Excellence and Pride Blend with Glow of Fellowship at ACS Athens Alumni Award Dinner by Dean Sirigos

NEW YORK - One of Manhattan’s most enchanting spaces was filled with appreciation, inspiration, and fellowship on April 30 when the American Community Schools (ACS) Athens hosted its first Alumni Awards Dinner at the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park.

Guests who learned about the school for the first time that day marveled at the affection among alumni and faculty for the Halandri-based school and for one another that was reflected in conversation at tables and on the video screens. A video and photo montage highlighted special moments - from its 1945 founding through the past 12 years under the presidency of Dr. Stefanos Gialamas - of the distinguished PreK-12 school based on American principles and whose language of instruction is English.

Pride was also the order of the day as two beloved alumni were honored. Dr. Scott Parazynski (below), a member of the US Astronaut Hall of Fame, received the Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Nick Karambelas, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees in the USA.

Dr. Anna Kaltsas (below), an infectious disease specialist with teaching appointments at Weill Cornell Medical College and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, was presented the Emerging Young Leader Award by Timothy Ananiadis, Vice Chairman of the Board for Greece.

One of the highlights was a moving address by George Logothetis, Chairman and CEO Libra Group, the international conglomerate whose website leads with words that also reflect ACS’s mission: “Responsible. Thoughtful. Global.”

Emcee Yanna Darilis, President and Managing Partner of New Greek TV, set the tone as she moved the program forward with enthusiasm and grace. There was humor too. Suheil Sabbagh, chairman of the ACS Board of Trustees, welcomed the guests and declared “ACS has attained such heights that “the sky is the limit now...thanks to the leadership of Dr. Gialamas – and my guidance,” triggering laughter and applause.

Left. MC Yanna Darilis

Below: ACS Athens Board Trustees Tim Ananiadis, Suheil Sabbagh, ACS Athens President Dr. Stefanos Gialamas, Honoree Dr. Anna Kaltsas, Honoree Dr. Scott Parazynski, Global Trustee Nicholas Karambelas

Above: Dr. Gialamas, President of ACS Athens

During his remarks Gialamas noted that “ACS Athens today is a different institution from what many of you remember. There are students from 62 nationalities. Our vision over the last ten years is to develop tomorrow’s leaders with Ethos – to serve humanity. We believe there is no economic crisis... We believe there is a crisis of ethics, of principles and values,” and he declared “tonight we couldn’t have a better example of serving humanity than Mr. George Logothetis.”

The progress ACS Athens has made under Gialamas did not come easily, he said, “because you have to leave the comfort zone of preaching and move into the uncomfortable zone of doing.” He credited “a very open minded and supportive Board of Trustees.”

Above: Academic Dean Steve Medeiros, Dean of Student Affairs Dr. Peggy Pelonis, and Artie Gyftopoulos, Board Trustee, Atlantic Bank VP   Below: Helen Maravegias and Chris Perakis, committee members.

He took a moment to acknowledge “key people who made “quite a difference over these past 12 years and helped me to make a difference, citing Dr. Peggy Pelonis, Dean of Student Affairs, Academic Dean Steve Medeiros, Cathy Makropoulos, Chris Perakis, and Helen Maravegias – and thanked Yanna for “for making this evening so wonderful.”

The heart of the evening was the presentation of the Alumni Awards. Timothy Ananiadis, who is also General Manager of the Hotel Grand Bretagne, thanked Gialamas, faculty and staff on behalf of the Board before introducing Kaltsas.

“I am very humbled to be the first recipient of this award” Kaltsas said with emotion, and first thanked her parents, who beamed with pride as they looked on.

Above: Timo De Ridder, Dr. Kaltsas, Mr. and Mrs. Kaltsas and Theo Barbagiannis.

“I’m a full-blown product of ACS from first to twelfth grade…The spark started there,” she said, adding that her love of learning was nurtured by her teachers. “It was my ACS teachers who provided me with the love, the patience, and the inspiration to pursue a career in medicine. There are so many that to name only a few tonight would be unfair to many others. And they all inspired me to be a better teacher myself, as I too struggle to be an inspiration to others.”

The compassion that was also nurtured at ACS Athens complemented her passion for learning, and she extended her thanks to her patients, from whom she learns every day as they battle cancer and other diseases.

Kaltsas concluded philosophically by noting “in the end we have five or six people who will remember us, but teachers have thousands of people who will remember them for the rest of their lives. I thank each and every one of mine.”

Nicholas Karambelas, an alumnus and Vice Chairman of the Board in the USA, began on a humorous note by wondering out loud how he came to be selected for the Board, evoking laughter among classmates when he said, “back in 1971 no one would have predicted this.”

Karambelas spotlighted the life and achievements of Dr. Parazynski (Class of ’79) who went on to attend Stanford University and Stanford Medical School and in 1992 was selected to join NASA’s astronaut corps.

Looking at the crowd that filled the landmark Boathouse, Parazynski, a physician and inventor whose life includes five shuttle missions, seven space walks and climbs to the summit of Mt. Everest, said “I have never been more proud to be an alumnus of ACS.”

Parazynski said, “I’m thrilled to be here – primarily to honor the teachers and staff who helped launch my career. These are legendary teachers who inspired and challenged me,” and then read off a long list of their names and sports coaches’ who had enriched his life.

He acknowledged his parents, who were present, saying “They always supported me and were catalysts to my native curiosity.” He said of his wife, Meenakshi Wadhwa‏, “she looks like a super model but she is actually a world renowned planetary geologist and my best friend in the universe.”

Above: Mr. Ed and Mrs. Linda Parazynski, Dr. Wadhwa and Dr. Parazynski 

He then sang the praises of Greece and spoke of how wonderful it was “coming of age in the cradle of civilization, from where I was able to travel around the world and interface with different cultures – it shaped all the interactions of my life,” and added “seeing the Earth from space has been a rare gift for me…ACS gave me the keys to the space shuttle and I am so grateful.”

Parazynski concluded by saying “There are so many reasons to be hopeful for the future, especially with institutions like ACS Athens, and in closing I gratefully accept this wonderful recognition on behalf of the teachers who enabled me to live out my boyhood dreams.”

While he did not study there, elements of Logothetis’ presentation reflected the spirit of ACS Athens and the lives of its alumni.  He began by saying, “I am grateful to you, Dr. Gialamas, for all you and your staff do, for the positive impact on the lives of many. ACS is an oasis of possibility and opportunities in a sea of economic crisis…a worthy blend of the best of Greece and America, a bridge between both countries that breeds socially conscious and virtuous young men and women.”

He continued with a story: “Many years ago a young boy arrived in Greece having grown up in Tanganyika …whose family fled as refugees from a ravaged, starved and destitute Greece in 1945.” He paused and noted: “Greek blood is refugee blood.”

“This young boy was sent to ACS - and it changed his destiny. He entered a world he never experienced, from seeing sliced bread, to drinking Coca Cola, and having teachers give credit to kids. An occasional bravo does wonders to kids’ confidence,” he emphasized.

“That boy was my dad.” 

“By the 1970s that same boy made something out of nothing. He built a shipping company…and what he saw and learned at ACS, he instilled in his family and his children.”

Logothetis made a fascinating connection between Aristeia - excellence, and deinopatheia, described as “the highest degree of suffering before death. Aristeia had a moral dimension in ancient Greece, the ability to constantly inhale injustice – yet never waver from exhaling goodness and grace.”

"The humanitarian response, despite their own suffering, of the Greeks today – especially young children - to the refugees, instantiates the connection."

“Maybe the purest form of aristeia” he said, “is simply, giving, listening, and showing compassion to those who ‘deinopathoun’ - the merger of two ancient Greek words in a modern way.”

Above: Guest speaker George Logothetis, CEO and Chairman of Libra Group

Logothetis praised ACS Athens - staff and students alike – for being part of the humanitarian response to the refugee crisis by welcoming and educating unaccompanied refugee children. “Greece is on the front lines and ACS Athens is on the front lines,” he said, “and I’m very proud of the work we do together, including the Libra Group’s Home Project which recently built five shelters in 120 days for 120 children."

Logothetis praised Kaltsas and Parazynski for “living exemplary lives every day – thank you for your service to humanity.”

Darilis concluded the program by noting that with all its growth and attainments through the years, ACS Athens “remains a community school, a school that embraces others, and provides a place of belonging, often, a home far away from home. We hope you will continue to be a part of this journey,” and she thanked the event’s organizing committee, including Paola Bruno (below left), Belina Korovessis (below right), George Kantrantzos,  Helen Marvegias, Chris Perakis, Maria Sewell, Christopher Nicolelis, Yanna Darilis and Dean Sirigos.  Special mention to Artie Gyftopoulos for his contribution to making this event a success!

The evening before the awards dinner, Greek Consul General Dr. Konstantinos Koutras hosted a special reception for ACS Athens at the consulate that was an occasion for Gialamas and the Board of Trustees to honor four Americans who have presented commencement addresses at ACS Athens: Dr. Ioannis Miaoulis, President of the Boston Museum of Science, Dr. Edward Burger, President, Southwestern University, Dr. Julie Wollman, President of Widener University, and Dr. Hank Cram - President of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools where ACS Athens is accredited.

Koutras said, “This is a wonderful event for a very important school that has raised educational standards of Greece. I congratulate ACS Athens for taking the initiative to honor these important people, who become the best possible ambassadors of Greece in the USA. I learned today that all the Americans that we have met who have relationships with ACS Athens adore Greece – and I congratulate ACS Athens for that.”

 “It was a wonderful element of the celebratory weekend to welcome important officials,  presidents and provosts of universities from all over the USA who came to celebrate the success of ACS Athens,” Gialamas said. “It is a wonderful honor for us that the Consul General had the great kindness to invite us to the consulate. I personally thank Dr. Koutras, who has the sensitivity for, and understanding of the importance of bringing leaders of American universities and institutions closer to Greece. “

ACS Athens takes pride in having doubled enrollment during the past 12 years, the growth of its scholarship program, its academic programs, which expanded in unique ways, including the development and implementation of an educational paradigm called Global Morfosis, and in its partnerships with universities in the US and Europe that have led to a plethora of joint programs.

The OWL would like to acknowledge


Dean Sirigos 

for contributing this article to our Newsletter. 

Thanks again, Dean!

To view all photos:
Alum Awards Photo Gallery Link

ACSAthens published its first commemorative history book, “ACS Athens 1945 - 2017:Serving Humanity” 

chronicling the evolution of ACS Athens and its impact on the community and society. With a nostalgic twist, seven decades come to life through over 500 vivid images and narrative, evoking memories and giving way to the promise of an exciting future. 

Written by Amalia Melis and designed and illustrated by Leda Tsoukia, this commemorative history book offers insight on how, over its 70 year journey, ACS Athens has evolved into a leading international academic institution. 

Civic engagement, academic curiosity, commitment, trust and community energy, are just a few of the words that describe ACS Athens - an institution where young minds are shaped and students emerge as well-rounded, educated, and ethical global citizens who are productive members of any society in which they choose to live.

We hope you will enjoy every page!  Secure a copy of this book here.

A Closer Look at a Great Evening!

On Friday, July 29, 2016, the ACS Class of 1996 attended their 20th Year Reunion in Melissia organized by Mark Frangos and Spyros Gezerlis.

Tania Tanas, May Zeibak and May’s husband Alexander Greco

Thanos Zachos, Vasilis Vogiatzis, Rena Perrakis and Katerina Nikolopoulou

Rena Perrakis and Chloe Benetatos

Mark Frangos, Geraldine Verhagen, Afrodite Xigorou, Phaedra Louca and Nick Karachalios

The Baezas, May Zeibak and Chloe Benetatos

Spyros Tourloukis and Alex Margaritis

Mark Frangos and Afrodite Xigorou

Demetris Pantazis and Greg Cartsos

Directed by ACSer George Vatistas!

The Hobbyist. A short neo-noire thriller centered around a mysterious druggist visited by Sangstrom, a seemingly ordinary man in search of an undetectable poison. Yet, Sangstrom winds up getting more than he bargained for from the sagacious alchemist.

ACSer  Renee Acker Crouser 's first exhibit at Art's Clayton Galler in Jonesboro


Use it to organize a trip to Greece! Brought to you by ACSer Xenia Vassiliadis.

Share! We are calling for articles and blog submissions that cover the professional practices of our members.  If you have a professional perspective you’d like to share with other ACSAthensGlobal members, please email us at info@acsathensglobal.org

Submittal Requirements. Each article submitted needs to be provided as follows:

Electronic form using standard editable text, like Microsoft Word. Please include your name, and an email address at which you’d prefer to receive professional contact, if desired. Feel free to include biographical details like professional designations, digital photographs, and availability for follow-up contact.

Sources referenced must be cited. All articles must be the author’s original work.

All Class Reunion, Baltimore, MD, November 21-24, 2017

AYA/ACS/BASE Great Round Up, Monterey, October 6-8, 2017


© 2017 ACS Athens Global Association



My journey through ACS began in 1985 when I attended the 6th grade and it carried me all the way to my senior year in 1992. At the time, I had felt completely uprooted from my hometown in East Meadow, New York. However, the warm, international environment at ACS helped me adjust and inevitably I grew to love Greece and my roots here. Although I later wished to study journalism, I eventually studied Sociology at Deree College.

From my years at ACS, ingrained in me are the teachings and words of several teachers such as Ms. Liakos in the Middle School, Ms. Karen White, Ms. Jasonides and Mr. Medeiros in the High School. Their encouragement, knowledge, wisdom and enthusiasm are one of a kind. I truly believe that my love of writing was enhanced by some of their comments on my essays and projects. One comment by Karen White on a short story I had written was especially inspiring as I began believing in myself and in a “talent” that I kept well-hidden. (Above left is a photo of her enthusiastic observation!)


Following a short-lived attempt to become a journalist, I realized that I preferred to write my own stories.  After having grown up in an environment and in an educational institution such as ACS that encourages reading and literacy, I began exploring the educational system of Greece.  Once I realized how much it lacked the stimulation that fiction has on students’ lives, I began writing books for children in Greek.  Even though at the time I wasn’t yet a mother, I was very drawn to children.  So, I was very happy to merge my passion for writing with my love of kids.  As of now, I have written and published over 40 children’s books in Greek (and several in English) since 2001.  I also published my first adult novel in 2016 with Psichogios Publications.  It is the first of a trilogy and I recently completed book number two.


My first book, "Unique Melpo" was awarded by the Greek Chapter of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) in 2002 while in 2003 it was translated into English by the title, "Unique Monique" (Kane/Miller, 2003).  "Unique Monique" was awarded the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Book Award in the United States.  Apart from being a Kane/Miller best-seller, it was also a feature book for the PBS Kids children's series, "The Reading Rainbow". 

In 2004 my novel for children, "The Lemon Trees" was nominated for the National Book Award.  And my second children's novel, "Swimming in Deep Water" was shortlisted for the National Book Award in 2006.

For four consecutive years (2012-2016) my children’s books have been nominated for the much-acclaimed Anagnosti award.

