WHITESTONE – “Today is a great day for the Irene Ladas Day School of the Holy Cross Community of Whitestone,” Theodore Kusulas, Head of the School, pointed out during an interview with The National Herald.
“We celebrate the beginning of the school year 2016-2017 and at the same time the resurrection, in all the sense of the word, of the school. And this is an achievement first and foremost of all the parents who believe in the mission of our school, the teachers and the school committee, the community council, the Philoptochos Society and the presiding priest, Father Dionysios Anagnostopoulos,” he said.
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The school, as TNH reported, was in the eye of the storm earlier this summer. The community, due to the lack of a sufficient number of students, decided to close and on June 28 notified the parents of its decision.
However, thanks to the efforts of Fr. Dionysios Anagnostopoulos, Parish Council President Effie Karalekas, and Head of the School Theodore Kusulas, the school re-opened.
On Thursday morning, September 7, students, teachers, parents, and community leaders gathered in the Michael and Christine Psarros Gymnasium to celebrate the start of the new school year.
The school, as Kusulas noted, has 17 children in nursery, 9 children in the Pre-Kindergarten and 10 children in Kindergarten, the first grade has 9 pupils and the 3rd and 4th have 11 pupils total. The 3rd and 4th grade will run and the lessons will be taught as in the villages of the homeland and in the elementary schools of Greece.
Kusulas noted the school’s mission statement in the interview with TNH as well as in a letter sent to parents several weeks ago and already posted on the community’s website, “A vision, shared values ??and beliefs… one community.” He pointed out that the classrooms are innovative and Maria Papazis, who has 17 years of experience in teaching Language and Literature and Special Education, will teach the lessons.
Ten teachers and two assistants will be teaching at school and this, as Kusulas said, is the school’s strength because the ratio of teachers to students is one to five, noting at the same time that public and other private schools are in the range of one to twenty to one to thirty.
Kusulas pointed out that the Irene Ladas Day School has good foundations, because from the pre-school age up to the 1st grade they have more than ten children on average. “We hope in 2019 to celebrate the first graduation ceremony for the 5th grade students,” he concluded.
The presiding priest of the community, Fr. Dionysios Anagnostopoulos, spoke to TNH, welcoming the beginning of the school year and noted that efforts are being made to increase the number of students attending the school by reaching out to more parents.
At the same time, he pointed out that a year ago, the school also benefited from the legacy of the late Irene Ladas, in the amount of $700,000 that will be allocated to expand the school facilities.
Both Kusulas and Fr. Dionysios noted that they have a clear plan to promote the school and that they will try to attract more pupils.
The community has created a dedicated pupil enrollment link for the school at: http://www.holycrossgreekchurch.com/.
At the same time, parents are invited to call 718-747-3803 or e-mail: [email protected].
They can also visit the community and school at 12-03 150 Street in Whitestone, NY.