead Researcher for 6-12 grades in the Learning Commons of the Sabbagh Library.
Having worked as an academic since 1995 at various British (University of Bath, University of London, University of the West of England, Southampton Solent University), American (Northern Illinois University, Saint Xavier University, DePaul University, Appalachian State University), and Greek Universities (Hellenic Open University), she has extensive experience teaching face-to-face and online especially at the postgraduate level with particular emphasis on teacher education and professional development.
As an international scholar, Maria has been active in a number of professional associations among others the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT), the International Visual Literacy Association (IVLA), and the European Distance and eLearning Network (EDEN). Her strong record of research activities, presentations, and publications evolves around Online and Blended Learning, Action Research, and Visual Literacy. In recognition of her contribution especially to the latter, Maria has received various awards from the IVLA most notably the Research Award (2009), and the Braden & Beaucamp Award (2001, 2010). In 2012, she was elected the co-editor in chief of the Journal of Visual Literacy (JVL), the oldest international academic journal in the field.
Naturally drawn to science and technology, Mr. Economopoulos got his Bachelor's degree from the Mathematics department of the University of Athens. He has always been enjoying teaching math and spreading his love for it to young students.
He loves photography, cooking and learning new things.
Born in Alexandria, Egypt, and raised in Kuwait and Athens, Farida El Gazzar, an ACS Athens alumna, graduated from Vakalo School of Art & Design, in Athens, and then moved to London where she earned her Bachelor of Arts Hons degree from Kingston University, and her Master of Arts degree from the Royal College of Art.
Prior to joining the ACS Athens faculty, she gave seminars for portfolio preparations and art drawing classes to ACS Athens students in collaboration with AKTO School of Art & Design.
From 2003 to 2007, she was co-founder of the creative team WARDA. Ms. El Gazzar was an artist-in-residence in Cairo 2008, and in Bahrain 2009, where she gave workshops to local artists.
She is represented by Kalfayan Galleries, Athens-Thessaloniki and has exhibited in Greece and abroad. She is an artist and freelance illustrator. Among her clients, she has collaborated with the National London Theatre, Hayford & Rhodes, the Greek Ministry of Environment, ATHENS 2004, Cornell University Press, DOL; Lambrakis and Kathimerini publications. Her works are with institutional collections such as The Barjeel Art Foundation and major private collections in Europe, the USA and the MENAM.
Marietta Garbis was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. She completed a program of Business Studies at Lasalle College in Montreal.
She has been at ACS Athens since 1992, and has served as the Academy Attendance Officer and in administrative support roles in the Academy and Middle School offices and Student Services. She is currently the Administrative Assistant to the Dean of the Institute for Innovation & Creativity. She is also the manager of the ACS Athens Bookstore.
Ms. Grigoropoulos was born in Athens, Greece and raised in Maryland, U.S., where she graduated from high school and attended University of Maryland for her first university years. She later returned to Greece where she graduated from University of La Verne with a B.Sc. degree (double major in Marketing and Business Management and many courses in English and computer technology.)
While working as a full time employee in Barclay’s Bank, she received a M.A. degree in International Management. She has fulfilled the requirements to be certified as a teacher in ESOL K-12 and in Business Studies 6-12 in the United States.
She teaches ESL, EFL, and Drama in Middle School.
While holding various positions in the banking sector, in the retail and wholesale business as well as, in the services sector, she has also been teaching ESL for 21 years. Four years ago, she joined the ACS Athens team as a substitute teacher, a full time shadow teacher and as an after school program instructor. She enjoys painting, sports, and traveling.
Ms. Grigoropoulou was born and raised in Athens until the age of 9 at which time she moved with her family to the State of Maryland where she attended school. Upon her return to Greece, she attended and graduated from ACS Athens, in June of 1989. She began her undergraduate studies at the University of La Verne where she earned Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Psychology in June 1994. She started working at the family business and at the same time married and had her two children. She started her graduate studies in 2005 at the University of Indianapolis where she earned a Master's of Arts in Clinical Psychology, Mental Health Counseling and graduated in June of 2007.
She has held various positions at ACS Athens starting as an intern in 2006, Middle School Counselor, Shadow teacher and After School instructor. She has done volunteer work in two Elementary schools in Maryland in the years 2007 to 2010 while living there with her family. She has attended various seminars and workshops in Greece including ACS Athens Learning Differences Conference of 2007, 2011, 2012 and 2014. She is a member of the American Counseling Association.
Mr. Hoc was born in Canada and raised in Greece, where he completed the IB Diploma Programme before attending the University of Toronto for his undergraduate studies. Mr. Hoc holds an Honors Bachelor of Arts with double majors in History and Drama from the University of Toronto and a Master of Science in Politics and International Relations from Royal Holloway, University of London.
After working at the American University of Paris, Mr. Hoc returned to the University of Toronto to begin his Ph.D. while teaching a second-year undergraduate course and working as a senior consultant in the area of performance optimization for a private firm. Upon returning to Greece, Mr. Hoc stood as a guest lecturer at the Athens Campus of New York College before joining ACS Athens in 2014.
