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), but 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 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 has since created a nurturing, creative and empowering environment to her elementary aged classroom.
During this time, her professional growth included taking 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 European Council of International Schools (ECIS) conferences –the first in Athens, Greece (2012) and presented in Zuric!Ch, 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 Science Teacher and Division Chair of Science / 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 an Academic Leadership Course for Standards-Based Curriculum in Arlington, Virginia U.S.A. in order to pursue her career goal of becoming principal. This past summer, June 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 at ACS Athens and is always looking forward to implementing best practices and aligning curricular advances to the school. It is with this boundless enthusiasm and great honor she embraces her continued role as the Elementary School Principal for the second year 2017-2018.
Valeria Laitinen grew up as a third culture kid and continued on to become a third culture adult. She was born and raised in Milan, Italy until the age of 13 and subsequently moved to Newton, Massachusetts for high school. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Harvard College and a Master’s degree in International Affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. She is currently working toward a Master’s degree in International Educational Leadership through Endicott University.
Prior to becoming a teacher, Ms. Laitinen worked on promoting democratic practices and free and fair elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Nigeria, and Bangladesh through internationally funded NGOs. In Bangladesh, Ms. Laitinen also designed and taught a course on resume writing and interviewing skills at East-West University and served as a study abroad advisor in The American Center in Dhaka.
Ms. Laitinen has taught in international schools in Slovakia, Uzbekistan and Ukraine and spent three years at a Title I school in Springfield, Virginia that had a large ESL population. She has used the rich cultural and linguistic diversity in each of her classrooms to promote open-mindedness and empathy.
Ms. Laitinen is passionate about creating a culture of thinking and has used visible thinking strategies and routines from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education's Project Zero in the classroom. She has pursued training in Responsive Classroom, a classroom management approach that is designed to create a classroom community in which students feel safe, challenged and supported. In her previous schools, Ms. Laitinen led staff development sessions on Growth Mindset, effective teacher language, and inquiry as well as professional book discussions. Growth Mindset is as an educational theory that emphasizes that all students can learn through dedication and hard work and promotes resilience by encouraging students to take academic risks and learn through their mistakes. In addition to English, Ms. Laitinen speaks Italian, French, Russian, a little German and is eagerly learning Greek.
Ms. Chryssoula Xiggi was born and raised in Athens, Greece. She holds a Teaching English License in ESL recognized by the Greek Ministry of Education and a Certificate in Translation (English – Greek general and specialized translations).
At ACS Athens she has held the following positions: Middle School Counseling Secretary, Middle School Principal’s Secretary, Registrar, and Assistant to the IB Director. She currently holds the position of Administrative Assistant to the Elementary School Principal and she provides the translation services at ACS Athens.
Demetri Pelidis first starting working at ACS as a High School Counselor and has served in many capacities with both in the Middle School and Academy Counseling Departments. In his role this year as Pre-Junior Kindergarten-5 th grade School Counselor he is responsible for approximately 400 students. As the Elementary School Counselor he works with school personnel, secretaries and administrators to meet the needs of our students. Demetri serves as a consultant to teachers and parents by providing support in regard to meeting student academic and emotional needs. While working together with teachers and administrators he will strive to build a partnership between the school and the home life.
Born in Zimbabwe, Africa and reared in Athens, Greece, Demetri is a proud graduate of ACS Athens. He earned his Bachelor of Education from Boston College, a Master of Education (M.Ed), in Counseling Psychology, from Keene State College of New Hampshire, and his Advanced Graduate Degree, in School Counseling, from Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts.
Demetri has interned and worked in various school systems both in Boston, Massachusetts and New Hampshire School Districts. Demetri has completed over 25 years of professional experience in counseling and teaching students in middle school, high school, undergraduate and graduate school levels. He is a certified school counselor from the state of Massachusetts, and actively enjoys his professional affiliation with ASCA-The American School Counselor Association.
Mr. Pelidis also assists our ACS athletic department as the Boys Varsity Soccer Coach. It has been a very rewarding experience for him! Over the years our Lancer Boys Soccer Teams have earned first place gold medals in ISST championships. Prior to coaching soccer for ACS, Athens, Coach Pelidis played his collegiate soccer for the Boston College Eagles, where he was named Senior Athlete of the Year. He continued to play professionally in the American Soccer league for the Boston Bolts.
Ms. Roula Stefanidou was born and raised in Houston, Texas. In 1981, she completed her Bachelor of Science in Education (Elementary Education grades 1 – 8) with a minor in Child Psychology.
Prior to moving to Greece, Ms. Stefanidou was working with Gifted and Talented Kindergarten and First Grade children. She holds three endorsements, Early Childhood, Kindergarten, and Gifted and Talented. As a kindergarten teacher she participated in an Early Literacy Writing Project where she was a writing advisor in other elementary schools.
Ms. Stefanidou was an active member and presenter of KToT (Kindergarten Teachers of Texas). Her presentations focused on encouragin" other colleagues to include writing in their early childhood curriculum. In 1986, she was voted "Teacher of the Year" in the Houston Independent School District.
Apart from teaching, Ms. Stefanidou also filled the part – time position of assistant principal in the elementary school where she was teaching. Her summers were spent coordinating activities for young children at the Greek Orthodox Community Center Summer Camp in Houston, Texas.
Ms. Stefanidou strives to help every child grow as a learner and as a person. She is very excited to be teaching first grade at ACS this year.
Ms. Korinna Kokkali was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She completed her studies at the University of Illinois, in Urbana-Champaign, where she graduated with honors in her education courses. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education and received her certification from the State of Illinois. In addition to her degree, she also holds approval for Special Education.
