Ms. Efi Karatopouzi was born in Greece having a Greek Australian citizenship (Australian mother) and was raised abroad until she finished first grade. Then, she came to Greece where she graduated from Greek High School and continued her studies at the School of Physical Education and Sports Science at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, where she earned her B.A. with specialization on Track and Field. In 2017, she earned her B.A. in Child Psychology at the University of the Aegean. She is currently pursuing her M.A. in School Psychology. She holds a degree in Yoga and has participated in personal development courses regarding teaching methods for large classes as well as teaching physical education to kids with autism. She is an official Archery, Track and Field, and National Nordic coach.
Ms. Karatopouzi has a rich experience in physical education. She has worked as a fitness teacher for many years in several sports clubs for adults and children and as a volunteer physical education teacher at Zanneio Institution, where she worked with abused children. She has been a member of the Greek National Track & Field team for 15 years and has competed in national and international competitions in Greece and abroad. She is co-founder and co-creator of Fitness Nordic. She is also the author of a children's book on exercise; a new way to make kids' fantasy work with creativity by listening and exercising.
Ms. Karatopouzi began working at ACS Athens in 2016 as a Physical Education Teacher in the Elementary School and has undertaken different posts in the Athletic Department in all three schools and ACS Athens Summer Camp since then. In 2017 -2018, she piloted a mindfulness program for students in Junior Kindergarten classes, which will continue to run this year also. Her pilot mindfulness research paper was presented at the International Mindfulness Convention, held in Slovenia. She has also offered her services voluntarily to the Youth to Youth Program at ACS Athens.
In his tenth 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 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.
Having worked as an Academy Counselor for 6 years, Mr. Kalogridakis is in his 4th year with 6th - 8th grade students, as the Middle School Counselor. Past advisor of the National Honor Society, Model United Nations club, and Student Council advisor, he is also an active coach of after school recreational teams under the Athletic Department.
Mr. Christos Stachikas was born in Athens, Greece. He was raised in both Athens and Miami, Florida of the United States where he graduated from high school.
Following his return to Greece in 2010, he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Science and Physical Education from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, also earning a certification diploma in Biology of Exercise. He is currently in the second and final year of obtaining a Master's Degree in Applied and Molecular Physiology in the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.
In 2016, he served his military duty in the Hellenic Presidential Guard, the honorary unit of the Hellenic Armed Forces.
Mr. Stachikas has worked as coach for several basketball clubs in the past seven years, and is currently a coach for Panathinaikos BC Academy of Athens.
This will be his first year as an ACS Athens faculty member, being the coach of the Recreational Basketball for Elementary and Middle School students.
Mrs. Alexandra Komnou is a Greek-Canadian born and raised in Greece. She earned a Diploma in Sports Science at the University of Portsmouth and then transferred with an athletic scholarship to the University of Arizona where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Coaching.
Alexandra Komnou was a professional Track and Field athlete and member of the Greek National team for more than 12 years and has broken 14 national records in the 60 and 100m hurdles. She has competed in multiple Balkan, European and World Championships with great success.
She has worked for 6 years as a PR and marketing & communication manager in a digital & print publication company.
Mark Papasifakis is an A.C.S. alumni who has studied Shotokan Karate since his teens while still a student at A.C.S. He was awarded his 1st Degree Black Belt(1 Dan) by the Japan Karate Association and the Greek Karate Association. He attained the rank of 2nd Dan under the strict guidance and supervision of the Greek Karate Association where he remains currently active, training and further perfecting his skills.
He is a qualified Instructor and working towards acquiring his 3rd Dan and further certification as a competition judge and official examiner. His exams are scheduled to take place in December of 2019. His teacher and mentor, Sensei Dimitris Kazakeas, is the Chief Instructor of the Greek Karate Association. He will be supervising and visiting A.C.S. on a regular basis during the academic year, assisting Mark and his students as they strive towards technical excellence and character building through the diligent study of Traditional Shotokan Karate.
Ms. Gorack was born and raised in Algonquin, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. She went to college at Western Illinois University where she received her undergrad in bilingual/bicultural education. After graduating she began her teaching career in a first grade bilingual classroom. During her years of teaching she has taught kindergarten to 8th grade ESL/Bilingual students in various subjects.
She is also a certified soccer coach and has been coaching girls and boys soccer for the last 5 years. Ms. Gorack enjoys playing all sports but soccer and Gaelic football are her favorites. When she isn't playing sports or coaching she enjoys traveling and trying new foods.
Ilias Karapiperis was born in Beirut, Lebanon. He has a Bachelor's degree in Commercial Shipping from London Guildhall University. He has played soccer in numerous amateur clubs and has an UEFA B' coaching license. Mr. Karapiperis has been coaching soccer academies since 1996 and has worked with Olympiakos F.C. Academies Network from 2002-2012 and is the founder and owner of Nikites F.C. Academy since 2004.
A graduate of the ACS Athens class of 1992, Mr. Karapiperis had been a member of the varsity soccer team in grades 10, 11, 12 and was the captain during his senior year. He considers coaching youngsters to be his life mission and through soccer, he aims in inspiring and influencing students to believe in their will power, discover their strengths and acquire values that set the foundation for a successful and fulfilling future.
Mr. Mikros was born in New Jersey and raised both in the United States and Greece. He earned a bachelor’s in History from Kean University in Union, New Jersey, and a Post Bachelor’s degree in Physical & Health Education (K-12). He is certified by the State of New Jersey to teach Physical Education and Health.
In 2013, Mr. Mikros co-presented a workshop at the ECIS Physical Education Conference, Surrey Sports Park, England, titled “Ice-breakers, Bonding Activities for the First Days of School”.
Mr. Mikros is an emergency responder (CPR/First Aid for adult/child/infant) a certified wall climbing instructor, and a certified lifeguard.
He has been a member of the ACS Athens faculty since 2005 teaching in the elementary school, middle school and high school. This year Mr. Mikros will be teaching physical education in the middle school.
Mr. Mikros is also the coach for both the Junior Varsity Boy’s soccer and Middle School Track & Field Teams.