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Learning Differences Conference 2013

Below is the list of presenters for the conference.  The speakers are grouped depending on their type of presentation, ie.  Institutes or Saturday Workshops...

 

Institute Presenters

Institutes (taking place on May 6, 7 and 8, 2015.)
(in alphabetical order by presenter's last name)

 

Professor of Special Education
George Washington University
Washington DC
USA

Michael Castleberry Dr. Michael Castleberry 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.  During his career he has seen the advance of assessment and programming for special needs populations, spurred by the 1975 PL-94142 that guaranteed rights to children and parents for access to education services; he has also seen the backlash to the provision of services as costs and lack of qualified personnel caused significant educational and legal complications.  The result of this backlash was a dramatic increase in inclusion programs, noble for the intent of servicing special needs children in regular settings but often resulting in a lack of individual programming for the child with a different learning need.

Despite advances in curriculum development, from both an instructional as well as a theoretical framework, e.g. Phonographix as a reading approach, Differentiated Instruction as a theoretical approach, the march toward national assessments as the only indicator of instructional gains in U.S. 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.

 

Assistant Professor, Special Education
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, Tennessee
USA

Alexandra Da Fonte Dr. Alexandra M. Da Fonte is an Assistant Professor of the Practice in the Department of Special Education at Vanderbilt University and the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center member.  Dr. Da Fonte’s experience is in working with students with severe disabilities and complex communication needs in various roles and settings.  Additionally, she worked as an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) consultant in urban and suburban schools.  In this role she worked directly with special education and general education teacher and families of students with special needs.  Dr. Da Fonte’s current professional role is in preparing, training, and supervising pre- and in-service teachers in special education.  Her research interests include bridging research-to-practice, teacher preparation, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), working with students with significant needs, and working with paraeducators.

 

Clinical/Consulting Psychologist
Concord Academy
Concord, Massachusetts
USA

David L. Gleason Dr. David Gleason is a clinical psychologist with over 25 years of providing counseling, consulting and neuropsychological assessment services within independent and international schools.   David earned a B.A. in Psychology & Theology (1982) and an M.A. in Counseling Children & Adolescents (1987) from Boston College before earning a Psy.D. at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (1993).   After serving for several years as Administrative Director of Student Support Services (full-time psychologist in residence) at St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire, Dr. Gleason opened his own clinical practice in 2000.  Subsequently, in 2002, eager to reconnect with an independent school faculty, Dr. Gleason joined Concord Academy in Concord, Massachusetts, as that school's Consulting Psychologist.

In his private practice, Dr. Gleason provides psychotherapy, as well as comprehensive psychological and neuropsychological assessments to independent and international school children and adolescents.  In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Gleason has taught psychology courses at the secondary, undergraduate and graduate levels and has presented professional workshops and seminars at numerous independent schools and at national conferences in the US, and at several international school conferences in Asia and Europe.  Dr. Gleason’s article, “Trouble In Paradise,” was published in NewsLinks (Fall, 2013), and he is currently completing a book by that same title, targeted for publication within the next year.  David and his wife, Amy – a math teacher at another independent boarding school – have been fully immersed in the world of independent schools as they have raised their three children while living on a boarding school campus.

 

National CFG Facilitator for the National School Reform Faculty, Bloomington IN, USA
Faculty Development and Growth Program Coordinator for ACS Athens
ACS Athens
Athens
Greece

David Nelson David Nelson brings 25 years of international and USA teaching experience to his high school Social Studies classrooms at ACS Athens, where he has taught for the past fourteen years.   Working closely with the National School Reform Faculty (NSRF) over the past five years, he has worked with a wide variety of teachers, administrators and professionals to utilize collaborative strategies and initiate Critical Friends Groups.

As a teacher and building coordinator for professional growth at ACS Athens, he is applying his research and CFG facilitator training to establish “Collaborative Learning Communities” in his school.  David has trained under the Director of NSRF, Michele Mattoon and continues ongoing collaboration with state-side NSRF Facilitators in the area of Professional Development.   As a building representative to NESA (Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools) he has also been active with the promotion of professional growth opportunities for the ACS faculty.

 

Professor, Special Education
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, Tennessee
USA

Kimberly Paulsen Dr. Kimberly Paulsen is a Professor of the Practice in Vanderbilt's Department of Special Education in the area of high-incidence disabilities.  She is also the Director of Teacher Education for the department.  Dr. Paulsen taught K-12 students with learning disabilities and behavior disorders for 9 years prior to entering higher education.  She has taught several methods courses in the area of high-incidence disabilities and over a 15 year period has supervised over 500 practicum students and over 225 student teachers.  She teaches in both the undergraduate and master’s level programs.   Her courses include: Instructional Models, Teaching Math to Students with Disabilities, Accommodating Academic Diversity, Teaching Students with Disabilities at the Secondary Level and Student Teaching Seminars.

 

Workshop Presenters (Saturday)

Workshops (taking place on Saturday May 9, 2015.)
(in alphabetical order by presenter's last name)

 

Director of Educational Technology & eLearning
ACS Athens
Athens
Greece

Dr. Maria D. Avgerinou 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 Quality Matters, MarylandOnline (US).