In 2017 I was nominated for the “Writer of the Year Award” hosted by the Greek magazine Votre Beaute. Several of my works have been translated into English, Chinese, Korean and Albanian.

Civic Life

Because of my love of literature, I am an active member of several literary organizations, such as IBBY Greece, The Women’s Literary Team and SCBWI (The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators).  I was the Regional Advisor for SCBWI Greece from 2010 to 2014.  I was also a “godparent” for UNICEF for over ten years.


I have three beautiful children, Alexander (14), Jacob (12 ½) and Nefeli (9).  My brother, Nick Rousakis, is also an ACS alum from the class of ’90. 

Above: Maria Rousakis' first adult novel, the first of a trilogy.


One last thing I would like to share with the ACS community and especially with this year’s graduates is a bit of advice written on the last page of my book, “The Lemon Trees”:

“Life changes into many colors, into many different seasons. Don’t be afraid to live each and every one of them. Don’t be afraid.”

(from the UDaily, University of Delaware) 

From an article by Alison Burris, April 19, 2017 

University to host public forum on plight

of Syrian refugees in Greece

Near the town of Lehaina, Greece, an abandoned holiday resort has become a temporary home to 238 Syrian refugees who have fled their homes at a time of war. The mayor of the town and his wife saw the plight of the refugees and established the L&M Refugee Center.

The experiences of the children of these and other refugees will be the subject of discussion at a public forum at the University of Delaware on Friday, April 28.

Children in Crisis: The Plight of Refugees in Greece,” hosted by the Department of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS), is open to the UD community, local educators and school administrators, legislators and the public.

Two educators from the University of Patras in Greece and the president of the American Community Schools of Athens will explain the challenges faced by the children in these camps. Presentations will begin at 4 p.m. in 104 Gore Hall, and will be followed by a reception.

The discussion will focus on the educational and mental health needs of refugee children from various cultures now in Greece, and local and global responses. The significance and implications of the refugee crisis for the U.S. will also be addressed, as well as how we can work together to assist current efforts.

Leading the discussion will be three scholars from Greece, including:

• Eugenia Arvanitis, assistant professor, University of Patras, who has been working with Syrian children, collecting and sharing their narratives to determine how the refugee children reconcile their challenges in time of strife; describe their flight and arrival in this place; conceptualize the concept of home, when they currently have none, and visualize their future.

When asked his views on returning home to Syria, one of Arvanitis’ subjects said, “It’s difficult to go back in Aleppo because everything is destroyed. After 20 years maybe, if it was rebuilt. I was watching the news from the war in Syria, but I’m very tired to do that now. It’s really horrible to imagine what is happening. I just talk with my friends on the social media and they tell me their news… My friends didn’t go to the school for one month but now they carry on.”

Over the last few years, Arvanitis has focused on culturally responsive pedagogy and teachers’ intercultural training using interactive WEB2 platforms. She also coordinates the Forum on Intercultural Dialogue and Learning.

• Pandelis Kiprianos, professor, Department of Educational Sciences and Early Childhood Education, University of Patras, has an extensive record in writing articles and books on the comparative history and sociology of education in Greece, with particular emphasis on migrants and ethnic minorities.

• Stefanos Gialamas, president of American Community Schools (ACS) Athens, an international K-12 school that embraces American educational philosophy while offering a diverse experience to help students thrive as responsible global citizens. Gialamas will discuss his initiatives to provide educational opportunities for refugee children living in nearby camps.

Gialamas has published more than 100 articles, three books and other manuals. Due to Gialamas’ leadership, ACS is actively involved in providing educational opportunities for refugee children living in camps outside of Athens, Greece.

In 2016, UD entered a partnership with ACS. This semester, two UD early childhood education students are serving a semester-long student teaching placement in Athens.

For the UDaily article on the partnership, click here.

Jason Hustedt, associate professor in HDFS, and Matthew Weinert, associate professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations, will moderate the discussion.

“During this forum, we will discuss how refugees dwelling in transitional spaces can become a productive advantage to our societies – if we dare to include them,” said Arvanitis.  “Allowing these children to talk about their circumstances empowers them to exert some control over their circumstances, while offering powerful testimonies which refutes the prevailing discourse of suspicion and hostility.”

ACS Athens is very happy to announce that the ACS Athens Summer Youth Camp 2017 program and registration are now open!

In its second decade of operation, the Camp offers an ever-evolving program of fun, educational, indoor and outdoor activities for children 4 - 14 years old. A fabulous opportunity for kids to spend a few of their summer days learning English, playing, making new friends and engaging in exciting projects!

Summer Youth Camp 2017 will take place from June 19 - 30 (Session 1) and from July 3 - 7 (Session 2).

Please visit us or contact us at Phone: 210.6070.294 / 289, or at 

emailsummeryouthcamp@acs.gr, or Ms. Ria Pateraki at: paterakig@acs.gr

ACS Athens Alum Constantine Germanacos is part of the cast of  Anastasia on Broadway! The play began previews March 23 at the Broadhurst Theatre!


The Steve Shiver Band (Bill, Tim, Steve) -Hilltop Grille, Athens

Thu 6 PM · Hilltop Grille · Athens, GA, United States

MAY 19

Steve Shiver Duo (Tim & Steve) at Swamp Guinea

Fri 8 PM · Swamp Bar & Grill · Hartwell, GA, United States


ACSer Karin Striebel is looking for an English speaking young girl who would like to work at their boutique hotel in the summer in Zakinthos from around the 1st of June to the end of September. Waitressing...guest service....E700/month.

In the meantime... Want to vacation in Zakinthos? Check out Karin's Hotel...

We manufacture open steel trailers of various types and sizes in southeast Michigan servicing dealerships in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin.

For your custom order, find us here or call

1 419-508-0005

We hope to grow this scholarship in recognition of our strong students who honor the school with their excellence, and to support alumni parents who continue their legacy at ACS Athens by enrolling their children at the school.

Click here for more information and how to donate 

Share! We are calling for articles and blog submissionsthat cover the professional practices of our members.  If you have a professional perspective you’d like to share with other ACSAthensGlobal members, please email us at info@acsathensglobal.org

Submittal Requirements. Each article submitted needs to be provided as follows:

Electronic form using standard editable text, like Microsoft Word. Please include your name, and an email address at which you’d prefer to receive professional contact, if desired. Feel free to include biographical details like professional designations, digital photographs, and availability for follow-up contact.

Sources referenced must be cited. All articles must be the author’s original work.


All Class Reunion, Baltimore, MD, November 21-24, 2017

AYA/ACS/BASE Great Round Up, Monterey, October 6-8, 2017


© 2017 ACS Athens Global Association

Reserve your seats - only days left before reservations close. Come to ACS Athens' first ever Alumni Awards, honoring Dr. Scott Parazynski '79 and Dr. Anna Kaltsas '96

Christos Mastoras

Class of '93



Christos first came to ACS Athens in the 3rd grade after moving from New York with his family.  At the time, Kifissia hosted an Elementary School branch.  In high school, he was on the Dean's List and served as the Vice-President of his senior class and active in a number of activities. He went on to graduate in 1993 after earning his IB Diploma, and High School Diploma with Honors. He earned his Bachelor of Science in International Relations at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service cum laude in Washington, DC, where he also served as President of the Hellenic Club, Teaching Assistant in Modern Greek and was selected for the Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society for Academic Excellence. Soon after, he received his MBA at MIT Sloan School of Management in 2007. While at MIT, Christos was elected President of the MIT Venture Capital & Private Equity Club, Class Senator, Teaching Assistant for Organizational Behavior, and began his own business as owner & managing director of Sloan Gear.

Since then, Christos has continued to build an impressive career (20 years of experience in the US, Europe and the Middle East) in investments, consulting and operating roles in tech / digital and telecom.  He is currently the Founder & Managing Partner of Iliad Partners, a venture capital firm investing in early stage tech startups in MENA which he founded in Dubai in 2014.  While in Dubai for 10 years, he headed Business Development of Yahoo Maktoob, and was a consultant with Booz & Company. Christos was co-founder, seed investor and Board Member of GlamBox, an e-commerce startup based in Dubai founded in 2012.

Christos Mastoras serves on the boards of several startups and as a mentor to entrepreneurs with Endeavor and MIT Enterprise Forum. Before completing his MBA in Boston, he had lived and worked in New York and Athens. 


Christos is married, currently living in Dubai with his wife Keke who is a Legal Advisor for Emirates Airlines. She is a graduate of Harvard University and Georgetown Law. Keke is an accomplished professional who recently helped engineer the agreement for new Emirates Athens-NYC direct flight. As well, she is an accomplished cook and dinner party host.  "We got married in 2013. I feel fortunate to share my journey with her, she is so supportive of my entrepreneurial endeavors and we share the same Greek heritage and common links to the US."

Christos' sister Eleni also graduated from ACS (Class of ’99). She lives in Athens and is the Director of Administration at Ilias Lalaouni Jewelry Museum where she has built a career in museum & gallery management and art history. Eleni earned a MA, at City University following a BA, at the University of Kent. Eleni and Chriso are close and fortunately, he gets to visit Athens often to spend time with her and their mother who live in Kifissia, to enjoy beautiful Athens together. "I am grateful that my parents chose ACS for my education after we moved to Athens from the US.  From my mother, I inherited my love of history and my sense of humor. From my father, I inherited my love of travel and desire to explore the world, and the value of hard work in achieving one’s ambitions. My father passed away in 2014, but his legacy and memory lives with us every day”.  
Christos visits Greece often and spends every summer there: enjoying the Aegean, Mathraki-Corfu (Christos' family’s origins) and Kardamyli in Mani (Keke’s family’s origins).


Living in Dubai

Once Christos completed his MBA at MIT he moved to Dubai to join the consulting firm Booz & Company.  "I initially did not imagine I would stay long in Dubai – but I am here 10 years later and for the years to come.  I fell in love with the Middle East region and the people – their warmth and hospitality, and the cultural affinities made me feel at home. The Arabs genuinely respect Greeks and their history and are welcoming to those who appreciate their culture. It is truly fascinating to see how many similarities we have between the two cultures."  From a business perspective, Christos feels that " the economic growth and business potential is immense in MENA. It's an exciting time to be an investor and an entrepreneur in a part of the world which is booming, with many opportunities to build something new from the ground up, in an emerging market." Christos also enjoys the lifestyle: "Dubai is a cosmopolitan city with people from all over the world and great weather (summer is almost year long, and we go to the beach almost every weekend unless it is too hot), as well as a short trip away from some great destinations nearby. We’ve made some great friends here, and it feels like home away from home." 

ACS Impact

Reflecting back on his educational experience at ACS Athens, Christos believes that it was essential to who he is and how he has developed personally and professionally.  "ACS provided me with a global perspective and international outlook, while helping me preserve my identity and heritage.  It offered me a broad and balanced US education which stimulated my intellectual curiosity from a young age. It pushed me to always do my best and always learn in the process. It gave me an open mind, taught me the importance of being tolerant and respecting others from all walks of life and cultures."

I learned the value of “Arete”, the pursuit of excellence”, from one of my favorite teachers, Ms. Marca Daley, IB English.

According to Marca Daley's recollection: " In his junior year he was so shy he sat in the back of the class and never spoke. I felt it wasn't fair that I was the only one to see his insightful ideas through his writing, so we worked out a deal and made a 'plan' for him to share his ideas in class.... "siga siga" it worked!  A year later, at the end of senior year he told me that that plan had changed not only his participation (and grade!) in English class but also his life on campus ... (It wasn't me, but Christos who made the effort; I just instigated the plan)  I still have the ancient Greek vase he gave me as a gift when he graduated."   

"Going forward, my goal is to grow my company in Dubai and to have an impact on entrepreneurship in MENA.  Ultimately, I hope to somehow contribute to my beloved Greece which is always on my mind.  Eventually one day I want to move backenjoy family life there and the basic beauties of Greece – as Odysseas Elytis said ‘If you deconstruct Greece, you will in the end see an olive tree, a grapevine, and a boat remain’".

Christos' devotion to ACS Athens led him to serve on the Alumni Association Board as Vice President from 2003-2005.  He held the position of  President for the Georgetown University Alumni Club of Greece (2004-2005) – and currently serves as Vice President of the MIT Club of UAE – Dubai, UAE.  He is frequently invited to speak on investments, entrepreneurship and technology at leading conferences across the MENA region.  In 2015 and 2016 he was selected by Forbes as a Leading Business Leader in the UAE and founder of one of the most promising startups!

  • ACS is a community where I made great friends and met teachers that had a lasting impact on me – proud to be an ACS graduate.
  • I met my best friend and best man Darko Madey (also Class ’93) at ACS and many other friends I am close to ever since. 
  • My advice to future graduates: Life is a journey, not a destination - nothing is impossible, pursue your dreams and enjoy every step.

Serving Humanity: The mission of Significant Educational Institutions

Dr. Stefanos Gialamas, Ph.D. 

President, American Community Schools of Athens

Significant institutions foster the culture of their community serving humanity by building on the following three pillars: 

1st Acquiring skills and knowledge by formal learning within the classroom and through a holistic curriculum.

2nd Adopting principles and values encouraging everyone to use them as a moral compass in their daily life.

3rd Inspiring the assumption of responsibilities and accountabilities beginning with one’s home, academic institution and the community.

To read more of Dr. Gialamas' article featured in Ekathimerini's English language newspaper, March 18 - 19, please click here.  


ACS Athens is very happy to announce that the ACS Athens Summer Youth Camp 2017 program and registration are now open!

In its second decade of operation, the Camp offers an ever-evolving program of fun, educational, indoor and outdoor activities for children 4 - 14 years old. A fabulous opportunity for kids to spend a few of their summer days learning English, playing, making new friends and engaging in exciting projects!

Summer Youth Camp 2017 will take place from June 19 - 30 (Session 1) and from July 3 - 7 (Session 2).

Please visit us or contact us at Phone: 210.6070.294 / 289, or at 

emailsummeryouthcamp@acs.gr, or Ms. Ria Pateraki at: paterakig@acs.gr

ACS Athens Alum Constantine Germanacos joins the cast of  Anastasia on Broadway! The play begins previews March 23 at the Broadhurst Theatre!

Congrats ACSer Producer David Geha on your Emmy nomination!

'Extra' Nominated for 2017 Daytime Emmy Award! “Extra” received a fourth consecutive Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Entertainment News Program.

Writer Friends: A few spots left for the 2017 Aegean Arts Circle intensive writing workshop to be held in Andros this summer from June 24th-July 3rd. 

Open to aspiring and published writers. Generous writer/instructor Linda Lappin will return to Andros to work with our small group again. Share with your writer friends.

Questions about 2017 Aegean Arts Circle Writing workshops?

Write to: info@aegeanartscircle.com or amalia@aegeanartscircle.com

White Pegasus, successful trail riding business for sale(owner moving abroad). 

