Kelly Demetra Varsami
Principal, Program Director, Curriculum Coordinator, Language Teacher
Kelly Demetra Varsami studied at Pantion University of Athens with a major in Public Administration. She continued her studies at the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College, CUNY, with a major in Business Administration/Computer Information Systems. Ms. Varsami earned her Masters of Arts in Teaching from Queens College, CUNY.
She is State Certified in grades 1-6 and taught in several elementary schools in Long Island. She worked as a Greek Teacher at the Cathedral School in NYC and at the Greek School of Port Washington for several years. Ms. Varsami served as the Principal of the Hellenic Education and Language Program, Head of Curriculum and Director of the educating staff from 2010 to 2015.
She is one of the Founders of Academy of Hellenic Paideia Inc., a non-profit organization, that encourages learning inspired by the classic Hellenic tradition.
Language Curriculum Coordinator, Language Teacher
Mrs. Varsami was born in Argyrokastro of North Epirus and studied at its Pedagogical Academy. She majored in Mathematics and Physics. Mrs. Varsami taught for the first 28 years of her career in several public schools teaching the following grades: 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th. She has attended numerous Language Seminars in Crete and Athens, and specializes in teaching Greek as a second language.
Since September of 2002, Mrs. Aneta lives in New York where she teaches Greek Language, Mythology, History, Geography, Mathematics, Dance, and Greek Customs and Traditions in the Greek schools of several communities: Port Washington, Brookvile, Nysirian Society in Astoria and Hellenic Education and Language Program in Astoria.
One of the founding members of Academy of Hellenic Paideia Inc. and the Head of the Language Curriculum of this program.
Substitute Language Teacher
“If you know, teach. If you receive, give. Pass it on.” Vivian Triviza shares this quote by Maya Angelou to her class in hopes of developing a cycle of students seeing themselves as both learners and teachers, and to develop a community where we all receive and give.
After graduating from the University of Ioannina (Greece), department of Medieval and Modern Greek Literature with studies in Ancient Greek and Latin literature, she has acquired experience in teaching Modern Greek as a foreign or second language.
Also, she has participated in the design of many teaching materials corresponding to students whose native language is not Greek. Working alongside other passionate educators, she is proud to be a part of “Academy” and is committed to working for the success of each and every student.
Chorus Director, Music Teacher
Ms. Skendrou, a native of Greece, is involved with several organizations that promote Hellenic culture in the U.S.
She is a graduate of the Atheneaum-Maria Callas Conservatory and Mannes College of Music as a scholarship recipient from the A. Onassis Foundation. She is also a graduate from the Theatrical Technical School for the Arts in Moscow, Russia.
Alexandra has performed opera, operetta, musical theater and recitals in Amato Opera, Kaye Playhouse, Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Bruno Walter Auditorium, Miller Theatre, The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, La Guardia Theater, National Greek Opera House & more. In addition she is a member of the Greek Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity Choir. She is the music teacher of The Cathedral School, Hellenic Education Language Program - H.E.L.P. in Astoria and Holy Cross Day School in Whitestone. Ms. Skendrou has 14 years teaching experience in schools in the Tristate area.
Born in Greece, Antonia Papatzanaki is a renowned international artist. Papatzanaki was educated in Athens School of Fine Arts (G. Nikolaidi’s Workshop), in Vienna Hochschule für Angenwandte Kunst (W. Bertoni’s Workshop), and in New York, Pratt Institute where she acquired her Master of Fine Arts.
She is the recipient of many prestigious awards (F.V.S. zu Hamburg Foundation, Hellenic State Scholarship Foundation, Gerondelis Foundation, Lynn, MA, Foundation for Hellenic Culture, Hellenic Ministry of Culture, and Katonah Museum of Art, NY) and has gained first prizes from PanHellenic and international Competitions for public art work installations. Her public light installation Agora was exhibited at Battery Park during 2000-2001 as part of the Temporary Public Art Program of the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation. Her sculpture Lighthouse is permanently installed at “Kato Patisia” Square Metro Station, Athens, Greece.