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 and leader, 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.

Last but not least, she is a twins' mom, a recent convert to Apple products, and an aficionada of any design (digital or not) that's ergonomic and people-centered!

 

Christina Bakoyannis   Art communicates science

Science Teacher
ACS Athens
Athens
Greece

Christina Bakoyannis Ms. Bakoyannis was born and raised in Montreal, Canada.  She earned a Bachelor's of Science Degree from McGill University, Montreal, Canada, in the field of Biochemistry.  She then received a Master of Education, Special Emphasis Degree from La Verne University.

She has been a member of the ACS Athens faculty since 2000 and has taught both in the middle school and high school.  She is presently teaching 6th and 7th grade science.

In 2010, Ms. Bakoyannis co-presented a workshop at the ACS 5th Annual Conference on Learning Differences titled “All for One, Science for All”. For the past 5 years, she also holds the position of NESA Virtual Science Fair (NVSF) Coordinator.

ACS Athens is one of the largest schools in the NVSF and participates with over 80+ teams each year.

 

Assistant Principal, Elementary School
ACS Athens
Athens
Greece

Ginger Carlson Ginger Carlson has over twenty years experience working with schools, families, and educational organizations around the world.  Ginger has written and presented widely on the topics of Instructional Technology and Creativity and how to nurture them in our homes and schools.  She is the author of Child of Wonder: Nurturing Creative and Naturally Curious Children (Common Ground Press, 2008) and the subsequent book in the series Just Add Wonder: Cooking Activities to Nurture and Nourish the Creative Child (Common Ground Press, 2015).

Ms. Carlson holds a Masters of Arts in Education and Instructional Technology from Pepperdine University and is a graduate of the Education Administration and Supervision Johns Hopkins University program.  She is currently serving as a member of the administrative team at the American Community School of Athens in Athens, Greece.

 

Psychologist - Psychotherapist 
Athens
Greece

Fedon Chatzis Fedon Chatzis is a psychologist-psychotherapist, born in 1978.  He studied Psychology at the University of Essex and received two postgraduate degrees in Educational Psychology and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy.  He completed his clinical practice as a psychotherapist in London Tavistock Clinic.

With his return in Greece, Fedon worked at the Psychosocial Health Center of Children and Adolescents (ΕΨΥΠΕ) as a psychologist and coordinator of children groups using music and body movement as a therapeutic method.  He also worked in the Psychiatric Clinic of the Hellenic Navy Psychiatric Clinic of Hellenic Navy as psychologist and group organiser, assessing, treating and supporting conscript soldiers with mental health issues.

In 2009, he joined Merimna, a non-profit organization with the primary purpose of caring for children and families facing a serious illness, a loss or death.  Also, he is working in the Interdisciplinary Center of Athens as a psychotherapist for children facing psychosocial difficulties and mental disorders.  Since 2010, he is a lecturer in the department of psychology in the University of Wales (Hellenic-British College).  The last five years he is in private practice providing therapy to adolescents and adults.

 

Assistant Professor, Special Education
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, Tennessee
USA

Alexandra Da Fonte Dr. Alexandra M. Da Fonte is an Assistant Professor of the Practice in the Department of Special Education at Vanderbilt University and the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center member.  Dr. Da Fonte’s experience is in working with students with severe disabilities and complex communication needs in various roles and settings.  Additionally, she worked as an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) consultant in urban and suburban schools.  In this role she worked directly with special education and general education teacher and families of students with special needs.  Dr. Da Fonte’s current professional role is in preparing, training, and supervising pre- and in-service teachers in special education.  Her research interests include bridging research-to-practice, teacher preparation, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), working with students with significant needs, and working with paraeducators.

 

Academic Counselor
ACS Athens
Athens
Greece

Mandy Dragatakis A native of Athens, Ms. Dragatakis following the completion of her schooling at Athens College-HAEF, she graduated from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens with a BA in English studies with a direction in literature.

She has completed her M. Ed. in Psychology of Education at the University of Manchester.  Ms. Dragatakis has worked as a tutor of English as a Foreign Language for Elementary and Middle school students.  She has worked at ACS Athens  as a teacher assistant for Academic Advisory (9th – 10th grade) and as the supervisor in Junior/Senior Advisory (11th - 12th grade) as well as the SAT and ACT testing coordinator and CAS coordinator for the International Baccalaureate program.

She is currently an Academy Counselor for students in grades 9 – 12.  As a counselor she provides comprehensive counseling, guiding students through the entire application process, future career exploration, four year academic plans, scheduling and working within the Junior and Senior Advisory classes to provide comprehensive guidance for colleges and universities in group and individual meetings.

 

Language Coordinator / French IB Instructor
ACS Athens
Athens
Greece

Dr. Tonia Firigou Dr. Tonia Firigou is the Language Coordinator of American Community Schools of Athens, Greece, and is also serving as French IB Instructor.  At the same time, she's an IB examiner for the French IB examinations all levels.  She is working at American Community Schools of Athens since September 1999 and she was previously working as a French High School Teacher at Ecole Greco-Francaise des Ursulines, Athens, Greece for 9 years.

