Scholars Honored at Staten Island AHEPA Chapter 349 Program


“The AHEPA Family of Staten Island, New York is proud to sponsor this Annual Awards Program honoring our outstanding young people of Greek descent in our Community,” said Emmanuel Kambos, President, AHEPA Chapter 349, Staten Island, New York at the 49th Annual Scholastic Achievement Awards Program. The event was held Friday evening, June 17th at the Holy Trinity-Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. Dr. John G. Siolas was honored for his forty-two years of service to AHEPA. A lavish dinner was served. The Staten Island diner owners, whose children and grandchildren attend the Modern Greek Afternoon School, donated the lavish cuisine.

The program consisted of the following: Welcoming Remarks, Mr. Emmanuel Kambos, President, AHEPA Chapter 349; Master of Ceremonies: Prof. John Antonopoulos, P.E; Guest Speaker: John G. Siolas, Ph.D., topic: How Greek Language and Culture Enriches our Graduates; Scholastic Awards Presentation, Greek Afternoon School Graduates, presented by the Executive Board, students Georgia Filippides, Vasilis Kampouras, Ariana Platis, Kleo Phytides, Dimitra Tountas and Stella Vlastakis; High School Graduates and Special Awards, presented by the Executive Board, students Parthena Dapias, Efthimia Johanides, Lemonia Pefanis, Michael Siozios, Maria Papaioannou; 2011 College Awards, presented by Homer Vandoros, Chairman of AHEPA Board of Governors, students Nicholas Litos, BS in Business CSI and Kristen Realmuto, Masters in Sociology, Adelphi University.

“We are proud of the Greek contribution to Western civilization,” said keynote speaker Dr. Siolas. “The values of civic responsibility, philanthropy, education, family and individual excellence and democracy are part of our heritage. The Modern Greek language, that is a continuation of ancient Greek, is used in philosophy, sciences, law and business fields in college. Sixty percent of medical terminology comes from the Greek language. Greek is the basis of sciences and literature in the English language. The Greek language has infiltrated numerous languages as English becomes the global language. Greek is part of our Western civilization. It is an invaluable treasure for all.”

Dr. Siolas said “you must keep your participation in the Greek-American community, socially and politically. AHEPA is instrumental in aiding all Greek-Americans in government, business, education and the arts. In times of crisis, the Greek-American community stands by its young, old and especially the middle class. The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) is a service organization founded on July 26, 1922 in Atlantic, Georgia. It was formed as a result of growing attacks on Greek Americans and Greek American businesses by the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and others. Its initial mission was to promote the image of Greeks in America, assist them with citizenship and to fight against KKK attacks. With the full assimilation of Greek Americans, our mission evolved toward philanthropy, education, promoting and preserving the Hellenic identity of the Greek Americans. We work closely with the Greek Orthodox Church. I leave all with Elia Kazan’s quote that he was ‘a Greek by blood… and an American because my uncle made a journey’.”

Dr. John g. Siolas (center) honored by
Prof. John Antonopoulos (left) and Pres.
Emmanuel Kambos.

He was presented with an honorary plague by AHEPA Chapter 349 for his outstanding service. Dr. John G. Siolas is an eminent scholar and author. He was initiated into AHEPA, Poughkeepsie Chapter in 1969. Presently, he is a member and District Governor of Hermes AHEPA Chapter in Astoria. Dr. Siolas will participate as a District Delegate in the 2011 AHEPA District Convention at Terrace on the Park, Queens, New York. He is an Associate Professor of Education, Graduate Division, School of Education and Psychology at Touro College for the past ten years. His many works include books and numerous articles about Greece, children’s textbooks and bilingual education texts. He is active in several civic and cultural societies including the Greek Teachers Association “Prometheus” where he served as president in 1981-83. Dr. Siolas served the Greek Archdiocesan School system from 1967 to 2005 as a teacher, administrator (Principal of Jamaica Day School) and curriculum writer with the Archdiocesan Board of Education. He is the recipient of the NY State Incentive Award 1974. Dr. Siolas was named Educator of the Year by the Hellenic American Educators Association (HAEA) in 1987. He was selected by the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefits Foundation to be a visiting Professor for the spring 2006 Semester at the University of Athens, Department of Linguistics.

