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 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. Ms. Laitinen was born and raised in Milan, Italy until the age of 13 and moved to Newton, Massachusetts for high school.
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 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. Ms. Xiggi was born and raised in Athens, Greece.
Demetri Pelidis 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. Born in Zimbabwe, Africa and reared in Athens, Greece, Demetri is a proud graduate of ACS Athens.
Mr. 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-5th 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.
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 also played professionally in the American Soccer league for the Boston Bolts.
Ms. Eleftheria Ferentinos 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 has been a part of the ACS family and the Early Childhood Department since 2002.
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. Ms. Ferentinos completed an online program on teaching math conceptually provided by Stanford University. Through her Action Research, she researched ways of effectively teaching writing in Kindergarten while using the Writing Workshop method. Ms. Ferentinos has participated in several conferences to further her professional development, including the ACS annual Conference on Learning Differences, the ECIS conference held at ACS Athens. Last year Ms. Ferentinos attended the first international conference on Play in Early Education held in Athens. She has participated in workshops held at ACS Athens such as, the Reflection and Revision course held by Mr. Medeiros, the Creating Respectful and Productive Learning Communities course held by Dr. Pelonis, and the training program on teaching STEM in Elementary Education with Dr. Cherif. Furthermore, she has completed courses towards her masters on Effectively Teaching in Early Childhood, Social media in the Classroom, and Teaching Children with Learning Difficulties and Disabilities.
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. She taught Kindergarten for four years at ACS Athens and is excited to be teaching first grade this year.
Ms. Birbil graduated Magna Cum Laude from New York University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education with a minor in Philosophy. She then pursued her teaching career while simultaneously receiving her Master’s degree in Education from The University of La Verne. With her Graduating Thesis, entitled The Socio-Emotional Benefits of Animals in the Classroom, and her Black Belt in Mixed Martial Arts, Ms. Birbil puts forth a select brand of empathy and perseverance into her life's work. She joins us for her fifteenth year here at ACS Athens. Ms. Christina Birbil is a Greek-American who was born in Spain and grew up in Spain, Italy, England, South Africa, Mexico, the United States (Austin, TX. and New York City) and Greece. A true citizen of the world and a self-professed (Adult) Third Culture Kid, she understands the make-up of our student body as she, too, has traveled the world attending international schools.
In the fall of 2012, Ms. Birbil introduced Captain Chip (her tripawd rescue puppy) into the first grade arena and the ACS Athens community at large. As a pioneer, Captain Chip became the mascot of the elementary school and an inspiration both academically as well as socially. In 2013, Ms. Birbil and Mr. Koutsopoulos joined forces and created what is now known as the Dogs in Learning program. ACS Athens is now entering its seventh year in the program and an entire elementary school of faculty and students (1st-5th grades) who have worked with Captain Chip, as well as the Dogs in Learning program. Captain Chip continues to be both an integral part in classroom learning and an inspiration to all.
Throughout her career, Ms. Birbil has participated in various professional development training programs and seminars, including a PYP training seminar in Burgos, Spain; a NESA conference in Athens, Greece; and several Learning Differences conferences hosted at ACS Athens campus.
In June of 2012, she completed her Critical Friends Group Coaches Training and is an accredited facilitator for the National School Reform (NSRF). Ms. Birbil has been a group facilitator here at ACS Athens from the start, helping to create a trust-based community through collaborative group processes in which colleagues reflect on their practices, share ideas and promote problem solving.
In the spring of 2015, Ms. Birbil and Mr. Koutsopoulos (along with K9 companions) presented the ACS Athens Dogs in Learning Program at the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) conference in Zurich, Switzerland. At the ACS Athens Colloquium in 2016, Ms. Birbil and her first grade students held an interactive demonstration for visitors, "Captain Chip - A Canine Literacy Partner: Demonstration of a novel Early Elementary school literacy project." Also, at the ACS Athens Colloquium, Ms. Birbil and Mr. Hoc presented a Morphosis talk on Constructivist/Inquiry-Based Teaching and Learning, illustrating "Design Time: An ACS Athens Elementary School Genius Hour".
Ms. Georgia Mente holds a Bachelor’s degree in Primary Education from the University of Crete, as well as a Post-graduate Certificate in the Organization and Administration of Education from the University of Athens. Ms. Mente has also obtained her Master’s degree in Developmental and Learning Disabilities from the American College of Greece, in Athens.
Passionate about teaching young children and committed to staying up to date with the most current trends in education, Ms. Mente is constantly pursuing new coursework and researching the literature for best practices. Throughout the past seven years, she has attended multiple conferences, workshops, as well as taken up online courses, including: the workshop "Teaching and Learning through Art", organized by the American College of Greece; a Conceptual Math training by Erma Anderson, organized by ACS Athens; an online Math course in the same area provided by Stanford University. Further building on her professional skills, in the summer of 2018 Ms. Mente attended the AERO international training for the New Generation Science Standards in Arlington, Virginia. Within the last year, Ms. Mente participated in the Science training that ACS Athens provided for the Elementary School faculty, as well as completed the course “Teaching Foundational Reading Skills”. Lastly, she attended the 1st International Conference ιn play held in Athens, “Play On”.
Ms. Mente has experience working with elementary school children within both Greek and American educational systems. In the beginning of her career, she worked in the field of Special Education as a special education teacher assistant at a Greek public school, a special educator at a private center in Athens, and a shadow teacher at ACS Athens. Following that, Ms. Mente gained ample experience working in Early Childhood, where she has served as a Junior Kindergarten teacher for two years, while this will be her 3rd year teaching First Grade at ACS Athens.
Combining her education with the valuable experience she has gained, Ms. Mente is looking forward to leading her students to appreciate the thrill that comes with mathematics, the excitement as they become young scientists, the fun in reading new books, and the magic within the writing process.
Ms. Vicki Klimou completed her Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in French Literature and Linguistics and a minor in Psychology in 2006 at Simon Fraser University. In 2007, she obtained her teaching certification diploma from Vancouver as well.
Prior to coming to Greece, Ms. Vicki Klimou's teaching career began at a Montessori school, teaching French at the kindergarten and preschool levels in Canada. In 2007, she moved to Greece and worked at a private language school teaching ESL and also taught in a Kindergarten. She has been an educator at ACS Athens since 2008. She has taught French in the Middle School and has taught in the Junior Kindergarten, first grade and second grade.