She holds a bachelor degree in French Literature from the Capodistrian University of Athens, Greece, a Master with Honors in History of Civilization from the Capodistrian University of Greece and a Ph.D with Honors in History of 19th century again from the Capodistrian University of Greece.  Dr. Firigou defended successfully with honors her doctorate thesis in History of French Civilization on July 2012 and received her doctoral degree.  The thesis title was "Antonin Proust et son voyage en Grèce".

She has taught French for all levels of French in MS and HS.   She is familiar with international population students.  She has attended many educational conferences worldwide and she has a good experience with multi level international students.  For the academic year 2014 - 2015, Dr. Firigou is the National Honor Society advisor.

Dr. Firigou's professional work includes research in History of Civilization and Leadership development.

She has established different educational collaborations between ACS Athens and other institutions worldwide and she has received recognitions for her work.  She has also established educational partnerships as with Ecole de Longperrier, Paris, France at the level of Department Heads and with Li Po Chun International School of Hong Kong at the level of Department Heads as well.

For the past several years Dr. Firigou is engaged in action research on innovative approaches in teaching and learning and she is moving towards establishing the global morphosis model which consists of morphosis educational paradigm, i2Flex delivering methodology and Aristeia leadership.  Related info can be found in different articles already published but also in print.

Dr. Firigou was one of the first faculty who participated and completed successfully the pilot program of ACS Athens, which started in 2013 - 2014 academic year.  She has designed, developed and implemented a course in French language and culture based on the i2Flex methodology and innovative teaching and learning approaches.

Dr. Firigou has shared the i2Flex methodology with other institutions and she has also extended her research in the Community of Inquiry (CoI).  She has presented the i2Flex innovative methodology to different seminars to parents and faculty.

Dr. Tonia Firigou is a life-long learner, an open mind person with ethos and values with innovative ideas who always strives for excellence in education.

 

Social Studies Teacher
ACS Athens
Athens
Greece

Margarita Gournaris Margarita Gournaris is Division Chair of Humanities, Arts and Physical Education, as well as Academy Social Studies Faculty.

Margarita Gournaris received her B.A. from Barat College, Lake Forest, Illinois and her M.A. in Education from La Verne College, Athens, Greece.  After teaching in the United States for two years, she joined the faculty at the American Community Schools in 1983, as a member of the Humanities Department.

She has been an advisor to the junior and senior classes and was the Yearbook advisor for eight years.  She was also a co-advisor of Close up Washington, a week long program which introduces students to the functions of the U.S. government.  Ms. Gournaris is an advisor for Model United Nations, a simulation of the United Nations which participates annually in The Hague International Conference, Qatar Foundation Conference, and in other local conferences.  In 1995, as a co-chair, she initiated the first Model United Nations conference held in Greece.  She has also worked closely with the United Nations Information Center (UNIC) in Athens, a branch of the UN's department of Public Information and has helped organize local conferences, and has led workshops for advisors in Greece.

In addition to teaching a variety of courses in the Humanities Department, she was a teacher of IB History at the Higher and Standard Levels for over 15 years.  She is also presently teaching European History, Europe and the World, and ESL 10.

 

Elementary School Counselor
ACS Athens
Athens
Greece

Alexandra Grigoropoulou 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.

 

Professor or Scholarly Practice
Chapman University
Orange, California
USA

Dr Michael Hass Dr. Michael Hass is a Professor of Scholarly Practice at Chapman University and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, Irvine College of Medicine.   He is also Associate Director of the Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in School Psychology at Chapman University.  Dr. Hass mentors doctoral students and teaches graduate courses in assessment and mental health intervention in the school.  He received his School Psychology training at California State University, Northridge and earned an interdisciplinary doctorate in Social Relations from the University of California, Irvine.   Dr. Hass has worked in public schools as a School Psychologist for over 25 years.   During much of this time, he also had a private practice as a psychotherapist and educational psychologist.  His research interests include assessment, school mental health, strength-based approaches to counseling and psychotherapy, and resilience.  Dr. Hass is current editor-in-chief of the journal, Contemporary School Psychology, and co-author, with Jeanne Anne Carriere, of Writing Useful, Accessible, and Legally Defensible Psychoeducational Reports.

 

Academic Advisory
ACS Athens
Athens
Greece

Alex Hoc Alex Hoc was born in Canada but raised in Greece and completed the I.B. Diploma Program in Athens before attending the University of Toronto, where he was awarded an Hons. B.A. with double majors in History and Drama.   He continued his studies in the UK, earning a Master of Science in Political Science and International Relations at Royal Holloway, University of London.

After working at the American University of Paris, Alex returned to the University of Toronto where he began a Ph.D. in Comparative Politics, while also teaching a second-year undergraduate course.  Alex stood as a guest lecturer at the Athens Campus of New York College before joining ACS Athens in 2014.

 

Teacher at LREI and founder of Feminist Teacher
New York, NY
USA

Ileana Jimenez Ileana Jiménez , M.A., teacher at LREI, (Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School), New York, NY and founder of Feminist Teacher, feministteacher.com.

