JAMAICA, NY – The Greek Afternoon School at St. Demetrios in Jamaica held its graduation ceremony on June 12, celebrating the completion of another successful school year.
Presiding priest of the community Father Konstantinos Kalogridis began the celebration with a prayer and then wished the graduates all the best in their future endeavors and that God be with them at every step of their lives. He thanked the parents and all those present and wished everyone a “good summer.”
The 8th grade graduates Evgenia Drakoulias, Simonides Kalpaxis, Ioanna Stefanakis, Katerina Tsouratakis, and Nikolaos Hatzigeorgiou presented important moments of their school life from grades 1-8.
They each expressed their gratitude to the Greek school for all the memories and friends they had made over the years. The five graduates of the Greek school, together with the youngest children of the school, participated in a beautiful program with songs, theatrical scenes and musical recitals, garnering enthusiastic applause from the proud parents and grandparents present.
Principal Apostolos Fountas told the graduates that “they should be grateful to their parents and the community of Saint Demetrios, for they have provided them with a proper Greek-Christian education,” and noted that the last eight years of their life are full of memories that they will never forget. He wished the graduates good progress and health and joy in the future.
Finally, he thanked the parents who trust the St. Demetrios School and brought their children to learn the Greek language, religion, and their history.
Fountas also congratulated all the school children and thanked the teachers, Panagiota Kakogiannis, Eleni Kakogiannis, Emmanuela Christodoulou, and Despina Stavrou, as well as Stavros Kilimitzoglou.
Eighth grade students Ioanna Stefanakis and Simonides Kalpaxis were presented with awards by the Hellenic American Owners Association. Principal Fountas thanked the Association for this year’s contribution to the afternoon school.
The ceremony ended with a speech by Fr. Kalogridis, who highlighted the importance of the children learning Greek, as this means that the young people will be more and more connected as they progress through life with Greece and its people and develop their relations with peers in Greece.
The St. Demetrios Jamaica Greek Afternoon School graduation included the youngest students as well. Photo: Courtesy of St. Demetrios Jamaica Greek School
He also handed out the diplomas and awards and congratulated the children for their performance and effort.
Awards for Excellence were presented to: Ioanna Stefanakis, Tryfonas Nittis, Evangelia Amorim, Anastasios Roumeliotis, and Dimitrios Katechis.
Awards for Participation were presented to: Simonides Kalpaxis, Gerasimos Hatzigeorgiou, Victoria Vagiopoulou, Vasilios Seretis, Anna Paparousopoulou.
Attendance Awards were presented to: Ioanna Stefanakis, Tryfonas Nittis, Ioannis Parlambanidis, Vasilios Seretis, and Dionysios Valentis.
St. Demetrios Jamaica Greek Afternoon School is open Monday and Wednesday, 4-6 pm, for all students interested in learning the Greek language and culture. Eighth grade students prepare for the Archdiocese’s Neo-Hellenic Examination. Attendance is free of charge and courses will start again for the fall on Wednesday, September 11.
A reception with sweets and refreshments courtesy of the Parents’ Association, followed the ceremony.