With great clientele basis, in touristed area (UNESCO world heritage site, GEOpark and reknown area for its natural beauty) treks and trails well known and in beautiful landscapes, horses extremely well behaved, kept in a semi-natural herd state, grazing freely, most born and raised by me (one owner). Also open to possibility of selling horses to new location. Must be a nature and horse lover. Contact through website. Thank you.

Two unique flats for rent, both with great views in Ano Kifissia, parking, fireplace, air:

Flat 1: 120 sqm, 2 bedrooms, bathroom, powder room, big kitchen

Flat 2: 160 sqm, 2 bedrooms, office, bathroom, powder room, big kitchen with bar

Available as either furnished or unfurnished  Contact Stelios Stipidis 6972 666799

Proceeds from the Alumni Awards evening will support the John Aravanis and John A. Marder Memorial Alumni Scholarships.We are hoping to grow this scholarship in recognition of our strong students who honor the school with their excellence, and to support alumni parents who continue their legacy at ACS Athens by enrolling their children at the school.

Click here for more information and how to donate 

Share! We are calling for articles and blog submissionsthat cover the professional practices of our members.  If you have a professional perspective you’d like to share with other ACSAthensGlobal members, please email us atinfo@acsathensglobal.org

Submittal Requirements. Each article submitted needs to be provided as follows:

Electronic form using standard editable text, like Microsoft Word. Please include your name, and an email address at which you’d prefer to receive professional contact, if desired. Feel free to include biographical details like professional designations, digital photographs, and availability for follow-up contact.

Sources referenced must be cited. All articles must be the author’s original work.

Check out this year's Alumni Events 

Alumni Achievement AwardsNYC, April 30, 2017  

All Class Reunion, Baltimore, MD, November 21-24, 2017

AYA/ACS/BASE Great Round Up, Monterey, October 6-8, 2017


© 2017 ACS Athens Global Association

Click here to reserve your seats

Please reserve your seats - only a few weeks left. In the meantime, please enjoy these two profiles of ACS Athens Global's first ever Alumni Awards Recipients: 

By Constantine S. Sirigos

When he was six years old Scott Parazynski didn’t just experience the dazzling light and the crackling exhaust of the massive rocket that hurled three Apollo 9 astronauts into space on a TV screen like the rest of his generation – he felt the power of the massive Saturn V pounding on his chest at Cape Kennedy with his father Ed.

When it was Parazynski’s turn to go to space he went as a physician. As the Apollo 9 launch filled him with awe and fired his astronaut dream, he may have had some awareness that his two-track path was hammered into place by distinguished members of his family: his father completed both engineering B.S. and MBA programs at Cornell University and Boeing’s regional hub for sales in the Middle East, and his grandfather was a physician.

Parazynski’s journey – what he calls his nomadic life that began with his birth in Little Rock, AR and included time living in New Orleans, Washington DC, Dakar, Beirut and Teheran – also took him to the American Community Schools Athens (ACS Athens), which he calls a special place in his remarkable life.

An only child, he spent most of his high school years there, and while not as famous as the other schools he attended – Harvard and Stanford universities – ACS Athens helped shape and guide him onward and upward.

“I had great teachers at ACS who helped awaken the inner student in me,” he said. “I was a back-of-the-room B student when I arrived there” – he and his family were evacuated from Beirut just before the civil war was about to explode in 1975.

He was at ACS 1975-79, a transitional period in Greece after the fall of its military junta, and there was anger at the United States. His dad and his mother Linda felt some pressure but as a kid “the people in Athens were so warm and inviting I never felt any pressure.”

He wished he had picked up more Greek, however:  “I could have skipped the first year of medical school with all the Greek terminology.”

Nevertheless ACS Athens was part of the process by helping develop his character and passion for learning. When he was told he was elected to be among the first to be honored with ACS’s Alumni Achievement Awards in New York on April 30, 2017, he said “I was really shocked and very honored. ACS was a catalyst for a lot of wonderful things that happened later in my life.”

Parazynski credits ACS Athens with “a big transformation for me from a lackluster student” to a strong academic focus. “I attribute it to great teachers and friends and the environment – Greece as a place where you could actually experience history, where you could go to the origins of modern civilization. It was also a great base for travel all over Europe for basketball, track and cultural field trips...it was a phenomenal experience,” he said.

The school’s international character also helped him realize he wanted to travel the world as an adult and have an adventurous life, and through his teachers, he said, “I really jelled as a student.” He loved Earth Sciences and Biology, and he took all the Math classes he could – but he also enjoyed French literature thanks to his teachers, Madame Manglivera and Monsieur Angelonides.

Mr. Tselepis and Mr. Fotinelli, his calculus and physics teachers, respectively, and Ms. Valaoras, his earth science teacher, also shaped his interests, and the athletic Parazynski also appreciated what he learned from his basketball coaches, Mr. Davenport and Mr. Campbell.

Scott's father was also great inspiration. Ed Parazynski completed both engineering B.S. and MBA programs at Cornell University. “My dad was in the Air Force and worked at missile command in Little Rock Arkansas and then went to Boeing and worked in the space program. I had a front row seat to the Apollo program which was really amazing.”

The Apollo 9 launch was the highlight of his childhood.  “It had a profound impact on me. My dad literally had front row seats, and I watched it with my mom and other family members on the beach a few miles away. To see that thing lurch off the Launchpad – lumber off of the pad, and to feel it in your chest before you actually heard it made you appreciate how much force there was and how much technology was involved in getting it to leave the planet.”

That was around the time he told himself he would go into space, but he was 29 when he was accepted into the program.

“I always kept it in the back of my mind that that was what I wanted to do. It’s a long process and you need to have certain skills which I had to structure my life around to acquire them, and I was at the right places and the right time.”

Medical school was another goal established by family history if not DNA. He never met his grandfather who was a physician, but he said “I grew up with stories about him helping others and I really wanted to follow in his footsteps into a very noble profession.”

According to his official biography at parazynski.com, he attended “Stanford University and Stanford Medical School and he went on to train at Harvard and in Denver in preparation for a career in emergency medicine and trauma.”

In 1992 he was selected to join NASA’s Astronaut Corps and eventually flew 5 Space Shuttle missions and conducted 7 spacewalks (EVAs) and in 2016 he was inducted into the US Astronaut Hall of Fame.

His medical training enabled him to contribute numerous publications in the field of space physiology. A prolific inventor and product developer who serves on the Boards of several organizations and companies, Parazynski is the Founder and CEO of Fluidity Technologies which produces virtual reality input devices and is developing machine learning.

Meena Wadhwa, his wife, and Parazynski are literally and figuratively on the same planet - she is a professor of planetary science. How they came together is a “long story” he said, that features a moon rock in addition to the usual diamond. Scott has two children.  

There is no clean energy shortage for Parazynski, who enjoys mountaineering, rock climbing, flying, scuba diving, skiing, travel, woodworking and nature photography. On May 20, 2009, he became the first astronaut to stand on top of the world when he reached the summit of Mt. Everest.

His life inspires achievement and adventure and he has clear advice for non-astronauts fascinated by space. Asked on a scale of one to 10 how much of an effort to get into space should they make, he replied “Google. It is worth putting every ounce of effort and resources into the dream.”

He noted companies like Virgin Galactic and SpaceX are moving steadily towards being able to send people into orbit and even Mars. “It’s inevitable. Twenty, thirty years from now all of us will become astronauts. It will be as simple as boarding a plane which will get people from New York to Tokyo in 70 minutes,” he said, adding, “the plane will skip along the top of the atmosphere and then punch down through the atmosphere to land half a world away. There will be orbiting hotels and we’ll probably colonize the moon.”

It sounds like science fiction, he admits, and he can’t offer a time-frame, “but it’s on its way. The commercial drivers are there and there are huge investors putting their own nest eggs into the effort – Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Robert Bigelow.”

And it’s never too late. He was delighted to be on board space shuttle Discovery when U.S. Senator John Glenn returned to space in 1998.  On that flight, Scott took with him a plaque representing his alma mater, ACS Athens, which he presented back to the school.  

By Constantine S. Sirigos

Dr. Anna Kaltsas is a physician whose responsibilities include guiding and training the next generation of doctors at two of the world’s leading medical institutions. To fully appreciate her life and work, the words of Hippocrates are a good place to start: “Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also the love of humanity.”

Humanitarians are often distinguished by their parents and environment, and one word immediately comes to mind when one learns about parents John and Rita Kaltsas, and Dr. Kaltsas’ schooling – from first to 12th grade she attended the American Community Schools – Athens: caring.

When her father John Kaltsas was 16 he joined his father, who had previously immigrated to America. Like others from his village of Perista, near Nafpaktos, Greece, John opened a florist shop, but being a successful businessman by itself had little appeal to him. He needed to give back to humanity and his community.

As a Queens College student in the 1970s he was involved in student resistance to the Greek junta and opposition to the illegal Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus. Later he remained very active in Greek and local politics and Greek American organizations.

Anna's mother Rita, who is from the Mani Peninsula, was his mirror image. She finished university studying business in Athens and naturally helped run the family florist shop, but debits and credits and dollar and cents do not a full life make.

“Mom is one of the most empathetic and altruistic people I know, and I think I modeled that, but she was also very smart and a good student and had she had the opportunity,” she might also have taken her daughter’s path.

“She gives food to the homeless and she is the type of person who would sit next to someone on the bus and learn their life story – and a lot of medicine is like that. It’s probably where I get it from.” Her thought reflects Hippocrates’ belief that the best doctors pay attention to the whole patient, not just the disease.

Dr. Kaltsas encountered the same dedication to people and excellence in her teachers at ACS Athens.

“They were wonderful teachers and they all contributed to me becoming a well-rounded person,” she said. Kyria Kyriakaki was a wonderful Greek teacher and she took us on a lot of field trips; camping in southern Greece and visits to the ancient sites, instilling in her students a love of Greek history and culture that few other teachers inspired. Even though I didn’t take the humanities classes with Mr. Medeiros and Mrs. Jasonides, they knew me, and my friends were in humanities so they let me tag along on their field trips including the amazing one to Delphi, without having to do the assignments,” she said with a smile.

While she is proud that ACS as an institution is very focused on developing students’ character and making them good world citizens, she said that “academically it was more individual teachers who inspired me – to do better, to challenge myself.”

She now appreciates even the “very tough” teachers like Mr. Saboeiro. “The top students who were used to getting As in other classes, were getting Cs in his, and we were frustrated. 

I spent hours on the phone with my friend Taso going over the Encyclopedia Britannica to do homework assignments that were felt impossible.”

Only years later – when she was in medical school - did she realize he was giving them medical school-level Grays’s Anatomy diagrams to fill out. Most importantly, “he made the material come alive, made it fun, and made me believe ‘I can do this.’”

Asked to name other teachers, she said they were all great, but Mr. Wilson and Ms Daley, who helped her appreciate American and European literature, merited special praise. “My love of literature is not disassociated from medicine because a lot of what I love about what I do is interacting with people and getting peoples’ stories. If you don’t have the same life experiences, you learn to be empathetic and how to relate to people from all walks of life from reading a lot of literature.”

Studies show that people who are English majors excel in bedside manner, and it’s very important in her infectious diseases specialty which can be described as medical investigation. “Why does this person have a fever, where is this infection coming from, where have they traveled to or done that might have put them at risk. You have to hear their stories, and you have to get people to open up and trust you, even if it’s embarrassing to them.”

Books were not just sources of wisdom for her, they were her friends as she adjusted to a new life in Greece.

She and her twin brother Dimitri lived in Bayside, Queens, but when they were five the family moved to Greece so they could learn the language and know their grandparents. Her parents ended up staying 12 years. Her dad maintained the business through partners and traveled back and forth,  especially for the big florist holidays like Valentine’s Day. The children missed him at Christmas but he always was back in time to celebrate the New Year.

While the transition was fairly smooth as they were raised speaking Greek and English at home, and despite the fact they have no trace of an accent in either language they were still “the other” wherever they were. She is amused by the fact that during their time in Greece they were labelled the “American kids” and in the States they were “the Greek kids.”

Almost all her friends were ACS Athens students, and “In third grade I discovered books,” she said. She became an avid reader, which made her an excellent student. She read whatever she could get her hands on, including romance books, and eventually she made her way to serious literature. At some point in middle school and high school she also fell in love with biology.

“Medicine was the perfect marriage of my academic interests and helping people – it was a higher calling. I wanted to do something where I would be helping my fellow man.”

When she and her brother returned to America for college, there was some familiarity as they worked at the business, but returning to the States was more emotional than moving to Greece because they left behind the lives and people they loved.

ACS Athens prepared Dr. Kaltsas to excel at Drew University, where she earned a B.S. in Biology and English, followed by an MD degree with honors at Albany Medical College. She did her residency at New York Presbyterian – Weill Cornell, then a specific fellowship for infectious diseases at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, where she also earned a Master’s Degree.

She has teaching appointments at both Weill Cornell Medical College, where she is Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine, and at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). As Director of the Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering, she trains fellows in her specialty, while also teaching interns, rotating residents and other physicians and allied health staff.

Among her numerous awards she is most proud of being named Teacher of the Year in 2015 by MSKCC where young doctors, many of them fresh out of medical school, voted her the honor.

2015-2016 Former Fellows From left to right: Tilly Varughese, Alexandra Franco, Fabian Romero, Esther Arguello, and Program Director, Anna Kaltsas

Dr. Kaltsas is especially thrilled to have been named the first recipient of ACS’s Emerging Young Leader Award, which she will receive at the gala award dinner at Manhattan’s elegant Loeb Boathouse in Central Park on Sunday, April 30.

“I was dumbfounded” she said about learning of the ACS Athens honor.  "I had no idea what was up. My brother and my cousin conspired to nominate me and get a hold of my CV to send on. It seemed strange he was asking me for my CV. He said ‘I need to get some ideas’ and I said ‘Why? We don’t do anything remotely similar?’” 

“ACS was a huge formative part of my life - my education and lifelong friendships. I’m very grateful for our time there. I will be forever grateful to the teachers of ACS because I don’t think I encountered other teachers along the way as invested and involved in their students’ lives, and who had as much fun with us as we with them.”

Her teachers helped her reach academic heights, and they inspired her work.

“I teach every day not just formally with students, residents and fellows but with my patients and their loved ones too. Many of their situations are challenging and life threatening, particularly in cancer patients who are already facing a very serious illness. Even if I can’t improve their physical health in all cases, it gives me immense satisfaction when I can help cancer patients and their families achieve a better understanding of their situation and all we are doing to (hopefully) improve it. My teachers inspired me to be a better teacher as well, so in this and many other respects, ACS has contributed a great deal to making me who I am today.”

We'd like to acknowledge Constantine Sirigos for interviewing Anna and Scott, and for contributing these articles to February 2017's issue of The OWL. Thanks, Dean!

Redesigning Educational Systems for the Future

Dr. Stefanos Gialamas, Ph.D. 
President, American Community Schools of Athens

Feb 20, 2017

Today, more than ever, significant academic institutions should focus on molding and shaping young people by providing them with the necessary tools for being able to respond to the fast-paced, complex, and multi-dimensional challenges of today’s society.  This is imperative in order for youth to not be somehow conditioned by these changes, thus become devoid of emotions, incapable of forming community bonds, and becoming organizational “drones” trained for specific jobs.  So the questions become: how do we prepare young people for such a demanding life? What kind of educational experiences should they receive?

