Nelson, David, Academy Principal
Mr. Nelson has been in education since 1990 and Principal of the ACS Athens Academy since 2019. He taught social studies for nearly 30 years while also holding a variety of leadership positions, including Coordinator of Professional Development and Growth at ACS Athens since 2014, Department Chair, Athletic Director and Activities Coordinator. Mr. Nelson is also well on his way towards his doctorate degree in International Educational Leadership, believing that continuing education and collaboration with other leaders makes for a stronger community of practice.
Mr. Nelson has been at the American Community School of Athens since 2000 and draws from years of classroom experience. He has taught American Studies, European History, IB History and Theory of Knowledge, to name a few, where he applied his vast experience with curriculum design and was instrumental in establishing the integrated team taught courses we now call the “Combo”. Prior to teaching in Athens, he taught for ten years in secondary schools in Oregon, USA. Additionally, Mr. Nelson has been extremely active working with other international schools through the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools (NESA), where he served as the school representative for over 10 years and more recently as a member of the Professional Development Advisory Committee (PDAC).
Believing in the importance of co-curricular activities, he coached cross country and track for over twenty years, and was the Coordinator of the Model United Nations program at ACS. He enjoys frequent travel, snowboarding, and running. Mr. Nelson has a Master of Arts in Education from Western Oregon State University and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Pacific University. 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. He is also the founder and creator of Equity Maps® app, used by educators world-wide who seek to engage all voices in the classroom.
McGowan, Mark, Director of IB/AP
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mr. McGowan obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies from Northwestern University, a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from Emerson College and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from the University of Buckingham, in the UK.
Mr. McGowan has a vast amount of international experience, particularly in the International Baccalaureate’s Diploma Program. Since 1999, he has worked in Greece, Belgium and the United Arab Emirates, where he has taught IB English B, English A Literature, Language and Literature, AP English and the Theory of Knowledge. With a keen interest in assessment and curriculum development, he became an IB examiner and workshop leader for both English A and ToK. He has published several articles and videos on integrating ToK into a school’s curriculum, and he co-authored the most recent English B Coursebook published by Hodder Education. He has held various leadership positions, including ToK Coordinator and Head of English at the International School of Brussels, and BTEC Coordinator at the JESS school in Dubai. In 2019, he obtained a Certificate of International School Leadership from the Principal’s Training Center in London.
Believing that cross-curricular events enhance student learning, Mr. McGowan has organized several student-centered activities, such as excursions to TEDx Talks, student-led workshops for Brussels area schools and speaker programs where professionals shared their insights into the relationship between education and experience. These initiatives are born from the idea that the more opportunities students have to apply their knowledge, the more enriched they become.
An avid reader, sports fan and supporter of the arts, Mr. McGowan also enjoys travelling, swimming, cycling and spending time with his family. He is excited to be joining ACS as the Director of IB and AP Programs because the school’s values of academic excellence, community service and global citizenship are perfectly aligned with his educational philosophy, and he hopes to use his experience to make a valuable contribution to the school community.
Gallozzi, Joleta, Middle School Principal
Dr. Joleta Gallozzi is a lifelong learner and experienced educator in K-8 settings within the United States, in Texas, and in Colorado. She has experience as a classroom teacher, technology coordinator, mentor, coach, assistant principal, and principal. These experiences helped shape her understanding of the inner workings of the education systems.
Dr. Gallozzi holds a Bachelor of Science in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas A & M University with a specialization in Reading; a Master of Education with a specialty in Educational Technology from Lesley University; and a Doctorate in Educational Administration and Philosophy from the University of Denver. She continues to research educational topics that help her and her staff continue to grow as learners and leaders within the school community.
Throughout her career, Dr. Gallozzi also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Denver and The University of Phoenix in educational leadership, teacher education, as well as curriculum and instruction. She finds great satisfaction in developing the capacity of learners of all ages.
Cultivating a positive, healthy school culture and climate where students and staff thrive is her passion and expertise. She believes in guiding and empowering professional learning teams by growing their collective efficacy or collective belief that as a team, they can provide a rigorous, meaningful learning experience for all students. She also believes that when the adults in the building are connected and high functioning, so are the students. As a principal at both the elementary and middle school level, she has had the privilege of developing thriving school cultures supported by a professional learning community framework.
Dr. Gallozzi and her husband enjoy traveling, exploring new places, scuba diving, and spending time with their family.