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 2012 ECIS conference. Ms. Klimou is also very active in other areas of ACS Athens. She has taught the beginner's Greek course at the Institute for Innovation and Creativity. She has coached the JV Girls Soccer team and assisted with the Varsity Girls Soccer Team, and has also coached elementary soccer in the after-school programs. Moreover, Ms. Klimou has worked for the ACS Summer Youth Camp for numerous years.
Ms. Klimou is passionate about teaching young children and strives to make every child in her classroom feel happy and safe. She believes education should empower a child to make a positive contribution to the world.
Ms. Vicki Klimou was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada.
Ms. Ioanna Lamprou holds a B.A. in elementary and special education from Holy Family University in Philadelphia, PA and a Master's in Information Systems and Technology from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pa. She received her certification from the state of Pennsylvania. She has worked in schools, information systems, and in the advertising field.
Ms. Lamprou has been teaching in various settings and grade levels since 1998. She has been working at ACS Athens since 2010 in first grade and is now excited to be teaching second grade. Throughout her career, Ms.Lamprou has participated in various professional development training programs and seminars, including the ACS Athens annual conference on Learning Differences and Innovative Summit and the 2012 ECIS conference. Ms.Lamprou participated in the 2016 ACS Athens Colloquium where she presented the findings of her action research project, along with Ms.Kokkalis and Ms.Ferentinos on strategies of conceptual and constructive teaching of number sense for Early Childhood. She completed Conceptual Math training by Erma Anderson, organized by ACS Athens; and an online Conceptual Math course in the same area provided by Stanford University. She attended the NESA conference in Athens, Greece focusing on the NGSS component of the conference and completed the Science training that ACS Athens provided for the Elementary School faculty.
Ms. Lamprou was born in Connecticut, raised in Athens, Greece and shared part of her adulthood between the United States, England, and Greece.
Ms. Christina Venos completed her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at Northern Illinois University and is certified to teach from Kindergarten to 6th grade. She taught in a private elementary school in Chicago for 3 years and taught Greek school for 4 years on the weekends.
Ms. Venos earned her TESOL certification through Oxford University. She also started researching Growth Mindset. She attended the Learning and the Brain seminars in San Francisco yearly to expand her knowledge on Growth Mindset in the classroom from speakers such as Carol Dweck. With this research she was able to successfully implement Growth Mindset in her classroom and presented a workshop on Growth Mindset at the NESA conference in Thailand titled ‘An Educators Perspective to Growth Mindset.’ During her teaching in Chicago she was chosen to lead the primary team in finding suitable curriculum to meet the needs of the students. She was able to introduce and implement a new math and ELA curriculum in her school. She became the primary department chair and received a Teaching Teams/Teacher Leader certification from Harvard in 2016.
Ms. Venos believes that teaching and learning become a simultaneous journey for both the teacher and students when the students’ energy is aroused by a teacher's genuine intensity for learning, because everyone is ready and willing to participate in active learning. To achieve active learning, a teacher must demonstrate enthusiasm and express confidence in the students abilities to learn and be successful. Her goal as a teacher is to instill a passion for lifelong learning within her students while providing them with an educational environment that is encouraging and positive. She aspires to provide the skills and tools necessary for success and foster the individual talents of each student, giving them the confidence to embrace their dreams and make them a reality.
Ms. Venos was born in Athens, Greece and raised in Chicago, Illinois.
Ms. Bibidakis earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Cleveland State University with a concentration in math and science. She also completed her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction and a STEM certificate through the University of Cincinnati. Last summer Ms. Bibidakis attended the AERO conference where she focused on the English/Language Arts standards, as well as, new teaching approaches.
Ms. Bibidakis taught 4th and 5th grade at Paul L. Dunbar, a public school in Cleveland, Ohio. She also taught Greek to 6-8 year old students in the Greek community in Cleveland. This is her second year teaching 3rd grade at ACS. Ms. Bibidakis is very excited to be part of the ACS family. Ms. Bibidakis was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and shared her childhood between the United States and Greece.
Christina Feskou holds a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. She completed her Master's degree in Special Education at the University of East London. Her Thesis statement was "Students with learning difficulties being taught English as a foreign language."
Ms. Feskou has experience working with Elementary School children within both Greek and American educational systems. As a student teacher, she taught all elementary grades at a public Greek school. She has been part of the ACS family since 2016 when she worked as an aide in the OLP Department. During her time at the OLP Department she worked with all elementary and middle school grades. Last year, Ms. Feskou joined the Elementary School team as a 3rd Grade teacher.
Ms. Feskou has also attained a certification in "Mathematical Mindsets: Unleashing Students' Potential through Creative Math, Inspiring messages and Innovative Teaching." She loves mathematics and uses innovative teaching in her classroom. She believes everyone can learn to love mathematics and she tries to find the most effective ways to unleash the math potential in all students.
During the school year of 2018-2019, Ms. Feskou participated and obtained a Certificate of Completion Training Program on "Teaching STEM in Elementary Education".
Ms. Feskou is also passionate about teaching young children and wants to be an inspiration for them to make a difference in the world. This year, she is very excited to continue teaching in Third Grade. Ms. Feskou was born in Athens, Greece and was raised in a bilingual Greek-English family.
Ms. Pinelopi Dimitroula has been educated both in Greece and the United States. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Athens University of Economics and Business (ASOEE) and completed a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) at Pace University in New York. Upon graduation Ms. Dimitroula remained in New York where she lived and worked for 14 years.
Ms. Dimitroula holds a second Masters with dual specialization in Early Childhood Education and Students with Disabilities from Touro University, New York. Ms. Dimitroula is also licensed in both areas of specialization (Early Childhood Education and Students with Disabilities) in the state of New York. Ms. Dimitroula has worked for the Department of Education in New York at several different roles, as a shadow teacher, teacher’s assistant, and teacher. Ms Dimitroula has worked in both general and special education classes where she worked extensively with diverse school population ranging from Gifted and Talented students to students with severe disabilities.
Ms. Dimitroula is also a member of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BCBA) and is a certified and registered Behavioral Analyst. Ms. Dimitroula worked as a Behavioral Analyst consulting and working with the Board of Education in New York offering services and guidance to teachers in several schools in New York. Furthermore, Ms. Dimitroula was focusing on language acquisition, Greek and English, since she was consulting with many bilingual families and educators.