For eighteen years, Ileana Jiménez has been a leader in the field of feminist and social justice education.  In an effort to inspire teachers to bring women's and gender studies to the K-12 classroom, she launched her blog, Feminist Teacher, in 2009; she is also the creator of the #HSfeminism and #K12feminism hashtags.  Since then, Feminist Teacher has become recognized by educators nationally and globally.

Based in New York, Ileana teaches innovative courses on feminism and activism that have gained the attention of education and activist circles.  In 2010, she was named one of the 30 Women Making History by the Women's Media Center; later that year, she was named one of the 40 Feminists Under 40 by the Feminist Press.  She is also the 2011 recipient of the Distinguished Fulbright Award in Teaching, for which she traveled to Mexico City to create safe and inclusive schools for LGBT youth.  In 2012, she appeared on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show to talk about teaching feminism to high school students and to advocate for safe schools.  Sought after for her insight on education, she has written for Feministing, Gender Across Borders, the Huffington Post, Ms. Magazine, On the Issues, the Smith Alumnae Quarterly, and the Women's Media Center.  A frequently-asked speaker on feminism in schools, she travels nationally and globally to speak to educators in both secondary and higher education.  She received her B.A. in English Literature at Smith College, and an M.A. in English Literature at Middlebury College.

 

Academic Counselor
ACS Athens
Athens
Greece

Stelios Kalogridakis In his seventh year at ACS Athens, Mr. Kalogridakis was born and raised in New Brunswick, New Jersey.  He received his Bachelor of Arts in History from Rutgers University in NJ, then received his Masters of Arts in Teaching from Boston University, and holds both Massachusetts and New Jersey teaching certifications.  He has also completed extended course work for a Masters in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

As an Academy Counselor, Mr. Kalogridakis works with 9th - 12th grade students, focusing on college advising and the entire application process, digital portfolio work, career exploration, and accompanying students on ACS Athens' College Visit tours to the United States.  An assistant advisor of the National Honor Society, he has also been an active member of the Athletic Department.

 

Coordinator of Mental Health Services, Research and Trainings
Hellenic Institute for R.E.C.B.T.
Athens
Greece

Dr. Demetris Katsikis Dr. Demetris Katsikis is a psychologist with a Ph.D. in Developmental and School Psychology from School of Psychology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.  He is trained in Functional Behavior Analysis (F.B.A.) from the Model Scientific Center of Therapy and Behavior Analysis "Monorodi" in Athens and in Counseling Process from the Association for Social Exclusion and Mental Health in Thessaloniki, Greece.  Dr. Katsikis is qualified in Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy and he is a fellow of The Hellenic Institute for Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (Affiliated Center of the Albert Ellis Institute, New York, U.S.A.) where he currently serves as the coordinator of mental health services, research and training.  He has collaborated with the School of Psychology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, Mediterranean College in Thessaloniki, Greece and Hellenic American University in Athens, Greece teaching undergraduate and graduate courses on assessment in children and adolescents, developmental psychology, psychology of learning disabilities, psychopathology and diagnosis, and ethics in psychology.

Further, he works as a practitioner psychotherapist while he participates in research programs, congresses/conferences and journals as a researcher, speaker and (co-) writer.  He is also on the editorial boards of the Journal of Rational Emotive and Cognitive Behavior Therapy and the Journal of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies.

 

Mathematics Studio Coordinator
ACS Athens
Athens
Greece

Matina Katsiyianni 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 also holds a Master of Science in Economic Mathematics, from the National Technical University of Athens.

During the past 11 years Ms. Katsiyianni had the opportunity to teach Mathematics to students of different levels and she has been challenged to accommodate their special needs.

Ms. Katsiyianni has a passion for teaching and she aims to instill in her students the skills and knowledge necessary for becoming lifelong learners.

Currently, she is the Math Studio Coordinator at ACS Athens.

 

Counselor
ACS Athens
Athens
Greece

Kevin Kooienga Kevin Kooienga earned his B.A. in English and Secondary Education at Luther College and an M.A. in Counseling and Student Personnel Psychology from the University of Minnesota.  He holds certifications in both English/Communications 5 - 12 and Counseling K - 12 from the state of Minnesota as well as a License of Professional Counseling (LPC) from the Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy.

Kevin has been a teacher of English and Drama in Minnesota and at the American School of Kuwait before joining the counseling department in Athens.  Kevin has been active in teaching, counseling, and coaching, and has an interest in small group counseling work as well as in Third Culture Kid (TCK) research.

 

Clinical and School Psychologist, Director and Supervisor
Hellenic Institute for R.E.C.B.T.
Athens
Greece

Dr. Chrysoula Kostogiannis Dr. Chrysoula Kostogiannis earned a B.S. in Psychology (1986) at Baylor University, in Texas and a M.A. and a Ph.D. (1994) at Hofstra University, New York in Clinical & School Psychology.  She continued a post-doctorate clinical training fellowship (2000) and supervision training (2001) at the Albert Ellis Institute (AEI) in New York in Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy.  She has been supervising mental health professional (e.g. psychologists, counselors, psychiatrists) at the Hellenic Institute for Rational Emotive & Cognitive Behavior Therapy Institute, an AEI Affiliated Training Center, since 2003 where she currently serves as the Director and Supervisor.  She worked as a Psychology Professor at the American College in Greece - Deree College - and at the Hellenic American University where she taught Child and Adolescent Psychopathology, Counseling Psychology & Psychotherapy, Psychometrics, Individual Differences and Stress Management.  She also served as the Chair of Psychology and Director of University Counseling Services at the latter.

