The 40-year course of the “Teacher” of the Greek Diaspora in the States, Stella Kokolis from New York, was honored by her birthplace Andros, with a tree planting held in Ag. Petros region, supported by the Greek – American “Plant Your Roots in Greece” Foundation.
Stella Kokolis, has been repeatedly honored on her distinguished educational and philanthropic work, and her church, community and political activities. Born in Andros in 1945, having studied at Panteios University in Athens, she migrated with her family to New Jersey. She studied at the University of New York and Columbia, specializing in education, school administration and humanities.
In the early years, she worked in evening schools of the Archdiocese. She collaborated for several years, with the Archbishop of America at the time, Iakovos, through the Higher Education Council of the Archdiocese. She was subsequently appointed at a public New Jersey lyceum, where she remained for 25 years and served as school director, while she launched a Hellenic Studies program at Queens College, operating until today.
In 1975 she launched the “Prometheus” Greek Teachers Association, based in New York, serving as President for many years. In 2004 she succeeded, with the invaluable, as she stresses, help of Theodore Spyropoulos, to unite all Diaspora organizations on a national level, under the umbrella of the Federation of Greek American Educational and Cultural Associations. The Federation, which she chairs, currently brings together 14 educators’ associations throughout America, whereby it is estimated that approximately 900 educators are teaching, among which being seconded teachers by the Ministry of Education in Greece.
Politics is the second greatest love of Mr. Kokolis. Approximately forty years ago, when she went to America, she allied with the Democratic Party. With emotion and pride she recalls Michael Dukakis pre-electoral campaign, which she wholeheartedly supported, as all efforts they made in the 80s for Diaspora Greeks to realize the importance of voting in the U.S. national elections. In the last presidential elections she supported Hilary Clinton, while there is a history and sense of mutual respect with her family, states Mrs. Kokolis.
Tree planting ceremony in Ag. Petros
The tree planting of four thousand seedlings, with the participation of the Mayor of Andros, Ioannis Glynos, members of the City Council, several students and residents of the island, took place in the area of Ag. Petros.
Evidently moved, Mrs. Kokolis, President of the Greek – American Educators Associations and President of SAE U.S.A. Educational Committee, stressed that we have a duty to restore values, centered on the Human and nature constituting a unified element.
“Philosopher Heraclitus said “From all things one and from one all things”. This truth must be understood by all of us. We need to realize that we are one with our fellow humans and with nature, which surrounds us”, stressed Mrs. Kokolis, among other things.
The tree – planting was realized with the contribution of the President of “Plant your Roots in Greece” Foundation, Theodore Spyropoulos, known Diaspora Greek and philanthropist, Stavros Vougiouklakis, ship – owner Constantinos Psaltis, who has greatly contributed to his birthplace and Margarita Vartholomaiou from Andros, Head of Public Relations at Evropaiki Pisti.
Source: ANA – MPA