Currently, Ms Dimitroula is pursuing an additional teaching certification for Upper Elementary School and she is taking online classes from Touro College, New. York.
Ms. Pinelopi Dimitroula was born and raised in Athens, Greece.
Ms. Newton received a double bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is now completed her Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Ms. Newton was raised in Greenville, Alabama where she graduated Salutatorian of her high school class.
Ms. Newton taught first grade in Greenville, Alabama and third grade at an international school in Shanghai, China where she was the team leader for two years. During her time in China, Ms. Newton also led professional development seminars for her colleagues in curriculum, assessment, and integrating centers in the classroom. Ms. Newton also taught second grade in Valencia, Venezuela. While at ACS, Ms. Newton has helped revise the Dogs in Learning Curriculum, and held a student-led fundraiser for Puerto Rico as a design time project. She is also one of the sponsors for the Honor Club.
Iliana Eleftheriou received her B.A. degree in Elementary Education, Grades 1 – 6 from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She completed her M.A. degree in Special Educational Needs from the University of East London and earned her International Teacher Certificate (ITC) from the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) and the University of Cambridge (International Examinations).
Ms. Eleftheriou previously worked at ACS Athens as a Shadow and Substitute Teacher and collaborated with private psycho-educational centers using her expertise in Special Education. She has participated in various professional development courses and seminars offered by the British Council, the University of San Diego Extended, and Stanford University. She presented at the ACS Athens Colloquium in 2016, demonstrating the "Shadow Teacher Partnerships" and the "Role of the Shadow Teacher" within ACS Athens.This is her sixth year at ACS Athens and her third year in the 4th Grade team.
Ms. Evi Evloyias completed her studies at Wheaton College, MA and graduated with honors from Deree College with a B.Sc. in International Business and European Affairs with a minor in Economics. She is currently completing a Masters in International Educational Leadership from Wilkes University.
Ms. Evloyias is certified to teach grades K-6 from the state of Florida, and has completed the educator preparation institute at NCATE, the accredited Professional Education Unit of the University of West Florida. Ms. Evloyias participated in the 2016 ACS Athens Colloquium, where with her team presented Exploring Colonial America through research-based creative writing: a 5th grade project. She has attended all the Learning Differences Conferences that have taken place at ACS Athens and has worked closely with the OLP department. Ms. Evloyias has also participated in math workshops led by Erma Anderson on Conceptual Mathematics and Dan Meyers on the Art and Science of Mathematical Storytelling, as well as science workshops led by Dr. Abour Cherif on Spurring Creativity in Science. She is a representative of the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas (NESA). Moreover, she has been an advisor for the Honor Code and Student Council in the Elementary School.
Ms. Evloyias is an ACS Athens alumni and started working at ACS Athens as a Shadow Teacher for six years, both in the elementary and middle school. This experience has given her a unique insight into the longitudinal educational experience of students in elementary, knowing both where they have come from and where they need to be when they reach middle school. Ms. Evloyias has also taught 5th grade and this is her fifth year teaching 4th grade.
Sarah Kishawi completed her undergraduate degree, with a minor in Psychology at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. She completed a Masters Degree in Developmental Psychology and Learning Disabilities from the American College of Greece (Deree). Ms. Kishawi completed her teaching preparation practicum in the 1st grade at ACS Athens in collaboration with the University of West Florida. Ms. Kishawi is an ACS Athens alumnus who attended from Junior Kindergarten all the way to 12th grade.
Ms. Kishawi has participated in a variety of seminars and conferences related to child psychology and education. She has always had a strong passion in working with children. While living in Beirut, Lebanon, she volunteered as a teacher in the Insan Association where she supported underprivileged children (street children and illegal immigrants) with their math, English and science courses. While completing her Masters in Deree, she worked as a peer tutor with the Student Academic Services where she assisted undergraduate and graduate students with writing essays. In addition, she worked both as a volunteer and as an employee in various NGO's such as Doctors of the World, MSF, IMC, and DRC. She worked on a regular basis with children who faced various psychological struggles such as trauma, anxiety, and depression. Moreover, she has worked at ACS Athens as a shadow teacher, teacher assistant in OLP, and more recently as a permanent substitute.
Ms. Kishawi is a passionate, well-rounded and creative teacher. Her goal as an educator is to lead the students to solve the mysteries of math, to discover the beauty in science, and to stir up their imagination in reading and writing. She puts all of this together in a safe, nurturing and stimulating environment where her students can build their confidence, and feel empowered to be life-long learners.
Ms. Lia Sinouris earned her Bachelor’s degree in 20th Century European History from Connecticut College, USA, (spending semesters abroad in India and the Czech Republic) and completed her MA in Special Education (Inclusion Studies) in London, England, at the Institute of Education. Her International Teacher Certificate (ITC) was obtained from ECIS and the University of Cambridge (International Examinations). She is currently working on earning her Equivalency Degree from the Greek Ministry of Education.
Her "teacher calling" began 18 years ago where she tutored students with learning differences; she encouraged their learning styles and assisted them with their academic responsibilities. Since then she has worked in various international schools in Athens and remains fascinated with the realm of international education as she believes it provides the platform for authentic and innovative learning. She has previously worked at ACS Athens in the Optimal Learning Program for three years and avidly supports each student’s unique capacity to create magic and think outside the box. This year will mark her sixth year as a member of the 4th grade team.
Throughout her academic career Ms. Sinouris has attended numerous conferences and seminars related to her areas of interest including NESA, the Learning Differences Conference hosted by ACS Athens and other professional development conventions (in Teaching Math, Teaching Reading and Spelling, Developmental Disorders, and Co-Teaching). She has, additionally, co-written articles for the ETHOS magazine and presented at the 2016 ACS Athens Colloquium on the effects of planning time within a partnership model. Learning in an intercultural context, dimensions of language, inquiry-based learning, and student transition are ongoing research interests. Her educational philosophy is founded on the notion that not all students learn in the same way. Ms. Sinouris is overjoyed to be embarking on another learning adventure with the 4th graders this year and hopes to be able to leave a positive mark in all her students’ lives.
Ms. Lia Sinouris is originally from Athens, Greece.
Ms. Dimas holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from the American College of Greece with High Distinction and a Master's degree in Museology from the University of Leicester with a concentration in Museum Education. Ms. Dimas received her teaching certification from the state of Florida, and has completed the educator preparation institute at NCATE, the accredited Professional Education Unit of the University of West Florida. Recently, she embarked on her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Glasgow. Prior to joining the ACS Athens Faculty, Ms. Dimas worked from 2009 – 2012 with school and family groups at the Hellenic Children's Museum in Athens, specializing in inquiry-based learning and constructivist teaching models. Ms. Dimas was born and raised in Washington, DC.