To read more of Dr. Gialamas' article please click here  


Congratulations to ACSer and Author 

Maria Rousakis

for her nomination of Woman of the Year 

in Votre Beauté in February's Proto Thema!

Cindy Marder Calder is a graduate of ACS Athens, class of 1975, and the founder of Calder Classics. "Since my youth in Greece, and especially at ACS, I have always cherished the close contact with the Classics that comes from living in Greece. Inspired by my background I have built the Calder Classics Institute, established to encourage high school students to be inspired by the Classics to enhance their modern life. We run small, intensive, but fun Latin-based summer programs for high school students in Latin+ Art History/Ancient History in Florence, Rome, Avignon and Durham and an Ancient Greek program housed at the American Farm School in Thessaloniki. In addition, we have introduced several Classics in Translation courses this summer including an Ancient Roman History course based on readings in English from antiquity, where students travel to Rome + the Bay of Naples. We also offer an Introduction to Ancient Greek Political Thought course in Thessaloniki. For high school students who love to write, we offer two Creative Writing Workshops, one in Florence and one in Thessaloniki."

Calder Classics courses are designed for motivated and talented high school students who come from all over the world to be inspired by the Classics.

For more information please go to our website and visit us on Facebook.

Swing Away Greek Movie Screening Somerville MA  • March 14, 2017

Producer ACS Alum Tom Hiotis

Welcome to the home of the feature film, Swing Away, a unique inspirational sports comedy set in Greece. Following a meltdown that leads to a suspension, professional golfer Zoe Papadopoulos travels to her grandparents’ village in Greece to escape the harsh spotlight of the international sports world. Between baking bread and eating baklava, she meets and mentors a ten-year-old girl who is determined – against all odds – to become the next golf sensation. Along the way, Zoe rediscovers her Greek heritage, her love of the game, and the hidden strength within herself as she inspires the townspeople in an epic showdown against a greedy American developer.  For more information, please visit: www.swingawaymovie.com

Newsmaker of the month:

Photographer John Demos, Former ACS Athens Faculty

In view of his upcoming exhibition “Shadows of Silence” in Washington D.C., acclaimed Greek photographer John Demos talks exclusively to "Greece in America". Read more...

The Athens House of Photography is proud to present the exhibit of John Demos’ classic body of work “Shadows of Silence”, at the Leica Store DC, 977 F St NW, Washington, DC 20004. The exhibit will open on March 10th at 19:00 and will run until April 26th. The artist will give a lecture and book signing at the Leica Store DC on Saturday, March 11th 14:00-16:00.

“Shadows of Silence”, covers work from the mid 1970s until the late 1990s, as Demos explores faith in the shadow of Greek culture through the tradition of its rituals and people. His approach to photography embodies mystical and surreal imagery on the transience of life. The photographs pulsate with an auraticquality associated with the sacred.

The exhibition has been presented at festivals and museums in Arles, Bratislava, Moscow, Frankfurt, Vienna, Thessaloniki, Houston Fotofest and Denmark, and the book has been published in French, Italian, English and Greek. Both the English edition of the book as well as all prints will be available for sale, and the artist will be present to talk about his work and sign books.

John Demos is considered one of the most important modern Greek photographers. He was born in Thessaloniki in 1944. He studied Art History at the University of Chicago and received a Master’s in Fine Arts in 1968. When he returned in Greece to 1969, he taught fine arts, photography and philosophy at the American Community Schools of Athens.


Werner PaulLeica Store Washington DC / General Manager

wpaul@leica-store-dc.com | www.LeicaStoreDC.com

A Visit 

With Arkuda


by Jeff Bear, 

ACS Athens Former Faculty

The Theater at ACS Athens

129 Aghias Paraskevis St.


Feb. 25 - Mar 7, 2017

Congrats ACS AthensAlum 

Parthenon Huxley 

for being nominated in four categories of the JPF Awards 2017:

College Rock Song

Male Singer Songwriter
“Turn The Soil”

College Rock Album
Thank You Bethesda

Pop Song
“Buddha, Buddha (noodle-free)”

"Just Plain Folks is a community of over 51,500 songwriters, producers, music publishers, legal professionals and others in the music industry. JPF hosts the world’s largest independent music awards."

Edge Solutions CEO, Julie Haley, ACS Athens alum, was invited to become a member of the Board of Councilors of The Carter Center last month. 

The Carter Center is a nongovernmental, not-for-profit organization founded in 1981 by former US President Jimmy Carter and his wife.

“They monitor elections to support fledgling democracies; they eradicate horrible diseases like Guinea Worm and Elephantitis; they have a whole cyber division that roots out radicalizing propaganda and then coaches local clergy/Imams on specific ways to counter that propaganda to reduce its influence in their communities… Their mission statement really says it all: Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope,” said Haley, in talking about her passion for and favorite things about The Carter Center.

As a member of the Board of Councilors, Julie will attend various meetings throughout the year and advocate for our community. At all of these meetings and events, both former President Carter and his wife will be present to explain ongoing activities and answer questions on international topics of interest.

ACS Athens Alum Carla Tanas, co-founder of Future Agro Challenge

Entrepreneurs to compete for Agripreneur of the Year title

The Global Agripreneurs will see innovative ‘agripreneurs’ compete at the third Future Agro Challenge (FAC) Global Championships during the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC).

The competition and take place on 12 -15 March in Johannesburg and will host entrepreneurs in the food, agriculture, and aggrotech, all of whom will compete for the title of Agripreneur of the Year.

In a space of three years, the FAC has gained support from more than 60 countries and five continents, to identify viable solutions for food supply chain challenges.

“The food chain is broken. We need a bottom-up approach to identifying new and sustainable solutions to current and future challenges,” says the co-founder of Agro Challenge, Carla Tanas, in a press release to Ventureburn.

“Innovators, who have submitted high-calibre applications to the FAC, are positioned to help us address those challenges.”

For more on this story please click here  

ACS Athens alum Chris Poulos is looking for International clients interested in buying Vacation Homes used for short-term rentals in a Elite upscale community. 

5-12 bedroom floorplans are available. This community is minutes from Walt Disney World! Please feel free to contact me with any and all questions. Thanks! More information at encoreresorthomes.com

Chris Poulos
Realtor with Z House Realty Group


Chris Spheeris' Piano

Musician and Alum

Yamaha S-400B 6’3″ Grand Piano (handmade series)

Serial #: 4110219
Year: 1985

Located in Sedona, AZ
Please click here for details.

Proceeds from the Alumni Awards evening will support the John Aravanis and John A. Marder Memorial Alumni Scholarships. Last year's recipients were  children of alumni and upcoming Seniors Athanasios Frangogiannis-Matsa (son of George Frangogiannis, '74) and Vicky Grant (daughter of Mary Manos, '82) at the June 2016 graduation. Students received a discount toward tuition for their senior years from the proceeds of certain events and kind donations from alums. We are hoping to grow this scholarship in recognition of our strong students who honor the school with their excellence, and to support alumni parents who continue their legacy at ACS Athens by enrolling their children at the school.

Click here for more information and how to donate 

Share! We are calling for articles and blog submissions that cover the professional practices of our members.  If you have a professional perspective you’d like to share with other ACSAthensGlobal members, please email us at info@acsathensglobal.org

Submittal Requirements. Each article submitted needs to be provided as follows:

Electronic form using standard editable text, like Microsoft Word. Please include your name, and an email address at which you’d prefer to receive professional contact, if desired. Feel free to include biographical details like professional designations, digital photographs, and availability for follow-up contact.

Sources referenced must be cited. All articles must be the author’s original work.

Check out this year's Alumni Events 

Alumni Achievement AwardsNYC, April 30, 2017  

All Class Reunion, Baltimore, MD, November 21-24, 2017

AYA/ACS/BASE Great Round Up, Monterey, October 6-8, 2017


© 2017 ACS Athens Global Association

Click here to reserve your seats

A Special Message from Dr. Stefanos P. Gialamas, Ph.D.,President of ACS Athens:

It is with great pleasure that I am writing you this letter to invite you to attend the first ever ACS Athens Global Alumni Achievement Awards event, scheduled to take place on Sunday, April 30, 2017 at the Loeb Boathouse, Central Park, New York City. 

Over the past decades, ACS Athens alumni have exhibited great leadership with ethos, including serving humanity in all areas of society. At this event, we will recognize and celebrate two of our ACS Athens alumni leaders. The 2017 recipients for these awards are:

Dr. Scott Parazynski was inducted into the US Astronaut Hall of Fame last May at Kennedy Space Center, FL. A life-long SCUBA diver and accomplished mountaineer, Scott is also a commercial, instrument, multiengine and seaplane-rated pilot with over 2,500 flight hours. In November 2014 Dr. Scott Parazynski was designated University Explorer and Professor of Practice at Arizona State University. He is a prolific inventor and product developer, and serves on the Boards of several organizations and companies. 

Dr. Anna Kaltsas, MD, is the Infectious Disease Specialist in New York, New York. She attended and graduated with honors from Albany Medical College Of Union University in 2004, having over 12 years of diverse experiences, especially in Infectious Disease. She affiliates with many hospitals including Memorial Hospital For Cancer and Allied Diseases. Dr. Anna Kaltsas also cooperates with other doctors and physicians in medical groups including Memorial Infectious Disease Group. 

Today more than ever, we need Ambassadors with principles and values in order to make the world a better place to live. ACS Athens, with its vision for "empowering individuals to transform the world" as "architects of their own learning", promotes the ethical responsibility of each graduate to become one of tomorrow’s leaders with Ethos. 

In addition to the very prestigious alumni being honored and attending guests, we are privileged to have Mr. George Logothetis, CEO and President of the Libra Group, as our Keynote Speaker. Mr. Logothetis' adherence to these principles and values is confirmed daily by his actions and support of young people.

In order for our efforts to materialize and make this event a great success, we need your support. Join us to celebrate and honor Dr. Scott Parazynski, class of '79 and Dr. Anna Kaltsas, class of '96 at this special inaugural event. A single ticket is $250. For a table of 10 the cost is $2,500.  

We look forward to your support of ACS Athens and to seeing you on April 30th.


 Stefanos Gialamas, Ph.D.


ACS Athens Glbal News

Proceeds from the Alumni Awards evening will support the John Aravanis and John A. Marder Memorial Alumni Scholarships. Last year's recipients were  children of alumni and upcoming Seniors Athanasios Frangogiannis-Matsa (son of George Frangogiannis, '74) and Vicky Grant (daughter of Mary Manos, '82) at the June 2016 graduation. Students received a discount toward tuition for their senior years from the proceeds of certain events and kind donations from alums. We are hoping to grow this scholarship in recognition of our strong students who honor the school with their excellence, and to support alumni parents who continue their legacy at ACS Athens by enrolling their children at the school.

Click here for more information and how to donate 


I attended ACS Athens from November 1967-June 1969.  Following my graduation in ’69, I attended in concert with my father’s assignment to Athenai Airport (later Hellinikon Air Base) with the U.S. Air Force. We lived in Glyfada and my brother, Rick, and sister, Rosemary, and I were part of the “Base” crowd who attended ACS (I had two younger brothers and a baby sister who were too young to attend ACS). During my time at ACS, I was a member of the basketball team for my sophomore, junior and senior years. The team traveled to Izmir, Turkey in February 1967 to play in a basketball tournament against American teams from Izmir and Ankara. We beat Izmir but got “clobbered” by Ankara. In my senior year, I was the starting center on the team and we hosted and won the tournament against schools from Izmir and Ankara in February 1969 and then travelled to play in a tournament at ACS Beirut, which we also won. I was also on the Flag Football team my junior and senior years when we competed against military basketball teams at the Hellinikon Base Gymnasium. 

Academically, I did well, being selected for the National Honor Society in my senior year. I was also active in Student Council, serving as the Student Council Vice President in my junior year and Student Council Treasurer in my senior year. With a scholarship from the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps, I attended Purdue University from 1969-1973, graduating with distinction with a Bachelor of Science degree in meteorology and being commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. After an interservice transfer to the U.S. Air Force, I completed a Masters in Professional Meteorology degree from Saint Louis University in 1981 and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Arizona in 1989, majoring in Atmospheric Science and minoring in Remote Sensing.


Today, I work for The Aerospace Corporation (which operates a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) for the U.S. Air Force) and serve as the Assistant General Manager for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Programs Directorate, overseeing corporate support mainly to the NOAA Satellite and Information Services. This job is the culmination of my professional career, combining my academic experience in Atmospheric Science with my experiential background in space systems engineering and helping NOAA, the U.S and partner nations develop the space-based Earth observation capability to meet societal needs in weather forecasting, climate monitoring, agricultural productivity, biodiversity, water and energy resource management and disaster monitoring. 

I have worked for The Aerospace Corporation for over 16 years, following a 28-year career in the military. In that career, I gained experience in aircraft and spacecraft research, development and operations, as well as serving in numerous weather forecasting assignments. One of the highlights was serving as the commander of the military unit providing weather forecasting support to space launch operations from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Station from 1994-1997.

During that time, we supported over 100 successful launches of manned and unmanned space craft, including 23 successful Space Shuttle launches. That was the highest “operating tempo” of the Space Shuttle program as NASA assisted Russian and other international partners build the Mir Space Station. Another highlight was the final assignment of my military career—serving as a Department Chair, Director of Military Affairs and an adjunct professor of the newly formed Center of Atmospheric Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Working at one of the premier public universities in the United States with incredibly talented students was a life-long dream—and instilled a desire to continue mentoring students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) for the remainder of my professional career. 

I look back on my 44-year professional career with pride, thankfulness and amazement that I have been so fortunate in life. I owe much of that success to the superb education and mentoring I received at ACS Athens and Purdue. My junior and senior English teacher at ACS, Mr. Don Viny, was instrumental in teaching me to write effectively—an indispensable capability for success in the public and private business sectors. Mrs. Ditte Allsebrook, my ACS chemistry teacher, prepared me well to succeed in a large university chemistry course and lab environment with thousands of students in a class designed to “weed out the weak.” Mr. Don Roach, my football and basketball coach at ACS, molded me into a team player, helping me control my emotions and focus my effort on a higher team goal—lessons in maturity and service that I am forever grateful for! 

In September 2017, I plan to begin part time work (for the first time in 44 years) to allow me to spend more time in a chosen ministry—helping Faith Comes By Hearing (FCBH) and other ministry organizations to build a Global Bible Network (GBN), using my technical skills to accelerate the provision of the Bible in over 2000 “heart” languages to illiterate people around the world. I currently serve as the Chairman of the Aerospace Advisory Council providing technical advice on the development of GBN.  I also plan to spend more time with my 8 grandchildren, four of whom have “special needs” (deafness, autism, epilepsy, and cerebral palsy).