Theater Teacher & Director
Ioanna Katsarou has studied theater at the Drama school of the National Theater of N. Greece, computer studies at the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki and music studies at the Municipal Conservatoire of Thessaloniki.
She is founding member of the Eclipses Group Theater NY (www.egtny.com) and founding member of Aktis Aeliou Art Theater, awarded «The Best Regional Theater in Greece» by the Greek Critics Association for the year 2006 and nominated for the same award in 2003.
She worked as an actress with the National theater of N. Greece (Athens Festival, Herodion Atticon), La MaMa theater, Ashes company, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, Greek Cultural Center NY, New Theater Thessalonikis, Aktis Aeliou Theater, Eclipses Group Theater NY and others.
Some of her leading roles were: Clytemnestra at the Classic Stage Company (off-Broadway), Cassandra at the Ellen Stewart stage of La MaMa theater (off- Broadway) Queen Atossa at La MaMa Theater (NY), G.C.C of NY and St Ambroise Fringe Festival Montreal, Phaedra at the Delphi Festival for the Ancient Greek Drama (2007), Katherine in «Suddenly Last Summer», Medea in «Medea’s Trilogy» by Heiner Muller and many more.
At the Greek Cultural Center in NY she directed the plays : «Mommy, Mother, Mom» by Giorgos Dialegmenos, «The babies are brought by the stork» and «In Laws from Tirana» by M.Reppas-T. Papathanasiou. With the Eclipse Group Theater NY she directed the plays “Raus! Get outta here! (Stathakeio center and National Hellenic Museum in Chicago), “The Princess Goes to War” by Ioanna Katsarou (Archdiocesan Hellenic Cultural Center), “Can’t pay? Won’t pay!”by Dario Fo (co-director, Archdiocesan Hellenic Cultural Center). She directed the play “Autobiography- In the opposite direction by Thomas Bernhard (It was one of the three production of Aktis Aeliou theater nominated for best Regional theater award by the Greek Critics Association in 2003).
She teaches Greek Theater at the Academy of Hellenic Paideia.
Angela Kourtzoglou is a New York State Licensed English Teacher with 10 years experience in teaching. She also teaches Greek and Greek dance since 1998. Mrs. Kourtzoglou began teaching dance at the Cretan Society "OMONOIA" and shorthly after became the coordinator and teacher for the J.H.S. and Greek afternoon school dance groups of St. Nicholas's William Spyropoulos School in Flushing. Angela is still employed at the afternoon school and is excited to teach at the Academy of Hellenic Paideia. Dancing is a passion for Angela and she loves to bestow the gift and love of dancing to her students.
Substitute Teacher Assistant
“Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each” guides Christina’s method when assisting in the classroom. Working with children has always been a passion for Christina Kagiou. She enjoys helping to create a caring and loving environment in which children can learn and flourish, and believes that every child has unique qualities to be discovered.
During her three years with the Hellenic Education and Language Program she obtained rewarding experience in working with children. Christina is currently studying at Hunter College, C.U.N.Y. and aspires to become an educator.
Pankration / Chess Coach, Playwright Author
Konstantinos Doikos was born in Greece, in the city of Athens. He studied electrical engineering at the Technological Institute of Halkida. From an early age he was involved in different sports, with a special interest in martial arts, boxing, karate, kung fu, and in recent years, the Pankration Sport.
He won a gold medal as an athlete of Pangration Sport and then continued as a coach, holding the license of the Coach of Pangration Sport from the Greek Secretariat of Sports.
He attended several playwriting workshops and wrote numerous plays. Two of his recent works, the "Hymn of Hermione" and "Medusa and Perseus" went on stage from the children's Theatrical Workshop "Logos & Praxi".
