NEW YORK – The annual ceremony and reception for the Teacher of the Year award of The National Herald has become a celebration of the best in the Greek-American community.
Once again, Publisher Antonis H. Diamataris welcomed the guests who came to honor the people who give of themselves in order to transmit the values of Hellenism and its most powerful vehicle: the Greek language.
Maria Makedon, the dedicated educator who is the director of the Direct Archdiocesan District Office of Education, who has served Hellenism and the Greek-American community for 42 years at the Archdiocese, was this year’s recipient.
Although an administrator and not a teacher- she has labored strenuously and for long hours to provide teachers with the resources and support they need – Makedon was trained to be a teacher at St. Basil’s Academy, an experience she will always treasure.
She offered a hint of her selflessness when she insisted on calling her current assistants, Eirini Pitidou and Athina Filippou-Katehis to the podium to share in her bright moment, telling the guests that they constitute her faith in the continuity of her sacred endeavor in the name of Hellenism and Orthodoxy.
Among those present were Manos Koumbarakis, Greece’s Consul in New York, newly arrived Consul General of Cyprus, Ambassador Vasilis Philppou, New York State Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, City Council Member Costas Constantinides, The Very Rev. Archimandrite Ierotheos Zacharis of St. Irene Chrysovalantou, Very Rev. Nektarios Papazafiroulos, the Dean of St. Demetrios Cathedral, representing Archbishop Demetrios, who did not attend, Fr. George Passias, Pastor of the Church of St. Spyridon, Anastasios Koularmanis, principal of the St. Demetrios schools, Steven Cherpelis, benefactor of the Stephen and Areti Cherpelis Greek Afternoon School of St. Nicholas in Flushing and 1st Vice President of the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Steve Valliotis, founder of Alma Realty and Nicholas Andriotis, Chairman of the School Board of St. Demetrios Cathedral.