Dr. Kostogiannis offers comprehensive services to students with academic, learning, and social-emotional-behavioral difficulties ranging from assessment to intervention, assists adolescents with career orientation and offers parenting and teacher workshops with the rational emotive and cognitive behavioral approach.

 

Counselor / Psychologist
ACS Athens
Athens
Greece

Brittany Langlois Ms. Langlois was raised in Chatham, MA on the peninsula of Cape Cod.  She attended Wheelock College from 2010 - 2014, earning her B.Sc. in Elementary Education and Counseling Psychology.  She is now a licensed 1 - 6 grade teacher in Massachusetts.  Brittany has experience working with kids for over 10 years now, beginning with babysitting and child care.  She has always loved children and been passionate about helping others, so attending Wheelock (with its mission to improve the lives of children and families) to become a teacher seemed like the natural thing to do.  During this time, she has done a great deal of volunteering and working in various schools through student teaching.  She went on a service learning trip to work in Barbados schools for a week in 2013; an experience that has greatly impacted her as an educator.

She is now enrolled in Wheelock's brand new Masters program which brought her to beautiful Greece!  Brittany will be a Teacher in Residence at ACS Athens this year, working in the Counseling Department of Student Affairs to further her learning as a psychologist.  She is greatly looking forward to this wonderful experience.

 

Academic Counselor
ACS Athens
Athens
Greece

Anna Makris Anna Makris was born and raised in Athens, Greece, and is alumna of ACS Athens.  Ms. Makris has completed a Bachelor of Science with a double major in Psychology and Sociology and a Master of Science in Psychology.

Through Academic Advisory, Ms. Makris is working with Junior and Senior students, assisting them with the university application process as a whole.  She is also the IB CAS coordinator, offering guidance to IB students concerning the requirements of CAS and providing them with opportunities to complete these requirements successfully.

 

PSHE Consultant
Baierbrunn
Germany

Susie March Susie March grew up in the UK with an American mother, a German father and siblings born in three different countries.  She qualified as a Registered General Nurse (RGN) in 1986 and practiced in hospital and community based health practices specializing in sexual health, women's health and family planning.

Relocating with her family for the usual two to three years, sixteen years later she and her husband are still in Munich, Germany where she enjoys life as a third culture adult.  Their two children attended Munich International School for eleven years from 2nd Grade to Graduation. During those years, Susie recognised a need for quality, age appropriate, holistic Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) within international schools to support and safeguard our children.

From her personal experiences, Susie gained a deep understanding of the support and commitment required by parents and their children to navigate life abroad and survive and succeed the complexities of the IB.  Added to that, her nine years of working with international schools and their students has afforded Susie an insight into how mature and sophisticated international students are in fact extremely vulnerable when leaving home to begin further education or to travel due to naiveté and immaturity with regard to life away from their school and international expatriate communities.

 

Irina Bucur-Marcu    The "Great Learning Model"

Social and Emotional / Learning Support Teacher
Danube International School Vienna
Vienna
Austria

Irina Bucur-Marcu Irina Bucur-Marcu is the Social and Emotional Learning Support Teacher at Danube International School Vienna.  She has over five years of experience in providing learning and social emotional support to students of different ages and with a variety of disabilities.  Her teaching experience has started in Romania, her home country, and then moved on to South Carolina, USA, before arriving in Austria.

Irina has observed and worked with various models of approaching the education of students with disabilities, and her endeavours have been channelled to adapting the curriculum to fit student needs, planning, preparing and coordinating instructional activities, collaborating with regular classroom teachers, counselling students, and utilizing various assessments for proficiency and student placement.

Irina's main specialization is in Special Education, with a degree from University of Bucharest.  She also has a background in providing counselling, devising marketing strategies and organizing conferences.

 

Global Studies & Social and Cultural Anthropology Teacher
THINK Global School
Fredericksburg, VA
USA

Nicholas Martino Nicholas Martino is THINK Global School's IB anthropology and ninth & tenth grade global studies teacher.  He holds certificates for International Baccalaureate Social and Cultural Anthropology, and he has offered workshops for the International Baccalaureate Organization on the effectiveness of anticipatory sets as well as service-learning and creativity, action, service.  Nick graduated from Virginia's University of Mary Washington in 2006, receiving his bachelor's in history and secondary education.

In 2007, Nick was named a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction for his work teaching United States and Virginia history.  In 2011, the Washington Post named Nick an Agnes Myer Outstanding Educator and Stafford County Teacher of the Year.

 

Founder & CEO, Inquiry Partners
Seattle, Washington
USA

Kimberly L. Mitchell Kimberly L. Mitchell started teaching over twenty years ago through the Teach For America program in Los Angeles, California.  It was while later teaching at Colegio Americano, an international school in Quito, Ecuador where she first fell under the spell of inquiry-based instruction.