Mr. Hoc has had the pleasure of working with learners across grade levels, both throughout the academic year as well as during the ACS Athens Summer Camp. Since joining ACS Athens Mr. Hoc has served as Supervisor and Coordinator of the LEP After School Support Programs offered through the Institute for Innovation and Creativity, and has supervised IB Extended Essays in Human Rights, Economics, and History.
Born and educated in the United States, Ms. Karvouniaris was a member of the ACS Athens faculty from 1979 until 2014. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Miami University (Ohio) and a Master’s degree in Special Education from Western Michigan University. Her extensive post graduate studies include the areas of history, education and writing across the curriculum. During her 35-year career at ACS Athens, she taught European History, Sociology, Contemporary World History, Theory of Knowledge, IB History and Humanities Honors. She has also taught Middle School Social Studies/Language Arts (MACOS).
Ms. Karvouniaris was Chair of the Social Studies Department from 1990 until 2006. She served as Division Chair for Humanities and Arts from 2011-2013.
A firm believer in life-long learning beyond the classroom, she has organized many interdisciplinary field study experiences for students in Greece and abroad. Based on these experiences, she and her teaching partner have presented workshops on field study as a strategy for individual inquiry at NESA and Niarchos Foundation Learning Differences international professional conferences.
She is a member of the international chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, the honorary organization for professional educators.
After her retirement in September of 2014, she joined the ranks of Emeritus Faculty.
Presently she is a Research Assistant at the Learning Commons in ACS Athens.
As a chemistry and biology teacher at ACS Athens since 2004. Ms. Kassem earned a B.Sc. Science (Biology/Chemistry) from the American University of Beirut and a M.Ed. from the University of LaVerne, Athens. She taught biology and chemistry for IGCSE, A level, AP, French Baccalaureate and IB classes in many international schools in Beirut, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Athens.
In addition to teaching Ms. Kassem worked as an academic advisor for curriculum development of science at the Higher Colleges of Technology in Abu Dhabi, as Head of Science in International Schools in Abu Dhabi and Athens and has been an IB Biology examiner since 2000 and an AP Biology examiner since 2014. In 2015 Ms Kassem was selected by the IBO to be a team leader for IB biology examinations.
Ms. Katsiyianni was born and raised is Athens, Greece. She holds a B.Sc. degree in Mathematics, from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, specializing in Applied Mathematics. She holds a Master of Science in Economic Mathematics, from the National Technical University of Athens.
During the past 12 years she had the opportunity to teach Mathematics to students of different levels and she has been challenged to accommodate their special needs.
She has taught Geometry, PreCalculus and Algebra II and Trigonometry to Academy students and she is also an SAT instructor.
This year Ms. Katsiyanni is teaching 6th & 8th grade Math.
Having a strong passion for education from a young age, Chara Kouppa obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Pedagogy and Psychology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Being an advocate for global citizenship, she received an Erasmus scholarship and moved to Slovenia to complete her undergraduate studies at the University of Ljubljana.
In 2013, Ms. Kouppa moved to Scotland where she completed her Master of Science in Inclusive and Special Education at the University of Edinburgh by which she was awarded with a scholarship. Ms. Kouppa had been working in Edinburgh for the past 2 years; she has worked as a shadow teacher supporting high school students with a wide range of additional support needs and as a Social Studies Teacher in a Scottish special school.
This is her first year at ACS Athens hoping to create a caring learning environment within which her students will be able to reach their full potential.
Theo Koutsopoulos, after graduating from High school in Athens, traveled to the U.S. and attended West Virginia Canine College (Accredited College U.S.A.), where he received a diploma in Professional Dog Training. He successfully completed his study in the areas of obedience training, protection training, advanced tracking (man trailing), schutzhund training, kennel management, vet care, business ethics and management and more.
Upon returning to Greece, he started his own dog training school exclusivek9 that is still in operation. For nearly 20 years, he has trained dogs and their owners with great success in basic and advanced obedience, property protection, personal protection, non-criminal tracking, training for dog shows and training canine units for civil disturbances.
During 1997 – 2003 he became a full member of the Schutzhund Club (the 1st working dogs’ club in Greece) and passed the Sch H3 – IPO3 exam in 1999. Following his training at the Canine Behavior Centre in London, Theo was the first dog trainer to introduce the concept of Animal Behavior and Behavior Modification in Greece.
Theo is the co-owner and director of Pallini Kennels - Athens Pet Resort a state of the art center for pet care, a leader of its kind in Greece. The establishment includes boarding facilities for dogs, the exemplary Centre for Dog Training and the first dog Hydrotherapy Unit in Greece.
In September 2014, Theo started the Professional Dog Trainers Institute, the first state-approved school for dog trainers in Greece. Together with his team of skilled instructors they teach students the standard and proven methods, but also innovative dog training techniques. The curriculum includes theory and application on basic and advanced obedience, dog psychology and behavior modification, personal protection, property protection, training for k9 units, kennel management, tracking, veterinary care and more. The school will offer certification in the field of dog training.
