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.
Mr. Chris Passons was born and raised in Texas. After graduating high school, he served in the U.S. Navy, where he had the opportunity to visit nine countries, including Greece. After completing his military service, he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from Western Governors University in Utah in 2008. In 2012, he received his Master's Degree in Educational Leadership and EC-12 Principal's Certification from the University of Texas in Tyler.
After completing his Bachelor's degree, he began teaching at Tool Elementary in Texas as a Special Education teacher. Since then, he has taught 2nd grade, 5th grade and elementary Physical Education at various schools in Texas.
In 2012, after receiving his Master's degree, he became an Assistant Principal in Midland, Texas. With his team of teachers and other administrators, Chris was instrumental in moving his campus from a state rating of "Improvement Required" to a "Met Standards" campus in just two short years.
In addition to these experiences, Mr. Passons has attended many professional development seminars and trainings, all over the United States. His most recent trainings include the Near East South Asia (NESA) Spring 2018 Educators Conference as well as a Stanford University's Mathematical Mindsets course.
Mr. Passons is excited about his move from 4 th grade teacher at ACS Athens Elementary to his new role as the Vice Principal. He and his wife, Heather who teaches chemistry at the Academy, joined our ACS community in 2017. They have a son and a daughter who attend ACS Elementary School. Mr. Passons and his family are enthusiastic about being at ACS. This will be Mr. Passons' 14th year in education. He looks forward to continuing his career at ACS Athens. As the Vice Principal, he is committed to listening, continuous learning, and supporting the staff and students to reach their fullest potential.
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.
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.
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. Maglara has been a Kindergarten Aide and a Day Care Supervisor at ACS Athens Elementary School since 1983.
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.
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.
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. Eleftheria Ferentinos has been a part of the ACS family and the Early Childhood Department since 2002. She was born in New York and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Science from St. John’s University. Ms. Ferentinos is certified in Early Childhood from the state of Florida. As well, she has completed the educator preparation institute at NCATE, the accredited Professional Education Unit of the University of West Florida.
Ms. Ferentinos attends the ACS annual Conference on Learning Differences. Also, she attended the ECIS conference held at ACS Athens. Ms. Ferentinos participated in the ACS Athens Colloquium where she presented, along with Ms. Kokkalis and Ms. Lamprou, strategies of conceptual and constructive teaching in mathematics for Early Childhood. Furthermore, through her Action Research, she researched ways of effectively teaching writing in Kindergarten while using the Writing Workshop method. In order to further her professional development Ms. Ferentinos, during the 2016-2017 school year, attended the Reflection and Revision course held by Mr. Medeiros and the Creating Respectful and Productive Learning Communities course held by Dr. Pellonis.
Ms. Ferentinos believes in keeping up to date with new ideas and innovations in Early Childhood and has developed curriculum changes in the Kindergarten Program.
Ms. Ferentinos is passionate about helping children grow during the early years and is continually looking at elements of effective teaching. This will be her fourth year as a Kindergarten teacher with ACS Athens.
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).