Kimberly is a sought-after workshop presenter and the Founder & CEO of Inquiry Partners, a global professional development organization dedicated to inquiry-based instruction in support of exercising critical thinking, communication and problem solving skills.

Kimberly also held positions as a high school vice principal in Seattle, WA USA and elementary principal at the American Community Schools (ACS Athens) in Athens, Greece.  In 2007, Kimberly joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as a Senior Program Officer and later joined a global non-profit, Teach For All, as Director of Partner Engagement in Argentina.  In addition to working with Inquiry Partners, Kimberly advises the Dean at the College of Education, University of Washington.

Kimberly received her BA in History and Philosophy from Skidmore College and her MA in Administration and Policy Analysis from Stanford University.  She is the current Board Chair for the IB Regional Council of the Americas and is married with two children (one born right here in Athens)!

 

Professor, Applied Linguistics
Hellenic American University
Manchester, New Hampshire
USA

Visiting Faculty
Hellenic American College
Athens
Greece

Christine Niakaris Christine Irvine-Niakaris has an MA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, University of Reading, UK and a Doctor of Education degree (EdD) in TESOL Applied Linguistics from the University of Bristol.  She has more than twenty years' experience in teaching and teacher training in Greece, the UK and at the British Council, Bahrain, and has taught graduate courses as a visiting professor at Saint Michael's College, Vermont, USA.

Dr. Irvine-Niakaris has also written several EFL textbooks and given presentations regularly at international conferences in Europe and the US.  She is currently Professor of Applied Linguistics at the Hellenic American University, Manchester, NH, USA and Visiting Faculty member of the Hellenic American College, Athens, Greece.  Her research and teaching interests include language teacher education, language testing and literacy studies.

 

Mathematics Teacher
ACS Athens
Athens
Greece

Scott Palmer Scott Palmer received his B.Sc. degree in mathematics from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa.  He holds a teaching license in 5-12 mathematics and K-12 coaching from the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners.

Scott has been teaching math for 8 years in the United States, most recently at Waukee High School in Waukee, Iowa where he taught Algebra 1, formal geometry, Algebra 2, and probability and statistics while also coaching boy's golf and sponsoring the student council.

 

Dr. Kimberly J. Paulsen iTeach: Enhancing language skills through the use of technology Progress monitoring supports: Designing the data collection form    iTeach: Enhancing language skills through the use of technology   Progress monitoring supports: Designing the data collection form

Professor, Special Education
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, Tennessee
USA

Kimberly Paulsen Dr. Kimberly Paulsen is a Professor of the Practice in Vanderbilt's Department of Special Education in the area of high-incidence disabilities.  She is also the Director of Teacher Education for the department.  Dr. Paulsen taught K-12 students with learning disabilities and behavior disorders for 9 years prior to entering higher education.  She has taught several methods courses in the area of high-incidence disabilities and over a 15 year period has supervised over 500 practicum students and over 225 student teachers.  She teaches in both the undergraduate and master’s level programs.   Her courses include: Instructional Models, Teaching Math to Students with Disabilities, Accommodating Academic Diversity, Teaching Students with Disabilities at the Secondary Level and Student Teaching Seminars.

 

Academic Counselor
ACS Athens
Athens
Greece

Demetri Pelidis Demetri Pelidis was born in Zimbabwe, Africa and raised in Athens, Mr. Pelidis earned his BA in Education from Boston College, Master in Education in Counseling Psychology from Keene State College of New Hamphire, and a C.A.G.S. in School Counseling from Boston University.  Mr. Pelidis has worked at various school districts both in Boston, MA and New Hampshire.

Mr. Pelidis has over 20 years of counseling experience, teaching students in Middle School, High School, Undergraduate and Graduate School levels.

He is a US certified school counselor, who also enjoys his affiliation with the Adlerian Institute of Athens, where he continues to develop his practice in Adlerian psychology. Mr. Pelidis is a member of ASCA - a membership that helps him stay current with recent counseling trends in America.

 

Drama Teacher
ACS Athens
Athens
Greece

Mary Petroutsa Mary Petroutsa was born in Los Angeles and raised in Athens, Greece.  She graduated from Athens College and she has a B.A. in English from Deree College, and a M.L.A. from University of St. Thomas, Houston.  She studied acting in Chicago at the Actor's Center and at The Second City both in Chicago and in Los Angeles.

She has taught in schools in the United States and she has been working as an actress in Los Angeles and Greece, doing theater, TV and films.  In Greece she has worked with some of the most highly acclaimed directors and actors.

 

School Psychologist
Qatar Academy
Doha
Qatar

Nadia Phelps Nadia B. Phelps is a school psychologist and an approved PREPaRE Trainer for Crisis Prevention & Preparedness: Comprehensive School Safety Planning and Crisis Intervention & Recovery: The Roles of School-Based Mental Health Professionals.

Currently, Nadia is the school psychologist for Qatar Academy in Doha, Qatar and serves on the Crisis Intervention Team.  Prior to working at Qatar Academy, Nadia served on the District Crisis Prevention and Intervention Team and the District Suicide Prevention Task Force for Anoka-Hennepin School District, which serves 38,000 students in the U.S.