Ms. Dimas has taught kindergarten for two years and third grade for three; this will be her third year as a fifth grade teacher. In addition to teaching, Ms. Dimas has contributed to ACS Athens across the grade levels. She spearheaded the ‘iteach2’ project together with Ms. Sophia Moros in the second grade, and the Writing in Action workshop with Ms. Amalia Zavacopoulou for middle school students. For six years, Ms. Dimas served as advisor to the Forensics academic team, Group Discussion, where she works closely with high school students to realize their potential as conscious and active members of an ever-changing global community. She is also advisor to the ACS Athens Elementary School Honor Code for the last five years.
Ms. Dimas has presented at multiple workshops and conferences over the last few yearsl. In 2013, she presented the ‘iteach2!’ initiative at the 8th annual Conference on Learning Differences (Innovative Teaching and Inclusive Learning) together with Ms. Sophia Moros. Ms. Dimas and Ms. Moros also represented ACS Athens at the ECIS Early Childhood Conference in Zurich, showcasing the implementation of ‘iteach2!’ as a learning tool in elementary school classrooms. In September 2015, Ms. Dimas was invited to speak at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., at the annual International Council of Museums Conference on Education and Cultural Action. Here, she shared her work on the implementation of informal education learning techniques as teaching tools in a multi-cultural classroom setting.
At the ACS Athens Colloquium in 2016, Ms. Dimas presented a Morphosis Talk together with Ms. Amalia Zavacopoulou. Under the heading of Teaching Writing to Think and Learn, she and Ms. Zavacopoulou analyzed the project "Making Stories at the Acropolis Museum," which they had designed for the high school Honors Humanities course together with Ms. Kathy Jasonides. The initiative merges the writing process, informal learning resources, the course syllabus, and student ingenuity in order to reach its end goal.
Ms. Dimas recently wrote an essay, "Improving Multicultural Learning through Interpretations and Interactions with Museum Educational Practice," which was published in the Journal of Visual Literacy. In 2018 she served as the guest editor for a double issue of the same journal. She has also completed the Critical Friends Group Coaches Training and is an accredited coach for the National School Reform (NSRF).
Ms. Laura Kollintzas graduated from Deree College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and continued her studies in Great Britain, where she received a Post Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Studies, from Roehampton University, and a Masters in Early Childhood Education from UCL-Institute of Education. Further, Ms. Kollintzas is a Certified Elementary Teacher for grades Pre-K to 6 from the state of Florida. She has taught elementary students for 9 years in pre-k, kindergarten, and second grade. Ms. Kollintzas is an ACS Athens graduate who attended from kindergarten through 12th grade.
Over the years, Ms. Kollintzas has participated in a variety of seminars and conferences, the 2012 ECIS conference, centering on "The Changing Landscape in Early Childhood Education", the 2016 ACS Colloquium and had the opportunity to observe numerous inspiring presentations which involved the innovative approaches which ACS Athens and its faculty implement in order to holistically educate their students. Finally, during the past few years at ACS Athens, Ms. Kollintzas has participated in various courses and workshops offered by the school, topics including "Creating Respectful and Productive Learning Communities", "Leaders and Learners", a training workshop led by Mrs. Erma Anderson focused on teaching math conceptually, a course offered by Stanford University dedicated to creating mathematical mindsets, training in the New Generation Science Standards by Dr. Abour Cherif, and a year of professional development in teaching language arts using the Lucy Calkins reading and writing curriculum as a tool.
Since 2016, Ms. Kollintzas is the advisor of the ST.A.R.T. Club (Stray Animal Rescue Team), a club created initially by elementary school students, who engage in a range of activities in order to raise awareness regarding stray animals, and to raise funds to donate to animal shelters in Greece. Since 2017, she is proud to be part of the ACS Athens initiative "Youth to Youth- Home Project", which involves teaching English to unaccompanied refugee children on a voluntary basis.
Ms. Kollintzas is very passionate and enthusiastic about teaching, and considers her role as an educator to be crucial and vital in creating future global citizens. Her priority and goal as an educator is to promote and sustain an environment which nurtures happy, secure, and confident children, and strives to motivate students to develop into life-long learners with a strong sense of empathy for the world around them. This year she is eager to embark on her new journey teaching 5th grade!
Ms. Penny Kynigou received her B.A. and M.A. degrees in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University and then qualified as a teacher at the London University Institute of Education. Ms. Kynigou was born and raised in England.
She taught at St Paul's Primary School, London, UK and at TASIS Elementary School, Athens before joining ACS Athens in 1990. She has actively developed curriculum innovations for Early Childhood, 4th and 5th grade levels over her 29 years teaching at the school. In addition to her teaching role, Ms. Kynigou is the co-founder and co-coordinator of the ACS Athens Collaborative Learning Community (CLC), a forum for professional reflection, problem solving and growth. She and David Nelson presented about the CLC during the ACS Athens Colloquium. Ms. Kynigou is also an accredited National Trainer andFacilitator for the National School Reform Faculty (NSRF). She specializes in creating trust-based communities through collaborative group processes and facilitating Critical Friends Groups in which colleagues reflect on their practice, share ideas and promote problem solving. In addition to her CFG training, she also attended the Adaptive Schools training held during the 2015 NESA Spring Educators' Conference for advanced training in facilitation techniques.
Ms. Kynigou first represented ACS Athens at TESOL, Athens 2008 presenting on teaching language arts skills through research. At the NESA Spring Educators Conference 2010, she presented a workshop on the creation of the 5th grade play, which she was also invited to present at the Constructionism 2010 conference at the American University of Paris. During the ACS Athens 6th Annual Conference On Learning Differences, 2011, she presented "Me and My Shadow" with Ms. Angelik Grigoratos: a workshop about building student success through teacher/shadow teacher collaboration. She attended the 2012 Jefferson Overseas Schools Technology Institute and the NESA Spring Educators Conference in 2013. She has been a frequent contributor to the school Ethos Magazine, writing about using blogging and a writing workshop approach to teach writing. She attended the NESA Spring Educators' Conference 2017. Finally, in collaboration with Helen Sarantes, Elementary Technology Specialist, she has written a chapter, "Setting the Stage for i2Flex, The View from the Elementary School," for the newly published "Revolutionizing K-12 Blended Learning through the i2Flex Classroom model" by Dr. Maria Avgerinou and Dr. Stefanos Gialamas.
