Welcome to ACS Athens
The recent most unfortunate event, the passing of Dr. Stefanos Gialamas, stunned both myself and the ACS Athens community and has brought the issue of sudden loss to the surface. Since then our dear colleague and former Dean of the Institute, Steve Medeiros has also passed. Though deeply saddened by this turn of events the community has come together in support of, firstly the children and secondly, this incredible institution; ACS Athens.
It is truly an honor to be serving as ACS Athens Acting President among such outstanding leaders and faculty. I believe that together we can continue to provide the best possible platform for students to learn and grow as we transition into a new era. My first responsibility has been to the students; ensuring that they are well and able to cope with such unpredictable change. Providing the support necessary towards their growth solidifies the belief that the students are at the center of the institution. My second responsibility has been with the faculty and administration as they are the pillars of the institution and work daily and directly with students to ensure that learning takes place in spite of obstacles. Finally, ensuring the continuity of effective teaching methodology, a strong curriculum, innovative programs and opportunities for creativity and growth are a primary commitment.
The innovative projects make learning fun and intriguing, not only for students, but for all those who abide by the belief that learning is a lifelong process. Within ACS Athens I have had the pleasure to serve as Counselor, Faculty, Director, Dean and Vice President, roles that provided me with multiple perspectives of both the strengths of the institution and the areas to develop further. Likewise leading the Executive Council has placed me in the unique position to be part of the transformation of ACS Athens and a co-developer of its vision and strategy. Moreover, guiding the Strategic Planning of the school and having served on and lead Middle States accreditation teams for a variety of schools worldwide has positioned me to see the bigger picture of education. Ongoing collaborations with numerous universities and educational consultants across the globe allows me to stay in touch with current educational trends and supports the effort being made to bridge the gap between secondary and higher education. My work in psychology internationally however, serves as a gentle reminder that mental health is vital in today’s society. The multiple, unwavering and accelerated changes that take place on a daily basis can leave one depleted of energy and lacking in meaningful living. Thus, I am particularly committed to guiding students to not only develop the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in a competitive society, but to do so while being mentally and physically healthy, resilient, maintaining balanced lifestyles and being part of the solution in local and global issues.
As the leadership team continuously works to better align curriculum and improve teaching methodologies, we do so with the student’s well being at the center of our beliefs. Furthermore, continuing to develop a meaningful Citizenship model that allows students to see their position within their community and make choices that encourage thriving not only on a personal level but on a collective level is most necessary. Helping students evolve into Conscious Citizens ensures the sustainability of the planet and the wellbeing of society because it comes with the understanding that we are all an important and integral part of our environment and that every choice we make can either put us closer to collective well being or to harmful outcomes. Thus, individuals who develop positive, healthy, collaborative, contributive mindsets can ultimately use their knowledge and skill set for the benefit of society and sustainable living. The academic year 2019-2020 promises to be a rewarding year for all stakeholders as we continue to develop programs and provide opportunities that offer students the chance to mature and advance their knowledge and skill set while forming ideas of who they want to become. Naturally, the most important partners in our endeavor are parents.
I am most grateful to have been the parent of a student at ACS Athens. I saw the development of a young person from within the school walls and from multiple perspectives. While the years were not lacking in conflict and doubt, I can confidently say that ACS Athens has been nothing short of a blessing.
The years ahead will see the skills attained come to further fruition and I am very much looking forward to that.
The academic year 2019-2020 promises to be a rewarding year for all stakeholders as we continue to develop programs and provide opportunities that offer students the chance to mature and advance their knowledge and skill set while forming ideas of who they want to become. The most important partners in our endeavor however are parents. I hope to meet all of you and to have the opportunity to share thoughts and ideas.
My best to all for the coming year.
Dr. Peggy Pelonis, Acting President
Stefanos Gialamas is no longer with us
We, the ACS Athens family, are deeply saddened by the loss of our beloved President, Stefanos Gialamas, who died unexpectedly on October 18, 2019, while preparing for a keynote speech at the Alliance for International Education conference, where the launching of the International School Journal was also scheduled.
Stefanos Gialamas left behind an exemplary educational legacy. His strong belief that education is just as much about cultivating character as it is about gaining knowledge and skill, and should result in the highest form of giving back to society, was admirable. His vision will remain etched in our minds and hearts as we remember him with love and respect.
Stefanos Gialamas’ inspiring leadership and love of children and of those less fortunate have marked his time at ACS Athens. He has touched many with his kindness and contributions. His continuous pursuit of excellence and personable approach provided mentorship to many individuals across the globe. His infectious laugh and warmth touched the hearts of people of all ages. The gap he has left in our hearts is momentous.
The leadership of ACS Athens is committed to the vision that was jointly created under his leadership and though heartbroken, we know that the best way to honor him is to continue this work.
Rest In Peace beloved President Gialamas.
Please note that the school will continue to operate and follow its academic schedule as usual. The ACS Athens leadership will work to ensure the smoothest possible transition for students during this difficult time. Further announcements will be made soon.