Dance Teacher & Choreographer
Roula Zogopoulos has been of service to the Greek Community since her teen years. Her NY Hellenic upbringing developed a deep rooted passion in her which propels her to share her knowledge with our children and adults. She is a mother of two boys that are also immersed in our rich Greek culture and traditions.
Roula is versed in many genres of dance including, ballet, tap, jazz, modern, African and Greek. She earned a Bachelor's Degree in Drama Theater & Dance as well as Sociology from Queens College where she was awarded the Farah Marcellus Award for outstanding choreography in 2000.
She's also an educator with a Master's of Teaching in Elementary Education from the City University of NY. She has taught in NYC public schools (Ps 70, Ps 193, Ps 58, Ps 221) as well as private schools such as Holy Cross of Whitestone, Church of the Ascension of NJ, and since 1999 serves as the artistic director of the Archangel Michael Dance Troupe. Additionally, she is also currently the Toddler/Creative Movement classroom teacher at AMC Preschool.
Her extensive private and public school classroom experience, her extensive dance training, and her profound love for her Greek heritage are demonstrated in all her works. Roula is also profoundly compassionate towards children's suffering and is highly involved with The Ronald McDonald House NYC, The Greek American Mother's Association and the Cura Orphanage of Kenya.
She is elated to join such a highly esteemed team at the Academy of Hellenic Paideia.
Artist, Art Workshop Teacher
Xanthippe Tsalimi is a Greek fine artist, art teacher and interior designer that has lived and worked throughout Athens most of her life.
Xanthippe studied painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts, under the instruction of J. Valavanidis, P. Charalambous and M. Manousakis. During this period she completed courses in stage design, digital art, typography and graphic design, with additional courses in educational studies in academics and art.
Art studies were preceded with a bachelor’s degree in interior design and architecture at the School of Graphic Arts, at the Technological Education Institute in Athens. In addition, these studies were supplemented by her attendance at Helsinki University of Art and Design in Finland, with the aid of a grant where she participated on a multi-national art project.
After Xanthippe completed her studies, she was awarded a scholarship from the Royal Academy of History and Art of San Quirce and Madrid’s Academy of Fine Arts (2007 & 2008). The award granted her residency in various landscape workshops and exhibitions in Segovia, Spain.
Early Childhood Teacher, "Mommy and Me" Director
Katerina Alexaki is a theater director, educator, producer, actress, vocalist and photographer. She is also co founder of Artika theater company, a non profit cultural and educational organization and theater space, based in Greece.
Her diverse credits as a theater director include contemporary plays, musicals, performance and theater for very young children. Her productions have been staged in New York at the Wild Project and in Athens at National Theater of Greece, Musical Stage Athina, Booze, Artika, Kinky Kong, Studio Mavromihali and in Between the Seas Festival (New York), Isfahan International Theater Festival (Iran) and International Theater Festival for Children (Romania).
As an actress she performed in productions of ancient drama as well as modern authors and colaborated with numerous Greek and New York based directors. She performed in Epidaurus Theater, Herodion Theater, National Theater of Greece, Hearst Greek Theatre in California and La MaMa ETC, in New York, among others.
As a vocalist Katerina appeared in various music scenes and was a member of the new age group Iris. With Iris she recorded three CDs. Her work has been granted from the European Community, the Greek Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Employment and Social Protection in Greece for groundbreaking work about women who lives with their babies in prison.
Katerina teaches theater, traditional singing and Greek language, privately and as a substitute teacher in the Academy of Hellenic Paideia in Astoria, NY. In the Academy she created and runs the program "Τα παιδία παίζει" "Mommy and Me" classes in Greek language for ages 0-3. She is a student at the Queens College - CUNY majoring in theater and education, and a theater graduate from the National Theater οf Greece and Arhi drama school. She also studied piano and singing at the National Conservatory of Athens and at the Atheneum conservatory, photography at Akto College and interior architecture and design at Plaka arts center. A proud mother of wonderful twin girls, lives in New York and Athens, Greece.