Nadia has been a mental health consultant for the Saint Paul Public Schools District in Minnesota and co-wrote the Saint Paul Public Schools' manual for student support services.

Nadia has provided mental health training workshops for educational staff re-licensure in the United States.  She has over 25 years of experience working with children and youth in school and community mental health settings.

Nadia grew attending up attending international schools on three continents as a "Third Culture Kid".

 

English Teacher
ACS Athens
Athens
Greece

Caitlin Phillips Ms. Caitlin Phillips was born and raised in Stamford, Connecticut, a suburb of New York City.   Ms. Phillips has spent the last several years teaching in Tennessee.  She holds an A.A.S. degree in Early Childhood Education and a B.S. degree in Secondary Education in English.   She is also currently a candidate in the M.Ed. program in Integrated Curriculum and Instruction at Covenant College.

Ms. Phillips was part of the inaugural faculty at South Gibson County High School in Medina, TN, and was selected by her colleagues as the 2012-13 "Teacher of the Year". She has taught English at all the high school grade levels.

While in America, Ms. Phillips participated in a local Shakespeare society.  She has been reading the Bard from the age of twelve and loves to share her passion with others.  This year, she will be teaching 9th grade English, as well as a section of World Literature.

 

Technology Coordinator and Technology Teacher
ACS Athens
Athens
Greece

Dr Raphael Raphael Dr. Raphael Raphael has been an educator in various capacities in PreK-12 and university settings for the last twenty years, both in the United States and in international schools in Asia, Europe, and Eurasia, and currently serves as Technology Coordinator and Technology Faculty at ACS Athens.

Dr. Raphael is an advocate for media education, and his writings on media literacy and education appear in numerous books and publications, including works by Modern Language Association, ISTE, and in his Transnational Stardom, co-edited with Russell Meuff (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.)  He is also Associate Editor for the journal Review of Disability Studies and the co-editor of DIS/ART: The Journal of Disability Culture and the Visual Arts.  Dr. Raphael also lectures for the College of Education for the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Dr. Raphael holds a Masters in Instructional Technology and Media Development from Teachers College Columbia University in New York City and a Ph.D. in English (structured emphasis in Film Studies) from the University of Oregon, in Eugene, Oregon.   His writing and media teaching is also informed by his own work as digital film and media artist.

Together, Dr. Raphael and Ms. Carlson have authored the International Society for Technology in Education’s latest book The Edmodo Toolkit: The Digital Age Educator’s Guide to Integrating Edmodo Across the Curriculum (ISTE, 2015).  As well, they collaboratively lead the Institute for Playful Learning, an organization that advocates for playful engagement in learning.

 

Professor, Department of Digital Systems
University of Piraeus
Piraeus
Greece

Dr. Symeon Retalis Symeon Retalis is Professor at the University of Piraeus, Department of Digital Systems.  His teaching and research activities lie on the development of interactive e-learning systems, especially for children with learning disabilities.  He serves in the editorial board of international journals like Computers in Human Behavior Journal and Educational Technologies and Research.

He has participated to numerous EU funded R&D projects and has been collaborating in e-learning projects with lead industrial partners like Intel, Microsoft, Oracle and Smart technologies.  He is the lead faculty member of the CoSyLlab research group (http://cosy.ds.unipi.gr) at the University of Piraeus, Department of Digital Systems.

 

Professor
Department of Digital Systems, University of Piraeus
Piraeus
Greece

Dr. Demetrios G. Sampson Dr. Demetrios G. Sampson has received a Diploma in Electrical Engineering from the Democritus University of Thrace, Greece in 1989 and a Ph.D. in Electronic Systems Engineering from the University of Essex, UK in 1995.  He is a Professor of Digital Systems for Learning and Education at the Department of Digital Systems, University of Piraeus, Greece, an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Information Technologies Institute (ITI), Centre of Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH), and an Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Science and Technology, Athabasca University, Canada.  He is the Founder and Director of the Advanced Digital Systems and Services for Education and Learning (ASK) since 1999.  He has been a Visiting Professor and/or Research Scholar at the School of Computing and Information Systems, Athabasca University, Canada (2010), the Information Management Department, National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan (2011), the University of Tunis (2012, 2013), the Faculty of Education, Beijing Normal University, China (2013), Department of Educational Technology, Peking University Beijing, China (2013), Department of Learning Technologies, University of North Texas, USA (2013), School of Education, Curtin University, Australia (2015).