Ms. Kokkali has been teaching children in both first grade and primarily in Junior Kindergarten since 2001. Having first worked in the Chicago Public School system and then moving on to ACS Athens in 2006, she has had much experience working with young children who come from a diverse background, many of which were students who spoke English as a second language. This will be her twelfth year teaching Junior Kindergarten with ACS Athens.
Ms. Kokkali is always pursuing new and innovative methods of facilitating the learning process so that she can enhance and improve her own teaching style. She has attended many conferences since attaining her certification, including the annual conference on Learning Differences and Innovative Summit held at ACS Athens, as well as the ECIS conference which was held in 2012. In 2015-16, Ms. Kokkali conducted and concluded an action research project on how she could facilitate her students’ conceptual understanding of number sense through a variety of methods, techniques, and activities. She then had the opportunity to present her findings and conclusions with two of her colleagues at the ACS Colloquium on Sharing Best Practices. Ms. Kokkali continues to conduct action research and is currently investigating the most effective and appropriate practices of introducing phonic sounds to JK students while preserving and cherishing the enthusiasm of learning through play and discovery in all her students.
Anna Dimitri was born in Chicago, Illinois and lived there until her middle school years. She then moved to Greece with her family and attended ACS from where she graduated. She fostered a strong sense of community at ACS, a sentiment that she continues to hold until today.
Ms. Dimitri received her BA (Honors) in Psychology from Deree College and afterwards attended McGill University in Montreal, Canada. From there she earned a Masters in Education and eventually returned to Greece. She found her way back to the ACS family and has not left since. She has been teaching kindergarten at ACS Athens for fourteen years and truly enjoys working with this unique, rewarding age group. Being a fervent child advocate, she continually tries to keep abreast of best practices in the classroom and related child care issues.
Ms. Angela Kiki Spiliot earned a B.Sc. in Education, and a M.Sc. in Education at St. John’s University, School of Education, in New York City. She taught Technology for two years in New York then moved to Rhode Island, where she continued to teach Technology K-12 in Newport. She holds a United States Life Teaching Certification, from the Common Wealth of Massachusetts. Ms. Spiliot has taught Kindergarten through the 12th grade, Adult after school Technology Programs, Microsoft Office and at the University level, Technology in Education.
She was an American Community School high school student of Athens, who graduated in 1983. She moved back to Athens, in 1989 where she began teaching Information Technology and was the Information Technology Coordinator K-12 at ACS Athens.
She has also taught for ten years at the University of Laverne, Athens, in the Masters Program 1990 - 2000. She led Master candidates towards their degree in M.Sc. in Education & Psychology. Ms. Spiliot has attended many educational seminars in the Athens area and overseas in the past 26 years which include Constantinople and Morocco. These seminars have improved her specific educational techniques and have translated into great success stories for her students. Her knowledge on the field of Technology has also taken her on Greek TV, where is has spoken about the positive and negative aspects of Technology and the Child. One of her strengths is "using technology in the classroom to build self-esteem”. Building positive self-esteem into her students is a major aspect of who she is, whether she is in the second grade or in a computer lab.
Teaching 2nd Grade in the Elementary School since 2012 has brought an abundance of joy into her life. Her love for teaching is evident and widely seen every day from her students. She builds character, love, support and ethics. She finds each child’s strengths and builds on that. Her role model is, Teacher Tom. She was ecstatic when he came to Greece to conduct a seminar. It was a Learning Goal for her that sprung her even more energetically into the 2nd Grade! Her "Happy Hats Writing in Style with Juicy Words," has developed into a finite, fascinating positive adventure for new and upcoming writers! Her students participated in the Athens ACS, colloquium, where they showcased their work, live, to other international schools that were present.
Ms. Spiliot promotes a positive energy surge in her class. You will hear her say, "Power Energy," and her students in return will respond with, "Wooooooooooooo" holding up their arms showcasing their strong arm muscles, which in fact represent their energetic and positive mind and soul. Her daughter Ioanna, had said "my mom opens her handbag and a positive day springs out!"
She is a advent biker, canyon adventurer, rock climber, snowboarder and is still trying to Master Kite Surfer.
Ms. Maglara has been a Kindergarten Aide and a Day Care Supervisor at ACS Athens Elementary School since 1983.
Ms. Katsipi has been working for twenty one years at the ACS Athens Elementary School as a Junior Kindergarten Aide and a Day Care supervisor. She holds a Diploma in the Tourist Business from T.E.I of Patras.
Ms. Demoulini is an ACS Athens graduate. She has been a teacher's aide at ACS Athens Elementary School for thirty years.
Dionysia Themeli, has been working at ACS since 1983. Initially, she started working as an Aide throughout all the grades at the Elementary school. Currently, she is an Aide in Junior Kindergarten.
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 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 Clinical Interviewing and Consultation, Child Psychology, Life-Span Development, Cultural Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Advanced Psychopathology and Group & Music Therapy. Currently, she is an Adjunct Professor at the Hellenic American University in Athens, teaching graduate students of the Psychology Department. She is also a licensed psychotherapist who has been in private practice for twenty -four years with children, adolescents and adults.
From September of 2006, she was 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 Wellness Center. Additionally, Dr. Sax provides all clinical supervision to faculty and staff of the Counseling Office, as well as the Educational Testing Center.
Dr. Sax also presents her work at Professional Conferences within the ACS Athens Community and throughout Europe and has published articles and book chapters on her research interests and clinical work in the field. She currently is a member of the editorial board and peer reviewer of the American Journal of Applied Psychology, The International Journal of Elementary Education of SciencePG and The International Journal of Progressive Education. She is a member of the European Branch of the American Counseling Association and RSA Fellow (Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).