We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.’ – Winston Churchill.
Three unique promoters of Hellenism and Greek education were honored at the Hermes Expo International April 1st Gala on Tuesday evening at the Best Western Hotel of the Concordville Inn, in Concordville, Pennsylvania. The Federation of Hellenic American Teachers and the Hellenic Paideia of America, Inc. honored George Righos, Founder of the Odyssey Charter School in Delaware, President Peter Tsagarakis of Pan Gregorian Enterprises of Upper NY and Georgia Filiotis of Hellenic Paideia of America and United Nations representative for Human Rights and Education.
Mrs. Stella Kokolis President of the Federation of Hellenic American Teachers and the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) Education Committee for the US region, said “we must be united to solidify Greek education. Mrs. Kokolis was with a student she mentored at the March 27th Hermes Expo Kickoff in New York City in the Press & Communications Office, Permanent Mission of Greece to the UN. “I am very touched to meet my former student, Ifigenia Chondros Zapuntis, from St. Demetrios of Astoria Greek Afternoon School,” said Mrs. Kokolis. “She wrote the finest modern Greek papers.”
“We congratulate the honorees with the Hermes Expo and supporters of Hellenic education,” continued Mrs. Kokolis. “I accompanied the honor roll students of the parochial and afternoon schools in the Greek Parade up 5th Ave. in New York City. The students held the Greek flag that flies over the Acropolis for the first time in our parade. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio joined us on 64th St. with enthusiasm. He said it was an honor to hold the Acropolis flag and march with us throughout the parade.”
President Kokolis believes “we celebrate Freedom, Equality and Democratic values of the western world at the Greek Parade. Mayor de Blasio thanked His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios, Mrs. Ikouta and I at the March 25th Greek Independence Day celebration at Gracie Mansion. I congratulate George Righos for spreading Greek values and supervising the charter schools successfully. Peter Tsagarakis,President of Pan Gregorian Upper New York is a supporter and benefactor of Hellenic education and philanthropies.”
In an interview, President Tsagarakis believes “these educators are making a difference. When older volunteers give of themselves, they find the world gives back to them. They do not want to retire rest or relax. These honorable persons volunteer their services to help the next generation: our grandchildren. I have the deepest respect for them. They deserve a great thank you for us.”
Mr. Tsagarakis has a Cretan name, but is from the island of Kerkyra. He has two children and a two year old grandchild. “My friend, Yannis Markopoulos, a former teacher, asked me to help finance the Prometheus excursion to the Hermes International Expo. We are all friends with Pete Sassos, a great man, who worked many years for Pan Gregorian. We all wish him the best in his projects and family life. It is our honor to help volunteers attend Mr. Paul Kotrotsios’ Hermes International Expo. We thank Mr. Kotrotsios for providing this networking for all of us. He makes things happen.” I was amazed by Mr. Kotrotsios’ ability to reach out to the second, third and fourth generation and bring them back to their Greek roots.
“We are honored to participate in the 2014 Hermes Expo International,” said Vasiliki Filiotis, President of Hellenic Paideia of America, Inc. “Greek educators and supporters of Greek language and culture were honored at the evening’s gala. We want the community close to us, thinking positive. We welcome all to join us. For more information call, 718 844-0902.
“Hermes Expo International is one of the country’s largest and renowned business- to-business networking events and we are excited to partner with The Concordville Inn,” said Paul Kotrotsios, the Expo’s founder and president. This unique awards presentation was made possible by Mr. Kotrotsios, in one of the country’s largest and renowned business- to-business networking events.