Ms. Kynigou inspires students to ask questions, take ownership, experiment and self-reflect on their learning as they prepare for the transition to Middle School. She brings her wealth of experience in collaborative practice to her classroom and emphasizes the value of working with others and learning together, building the foundations which lead to the culminating 5th grade exhibition of learning: the Living Museum of the Ancient Agora in the early summer.
Ms. Sophia Tsinakis earned a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Art Therapy from Lesley University in Cambridge Massachusetts. She earned a Master's in Elementary Education and a K-12 English Language Learners endorsement at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in 2014. Ms. Sophia Tsinakis is a Greek-Hispanic-American who was born in Houston, Texas and raised in Nashville, Tennessee.
Ms. Tsinakis joined the ACS Athens Elementary School faculty last academic year, she taught first-grade. She looks forward to bringing her literacy expertise and dedication to the development of authentic and purposeful readers and writers to the fifth-grade team this academic year. Prior to her joining ACS Athens. Ms. Tsinakis taught first-grade for four years at Dan Mills Elementary School, an innovative school in Nashville, and maintained close professional ties to Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. Ms. Tsinakis has a great passion for teaching and her priority as an educator of young minds is to assist children of diverse backgrounds to find meaning, passion, and direction in their educational experience, and ultimately in their lives. She gives high priority to authentic independent and collaborative learning, rigor and critical thinking, accountable talk, differentiated and integrated instruction, multiple intelligences, and hands-on experiences. The principles and inspiration of Lucy Calkins and the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project have been a guiding influence in her pursuit of refining and growing her literacy instruction. In fact, Lucy Calkins and Katie Wood Ray inspired her master's thesis, Making Meaning: The Links of Drawing and Writing. Ms. Tsinakis is committed to fostering, inspiring, and sustaining high levels of authentic learning in all students as a path through which they become active, kind, independent, and global learners.
In 2018, she was a finalist for the Teacher of the Year award by Dan Mills Elementary. Her individual growth scores and overall effectiveness at Dan Mills earned the highest level of achievement. In 2016, she was recognized as a Literacy Leader by the Director of Literacy at Metro Nashville Public Schools, was interviewed and observed by the National Public Radio program, Mind/Shift, and one of her guided reading lessons was filmed by the Metro Nashville Public Schools as an example of exemplary reading instruction. She has collaborated in the SAIL Project (Survey, Analyze, Infer, Link) with education researcher Kathy Ganske of Peabody College to pioneer innovative and engaging word study instruction. She was featured in the November/December 2016 edition of The Reading Teacher, in the article SAIL: A Framework for Promoting Next-Generation Word Study by Kathy Ganske. Further, she is a contributing writer in the 2018 published revision of Word Sorts and More by Kathy Ganske.
Ms. Tsinakis has a strong professional interest in curriculum design and professional development. In particular, she has served as a scope and sequence writer for Metro Nashville Public Schools, has been a member of a vertical K-4 planning team at Dan Mills Elementary, and has led workshops on Balanced Literacy, Authentic and Elevated Text Discussions, Integration of Interactive Writing/Read Aloud, Accountable Talk in Classroom: Moving Beyond Agree and Disagree, and Emergent Writers and the Writing Process. She co-created and facilitated with Evi Eyloyias (ACS Athens) the professional development workshop, Writing Workshop in Elementary School, at the American Farm School in Thessaloniki, Greece. She continues to be engaged in providing Literacy professional development in and outside of ACS Athens. In the past few years, she has attended the Teachers’ College Reading and Writing Project Workshop in Atlanta (December 2015); the English Language Learners Summer Institute of Metro Nashville Public Schools (June 2016); and the Teachers' College Reading and Writing Project in the Barcelona Writing Institute (July 2017).
Farida El Gazzar graduated from Vakalo School of Art & Design, in Athens, and then moved to London where she earned her Bachelor of Arts Hons degree from Kingston University, and her Master of Arts degree from the Royal College of Art. Ms. El Gazzar is an ACS Athens alumna. She was born in Alexandria, Egypt, and raised in Kuwait and Greece.
Prior to joining the ACS Athens faculty five years ago, she gave seminars for portfolio preparations and art drawing classes to ACS Athens students in collaboration with AKTO School of Art & Design. She is also continuing her second year of teaching in the Fine Arts and Graphic Design departments at the American College of Deree.
From 2003 to 2007, she was co-founder of the creative team WARDA. Ms. El Gazzar was an artist-in-residence at The Townhouse Gallery in Cairo 2008, and at Al Riwaq Gallery in Bahrain 2009, where she also gave workshops to local artists.
She is represented by Kalfayan Galleries, Athens-Thessaloniki and has exhibited in Greece and abroad. She is a visual artist and freelance illustrator. Among her clients, she has collaborated with the National London Theatre,Hayford & Rhodes, the Greek Ministry of Environment, ATHENS 2004, Cornell University Press, DOL, Lambrakis and Kathimerini publications. Her artworks are with institutional collections such as The Barjeel Art Foundation and major private collections in Europe, the USA and the MENAM.
Dr. Jenny Grigoropoulos was born in Athens, Greece, and raised in Maryland, U.S.A.. She holds a B.Sc degree in Business Administration from the University of La Verne.
She received her M.A. degree in International Management and Business Administration and earned her teaching education and certification in the United States, qualified to teach ESL/EFL K–12 and Business Studies 6 – 12. She is an IB educator as well as an IB examiner for Business Management. In May 2019, she graduated from St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida, earning her Doctorate Degree in Education, Leadership, and Management.
She has been teaching ESL in the Elementary School for grades K – 5 to non-native English speakers since September, 2018. In previous years, she worked in the ESL/EFL department in the Middle School. Over all, she has been an ESL educator for 24 years. Dr. Grigoropoulos has been actively involved with the Saturday Youth-to-Youth program since the initiation of the program, providing unaccompanied minors with skills and knowledge of the English language.