While at Purdue, I was a member of the Freshman Honor Society (Phi Eta Sigma), a defensive back on the 1970 and 1971 football team, the top ranked midshipman in the NROTC program, and graduated with distinction.

While a Marine officer, I graduated at the top of my Basic Communications Officer Course and was selected as an alternate for the prestigious Olmsted Scholar Program.

While an Air Force officer, I was twice awarded the Best Award, given annually to the top performance in staff meteorological support to Air Force and national programs and commanded the weather unit which won the 1997 Moorman Award, given annually to the top specialized weather support unit supporting Air Force and Army operations.

In 1997, I was elected the President, National Weather Association and have served on a number of science and technology advisory committees for the American Meteorological Society.

In 2010, I was honored to be selected as an Outstanding Alumnus of the Purdue University School of Science.

I have been married to Jolyn Foxworthy Adang for over 45 years. Jolyn is also an ACS Athens graduate (Class of 1970) and has been my “bridge over troubled waters” for that entire time—accompanying me to over a dozen military assignments across the U.S. and the world and three corporate locations while taking care of our family. We were blessed with two wonderful daughters, Jenny and Julie, who were superb students, talented athletes, and sacrificial servants (both served as Lieutenant Governors of Key Club districts). They both became nurses and continue to serve mankind in a very tough but critical field. We have eight grandchildren, two of whom were recently adopted from China. 

My father is deceased but my mother lives in northern Indiana. I have six younger siblings. Rick (mentioned above) lives in Estonia, having traveled there to serve in the Peace Corps and stayed to teach high school English and to work as a poet. Rosemary recently retired as an English professor. My other brothers and sister have also focused their careers on either education or service—a testament to the importance of education and service instilled in us by our parents.


I have had a blessed career and look back on my time at ACS Athens with great fondness and thankfulness. I learned a number of “life lessons” while in Athens—witnessing the overthrow of the King in April 67 and the evacuation of Americans from the Middle East to Athens during the 6-Day War of June 1967. Being part of a small American community in the midst of those types of events builds very strong and long lasting friendships. Jolyn and I still maintain contact with many of our classmates. In fact, in June 2015, we traveled to a multi-class reunion in Nashville, Tennessee (if one can’t go to the Parthenon in Athens, then go to the Parthenon in Nashville!) and had an amazing time—so good we have another reunion scheduled for October 2017 in Monterey, California. Also, we were able to return to ACS Athens in June 2013—and were awed by the very positive changes in the campus.

My recommendation to students following in our footsteps is three-fold:

  • Make the most of your time in Athens and at ACS—you are forming the basis of your personal and professional career in a country rich in history and culture and in a highly respected educational institution—an environment which has served your predecessor well
  • Dream big and pursue those dreams—look at the careers of famous ACS alumni (e.g., Greg Kinnear and Scott Parazynski) who were not afraid to reach high
  • Start now in looking for areas where you can give back to society and actively serve in those areas—service before self is a wonderful legacy!

Steve Medeiros, Dean of Academic Affairs, will be recruiting for new teachers and for a high school Principal in the US. He will interviewing in 

• Boston from Jan 21 - Jan26 and

• NYC from Jan 27-30; Washington, DC from Feb. 1 - 5. 

If you are a certified teacher or administrator who would be interested in working at ACS Athens, for if you know a qualified educator who may be interested in this opportunity, please submit a cover letter and CV tojobs@acs.gr and copy Steve at medeiross@acs.gr with the subject line USMedeirosinterview-Recruit, so that we can set up an interview. 

Peggy Pelonis, Dean of Student Affairs, will be recruiting in 

• Philadelphia (Jan. 23-Jan 28) and 

• Chicago (Jan. 29- Feb. 2). 

To set up interviews in these cities, send CV and cover letter to jobs@acs.grwith cc to pelonisp@acs.gr.

Share! We are calling for articles that cover the professional practices of our members.  If you have a professional perspective you’d like to share with other ACSAthensGlobal members, please email us atinfo@acsathensglobal.org

Submittal Requirements. Each article submitted needs to be provided as follows:

Electronic form using standard editable text, like Microsoft Word. Please include your name, and an email address at which you’d prefer to receive professional contact, if desired. Feel free to include biographical details like professional designations, digital photographs, and availability for follow-up contact.

Article. Sources referenced must be cited. All articles must be the author’s original work.

Check out this year's Alumni Events 

Alumni Achievement Awards, NYC, April 30, 2017  

All Class Reunion,  Baltimore, MD, November 21-24, 2017

AYA/ACS/BASE Great Round Up, Monterey, October 6-8, 2017


© 2017 ACS Athens Global Association

Alum of the Month PROFILE


After my parents decided to move from the States back to Greece in 1992, they enrolled my siblings and me in ACS as although they wanted us to be introduced to our Greek heritage, they also aimed us to continue our American education and establish a strong foundation for further international studies. I attended ACS from 1992-1998, grades 7th 12th and as such experienced both middle school and high school here.  

Upon graduating and after successfully completing the full IB program in my junior and senior years, I continued my education in Durham University in the UK in Law and in the University College of London, UK (LLM in EU Law), which was coupled with my second LLM at Tulane University in New Orleans, specializing in US Law.

At ACS, I was class President from 9th until 12th grade and in 8th grade I was class Vice-President.  I was heavily involved in Student Council, which already indicated my strong desire to fight for justice and the rights of the community that was also the motivation for my studies in the legal field.  I also participated in JV basketball and volleyball as well as Varsity Basketball from 1995-1998, which taught me valuable lessons such as teamwork, trust, and humility.  Sports continued to be an integral part of my life, up till today. 


After years of working as an attorney at various law firms and companies abroad, including the US and Belgium, upon my second return to Greece, I decided to start my own business by going back to my family roots, three generations of passion for olive oil.  That is when I started my company, evo3 olive farms, bottling our family olive oil and creating innovative olive food products.  However, I did not want to stop there.  I wanted to have environmental and social issues at the heart of our operations.  

Thus, evo3 became the first socially and environmentally responsible enterprise in Greece in the olive oil market – for every product sold, we plant a tree in a deforested area in Africa (Ethiopia and Madagascar) and Haiti in cooperation, with Eden Reforestation Projects 


Building on this, my future goal is to make evo3 olive products a household name in the organic market and to use the company as a platform for raising awareness on different environmental and social issues that plague our world. I would like evo3 customers to understand that they can make a change in every aspect in their lives, no matter how small – even by buying a bottle of olive oil.

I serve also as a member of Rotary International since 2007, an international organization providing humanitarian services, encouraging high ethical standards in all vocations, and advancing goodwill and peace around the world.

ACS Athens aided me in building a strong personal foundation that instilled in me the constant drive to achieve and succeed.  It was here where I was introduced for the first time to the world of environmental problems, concepts such as ecosystems and climate change (Environmental Studies), which shaped my interests and personal beliefs and as such contributed to the development of my business.  It was here where I was taught that everyone should have a voice no matter the social group you identify with.  It was here where I understood the meaning of responsibility, maturity and consequence.   


I was bestowed the Paul Harris Fellow recognition from Rotary International.  It shows appreciation for the work you do as a Rotarian the substantial contributions offered to the Ambassadorial Scholarships, Rotary’s advance study program.

For my business, evo3, I was awarded a medal for my branding and contribution to social entrepreneurship in the Greek Olive Oil branding awards, as well as three other awards recognizing the quality of our product, including the New York International Olive Oil competition. 


My personal interests and the charities I support are intertwined with my business. As described above, evo3 works with Eden Reforestation Projects, who aid us in planting the trees in deforested areas.  Eden works mainly with impoverished locals, giving them a supplemental income through planting trees and teaching them not only to protect their environment, but also providing them with some trigger-down benefits. We have seen that in deforested areas of our work, soil has become fertile again, farming has flourished, the ecosystem has been restored and this also lead to economic and social changes, with some concrete results, such as new schools in built in villages with children who otherwise could not afford education. This in turn, has also curbed child-labor and has decreased human trafficking.

 Additionally, evo3 also works more locally in Greece for the social good, through the cooperation with the Women’s Co-op of Parakila, Lesvos, giving the Women’s Co-op the much needed supplemental income, to tackle issues of financially vulnerable women.

Evo3 also works with PIKPA housing shelter for refugees in Lesvos, donating our products on a regular basis to the shelter for cooking for refugees who are temporarily staying there.

Lastly, evo3 is a member of the UN Global Compact, which supports business that aim to incorporate ten ideals ranging from environment to human trafficking into their corporate structure. 

I have been also part of the team establishing the first socially responsible and sustainable fashion production factory in Greece, called SOFFA.  We aim to make the supply chain fully sustainable, as well as working with women who have been rescued from human trafficking and learning sewing (Threads of Hope), and working with NGOs in finding a solutions to integrate refugees that are trapped in Greece.

In Rotary International, I am involved in our local chapter of Lesvos, where we aim to tackle local challenges of the island and as such, we are supporting refugees by donating items of need during their stay on the island as well as offering medical help and establishing annual scholarships for students in financial hardship. In addition, we play an integral part in establishing and maintaining a friendly relationship with our neighboring Rotary chapter in Turkey. 


I have been married with my wife, Gyorgyi Gurban for more than 5 years and we have two children, Stella-Elizabeth, 4 years old, and George, 1 year old. Gyorgyi is a lawyer too, working as a policy officer at the United Nations Environmental Program Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP) in Athens.  My parents, George and Stella are retired and live in their native island of Lesvos.  My sister, Cindy, is an author and lecturer of English at Deree College.  My brother, John, is a radiologist, practicing in Athens.


Reflections: Message to Young ACS Athens Grads

ACS Athens will always be a part of your life and will support you not only through what you have learned here but also through your friendships and ACS network, which will ensure that you will never feel lonely, wherever your career brings you.  My “koumparo” also went to Athens, class of ’94, but we didn’t’ meet until much later, through other ACS alumni, in Washington DC.  The ACS friendships, first loves, ideas, challenges will shape and mold you into the person you will become, but it is just the beginning – always progress, always evolve. Show kindness. Share love.

Remember that life is neither a race nor a competition.  It’s a long journey for you to enjoy every turn. Be the best YOU at whatever you do.  And whatever you do, do it in a way that when you leave this world, you leave it in a state better than when you found it for future generations to come. 

ACS Athens Glbal News

ACS Athens Senior Class 2017 

Reacts to President Obama's Visit to Greece

The Leader of the Free World at the Birthplace of Democracy

The President of the United States’ visit to Athens, Greece undoubtedly constitutes the most closely followed event of recent days. It is of paramount significance to note that this is the first trip made by any sitting President of the United States to our country, which does not coincide with the involvement of either party in fierce diplomatic or military disputes. During Dwight D. Eisenhower’s visit, in 1959, the predominant matter discussed between him and then-Prime Minister of Greece, Konstantinos Karamanlis, was the Cypriot dispute. Similarly, George H. W. Bush’s stay was concurrent with arguably one of the most crucial conflicts of the time for the country - between Greece and the F.Y.R.O.M. - while the primary affair in Bill Clinton’s and Konstantinos Semitis’ agenda, in 1999, were the bombings in Yugoslavia.

During Barack Obama’s final overseas trip as President of the United States, his stop in Greece did not face any diplomatic hindrances. Nevertheless, he found himself faced with a community devastated by the social repercussions of the deep economic crisis it has withstood for 8 years now. This was the subject of very thorough analysis during his speech at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Civil Center, on the 16th of November, 2016. He additionally exhibited noteworthy sympathy for the Greek people, arguing that it is not of current significance to analyze the internal and external factors, which lead Greece into its severe present economic state. Whilst other leaders from powerful European states, which offer economic support to Greece, maintain an austere stance against Greece, Obama has contrasting views. He acknowledged the huge price the average Greek citizen has paid, as a result of the constant imposition of larger and larger amounts of austerity measures. Lastly, he also recognized that after 6 years of such measures and politico-economic pressures, the Greek people ought to see an improvement in daily life, which may only be achieved through economic growth.

Democracy was the principal thematic axis around which the U.S. President’s speech revolved. As is customary in his speeches, he paid great attention to the multitude of historic factors, which constituted the basis for the establishment of the democratic Constitution, whose flame shines bright across the entire globe, and cannot be extinguished, as he argued. Specifically, he greatly emphasized the role of democracy in sustaining healthy, and viable relations and interactions between states, as well as the nonviolent resolution of disputes that arise amongst them. He supported the above through a series of references to the various political achievements of the United States of America, during his presidency, where, through the employment of diplomacy and dialogue, he was able to disarm Iran of their nuclear weaponry, as well as re-establish commercial and diplomatic relations with Cuba. He continued by disclosing his belief that democracy consistently brings about political and social stability, in contrast to the inherent volatility and instability of authoritarian regimes, which engage in violence, and scare mongering. Nonetheless, he recognized and brought up some of the intrinsic flaws of the democratic governmental system, illustrating that a democratic decision may never truly be popular amongst the entirety of a societal whole. In fact, establishing the system is an even more considerable challenge in America, as it is characterized by racial, religious and cultural diversity. In our experience, as young global citizens, the flaws of democracy are indisputably evident in Greek society, as many politicians have not made the grim, yet necessary, decisions, which Greece needs, in fear of the political cost. This effect would not be observed in a society where an authoritarian government employs violent measures; it also constitutes a crucial factor in determining Greece’s path through the years, and has shaped its current state. Through Obama’s exposition, it may be considered thoroughly logical to infer that the concept of democracy may be condensed into the following timeless statement of the late Winston Churchill: “Democracy is the worst system of government - except for all the others.”

Furthermore, President Obama made extensive references to globalization, which has faced much resistance, through political movements, equally in both Greece and in the United States. He emphasized the many benefits of the phenomenon, such as the fact that the world is now nearly fully interconnected, through advancing technology. In turn, technology limits unawareness and ignorance, as it drives up the availability of information, while also generating a wave of pessimism, as we are now exposed to every single instance of violence and racial injustice. In reality, he argued, we live in the most equitable and prosperous era, in all of mankind’s history. He further supported the idea that the principles of democracy allow for globalization to fully occur, ultimately leading to progress, despite its inherent imperfections. Conversely, authoritarian governments decry and inhibit globalization, which may only bring about stagnancy - and not stability. The aforementioned claim is supported by contemporary examples of the remaining authoritarian regimes, such as North Korea, which are now a clear indication that a lack of globalization, in combination with national isolation, solely lead to backward and narrow-minded societal wholes. Lastly, Obama implied that these regimes may ultimately destroy themselves “from the inside out”, as, in a world which becomes more and more interconnected, at an “accelerating pace”, isolation and xenophobia do not march on stable grounds.