Ms. Kynigou was raised in England. She received her B.A. and M.A. degrees in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University and then qualified as a teacher at the London University, Institute of Education.
She taught at St Pauls Primary School, London, UK and at TASIS Elementary School, Athens before joining ACS Athens in 1990. She has actively developed curriculum innovations for Early Childhood, 4th and 5th grade levels over her 26 years teaching at the school.
In addition to her teaching role, Ms. Kynigou is the Coordinator of Professional Collaboration and Learning at ACS Athens, and regularly presents at school-wide curriculum development seminars. She is the co founder and co-coordinator of the ACS Athens Collaborative Learning Community, a forum for professional reflection, problem solving and growth. She and David Nelson presented about the CLC during the recent ACS Athens Colloquium.
Ms. Kynigou is also an accredited National Trainer / Facilitator for the National School Reform Faculty (NSRF). She specializes in creating trust-based communities through collaborative group processes and facilitating Critical Friends Groups in which colleagues reflect on their practice, share ideas and promote problem solving. In addition to her CFG training, she also attended the Adaptive Schools training held during the 2015 NESA Spring Educators Conference for advanced training in facilitation techniques.
Ms. Kynigou first represented ACS Athens at TESOL, Athens 2008 presenting on teaching language arts skills through research. At the NESA Spring Educators Conference 2010, she presented a workshop on the creation on the 5th grade play, which she was also invited to present at the Constructionism 2010 conference at the American University of Paris. During the ACS Athens 6th Annual Conference On Learning Differences, 2011, she presented "Me and My Shadow" with Ms. Angelik Grigoratos: a workshop about building student success through teacher/shadow teacher collaboration. She attended the 2012 Jefferson Overseas Schools Technology Institute and the NESA Spring Educators Conference in 2013. She has been a frequent contributor to the school Ethos Magazine, writing about using blogging and a writing workshop approach to teach writing. Most recently, in collaboration with Helen Sarantes, Elementary Technology Specialist, she has written a chapter, "Setting the Stage for i2Flex, The View from the Elementary School," for the newly published "Revolutionizing K-12 Blended Learning through the i2Flex Classroom model" by Maria Avgerinou and Stefanos Gialamas.
Ms. Kynigou maintains the fifth grade blog (O.W.L.) where students can share their learning experiences and publish their personal writing.
Ms. Meleki is an ACS Athens graduate of 2001. She has been working at ACS Athens Elementary School as a Media Assistant since 2003.
Mr. Nelson has been teaching in the Social Studies department at the American Community Schools of Athens since 2000. While at ACS Athens he has taught American Studies, European History, IB History and Theory of Knowledge. Prior to teaching in Athens, he taught for twelve years in secondary schools in the Oregon, USA.
Mr. Nelson has a Master of Arts in Education from Western Oregon State University and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Pacific University. He specializes in Cold War studies, American history and sociology. He currently teaches American Studies, where he applies his vast experience with curriculum design. Mr. Nelson is also an accredited National Trainer/Facilitator for the National School Reform Faculty in Bloomington, Indiana and specializes in Collaborative Group Processes and work in Critical Friends Groups.
Additionally, Mr. Nelson is the ACS Athens Representative to the NESA organization; he has coached Cross Country for the past twenty years, and is an advisor of the Model United Nations. He enjoys frequent travel, snowboarding, and running.
Dr. Syropoulos holds a B.A. in English Language and Literature, an M.A. in English Literature and Culture and a Ph.D. in Musical Theatre from the School of English of Aristotle University, Greece. He has taught drama/ theatre courses and essay writing at Aristotle University, Ghent University (Belgium) and Goldsmiths College (University of London). His research has been published in peer-reviewed journals in Greece, Belgium and the UK.
Drawing on his vast experience in writing, both scholarly and creative (musical plays, lyrics for pop songs), he is confident that he can help the students at ACS Athens realize their full potential as young writers.
Ms. Tsopoglou-Gkina was born and raised in Thessaloniki, Greece. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Biology from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and a Master of Science in Environmental Biology from Utrecht University, the Netherlands, where she worked on a biodiversity related published research.
Ms. Tsopoglou-Gkina's previous experience extends from running numerous Environmental Education programs to teaching Biology at a vocational school for assistant nurses.
This is her first year as a Science/Math substitute teacher at ACS Athens and she cannot hide her excitement! Her contribution to the scientific spirit and the vibrant school community inspires her.
In her free time she enjoys dancing, traveling and reading.
Xenia Vafopoulou, graduated from The American College of Greece earning a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing Communications. She continued her studies at the University of Westminster where she earned her MA in Arts (Master in Public Relations and Public Communications).
She worked in the Marketing and PR department in two educational organizations, until she decided to follow her dream and earned her diploma in Professional Dog Training from Exclusive k9/Athens Pet Resort and is currently working as a dog trainer.