Dr. Grigoropoulos is a contributing author of the book "Revolutionizing K-12 Blended Learning through the i2Flex Classroom Model". She has authored articles, such as The Role of Ethics in the 21st Century Organization (IJPE-April 2019) and is the co-author with Dr. Gialamas of the manuscript, Educators Leaders: Inspiring Learners to Transform Society by Becoming Architects of their Own Learning (IJPE - October 2018). She has presented her work and practices in colloquiums and conferences. She is one of the founding members of the Recycling Project, which is a school-wide initiative.
Ms. Papageorgiou holds a B.A. in Greek Literature with major in Ancient Greek Literature and Latin from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Ms. Papageorgiou was born and raised in Thessaloniki, Greece.
Ms. Papageorgiou has taught the Language Arts and Advanced classes at ACS Athens Elementary School since 2007 and also teaches Greek in the Middle School. She has taught at the Elementary Writing Center guiding students between grades 1 -5 with their writing. Furthermore, Ms. Papageorgiou has taught the Greek Isotimia Program of ACS Athens high school for several years. She has also worked in a publishing house for two years as an editor of Greek Language and Literature text books.
Ms. Papageorgiou has published articles in Ethos magazine on Greek language instruction and celebrations. She has also attended many educational conferences - seminars on Teaching, Technology in Education and Learning Differences.
Irini Rovoli holds a B.A. in Education from the University of Athens, School of Philosophy, and an M.A. in the Psychology and Education of Children with Special Needs from the University of London, Institute of Education. She also pursued advanced piano studies in the National Conservatory of Athens and studied Drama at Veaki Drama School, Athens.
Ms. Rovoli began teaching at high school level at the Hackney Community School in London and in the Greek public sector at Varibopi Athens High School for Repatriated Greeks. She joined ACS Athens in 1995 and has been a teacher of Greek in the Elementary and Middle School ever since. She also taught 5th grade English Language Arts class and has served as Team Leader. In 2017, Ms Rovoli was also assigned the role of Elementary Interim Vice Principal.
Ms. Rovoli actively contributed innovations in the Greek language curriculum of the elementary, including content design for grades JK-5 and the elementary school Greek national celebrations. She co-authored an article in the British Journal of Educational Psychology, and has published articles in the Institute of Education Alumni magazine, NESA News magazine, and ACS Athens Ethos. As co-advisor of the ACS Athens Elementary Turtle Club, she presented this innovative environmental initiative on student leadership and action through Project-Based Learning at the ECIS Conference in 2012 in Athens, and at the NESA International Conference in 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand. Her presentation at the ACS Athens Colloquium 2016 was her original work on rhyming grammar rules for the Greek language learners.
In 2013, Ms. Rovoli became a certified Critical Friends Groups coach (National School Reform Faculty). She is currently a facilitator in the ACS Athens Collaborative Learning Communities, and attended the ACS Athens Faculty leadership workshops of 2017 and 2018 as well as the NESA 2018 International Conference in Athens, Greece. Ms. Rivoli speaks Greek, English and French.
Ms Ghada Akkari received her Baccalaureate in the Arabic Language from the Libyan School in Athens and her her BA from the University of Pireaus, School of Finance and Statistics, Department of Banking and Financial Management. Her love of education and children led her to teach Arabic for the last 15 years with all her creativity and enthusiasm for bringing out the best in her students.
Ms. Akkari was born in Syria and raised in Athens, Greece.
Helen was born and raised in San Francisco, California. She earned her B.Sc. in Business Administration and Marketing from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She has thirty years of experience in teaching technology at the elementary school level and has witnessed the transformation of computers from the simple 64-kilobyte home computers to the current high speed devices of today.?
Ms. Sarantes is an active participant in a research study for the development of the new educational search engine, Choosito! Her current teaching focuses on using technology as a tool for learning which is critical for students’ lives in the 21st century.
Her professional growth includes attending various NESA and ECIS conferences and is a frequent contributor of articles for the school Ethos Magazine. In April 2016, she presented, "A Demonstration of Student Learning" at the ACS Athens Colloquium.
Ms. Sarantes was nominated for the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) 2016 Outstanding Teacher Award and is a co-author for the recently released book, "Revolutionizing K-12 Blended Learning through the i2Flex Classroom Model." Her contribution focused on, "Setting the Stage for i2Flex: The View from the Elementary School."
Ms. Peggy Apostolou was born and raised in Athens, Greece. After completing her school, and music studies at the conservatoire, she went on to higher education in the UK. She graduated with a Bachelor of Music from Napier University, Edinburgh, and a Master's Degree in Ethnomusicology as well as a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from Goldsmith University, London.
Ms. Apostolou started teaching music in schools whilst in London. She worked as a secondary school music teacher and a piano teacher for many years and involved herself with music and dancing from various parts of the world.
Upon her return to Greece, Ms. Apostolou started working at ACS Athens where she teaches music to elementary school students from Kindergarten to grade five. Through a musically varied, but well structured curriculum, Ms. Apostolou helps her students develop their skills, knowledge, and understanding with singing, dancing, instrumental skills, theory, and live performances being at the core of their learning.
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.
Ms. Sana Kassem has been a chemistry and biology teacher at ACS Athens since 2004. She earned a B.Sc. Science (Biology/Chemistry) from the American University of Beirut and a M.Ed. from the University of LaVerne, Athens.
She taught biology and chemistry for IGCSE, A level, AP, French Baccalaureate and IB classes in many international schools in Beirut, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Athens. In addition to teaching she has worked as an academic advisor for curriculum development of science at the Higher Colleges of Technology in Abu Dhabi, as Head of Science in International Schools in Abu Dhabi and Athens and has been an IB Biology examiner since 2000 and an AP Biology examiner since 2014. In 2015, Sana was selected by the IBO to be a team leader for IB biology examinations. In 2015, she took the challenging task of teaching science in the elementary school, servicing grades JK to grade 5. She has developed an inquiry-based science curriculum, the goal of which is to provide plenty of opportunities for the children to experience things in a hands-on way in order to encourage and increase their curiosity and to instill in them the lifelong love for science.
At ACS Athens Colloquium she presented the approaches and methods applied during inquiry- based lessons and had two demonstration sessions with elementary school students doing different science activities. In addition to this, she published the article "What Are We Doing Today" in the Ethos Magazine of Winter 2015.
She co-authored with Dr. Stefanos Gialamas and professors from 3 different institutions two articles that were published in Journal of Education and Practice, "Which Sweetener Is Best for Yeast? An Inquiry-Based Learning for Conceptual Change", (www.iiste.org, Vol.8, No.2, 2017) and "Where Have the Beans Been? Student-Driven Laboratory Learning Activities with Legumes for Conceptual Change." Where Have the Beans Been The two articles were published in Journal of Education and Practice (www.iiste.org, Vol.9, No.11, 2018).