Barack Obama’s upcoming visit to Berlin, Germany, exerted a direct influence on the structuring of his speech. There exists an evident similarity between the themes he addressed and those which the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, did, during his own visit to West Berlin, in 1963. The speech given by Kennedy at the time, whose main claim revolved around the erection of the Berlin Wall by the Soviets, had many common points of reference with the one Barack Obama gave on November 16, 2016. Kennedy employed the persuasive mode of pathos - appealing to the audience’s sentimental response - expressing his compassion for all Germans who are going through their daily “combats”, while Obama’s speech is with empathy for the Greeks who are struggling for survival, in a society which is plagued by the consequences of the crisis. Another notable similarity between the two speeches may be observed in the fashion, in which Kennedy refers to the Berlin Wall and the isolation it had caused for each side that it separated. Likewise, Obama stood firmly against the isolation of peoples - on both a societal and a national scale - shaking his finger at marginalized countries, and clearly making an indirect, albeit clear-cut, reference to the notorious Wall that president-elect Donald Trump had promised during his long-running campaigns in the pre-election period. In order to support the aforementioned argument, the President made an allusion to the solidarity that thousands of Greeks have shown the refugees who arrived on the islands of the Aegean, specifically referencing the following quote, taken from the description of a Greek woman’s personal experience in the immigration tragedy: “We all live under the same sun; we all fall in love under the same moon; we must help these people.”

Whether or not one agrees with Obama’s policies, his demeanor and charismatic rhetorical abilities are able to impress and captivate even his staunchest opponent. Similarly, we, too, as young members of our society, were touched by his allusion to the youth and the power we possess to change “our Greece” - our country. Through his words, it is apparent that the President’s predominant belief is that the youth hold the capacity to curb the direction in which its respective society is headed, and to put an end to the issues from which it suffers: poverty, inequality, extremism, and social prejudice. 


Filippos Geragidis, Ioanna Vallianou-Leventi, Petros Vorgias

Photographic Coverage:

Alexandros Takis, Artemis Fotinos, Filippos Geragidis, Jackie Kassinaki-Baty     

Share! We are calling for articles that cover the professional practices of our members.  If you have a professional perspective you’d like to share with other ACSAthensGlobal members, please email us at info@acsathensglobal.org

Submittal Requirements. Each article submitted needs to be provided as follows:

Electronic form using standard editable text, like Microsoft Word. Please include your name, and an email address at which you’d prefer to receive professional contact, if desired. Feel free to include biographical details like professional designations, digital photographs, and availability for follow-up contact.

Article. Sources referenced must be cited. All articles must be the author’s original work.

Check out this year's Alumni Events 

Alumni Achievement Awards, NYC, April 30, 2017  

AYA/ACS/BASE Great Round Up, Monterey, October 6-8, 2017


© 2016 ACS Athens Global Association

Zoe was born and began her education in Brussels, Belgium in a French school. After moving to Toledo, Ohio where she attended Ottawa Hills Elementary school from 3rd - 6th grade, her family decided to move back to Greece.  She was enrolled at ACS Athens in 7th grade until she graduated in 2004. "ACS was a great place for me; it was the first time I felt so comfortable with my international background. I was very active in extracurricular activities:  on the tennis team from 8th grade and joined the varsity volleyball team in 10th grade. I also was a part of the debate team, and was a full IB student. I was also a volunteer at the 2004 Athens Olympics, working at the tennis center. After ACS I received a bachelor’s degree from New York University with a major in History. I graduated from NYU in 2008." 


"Upon my return to Greece in the summer of 2008, I was looking for my next step. I had done various internships in the summers during college to try and figure out what I was good at, what I liked, and where I fit in. During my search, I started experimenting in the kitchen as a hobby. Making cupcakes, cookies, pies, etc. I had also become fascinated with the new trend of decorated cakes with fondant. After countless hours in the kitchen, endless taste-testing by my friends and family, I decided that this was what I wanted to do. My mother and I started The Sweet Spot in 2010. It is a bakery known for its cupcakes and its custom made cakes.

The life of an entrepreneur is one that very often needs creative thinking, crisis management, and originality. These are tools that one can only gain from their home environment and their school. By making me feel secure and welcomed ACS gave me the confidence I needed to become a strong individual. I found that in high school and in university, the one thing that prepared me for life was having a well-rounded education and having been exposed to many different experiences; humanities trips, ISST trips, debate tournaments, IB retreats, etc.

I haven’t received any awards for The Sweet Spot but I have been asked to be on television, which I must admit was very fun! I was on Chef on Air, by Eleni Psychouli where I demonstrated how to make our mojito cupcakes and gave some tips on how to make easily decorated cookies. Then I also went to Tatiana Stefanidou’s show where I made a rainbow layer cake, which is one of our best sellers.

In My Community....

Having two stores that need to be fully stocked at all times, we have a lot of products weekly that go to waste. We try as often as we can to donate these sweets because they are still really good and fresh, but just not fresh enough for sale. We have donated to the refugees, to various children’s charities, to churches and to many other small organizations that take food to homeless shelters or food drives.

My Family

I am the second of three daughters. My older sister also graduated from ACS in 2001. She now lives in London with her husband and their beautiful son, Juan Phillipos. She works at Johnson and Johnson’s and is a brand manager for Nicorette. My younger sister graduated from Athens College in 2011 and now works in the buying department of Macy’s in New York.  


ACS gave me some of the best friends I could have asked for. Somehow, with our whole group being scattered all over the world, we still manage to plan summer vacation every year. There is something so unique about our group because we’ve known each other for so long that every time we get together it feels like coming home. We also understand each other’s backgrounds better than anyone else we meet as adults and we have a great appreciation for individuality. It is truly a joy to reunite with these people at least once a year."

ACS Athens Glbal News

ACS Athens is the first international school to use the MSA-CESS's Sustaining Excellence Protocol for Self-Study and to achieve re-accreditation under this protocol. It was recently recognized by the MSA-CESS as a Leading School during the Fall Leadership Conference of the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools (NESA) in Doha, Qatar, October 19-23, 2016. The Conference was attended by 450 international heads of schools, principals, trustees and others in leadership roles.

Dr. Hank Cram, President of MSA-CESS, presented ACS Athens with the award recognizing it as a Leading School for its successful implementation of the Sustaining Excellence Protocol, and for sharing its comprehensive research on the i2Flex Classroom Model with the local and global education community through a Colloquium held in April, 2016.

Dr. Stefanos Gialamas, President of ACS Athens, accepted the award stating, “ACS Athens' outstanding faculty and exceptional institutional leaders are committed to an educational model that has the pursuit of excellence (intellectual, academic, social, phys­ical, emotional, ethical) at its core. At ACS Athens, we are com­mitted to the implementation of an educational model that we call the Global Morfosis Paradigm, which holds that for learning to be successful, the teaching and learning experience must be holistic, harmonious and meaningful – and guided by ethos.”


The Middle States Association - Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS) is enlisted by the USA Department of Education to validate the quality of education of international schools that follow the American philosophy of education. www.msa-cess.org

About the MSA-CESS Sustaining Excellence Protocol

This is a process that engages an entire school communi­ty in designing and implementing a school-wide research effort to identify areas for growth and improvement, to examine thoroughly the research into best practices in those areas, and to create new knowledge and best practices by conducting action research inves­tigations during the process of implementing new initiatives. To obtain this protocol, a school must demonstrate, over time, its efficacy in producing these results.



In collaboration with the RSA and ACS Athens, plus support from WISE (World Innovation Summit for Education), we have begun a project on refugee education and the role that international schools play -- in this case, in Athens. This project aims to demonstrate how Greece and other European countries can develop an educational 'ecosystem' that supports positive outcomes for refugees, whether they are temporary, transitional, or long-term. Our goal is to nurture a new, sustainable, partnership-based approach across the city that could be replicated in other areas.

This ECIS-RSA Research in Contemporary Issues partnership is a prime example of how ECIS influences educational issues as a researcher and advocate for the values of international education.

The John Aravanis and John Marder Memorial Alumni Scholarships

The John Aravanis and John Marder Memorial Alumni Scholarships to children of alumni awarded to up-coming Seniors Athanasios Frangogiannis-Matsa (TOP: son of George Frangogiannis, '74) by alum and sister Eleni Aravanis and her daughter Iliana and Vicky Grant (BOTTOM: daughter of Mary Manos, '82) by Alum and Counselor Anna Makris at the June graduation. These students received a discount towards tuition for their senior year from the proceeds of the 70 Year Reunion and the kind donations from alums. We are hoping to be able to grow this scholarship to recognize our strong students and alumni who honor the school by continuing their legacy at ACS Athens. Please donate towards this year's scholarship.  Click here for how you can help!

1970s Former ACS Athens teacher Linda Kroll (then Clarke) making a difference in the lives of many!

Linda has been profiled for her way of helping many women recovering from breast cancer surgery. Her story was featured in the TCPalm - for the story please click here.

Share! We are calling for articles that cover the professional practices of our members.  If you have a professional perspective you’d like to share with other ACSAthensGlobal members, please email us at info@acsathensglobal.org

Submittal Requirements. Each article submitted needs to be provided as follows:

Electronic form using standard editable text, like Microsoft Word. Please include your name, and an email address at which you’d prefer to receive professional contact, if desired. Feel free to include biographical details like professional designations, digital photographs, and availability for follow-up contact.

Article. Sources referenced must be cited. All articles must be the author’s original work.

Check out this year's Alumni Events 

Alumni Achievement Awards, NYC, April 30, 2017  

AYA/ACS/BASE Great Round Up, Monterey, October 6-8, 2017

See our current list at BizNET Discount Gallery!


Maria is pictured here with Italian star Giancarlo Giannini

Maria Lainas, Class of '92

Dancer, Casting Director, Assistant Director


Anyone who remembers Maria Lainas as a student at ACS Athens, remembers a graceful, exotic girl who “floated” down the halls.  She was a dancer, and it reflected in her poise and elegance, and her unforgettably brilliant smile.  Maria first came to Greece when she was 13, and found the adjustment extremely difficult. 

After a failed attempt to study at the Greek public school, her parents transferred her to ACS Athens in 10th grade. Maria says it was the “the best decision my parents made!”


“The courses such as humanities, the teachers (some actually became my mentors and they don't even know it! - my love to Mrs.Jasonides and Mr. Medeiros).  The facilities, the experiences (i.e. hands on in Mystra and Delphi,) the ways our teachers approached the Arts, History, Literature, were very crucial for me. The way our confidence was built by our teachers was simply magical!  As far as athletic teams go I was the Manager of the Soccer Team. All of which,  were precious in creating… Me

In my senior year, Mr. Pelidis helped guide me to the London College of Dance and Theatre, a three year BA course in England. Within a year we merged with Middlesex University from which I graduated. 

Maria at work

Dancer, Casting Director, Assistant Director

For years I was a dancer and dance teacher at Focas Evaggelinos, Kalliopi Venieri, various schools which taught dance after school hours. Some friends and I had created a Dance Company which we named "Chromosomata." Unfortunately the Greek bureaucracy made it impossible for the company to continue but for the time we existed, our critiques were terrific!”


For the past 20 years, Maria has been working as a Casting Director and Assistant Director in the Film and Commercial Industry. She is a “proud” member of Casting Society of America (CSA), the International Theatre Institute (ITI), Greek Union of Film, Television and Audiovisual Technicians. She states that “a lot of hard work has paid off and my dreams and goals keep coming true!  Right now I am in the process of searching for an agent in London to represent me for Hollywood or European Films who seek Greek actors! Any ACS Alumni Agents out there?!?!"


“Working as a Casting Director has put me in touch with a range of people with various economic, social educational backgrounds. I dare say that I have become stronger and much more sensitive than I used to be. The result of which is being a regular member of various groups of people (not organizations, as I don't really trust the majority of them) such as the SOCIAL KITCHEN "THE OTHER HUMAN." I call it duty and not service, as I feel it is my duty as a human being to help others when in need despite the color, race, religious belief, educational background, and/or country of origin. If we can understand that we are ONE and have nothing to divide, yet on the contrary, we have so much to share, the world as we know it would be very different!”  Although Maria says she has not received any awards as a Casting Director per se, she feels the biggest “award” she could receive is when an actor she has suggested gets the part!

Maria’s hobby, which she finds relaxes her and makes her even more creative is creating jewelry! “I acquire all the necessary 'ingredients' and design them!  It's so much fun and I love getting feedback on what people think of them as I am not a professional!”

 The ACS Athens Connection

“I have a younger brother, Chris, who is also an ACS alumnus. He is now a graphic designer and was the Art Director for Pizza Fan for years! A young man whom I am very very proud to have as a brother!

It's funny how life works!  While in school we had our ups and downs with friends or schoolmates. As we grow we find some in our path! A big shout out to Zafeiris Haitidis, with whom I work with in the film industry, Natalie Mazloum, Nick Dimopoulos, Cleon Fissekis, Paul Pagoulatos and others. We may not see each other often but when we do, it feels like we were having drinks just the night before!"

ACS Athens Goes Glbal

A special agreement was signed in September 2016 between the College of Education, the Division of Human Development and Family Affairs of the University of Delaware and ACS Athens.   The first group of graduating seniors from the University of Delaware will complete their teaching practicum at ACS Athens during the 2017 spring semester under the supervision and mentoring of the ACS Athens faculty. A great recognition for the exceptional ACS Athens educators.

Dr. Stefanos Gialamas signing with Dr. Carol Vukelich, Dean of the College of Education, University of Delaware.

Check out this year's Alumni Events 

Alumni Achievement AwardsNYC, April 30, 2017  

AYA/ACS/BASE Great Round UpMonterey, 

October 6-8, 2017

See our current list at BizNET Discount Gallery!


The Occupation Loan Imposed on Greece by

Germany during the Second World War

 COMMENTARY by Nicholas Karambelas, '71

August 19, 2016 

The Greek Parliament will receive in early September 2016 the findings from a parliamentary committee which it established to study the claims of Greece for war reparations from Germany.  The conclusion is reported to be that Greece is entitled to 269 billion euros and that Greece should pursue all diplomatic means and, if necessary, legal means for payment.  In response, the German government has stated that the issue of reparations is closed.

The issue is hardly closed.  Under international law, reparations claims do not expire by implied or constructive waiver.  Reparations claims expire only if and when the claimant nation has affirmatively released and waived the claims, which Greece has never done. 

 In addition to the atrocities which give rise to the reparations claims, Germany forced Greece to “lend” Germany a sum of money which Germany ostensibly used to defray the cost of its occupation of Greece. As our partner, Nicholas G. Karambelas, has written in the below article, which was published in Ekathimerini last year, the remedy for the forced occupation loan is restitution.  Because the occupation loan does not have the attributes of a commercial loan, it can only be characterized as a wrongful taking of property.  Germany has a legal obligation to pay war reparations and to restitute the money it wrongfully took which has been erroneously characterized as a loan.


A legal view of Germany’s wartime occupation loan

 Published in http://www.ekathimerini.com, Saturday June 6, 2015


The unlawful taking of property is considered ‘conversion,’ a civil wrong whose remedy is restitution, as opposed to reparations.

By: Nicholas G. Karambelas, Esq. (nick@ngklaw.com) is a partner in law firm Sfikas & Karambelas, LLP in Washington DC, Baltimore, Maryland and New York City. He is legal counsel to and a director of the American Hellenic Institute, also in Washington DC.