Moros, Sophia, Principal
Sophia Moros was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois where she completed her studies at St. Xavier University earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Literature and a Master of Arts Degree in Reading. Sophia began her career teaching second and third grades in Illinois (1998 - 2001), and after obtaining her M.A. in Reading she worked as a Reading Specialist (2001-2005) between grades K-8 and had the honor to work with Sony Corporation Education to implement an interactive reading program called Lightspan. Through the use of the Sony Playstation, she used educational software as her main tool to successfully bring the lowest twenty-fifth percentile students up to state standards. She has also worked as a Reading Literacy Teacher to ESL students (2007 - 2008), between grades K-6, and worked closely with her colleagues in order to reach literacy goals through team-teaching strategies.
After 9 years of teaching Sophia seized the opportunity to study at Trinity College, Barcelona, and earned both a TESOL Certificate and Business English Certificate. She also taught temporarily at this institute before deciding to move to Athens where she had accepted a position as the Director of English Studies in a large private language school. With sufficient international experience and an open mind to possibilities, Ms. Moros began working at the American Community Schools, Athens in 2009, and provided a nurturing, creative, and empowering environment to her elementary students.
During this time, her professional growth included online certification classes focused on Dyslexia through Buffalo State University of New York (2010), participated in AERO International training for mathematics and social studies standards (2011), took part in the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) conferences –the first in Athens, Greece (2012) and presented in Zurich, Switzerland (2015). In addition to this, she presented at the 9th Annual Learning Difference Conference to showcase an ACS Athens Elementary School initiative program she and Ms. Stavi Dimas created for second grade, called "iteach2!.” In April 2016 she had the privilege of presenting alongside Dr. Andreas Tsokos, the Academy Mathematics educator and Division Chair of Mathematics & Technology, at the ACS Athens Colloquium, in order to demonstrate how Conceptual Mathematics builds computational accuracy.
By June 2016, Sophia was already enrolled in the Academic Leadership Course for Standards-Based Curriculum in Arlington, Virginia U.S.A. in order to pursue her career goal of becoming principal. In the summer of 2017, she revisited Virginia for continued training through the Office of Overseas Schools, AERO, U.S. Department of State Mathematic Workshop.
She takes great pride in being a member of ACS Athens and is always looking forward to implementing best practices and aligning curricular advances in the elementary school. It is with this boundless enthusiasm and great honor she embraces her continued role as the Elementary School Principal for the fifth consecutive year.
Augoustatos, MaryAnn, Director of Learning Commons
MaryAnn Augoustatos is an educator. Her field of specialty is high school mathematics and international school administration. Born and raised in Manhattan, New York and being of Greek descent she has spent over three decades as an educator at the American Community Schools of Athens Greece ( ACS Athens). She holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a Masters of Arts in Education. She is a certified International School Administrator and has received her secondary mathematics teaching certification from the State of New York.
She is currently the Director of the Learning Commons at ACS Athens, an entity in our school that she was instrumental in co-establishing. The Learning Commons is the center of student and faculty collaboration, learning, research and knowledge construction at ACS Athens. This learning space provides our students and faculty with state of the art facilities, such as a media studio, a math and science studio, a writing/research studio, an incubator of students’ creative ideas , an Artificial Intelligence lab and more. These spaces are staffed with professionals having expertise in the fields of Mathematics, all Sciences, Writing, Research, Literacy, STEAM education, and Media. Students and faculty function as architects of their own learning as they pursue their intellectual curiosities. The Learning Commons is commonly referred to as the heartbeat of education at ACS Athens.
Prior to being a Director of the learning Commons, she spent almost a decade as a Middle School principal at ACS Athens and almost two decades as mathematics department chair.
Upon entering ACS Athens she taught mathematics for 20 years and spent 16 years of her instructional career as the Mathematics Department Chair having created the position of Elementary School Math Specialist and the ACS Athens Mathematics Competition as a few of her highlights. Her teaching experience consists of High School Mathematics courses throughout all academic levels with an emphasis on IB and Honors level courses. Two years prior to becoming Principal, she assumed the position of JK-12 Technology Department Chair concurrently. During her principalship, she began and completed a full curriculum review process for all courses school-wide at ACS Athens.
Additionally, Ms. Augoustatos is a chair of the Middle States Association. She has been on multiple team visits as a team member and chair serving the Committee of Institution-wide Accreditation of the Middle School Association of Colleges and School (MSA) in the Middle East and Europe. At ACS Athens she is currently chairing the re-accreditation process school wide through MSA's Sustaining Excellence protocol.