In March 2017 Sana presented her work in the advancement of science in the ACS Athens Elementary School's Science Program at NESA conference in Bangkok, Thailand. Ms. Kassem shared her curriculum design, vision & methods to colleagues from international schools in the region in her workshop entitled, "The Mother of All Methods: A Unified Vision for Teaching Sciences".
In June 2017 the first online IGCSE Biology book that was published by www.Kognity.com where Ms. Kassem has co-authored five chapters of the book.
Trina Langsenkamp holds a Masters degree in Arts in Education from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Art Education from The Ohio State University. She has a K-12 visual arts education licensure and certification from the state of Ohio.
This is Ms. Langsenkamp's third year teaching Elementary Visual Arts at ACS Athens. She is excited to continue to guide her students in making art that is exploratory, exciting and creative.
Previously, Ms. Langsenkamp worked as an Artist in Residence for Project Zero (PZ) at Harvard University. During the residency, and in conjunction with PZ's Out of Eden Learn project, she developed methods and practices for integrating mindfulness into arts curriculum to work with students to create abstract landscape paintings. She ran workshops with graduate students and professors at Harvard University, and from there developed a K-12 curriculum unit.
Prior to that, Ms. Langsenkamp worked as an educator at Urban Arts Space, a contemporary art gallery in Columbus, Ohio. In this role, she designed and taught courses in art history and art making for community members of all ages and abilities. She also ran weekly art classes for adults with developmental disabilities in conjunction with VSA-Ohio and organized community engagement events outside of the gallery.
Ms. Langsenkamp also has extensive work with integrating creative arts into summer camps and programming. In 2017-, she was an Artist in Residence at Camp Stomping Ground in Deposit, New York, a counselor and workshop leader for Grrrls Rock Columbus, and worked as an arts specialist at Creative Themes Day Camp in East Rochester, New York. She also has experience teaching in elementary and high school art classrooms.
Ms. Langsenkamp is currently a freelance painter whose work primarily focuses on abstraction and landscapes. In 2019, she presented work at international art fairs, such as Art Athina and Art Thessaloniki with Epsilon Gallery. In 2018, she was a resident artist at The Mudhouse in Agios Ioannis, Crete. In 2015, she presented at the Ohio Art Education Association conference on her work with sensory engagement in art making and was recipient of the 2015 Fergus Fellows Award. Ms. Langsenkamp's interest in international arts education began when she studied in Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa. She later studied at the Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, Jamaica, where she worked directly with arts educators in public, private and non-traditional education sectors.
Trina Langsenkamp is originally from Rochester, New York.
Ms. Minoudi was born and raised in Thessaloniki, Greece. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She is certified in Special Education and Information Services and Communications. She has worked at Kalograia, a center of foreign languages in Thessaloniki, where served as a teacher and Administrative Assistant.
Ms. Minoudi joined the ACS Athens community in 2013. She has worked in the Middle School as the Discipline and Attendance Coordinator and has taught Greek Language Arts to Greek native speakers in the Elementary and Middle School. In addition, she has been the Middle School Yearbook Advisor for two years. Over the past two years, she served as the Service and Citizenship Coordinator in the Academy, as well as CAS Advisor to IB Students, providing them with guidance in order for them to complete successfully their CAS Projects.
She is passionate about teaching and interacting with students so as to motivate them and play an active role in their academic and social growth. Ms. Minoudi is very excited to be teaching Greek in the Elementary and Middle School this year.
Mr. Tassos Benetatos studied music at Northwestern University in Illinois where he obtained his Bachelor in Music in 2002. In 2004 he moved to Berlin where he obtained a Diploma in Classical Guitar Performance at the Hochschule fur Musik “Hanns Eisler” in 2008. Having a strong inclination towards musicology he has spent many years studying and playing professionally as a guitarist the music that was recorded in Greece before 1950 on 78 rpm records. He has also worked for many years as a private music instructor.
Mr. Tassos Benetatos is an ACS Athens alumnus and this is his third year teaching at ACS Athens.
Sofia Genimata earned her Bachelor's degree in English Language and Literature from Ethniko and Kapodistriako Panepistimio in Athens. Due to her love of teaching, she expanded her education and received a Master of Arts in Developmental and Learning Disabilities form Deree-The American College of Greece. She has participated in courses on "Differentiated Instruction in the Classroom" and on "Conquering Behavioral Challenges" and is currently studying to earn her certification of Reading Specialist. Ms. Genimata was born in Thessaloniki, Greece and attended school in Florida, U.S.A.
She is a firm believer that all students can reach their highest potential through differentiated learning strategies. This will be her third year as an OLP Specialist working with Elementary students.
Caroline Miller graduated from Furman University in Greenville, SC in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. In 2009, she received her National Board Certification in Literacy and in 2011, she received an endorsement for Gifted and Talented education through the College of Charleston. Ms. Miller was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina.
Mrs. Miller has 18 years of experience teaching grades 1 - 5 in public and private schools. She has spent the last 12 years teaching 3rd grade, 10 of those in Charleston, SC. During those years she has participated in various gifted and talented educational conferences with renowned speakers such as Michael Clay Thompson and Dr. Shelagh A. Gallagher. She has been trained in STEAM education through Clemson University and was instrumental in facilitating a STEAM project in her school about ocean pollution. She has been a facilitator for professional development giving presentations such as using literacy stations in the elementary classroom. Also, Mrs. Miller was selected for a team of educators in her school to develop a more effective process for weekly, professional collaboration for the faculty of her school. This resulted in times for each grade level team to be more strategic, student-centered, and innovative with instructional strategies.
Mrs. Miller's family had been considering a move to Europe for the past several years as they are drawn to different cultures and international environments. The opportunity to come to Athens became a reality last year, and she is excited to have moved to Athens last summer with her husband and their youngest child. She is looking forward to a second year at ACS Athens working in the elementary library to help strengthen the literacy of all students.
Ms. Mariren Meleki attended ACS Athens from 5th grade to 12th grade and graduated in 2001. She was born and raised in Athens, Greece.
Ms.Meleki holds a Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) and a Certificate in Teaching Young Learners. She speaks Greek, English, French and Spanish.