In some of the darkest hours of the Second World War, the Axis powers massacred the people of Distomo, Kalavryta and other parts of Greece. The Germans deported Greek Jews to the death camps in Poland and made them pay for their rail tickets. The Greek Jews are seeking reparations from Germany for these atrocities. Greece, like any nation that is made the victim of death and destruction by an aggressor nation during wartime, is entitled to reparations. Reparations is a financial remedy paid to the victim nation by the aggressor nation, after the aggressor nation loses the war. Reparations are meant to compensate the people of the victim nation, in this case Greece, for the death and destruction caused by the aggressor nation, which was Germany. The concept of reparations has been a principle of international law ever since the creation of the nation state in 1648 after the 30 Years’ War.

 In addition to the massacres, Germany perpetrated another atrocity, which was the occupation loan. By 1942, the Axis powers had invaded and occupied Greece. Germany forced Greece to “lend” money to Germany, purportedly to pay for the costs of occupying Greece. The amount of the loan was about 500 million reichsmarks, which, reportedly, was equal to one-third of Germany’s gross national product in 1938. The purpose of this article is to present a different legal perspective on how the occupation loan should be characterized.

Under the London Debt Agreement of 1953, the Allies suspended Germany’s wartime obligations until East and West Germany were reunited. Germany asserts that it paid reparations to Greece in 1963. It was not until 1990 that East and West Germany reunited under a treaty to which Greece was not a signatory. Germany makes the dubious legal argument that because Greece did not claim any wartime damages when Germany reunited, all claims of Greece for compensation, including the occupation loan, were extinguished.

Greece’s legal rights with respect to the occupation loan depend on whether the loan is characterized as a commercial loan or as an unlawful taking of property under the guise of a commercial loan. To be a commercial loan, it must have the attributes of a commercial loan. There must be a voluntary lender, a voluntary borrower, terms for repayment, and an interest rate.

This occupation loan did have a voluntary borrower and, possibly, some terms for repayment, but it did not have a voluntary lender. Greece, the lender, had been invaded and occupied by the borrower. Also, because the representatives of the Greek government collaborated with Germany, the borrower actually controlled the lender. Moreover, it was foreseeable that the occupation loan would devastate the Greek economy, which it did. Consequently, Greece was not a voluntary lender in any sense. In addition, the occupation loan did not carry an interest rate. The occupation loan may have had one, possibly two, of the attributes of a commercial loan. However, it did not have all of the necessary attributes so it cannot be characterized as a commercial loan.

Since the occupation loan is not a commercial loan it can only be an unlawful taking of property. The legal term for this taking is “conversion.” In other words, once a property is unlawfully taken, it is considered to be converted. Conversion is a civil wrong not a criminal offense. The remedy for conversion is restitution not reparations. Restitution means that the taker returns the converted property to the rightful owner.

If the taker does not return the property, the law imposes a constructive trust (referred to as a usufructary in civil law systems) on the converted property. The taker is deemed to be the trustee. The taker-trustee must preserve, protect and enhance the value of the property for the benefit of the rightful owner. These are the obligations of any trustee with respect to any property. The nature of these obligations depends on the type of property. The property in this case is money. Germany did not borrow the money but rather converted it. Germany, as the taker-trustee, is required to protect and preserve the money. This means that Germany must not cause or permit the money to be dissipated and is required to enhance the value of the money by allowing it to accrue interest. Since Germany dissipated the money and failed to allow the interest to accrue, it must restitute the money as well as any accrued interest and it must do so from its own sources.

The conversion-constructive trust concept has precedent in international law. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) supports this concept in cases involving real property which Turkey took after it invaded the Republic of Cyprus in 1974. Turkey occupies about one-third of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus. Within the occupied territory, there is real property to which the rightful owners hold title under the laws of the Republic of Cyprus. Turkey forced the rightful owners from their real property and continues to exclude them from their real property. The ECtHR has effectively ruled that Turkey has illegally taken the real property from its rightful owners and that the real property is held in a constructive trust.

Germany argues that Greece relinquished any claims it had to the occupation loan in the aforementioned treaty of 1990. It argues that even though Greece is not a signatory, Greece implicitly acceded to the terms of the treaty. Leaving aside the law on treaties, whether or not Greece signed the treaty or implicitly acceded to the treaty is irrelevant. Germany is wrong. As with any trust, Greece could only relinquish its claims to the money of the occupation loan by a specific and affirmative release of claims. No such release appears in the public record.

The Greek government has calculated the current value of the occupation loan to be 279 billion euros, or $303 billion. The problem with enforcing the conversion-constructive concept is that there is no legal forum at the international level in which Germany can be compelled to restitute the money.

Determining whether the German courts would enforce the remedy of restitution against the German government is a complicated and probably fruitless inquiry. The Greek courts have considered attaching property located in Greece which the German government owns. The efforts of the current Greek government to resolve the matter through diplomatic means is the most practical way for Greece to seek and obtain restitution. Diplomacy works best when the issue is grounded in a legal principle which derives from a universal moral doctrine.



Attorneys at Law

1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

7th Floor

Washington, D.C. 20004


Tel: (202) 661-4614  Fax: (240) 465-0400

Email: nick@ngklaw.com  Web: www.ngklaw.com

We welcome articles submitted by ACS Athens alumni and community members.


© 2016 ACS Athens Global Association

Over the past decades ACS Athens alumni have exhibited great leadership with ethos, including serving humanity in all areas of society.  It is now the appropriate time to recognize and celebrate ACS Athens alumni leaders at an Inaugural Global Achievement Awards event that will take place in New York City in April of 2017.

Two different awards will be given to ACS Athens alumni: 

Lifetime Achievement Award –recognizing an alumnus (over 40) whose accomplishments in the public, private or non-profit sector have made an outstanding contribution to the community and serve as an example both professionally and ethically.

    Emerging Young Leader Award – recognizing an alumnus (aged 40 or under) who shows promise in his/her field by providing inspiration and leadership to students and other young alumni.  The recipient has to have shown significant leadership either in their professional career and/or community, public or humanitarian service

    Deadline for Nominations is October 1, 2016!

    Dr. Stefanos Gialamas Proudly Announces Publication of the Book:  


    Revolutionizing K-12 Blended Learning through the i²Flex Classroom Model” 

    "The co-editors and also chapter co-authors are Dr. Maria Avgerinou and Dr. Stefanos Gialamas.  The book includes 25 ACS Athens educators and 10 world wide academic leaders as chapters co-authors.

    This book manifests extensively the theoretical framework of how an academic institution models a new pathway for meaningful learning, and also advances the sufficient and necessary conditions that must be in place for the successful implementation of such a model.  

    The new pathway is defined as the Global Morfosis Paradigm (gMp) and addresses this need through being an authentic, unbounded and exciting educational paradigm, educating students for complex and ambiguous future needs.  Implementing the gMp provides students with the inspiration to develop the wisdom to transform their educational experience into social, economic, environmental, intellectual and ethical resources to improve their lives, but most importantly the lives of less privileged students across the globe."

    You can find details and purchase at: 

    Wishing our alums the time of their lives at the Vegas Reunion starting this Thursday, and all our members a fabulous summer!

    See our current list at BizNET Discount Gallery!


    © 2016 ACS Athens Global Association

    Mary Bennett Golly, class of ‘71

    Writer, Flight Attendant and Traveler

    Mary Bennett Golly “had the pleasure of attending ACS” Athens between the years of 1968 to 1971, when she graduated. Through her father’s career as a Goodyear executive, her family traveled globally every few years, which offered her opportunities to “immerse into various cultures and learn foreign languages.”

    During her high school years, Mary was in the Art, German and French clubs and received the French award.  “I wanted to be a cheerleader but was aced out by the pros! They were great!” She fondly remembers the teachers (such as Mr. Piladakis, Art and Mrs. Priles, English), who took a great interest in her passions and inspired her to take art, creative writing courses, as well as a course in public speaking, throughout her adult life.   She has also received a Life Coaching Certification and coached families with troubled teens.  “These were some of the gifts from my years at ACS.”

    My flying as a child ignited my desire to work in the air as published in my book, Plane Life.”

    Currently, Mary is a flight attendant (American Airlines). “I’ve had this career for over 30 years. Prior to that:  a stint at tour-guiding and secretarial work. My flying as a child ignited my desire to work in the air as published in my book,Plane Life. The inspiration to fly happened in 1959 when we left Japan for Greece in a TWA Constellation and the stewardess let me assist her. On that flight I declared to my mother that I would someday be a stewardess.

    The ACS Athens experience made my passion even greater when meeting so many students from all over the U.S. and the world. I wanted to experience more of our diverse world by visiting places, even for short visits that merely consist of layovers. Today I am a Greek speaker on the AA flight from PHL-ATH and I get to stay in touch with my ACS colleagues and my Greek mother’s family. I was also a Flight Attendant Instructor at USAirways (before we merged with American Airlines) between 2007 and 2010 and was invited to be in an airline commercial for USAirways, which was very flattering!

    I am close (within about two years) to retirement. My future goals are to continue writing and painting. Another art exhibit may be in my future…possibly another book.”

    Mary serves on the St. Jude’s Hospital for Children Committee in St. Augustine, Florida where she helps to raise money for the hospital, research and children with cancer whose families never get a bill, as well as a member of the St. Augustine Art Association.  In 2002 she held an art exhibit of her watercolors that were all were sold! In addition, she developed and facilitated a mini workshop for women in 2010 entitled, “Aging Gracefully” and has recently (2015) published her book, Plane Life Highs and Lowswhich can be found on Amazon. It is a memoir of her life and flying career; “a story of perseverance and overcoming life’s obstacles.”

    Mary and husband John

    “My parents are now deceased. I have an ACS alum sister, Pamela Bennett Duffield – a successful import-export business owner and a brother, Chris Bennett who went to Campion. I met my husband John, who was the captain on one of my working flights, in 1990. We have been married for 22 years.  I have a daughter, Pamela Rose, from a previous marriage. Between John and I, we have eight beautiful grandchildren ranging in age from 5 to 19. My eldest granddaughter, Damyana has aced her ancient studies in sixth grade and her reward will be a trip to Greece with her Yia-Yia (me).”  

    Reconnecting with ACS Athens

    “It’s a small world! I was flying one day and one of my colleagues, Bill Sinunu shared his school experience in Greece – also an ACSer (eight years past my time there.)

    Facebook has enabled a lot of us to reconnect. I am thrilled to be able to visit people in Athens as well as all over the U.S. Last year, I was able to attend the ACS reunion in Athens in June and in July, a reunion of sorts in Nashville, TN, headed up by Denah Lord. The reunited band played and it was wonderful to hear some old familiar songs of the 60’s and ‘70’s. ACS years were some of the best of my life.

    Mary (far right) Cynthia Goudis Denaxas, Elodie Contopoulos, Popi Alonefti-Pardalidi, Alda Panos, Lillian Tollaros, Anna Voudouris;  old friends enjoying an evening in Greece

    "What I would share with the upcoming young graduates and professionals is to take each day at a time and immerse into risk taking to achieve goals. There are peaks and valleys, triumphs and pitfalls but ALL of it serves as a learning platform. The learning extends beyond the classroom and is ongoing. See the world. Connect. Never give up on your dreams. You can accomplish anything that you set your mind to do.”

    Over the past decades ACS Athens alumni have exhibited great leadership with ethos, including serving humanity in all areas of society.  It is now the appropriate time to recognize and celebrate ACS Athens alumni leaders at an Inaugural Global Achievement Awards event that will take place in New York City in April of 2017.

    Two different awards will be given to ACS Athens alumni: 

    Lifetime Achievement Award –recognizing an alumnus (over 40) whose accomplishments in the public, private or non-profit sector have made an outstanding contribution to the community and serve as an example both professionally and ethically.

      Emerging Young Leader Award – recognizing an alumnus (aged 40 or under) who shows promise in his/her field by providing inspiration and leadership to students and other young alumni.  The recipient has to have shown significant leadership either in their professional career and/or community, public or humanitarian service

      A Proud Day for the class of 2016! Congratulations to ACS Athens' newest Alumni on your well-deserved success!

      ACS Athens Global presents the first alumni scholarships created to honor the memory of John A. Marder, and the memory of John Aravanis. 

      Watch the very first alumni scholarships, presented to children of alumni Vicky Grant (daughter of Mary Manos) and Athanasios Frangogiannis-Matsa (son of George Frangogiannis) at 1:04 on the graduation link below.   As we hope to continue this every year to support our alums who enroll there children, click here to see how you can help.

      Click here to watch the June 17, 2016 Academy Graduation 

      Congratulations to 

      Artie Gyftopoulos

      class of '81, 

      Artie has joined Nicholas KarambelasMark Wolper and Niko Iatropoulos as the fourth alumnus to be appointed to the ACS Athens Board of Trustees!


       I will be reaching out to alums and friends across the the USA  and Canada over the summer.

      The potential for deepening alum ties and raising their value for all through social eventsand long-term initiatives such as internship and mentoring programs is great, and I urge those currently registered to encourage other alums they know to do so.

      I would also like to invite those who are registered on acsathensglobal.org by listing mainly their name and field to revisit the site and add more interesting things about themselves. 

      The city where alums live is especially valuable information for my efforts as I am in the process of planning trips across North America for the next year.

      Constantine (Dean) Sirigos

      Director of Outreach and Development

      See our current list at BizNET Discount Gallery!


      © 2016 ACS Athens Global Association

      Andreas Nicolaou '80

      Biology Teacher, CT


      I attended ACS during my high school years, graduating in 1980.  During the last two years at ACS I was in the IB program as part of the second year of students to earn an IB diploma.  I went on to the University of Maine (Orono), where I received a BA in Zoology (1984).  Then I attended the State University of New York at Buffalo for an MS in Epidemiology (1985) and continued my graduate studies at Yale University for a PhD in Cancer Epidemiology (1991).

      "But during this time I realized that I did not want to do this for the rest of my life."


      I spent five years working as an epidemiologist and biostatistician at the VA Medical Center in West Haven, CT, where I conducted research on PTSD in veterans of the Vietnam War and, later, in those who returned from the first Gulf War.  It was a fine first job, satisfying in many ways, and I was able to participate in both research aspects and the publication process.  But during this time I realized that I did not want to do this for the rest of my life. I thought back to the year I took off from graduate school, when I returned to Athens and worked as a substitute at ACS Middle School.  I remembered the three years I taught at Yale Medical School while I was a graduate student. And I could never shake the impact of the teachers I had at ACS;  teachers such as Mr. King, Mr. Demos, Mrs. Arvanitis, Mr. Tzelepis, Mr.Pisanias, and Mrs. Priles, wonderful people who inspired and motivated me then and continue to do so many years later. So I went back to school and earned my teaching certificate.  I now teach high school biology in the small, rural town of North Stonington, CT.  I have been teaching for 20 years, and cannot imagine a more rewarding and challenging career.


      I live in Preston, CT, with my wife, Wendy, our daughter, Clare, and our cat, Kingsley.  Wendy is Director of Bill Memorial Library in nearby Groton, and Clare is currently in sixth grade.  Kingsley is under the impression that he owns the house and we are his subjects.