His main scientific interests are in the area of Learning Technologies.  He is the co-author of 345 publications in scientific books, journals and conferences with at least 1585 known citations (h-index: 21).  He has received 8 times Best Paper Award in International Conferences on Advanced Learning Technologies.  He is a Senior and Golden Core Member of IEEE and he was the elected Chair of the IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee on Learning Technologies (2008-2011).  He is a member of the ICT Advisory Board of the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation (ALESCO) since March 2014.  He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Educational Technology and Society Journal (5-year impact factor 1.34).  He has served or serves as Member of the Steering Committee of the IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies (5-year impact factor 1.383), Member of the Advisory Board of the Journal of King Saud University - Computer and Information Sciences and the International Journal of Digital Literacy and Digital Competence, Member of the Editorial Board of 23 International/National Journals and a Guest Editor in 28 Special Issues of International Journals.  His participation in the organization of scientific conferences involves: General and/or Program Committee and/or Honorary Chair in 40 International Conferences, Program Committees Member in 390 International/National Scientific Conferences.  He has been a Keynote/Invited Speaker in 63 International/National Conferences.  He has been project director, principle investigator and/or consultant in 65 R&D projects with external funding at the range of € 14 Million (1991-2016).   He is the recipient of the IEEE Computer Society Distinguished Service Award (July 2012).

 

PK - 12 Counseling Psychologist
ACS Athens
Athens
Greece

Dr. Alessandra Sax Dr. Sax holds a Bachelor's degree from Hampshire College (U.S.A.) in Psychology and Child Development.  She graduated from New York University (U.S.A.) with a Clinical Master's degree in Clinical Social Work; Children, Adolescents and Adults.  She has currently completed her doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology and Supervision in Counselor Education at Argosy University (U.S.A.).

She has been a Psychology Lecturer of Child Psychology, Life-Span Development, Cultural Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Advanced Psychopathology, and Group & Music Therapy.  She is also a licensed psychotherapist who has been in private practice for over eighteen years with children, adolescents and adults.

Since September of 2006, she has been working at ACS Athens Elementary as the counselor for grades PK - 5.  Since 2011, Dr. Sax has been the coordinator of the Psychology Intern Program with the Department of Student Affairs.  As of 2012-13, Dr. Sax has also been providing PK - 12 school wide services as counseling psychologist, via the Student Life and Wellness Center.

Dr. Sax also presents her work at Professional Conferences within the ACS Athens Community and throughout Europe and has published articles on her research interests and clinical work in the field.

 

Gestalt Psychotherapist
Athens
Greece

Maria Skordou Maria Skordou studied Psychology at the American College of Greece (DEREE) and at Pantion University of Athens.  During her studies, she volunteered in different nonprofit organizations including PIKPA orphanage, Theotokos school for students with special needs, and Arsis.  She also participated in seminars of Adlerian Psychotherapy and of Applied Behavioral Analysis.  She specialized in Educational Psychology at Bristol University and she has a diploma in Integrative Counseling at Bath Institute of Counseling and Psychotherapy.

When she returned to Greece she worked with adolescent children with autism.  She has finished the four year program on Gestalt Psychotherapy in Gestalt Foundation in Athens.  In 2013, she was trained on Children Focusing in Hellenic center of Focusing.  Since, 2009 she is working in private practice with children, adolescence and their families in her office in Athens.

 

Professional Development Coordinator
Shenendehowa Central Schools
Clifton Park, New York
USA

Anna Rose Sugarman Anna Rose Sugarman is a specialist in educating the gifted.  As an Associate Member of the Advisory Committee on Exceptional Children and Youth to the Office of Overseas Schools, US Department of State, she has provided training and consultant services through international conferences and in various international schools.  While actively working with administrators, teachers, parents and students, Anna designs and implements professional development options to create optimal learning environments to enhance educational programming for all children.  She currently works as a Professional Development Trainer / Coordinator (K-12) for Shenendehowa Central Schools in Clifton Park, New York.

 

IB Theater & Drama Teacher
ACS Athens
Athens
Greece

Sophia Thanopoulou Sophia Thanopoulou holds a degree in Theatre Studies from the University of Athens and a Master of Arts in Physical Theatre from the universities of Surrey & Royal Holloway University of London.

Ms. Thanopoulou is a trained dancer and performer and has participated in several theatre and dance productions in many different capacities since 2001.  She started teaching drama in secondary education in the UK in 2004 and since 2007 she has been teaching IB Theater and Drama at ACS Athens.  She directs two student plays a year, runs a dance and a duet acting club and does everything to promote to students, parents and colleagues her passion for arts in education.

 

Behavioral Vision Care Optometrist 
Athens
Greece

Fotis Velissarakos Fotis Velissarakos has been practicing behavioral and developmental optometry since 2003 after he successfully completed his post-graduate education on optometric behavioral vision care and vision training in Denmark.  He is a pioneer in the field of optometry as he established his vision training self practice during a period that these kind of optometric interventions were mostly unknown to the general public.  Being highly aware of the fact that vision problems interfere with almost all areas of human functioning, he managed to spread the word of the importance in analytical visual and visual perception evaluation in children.

The main areas of his practice are learning related visual problems, eyes coordination difficulties (cross eyes-strabismus), amblyopia or lazy eye, sports vision training and children with developmental problems and cerebral palsy.  A milestone in his career was the volunteering with the Special Olympics movement in the position of the Optometric Clinical Director of Healthy athletes, Opening Eyes program.  During the 2011 Word Summer Games in Athens the clinic examined almost 2500 athletes with intellectual disabilities from all over the word.  Most of them came from poor countries with rudimentary health systems.  Finally, through the vision training institute that he runs he gives seminars to other optometrists, children specialists and parents on relative subjects.