“We wish to thank our supporters for their donations by purchasing the raffle ticket that made this program possible,” said Prof. John Antonopoulos. “We extend our wishes for an enjoyable summer. Congratulations and best of Luck in your Future endeavors!” The international scholar has been working behind the scenes of AHEPA and Modern

Greek language education. Dr. John Antonopoulos holds a PhD, CSP. He is a retired/ Professor / Safety Consultant for the MTA. In the 1990’s, he served for three years as President of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Board of Education. “I was selected by Staten Island University to go to china for three months as a visiting professor,” he explained. “I taught engineering, ergonomics and quality control for three months in 1991 and 1993 at Shanghai University.” The outstanding AHEPA leader was President of the American Society of Industrial Engineers for four years. Prof. Antonopoulos was honored by the President of the Transportation and Environmental Committees of C.B. #2 of Staten Island. He was honored by the Hon. Carolyn B. Maloney at the Capitol in 2008 and Hermes Expo in 2010 as an outstanding educator. Prof Antonopoulos and his wife, Emily, have two sons, Alexander, a Ph.D. in Pharmacy and Harry, a B.A. from CUNY and a NYC fireman.

The meaning of Greek language education is best understood from the words of an American. Rosemary Papaioannou, a pharmacist, is of Sicilian parentage from Palermo and Messina, part of Magna Græcia. “When I married my husband, Yanni, I fell in love with the Greek culture,” she explained. “I come from a Sicilian family where everyone speaks both Italian and Sicilian. I had a hunger to learn the Greek language. Mrs. Emily Antonopoulos taught an adult Greek language class which I attended. Mrs. Antonopoulos is a wonderful teacher. She became my bridge to the Greek language and culture. Her influence fueled my desire to speak and learn Greek. She was instrumental in helping close the language barrier between me and my husband’s family.”


Greek Afternoon School Graduates, presented by the
Executive Board, students Georgia Filippides, Vasilis
Kampouras, Ariana Platis, Kleo Phytides, Dimitra Tountas
and Stella Vlastakis.


High School Graduates and Special Awards, presented by
the Executive Board, students Parthena Dapias, Efthimia
Johanides, Lemonia Pefanis, Michael Siozios, Maria
Papaioannou


2011 College Awards, presented by Homer Vandoros,
(second from right) Chairman of AHEPA Board of
Governors, students Nicholas Litos, BS in Business
CSI and Kristen Realmuto, Masters in Sociology,
Adelphi University as Prof. John Antonopoulos (left)
and President Emmanuel Kambos(right) listen.


The 2010-11 Executive Officers of AHEPA chapter 34.

The meaning of Greek language education is best understood from the words of an American. Rosemary Papaioannou, a pharmacist, is of Sicilian parentage from Palermo and Messina, part of Magna Græcia. “When I married my husband, Yanni, I fell in love with the Greek culture,” she explained. “I come from a Sicilian family where everyone speaks both Italian and Sicilian. I had a hunger to learn the Greek language. Mrs. Emily Antonopoulos taught an adult Greek language class which I attended. Mrs. Antonopoulos is a wonderful teacher. She became my bridge to the Greek language and culture. Her influence fueled my desire to speak and learn Greek. She was instrumental in helping close the language barrier between me and my husband’s family.”

Rosemarie continued saying that “because of Mrs. Antonopoulos, I was able to communicate with my husband’s parents, siblings, cousins, grandparents….I often heard the phrase ‘una faccia, una razza’ meaning one face, one race to show the similarities of Greeks and Italians. I believe this is true….Mrs. Antonopoulos has given me a wonderful gift by sharing her love of the Greek language with me and many of her students. She respected our desire to learn and nourished and encouraged our efforts no matter how imperfect our attempts were. She is truly an inspiration to anyone who is willing to learn and truly the perfect example of a modern Renaissance woman.” Mrs. Emily Antonopoulos taught 30 years of Greek Afternoon School of Holy Trinity-Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Staten Island. She was the recipient of the St. Paul Medal of Honor from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America by His Eminence, Archbishop Iakovos. She was honored as outstanding Greek language educator by the Federation of Greek Societies, Prometheus Society and Hermes Expo.


Rosemary Papaioannou, a pharmacist,(left) who learned
Modern Greek from Mrs. Emily Antonopoulos, with her
husband Prof. John Antonopoulos.

This program was made possible by the 2010-11 Executive Officers of AHEPA chapter 349. They include: Emmanuel Kambos, President, Prof. John Antonopoulos, Vice-President, Eleftherios Theodorakis, Secretary and Ierotheos Moraitis, Treasurer. The members of the 2011 Scholastic Awards Committee are Emmanuel Kambos, Harry Monioudis, Homer Vandoros, Prof. John Antonopoulos, P.E., Petros Vlitas and Sokratis Dapias.


(Posting date 24 October 2011)

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