      Unlike graduates from most high schools, we are scattered throughout the world, but thanks to the miracle of modern technology I am able to remain in contact with many of the friends I made at ACS.  I don’t return to Greece as often as I’d like (time constraints and professional responsibilities make that difficult).  Still, a part of me remains there, and the memories I have of that time and place are good ones.

      There are only two pieces of advice I would like to pass onto this year’s graduates.

      The first is: Don’t close any doors. You never know what may come from an opportunity.

      The second is: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Our mistakes shape us more than our successes.

      Great advice at any age. Thanks, Andreas! 


      Spring Fair, 12-4 pm


      Cassie and Andy Coutonio, attended ACS Athens from '60-'64, visit with Stefanos Gialamas, President, on campus. 

      Two students will be awarded the first 

      John A. Marder 

      and John Aravanis Awards 

      of Leadership and Science 

      next month.  If you would like to donate, please visit Scholarship Programs

      Don't Forget to sign up for the July 28-30 Alumni Reunion in Vegas, for more information ACS ATHENS VEGAS REUNION July 28-31, 2016




      Free Download - Go to www.ngklaw.com


      By: Nicholas G. Karambelas, Esq. 


      Sfikas & Karambelas, LLP

      In cooperation with Tribonian Publishing, LLC

      April 1, 2016


                  Since 2009, the Hellenic Republic (Greece) has endured a severe recession.  The European Central Bank (ECB), the European Commission (EC), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and commentators have demanded that Greece implement legal, social, and economic reforms in exchange for funding to pay its obligations.  There is no question that reforms are necessary. 

                  However, one area in which Greece has implemented significant reforms is its business entity laws.  In 2012, Greece revised its business entity laws.  This was the first fundamental revision since the business entity laws were originally enacted in 1920.

                  We offer this e-book free of charge to United States business persons who may be interested in doing business in or with Greece.  We hope that this e-book will assist United States business persons to obtain constructive and useful counsel from their chosen Greek attorney.   

      Download Nick's e-book here.

      ACS Athens is pleased to announce that Constantine (Dean) Sirigos has been named its new “Director of Outreach and Development” for North America. He is looking forward to working with alums and friends of ACS to promote the achievements of the school and its students. Dean is well-known in the Greek-American community after serving seven years as Senior Writer for The National Herald. He is especially devoted to education and as a graduate of Georgetown University’s Masters in Foreign Service Program he deeply appreciates the value of international schools like ACS Athens. As a past Legislative Assistant for the American Hellenic Institute, AHI, he also developed a nationwide network which was also supplemented through his leadership role in the Young Adult League of the Archdiocese of America. His work experience includes six years with the international advertising firm Ogilvy and Mather. 

      See our current list at BizNET Discount Gallery!

      John Nicholas Peters, class of ‘76

      Performing Artist, Director, Master Level Teacher.

      John Nicholas Peters grew up in California until 1974, when he and his parents moved to Athens where he was enrolled in ACS Athens. It didn't take him long to become acclimated as he immediately became involved in the Forensics Society, taking part in competitive speaking in Athens and Salonica (he also coached and judged for the Forensics Society after he graduated) and the Drama Club, and before long became a star after playing the lead in the musical The Pajama Game ("Lynne Peterson was my leading lady, if you’re out there Lynne, get in touch!"), The Philadelphia Story and Look Back in Anger. John also sang in the school choir and took his first singing lessons with the choir director Stanley Brown “who became a dear friend.”  But his favorite extra-curricular activity was going to the Red Lion Pub on Friday evenings, (followed by the Athens Tower Disco, of course). Anyone who attended ACS Athens at that time remembers this tradition. 

      From left to right: Demetre Koskoris, MikeWeitzel, John Peters carrying Cindy Marder in a scene from The Philadelphia Story circa1975 in the ACS Gym!

      Singing a duet with the very lovely and talented Lynne Peterson in The Pajama Game in the ACS gym circa 1975.  This was a student/faculty co-production with half the roles being played by faculty members.  The highlight was six faculty members singing ‘I’

      ve Got Steam Heat’...

      After Graduating from ACS in '76, John attended The Birmingham Conservatoire in England from which institution he obtained a Graduate Degree in Voice Performance and an Associate Degree in Voice Teaching and The University of the Arts, Philadelphia where he received a Master of Music in Opera Degree.   It was apparent from school successes that John would continue on to a brilliant career in music and acting.


      Recent Professional Highlights

      I sang the title role in Don Giovanni and Germont in La Traviata in concert performances of the operas with the Landsdowne Symphony, also sang Germont with Delphi Opera in Wilmingon, Delaware.

      Performed the role of Nunzio in a concert performance at the World Cafe in 2014 and a semi-staged performance in 2015 at the International House (both in Philadelphia) of a new musical, La Giara written by long time friend Patricia King, which I also directed. 

      I also sang the roles of the Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance, Sir Despard Murgatroyd in Ruddigore, Lord Mountararat in Iolanthe at The Academy of Music in Philadelphia and the title role in The Mikado at the Dupont Theater, Wilmington with the Savoy Company of Philadelphia.I also served on the board of Savoy for three years.

      TOP: As the Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance with the Savoy Company at the Academy of Music, Philadelphia

      LEFT: As Sir Despard Murgatroyd in Ruddigore with the Savoy Co. at the Academy of Music, Philadelphia

      Past performances include the roles of Olin Blitch in Floyd's Susannah and Belcore in The Elixir of Love with the Mozart & Friends Opera Festival of Southern New Jersey, Danilo in The Merry Widow with The Stratford Operatic Society at The Royal Shakespeare Theater, Stratford, England and numerous roles with The Little Lyric Opera Company of Philadelphia.  

      Regarding musical theater, I created the role of Archdeacon Frollo in the world premiere of  The Hunchback of Notre Dame with the Player's Club of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, and appeared as Maximilian in Candide with the Living Arts Repertory Theater in Westmont, New Jersey and as Mr. Black in the premiere of The Wonderful O with the American Music Theater Festival. 

      RIGHT: As The Mikado with the Savoy Co. at the DuPont Theater,Wilmington, Delaware

      As an opera stage director:  Madame Butterfly for Lancaster Opera, The Magic Flute, The Tales of Hoffman, Die Fledermaus, The Bartered Bride and La Traviata for The Mozart & Friends Opera Festival where I also enjoyed seven seasons as Producing Artistic Director and Lucia di Lammermoor, Il Tabarro, L’Elisir d’Amor, Pagliacci, Moniushko’s Halka and Verdi’s Otello for The Little Lyric Opera Theater of Philadelphia.

       I also directed Riders to the Sea for the Opera Department of the Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham, England and The Impresario for The University of the Arts, Philadelphia. 

      In 2011 and 2012 I expanded into film when I directed the first two of a trilogy of short horror films (The Visitation and Dig) in the Philadelphia area for Frank Horror Productions.  I also have extensive voice-over experience and am the official VO Artist for Corporate Dimensions Ltd.

      To attest to John’s talents, he has earned the praise from a variety of theatrical, musical and film critics:


      -“Among the principals were some really standout performances including:  The swarthy Pirate King of John Nicholas Peters, whose huge presence on the stage I can only describe as “Yul Brynner’s King of Siam meets the devil-of-a-pirate who wore Prada” (I’ll leave the rest to your imagination—just know that the girls were really swooning!

      -Katie Holler, SavoyNet 5/’09


      - "John Nicholas Peters makes a striking Olin Blitch. Tall and ascetic looking, he dominates the church  scenes...his voice conveys the reverend's heartbroken despair after he seduces Susannah."                                                   

      -Robert Baxter, The Courier-Post, 5/21/01

      -"Hats off to the spellbinding performance by John Nicholas as the evil Archdeacon Frollo."       

                                                                                                   -Peter Gram Swing, The Swarthmorean  4/9/93


      -"...but it is director John Nicholas Peters who deserves credit for bringing it all together.  He's brought a new level of drama to the Lancaster Opera Company.  The vocal performances did not stand apart from the dramatic performances but melded together with them.  ...Theater lovers like me believe the integrity of the drama must come through." (Madame Butterfly)

                                                                                                      -Jane Holahan, NEW ERA  10/11/02

      -”In less than a decade, the intrepid company based in Pennsauken has raised its standards in every direction...And  production values keep improving, too...Stage director John Nicholas Peters unfolded the action simply and effectively.  La Traviata ranks as the Festival’s most satisfying production to date.”   -6/5/00

      -"Last year, Mozart & Friends reached a new level of achievement in a strong Magic Flute staged by John Nicholas Peters...Friday's opening (Tales of Hoffman)...ranks as the company's strongest production.  Peters shaped a coherent staging of this challenging and complicated work.”  -11/18/96

      -"Director John Nicholas Peters' engaging production (The Magic Flute) catches both the grandeur and the earthy humour of Mozart's         opera".  -11/26/95

                                                                                                      -Robert Baxter, COURIER POST 

      -”There was much to be pleased about in the production of Smetana’s The Bartered Bride... One of the great highlights of the evening was the chorus...As stage personalities they did what they were supposed to do with an ease often missing from such choruses...director John Nicholas Peters, who also made the circus scene work so well, deserves applause.    -Paul Somers, CLASSICAL NEW JERSEY   11/25/98

      LEFT: Directing Aimee Cassada on location {Philadelphia} shooting the short Horror film Dig.


      BELOW: Directing Anna Fagin on location {Philadelphia} shooting the short horror film The Visitation for Frank Horror Productions

      John’s father who is 95, was born in Pyrgos in the Peloponnese and his mother was born in the Greek community in Alexandria, Egypt and moved to Athens when very young.  They still live in Holargos.  His “amazing wife,” Fatima Lavor is Brazilian from Sao Paulo.



      “My years at ACS were some of the best times of my life and resulted in some endearing friendships – Constantine ‘Dean’ Politis, Louisa Sharp, Stanley Brown, George Peppas, Demetre Koskoris.  Despite being separated by the curse of geography, when we get together again it’s like we just saw each other yesterday even if it’s been 20 years.  If we were acquaintances at ACS please shoot me a friend request on Facebook:

      https://www.facebook.com/johnnicholas.peters I’d love to hear from you.

      John's message to the graduates this year and always:   “Thirty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did.  Please, you are far too young to hold rigid opinions or beliefs, leave that to the jaded old cynics like me.  So keep an open mind, do not cling to beliefs with sentiment.  When presented with a fact, concept or idea which contradicts your pre-conceived notions, don’t knee-jerk reject it; Consider the possibility that your beliefs are flawed and may re-organize at a higher level of functioning with this realization.  If you maintain this modality you will take full advantage of what life has to offer and be in a continuous state of growth.  Growth stops the moment you think you know everything. “       

      As a Master Voice Teacher I have been training students out of my studio in Philadelphia since 1984.



      There are videos of recent performances on YouTube available here.

       April 21 and 22 were significant days for ACS Athens as they were the first international school to present the 2016 Colloquium to the community, educators and the Middle States Association for the "Sustaining Excellence" Protocol, an accreditation status acquired by few schools to date. Day one consisted of a number of speeches by educators and guests and "Morfosis Talks" or presentations by faculty and counselors.  On the second day, parents, students and educators gathered in classrooms for hands-on demonstrations in best practices.  As a  result, Dr. Jane W. Pruitt from the Middle States Association submitted her Final Reflection and recommendations:

      American Community Schools of Athens

      Sustaining Excellence Colloquium

      It is an honor and a privilege to have participated in the first international Middle States Association Sustaining Excellence colloquium presented by ACS. Just as the geography of this beautiful country gracefully embraces its visitors with outstretched arms, ACS has gracefully embraced us – your invited guests – in the same way that you embrace all who pass through or call Athens home. The history of this land and the history of your school reminds us of the role Athens played and continues to play as the center of teaching and learning. You are the best ambassadors of Greek hospitality.  You are simply the best. Thank you to everyone who made our visit to ACS a very pleasant one, indeed.

      My purpose is to serve as a critical eye; a mirror through which the results of your action research is reflected clearly so that you can focus on the steps you will need to take to achieve your vision for the future of ACS. You are the first international school to use the Middle States Sustaining Excellence protocol for Self-Study. The name of this protocol reminds us that excellence is not accidental, but is the result of a deliberate decision to continue to achieve excellence. Your involvement in the Middle States accreditation process is testimony to your vision to be excellent. The question is not if you want a better school, but how you will ensure continuous improvement to be the best school you can be.

      Accreditation provides a systematic process that requires a school to ask why it exists, to establish a vision for the future, and to determine specific paths for reaching that vision. Jim Collins, author of Good to Great speaks to the how:

      Every institution – whether for profit or not – has to wrestle with a vexing question: What should change and what should never change? It’s a matter of distinguishing between timeless core values, operating practices, and cultural norms. Timeless core values should never change; operating practices and cultural norms should never stop changing.

      It is obvious that core values exist at ACS:

      · You believe that all students can learn

      · You have committed to the success of all students - academically, personally, emotionally, socially, and technically

      · You are true professionals who respect each other and work together to promote student success

      · You sacrifice personal time and resources for the needs of your students

      · You have established dedication to the teaching profession that promotes  a love of learning – for all ages

      · You support equal treatment, fairness, and respect for diversity and value each individual’s contribution to a quality learning experience.

      It is also recognized that the purpose of ACS is promoted by your Governing Body and by the numerous partners and collaborators who are invested in your success. They trust that what is done by the faculty in your school is what is right for the students. I heard countless testimonials of the trust that your stakeholders have in you:

      · Students said, “Our teachers are amazing”

      · Parents said, “We love it here!”

      · Higher education officials said, “ACS is the model for continuous improvement”.

      I would like to take this opportunity to commend ACS for:

      · The comprehensive way in which the action research was conducted

      · The informative way in which the results of the action research was presented

      · Putting theory to practice

      · Institutionalizing inquiry

      · Guided self-reflection

      · The true sense of professionalism, community, and teamwork of the faculty

      · The sincere and conscious efforts to communicate, articulate, implement the mission and vision of ACS

      · The commitment to focus human and material resources to support the success of all

      · The programs and services tailored to fit all levels of learners with special attention to individualizing to meet the needs of traditional learners, non-traditional learners, and learners with special needs

      · The focus on teaching “the whole child”

      · The numerous partnerships with parents, businesses and governmental agencies to extend, promote, and efficiently use all community resources   for teaching and learning

      · The desire to acquire and use technology as a tool for teaching and learning to prepare all students in 21st Century Skills

      · The focused commitment to continual improvement through professional development based on the needs of your faculty, your students and the community you serve

      · Your willingness to share the proven practices you have discovered with the global educational community for the benefit of all through numerous and diverse forms of publication

      · Remembering that learning is joyous and fun – at any age.

      As I reflect on all of the good things that are happening in ACS, I should also reflect on the challenges that lie ahead in the pursuit of sustaining excellence. Wayne Gretzky reminds us that we always need to be looking ahead in order to succeed: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been.”

      I would like to take this opportunity to encourage ACS to consider:

      • expanding and integrating the stra