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US’ Largest Greek Orthodox School Holds Parade on Greek Bicentennial

Greek Bicentennial
St. Demetrios School in Astoria, Queens, celebrating the Greek Bicentennial on Thursday. Credit: Facebook/St. Demetrios School

The pupils of St. Demetrios, the largest Greek Orthodox school in America, held a gala celebration of the Greek bicentennial on Thursday including its traditional parade, live-streamed over the internet.

Unfazed by the coronavirus restrictions that called for them to be masked, the students belted out the “Hymn to Victory,” the Greek national anthem, on the gala celebration of Greece’s bicentennial of the War of Independence.

Celebrating Greek bicentennial with traditional fanfare

Then they took off on their traditional parade through the streets of Astoria, Queens, to the recorded tune of marching bands — as socially distanced as they could be while commemorating the great sacrifices of the Greek people 200 years ago as they shook off the Ottoman yoke.

One of the few Greek Orthodox boarding schools in the United States, the school serves those in grades kindergarten through the twelfth grade. With extremely high academic standards, it has a student body of 700 and an extremely low student-to-teacher ratio of 10:1.

One of very few Greek Orthodox boarding schools in the US

A private school, it opened in 1956 with only 267 students but expanded greatly after thousands of Greek Cypriots came to the US in 1974.

Some students may  be eligible for a second diploma recognized by the Greek Ministry of National Education when they graduate from the school. Its graduates also qualify for admission into Greek colleges and universities.

In the past year, the revered institution swept aside the many educational difficulties that occurred as a result of the pandemic, managing to rank among the nation’s 50 top online schools according to a Newsweek study.

Saint Demetrios Preparatory, a NYSED accredited private school, provides a rigorous college preparatory program through a well-balanced curriculum that also is based on the tenets of the Christian faith — charity, service and empowerment of the human spirit.

One of the best private schools in New York City

Its mission statement says that it is committed to providing each student an outstanding opportunity to achieve academic excellence in an environment which fosters a strong sense of community within a culturally diverse student body.

Saint Demetrios Preparatory has been nationally ranked as one of the top private schools in New York City by Niche for the academic excellence shown by its students on the college readiness scale.

Spiritual study and reflection, retreats, liturgies and prayer services are another aspect of campus life at Saint Demetrios. Every student also must complete a minimum of 100 hours of service before graduation.

Both components of the Prep’s experience are meant to create awareness and appreciation of the beliefs, traditions, life experiences and circumstances of the range of people who live in its community.

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