She worked in the Elementary School as a Library/Media Assistant from 2003 until last year. This year she is a Teacher’s Aide for 1st to 4th grade.
Mr. Naoum was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa and holds a coaching certificate in soccer.
He has coached boys and girls soccer at all levels and has also been a Varsity Coach at ACS Athens for several years. As an athlete Mr. Naoum has played soccer in semi-pro level and was a member of the Belgian league for the team of Anderlecht. Mr. Naoum is an ACS Athens alumnus (class of 1979).
Anna Makris was born and raised in Athens, Greece, and is an alumna of ACS Athens. Ms. Makris is a Licensed Psychologist and has received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto with a double major in Psychology and Sociology as well as a Master of Science in Psychology from Kingston University. In addition she is trained in psychoeducational diagnostic testing and is one of the founding members of the Educational & Diagnostic Testing Center at ACS Athens.
She began working at ACS Athens in 2012 as an Academic Advisory Specialist and IB CAS Coordinator, assisting Junior and Senior students with the university application process as a whole. Ms. Makris is currently the Academy Counseling Coordinator in the Office of Student Affairs.
Sarah Kaldelli earned her Bachelor’s degree, in Elementary Education from Goucher College in Towson, Maryland, U.S.A. Her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education was achieved from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. She has also acquired her Degree Equivalency from the Greek Ministry of Education.
She has worked in international schools in Greece, and in the Greek private school sector for the past 20 years. She has taught students with learning differences and disabilities ranging from Junior-Kindergarten to 7 th grade.
This is her 13th year at ACS Athens with the Elementary Optimal Learning Program (OLP). For the first 12 years, she was the Elementary School Optimal Learning Specialist, and is now working as the Coordinator for OLP. She has experienced many diverse professional development opportunities such as ECIS, NESA, the Learning Difference Conferences at ACS Athens, ADHD conferences and the ACS Athens Colloquium of 2016. She also routinely benefits from online coursework through the University of Phoenix. She has been a mentor to those seeking teacher certifications and to those doing internships during their academic studies. Additionally, she has authored and co-authored articles for the ACS Athens Ethos magazine. She played an active part in the development and establishment of the ACS Athens Diagnostic Center, and continues to collaborate closely with both the Center and the Counseling component of the Student Services Department. She is an advocate for early intervention, for focusing on each child’s best interests and for building confidence toward learning.
Ms. Karatza earned a B.A in Early Childhood Education from the University of Athens and she has also completed courses in the field of Psychology on Learning Disabilities and Psychology of Emotions during her studies at the Italian University of Padova. Ms. Karatza has also completed her M.A. in Information and Communication Technology in Education from the University of Athens, University of Thessaly and Technological Education Institute of Piraeus. The title of her dissertation was "Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a Tool of Differentiated Instruction: An Informative Intervention and a Comparative Study on Educators’ Views and Extent of ICT Use”. The research was presented at the 7th International Conference on Education and Management Innovation in Italy as well as published in the International Journal of Information and Education Technology.
Her interest for continuous training and professional development led her to attend many training courses and conferences such as: Educational and Psychological Measurements in Special Education (George Washington University), Conceptual Math Training for grades K-2, Special Educational Needs (British Council), Supporting children with difficulties in reading and writing (University of London, UCL Institute of Education and Dyslexia International), Inspiring Young People In STEM: Resources and Diversity (National Stem Learning Centre), and the First International Conference "Play on Early Education".
Ms. Karatza strongly believes that children learn new things by exploring and discovering and love to solve problems during play and in daily activities. For that reason, as a STEM teacher who teaches Coding (Robotics) and Engineering to kindergarten students, Ms. Karatza is excited to guide young learners to build their background knowledge, connect it to real-life situations while they develop their imagination, creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Ms. Karatza is the Coordinator of the Early Childhood Programs (in Coding) and she is responsible for developing the curriculum, implementing it as well as training the new STEM teachers.
Ms. Karatza has had the opportunity to work with learners across grade levels at ACS Athens as an assistant to the Optimal Learning Program (OLP) for Elementary School, Middle School, and Academy. Having worked with Elementary Students for the past two years as an OLP assistant, she has gained valuable experience in supporting students with learning differences, empowering them to reach their fullest academic potential. She has also been involved in many aspects of school life as an after- school program instructor as well as the ES House System Coordinator. This year she will be the Elementary School Permanent Substitute Teacher and she is very excited!
Theo Koutsopoulos, after graduating from High school in Athens, traveled to the U.S. and attended West Virginia Canine College (Accredited College U.S.A.), where he received a diploma in Professional Dog Training. He successfully completed his study in the areas of obedience training, protection training, advanced tracking (man trailing), schutzhund training, kennel management, vet care, business ethics and management and more.
Upon returning to Greece, he started his own dog training school exclusivek9 that is still in operation. For nearly 20 years, he has trained dogs and their owners with great success in basic and advanced obedience, property protection, personal protection, non-criminal tracking, training for dog shows and training canine units for civil disturbances.
During 1997 – 2003 he became a full member of the Schutzhund Club (the 1st working dogs’ club in Greece) and passed the Sch H3 – IPO3 exam in 1999. Following his training at the Canine Behavior Centre in London, Theo was the first dog trainer to introduce the concept of Animal Behavior and Behavior Modification in Greece.
Mr. Koutsopoulos is the co-owner and director of Pallini Kennels - Athens Pet Resort a state of the art center for pet care, a leader of its kind in Greece. The establishment includes boarding facilities for dogs, the exemplary Centre for Dog Training and the first dog Hydrotherapy Unit in Greece.In September 2014, Theo started the Professional Dog Trainers Institute, the first state-approved school for dog trainers in Greece. Together with his team of skilled instructors they teach students the standard and proven methods, but also innovative dog training techniques. The curriculum includes theory and application on basic and advanced obedience, dog psychology and behavior modification, personal protection, property protection, training for k9 units, kennel management, tracking, veterinary care and more. The school will offer certification in the field of dog training.
Xenia Vafopoulou, graduated from The American College of Greece earning a Bachelor's degree in Marketing Communications. She continued her studies at the University of Westminster where she earned her MA in Arts (Master in Public Relations and Public Communications).
She worked in the Marketing and PR department in two educational organizations, until she decided to follow her dream and earned her diploma in Professional Dog Training from Exclusive k9/Athens Pet Resort and is currently working as a dog trainer.