Marking the passage of students and graduates to the next phase of their life, the Middle School and High School Graduation Ceremonies took place on Friday, June 14, 2019, at the ACS Athens Theater. These two special and traditional events, not only celebrate the graduates’ achievements but also provide the opportunity to reflect on the past academic year and the students’ future goals. ACS Athens views young individuals holistically and as architects of their own learning. That’s why faculty, administration, leadership and the distinguished guest speakers who participated in the ceremonies had one common idea in mind: how the young men and women have been educated to fulfill their role as citizens and make a positive impact on tomorrow's world. That direction goes beyond any academic achievement they have accomplished.
Middle School CommencementYouth-to-Youth program, and advised them: "Keep up your values, stay strong with your principles, your love, and kindness. Open your heart and help others. The more you give, the more you get back".
The commencement speaker, Mr. Rob Palm, Founder & CEO, RxP International and Senior Vice President at Sylipsis Corporation in his speech highlighted the importance of living with Ethos in everyday life: "Be respectful, be responsible, be ready. To be respectful means to treat others as you want to be treated in family, school, and especially on the internet. If you can't say something nice to someone on social media, then please don't say it.
The Academy CommencementShapiro Foundation, full-time scholarships to 18 refugees, and in leading by example with its Youth-to-Youth Programs, involving its students in active citizenship. He urged the graduates not to forget how privileged they are and to "do good in every aspect of their lives."
Mr. James K. Stiegler, Chargι d' Affaires, U.S. Embassy in Athens, was called to the stage to deliver the introductory speech and congratulated the Class of 2019 that is embarking into a life of success and reward, pointing out: "You have had the opportunity to learn in an environment that emphasizes cooperation, belonging and trust. In this setting with fellow students of 62 nationalities, you have gained an understanding of the richness of other cultures and are open to the diverse perspectives, values, and traditions of other individuals and communities. You have gained a strong sense of civic responsibility."
Mr. Suheil Sabbagh, Chairman of the ACS Athens Board of Trustees, invited the graduates to stand up and recognize their gratitude to their teachers and prompted them: "Continue with success in your future endeavors. You have received an excellent education that has prepared you for college and beyond. Do not give up on your dreams. Have faith!"Executive Director of ECIS, highlighted the importance of little decisions that shape a greater result and concluded meaningfully: "Decide what you stand for and stand for it all the time!"
Dr. Peggy Pelonis, ACS Athens Vice President and Dean of Academics, addressed the students and the audience as a professional but also as a parent herself expressing her heartfelt gratitude towards the dedicated teachers of ACS Athens. Instead of a piece of advice, she shared a thought and a wish: "I believe in your wisdom, your energy, and your Ethos, because I have heard you recognize those who taught you well. I've watched you take care of one another when trouble lurked, I've seen the innocence in your eyes, and skill in your actions. You are certainly capable of living peacefully and compassionately with others, in harmony with our environment so that we might have a chance of saving this planet. I only have one wish, that as you move ahead, you use that wisdom to do just that and that you take the time to look back and guide the rest of us. I am certainly willing to follow your lead."
Before the awarding of Diplomas, students performed musical pieces while nominated faculty and PTO members were recognized for their contribution during this academic year. Awards, honorary distinctions, and special scholarships were presented to individual students, showcasing not only the importance of recognition but also the full range of talents, academic and non-academic interests as well as distinguished leadership and civic initiatives of the Class of 2019! The student speakers who offered the Salutatory address and Valedictorian speech shared their certainty that ACS Athens is and will remain their home at heart and that they are on their way towards somewhere special!
Enjoy the photo gallery below.