Steve (Sotiris) Christopoulos, 59, the CEO and president of Superior Schools, which has opened nine Plato Academy charter schools in Florida over the past 13 years, died tragically on June 27, an apparent drowning while on vacation in Costa Rica with his three daughters.
The deceased was also an entrepreneur in the building and real estate sector. Four thousand students attend the charter schools with about seven thousand on the waiting list.
In an interview with the National Herald, Theodore Tsafatinos, a friend and koumbaro of the late Christopoulos, said that “he took his three daughters on a vacation to Costa Rica. And as the children swam yesterday, and he had just moved away from the shore somehow his children lost sight of him. They tried to find him, they shouted to the lifeguards on the beach, who ran, but it was too late, Sotiris had already drowned.”
Tsafatinos also said that “he recognized one of his children, when they took him out of the water, they tried to bring him back, but unfortunately it was not possible.”
Tarpon Springs Mayor Chris Alahouzos, a board member for Plato Academy, was informed of the passing of his friend and told the Tampa Bay Times, “He was a pillar of our community. He was always involved in the Greek community in Tarpon Springs.”
“He’s going to be missed. He was a very good friend of mine and also a very good person to work with,” Mayor Alahouzos said, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
The late Steve Christopoulos had come from Greece as a student to Boston, initially. He graduated from Boston’s Northeastern University, spent two years at the Boston University Medical School, but as he had said in an interview with TNH, he realized he did not like it and did not continue on in medical school.
He gave his last interview to TNH in March 2018, discussing the charter schools, “We started with one that became a very good school, the Americans understood it. The two big secrets were to recruit the best teachers I could find, the best technology and to implement my own philosophy for a happy environment, the students should feel joy at school, and feel at home there, in a comfortable environment.”
Christopoulos had plans to expand projects all over the United States.
Details concerning the funeral arrangements were not available at press time.