American International School of Thessaloniki, Greece

Dr. Giampapa's June 2016 Director's Report

Events of the Month


Total Students             272

HCS Trip to the War Museum Thessaloniki                                                                                  May 10

Students in Grade 6 traveled to the War Museum Thessaloniki as part of our Host Country Studies program. Ms. Amalia Spiliakou led students through the museum, whose mission is the preservation of historical memory and heritage in Northern Greece. Thessaloniki’s War Museum opened its doors to the public in October 2000 in a building designed by architect Vitaliano Posseli and erected between 1900 and 1902. Museum exhibits include photographs of the times, Greek army uniforms, weapons of the Greek army, replicas of artillery and ships, works of art, stone engravings, maps, paintings and postcards. With the help of these exhibits, our Grade 6 students were able to gain a better insight into the history of Thessaloniki.

Cedefop Visit                                                                                                                                     May 11

All students in Grade 11 and the Business Management I class attended a career-oriented trip to CEDEFOP, the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training. CEDEFOP is the EU's reference center for providing scientific and technical know­how in specific fields and promote exchanges of ideas between different European partners. The director, Mr. Calleja, welcomed the students and talked about the importance of behavioral skills and respect in the working environment as well as the importance of flexibility and passion for one’s work. The Head of H­R, Ms. Manderscheid, the officer of Learning and Development, Ms. Germanova and the trainees talked about their educational backrgounds and career development over the years. The students were able to ask questions and interact over light lunch that was graciously provided by CEDEFOP. The students found the trip very useful for planning their future education and career paths, as they learned about many less known professions like the DPO (Data Protection Officer) and that of the Statistics Analyst. They learned that it is very common to earn a university degree in one field of education and do a Master’s in another. Also the possibility to change professions in their working career is very common in today’s world with increased globalization and competition and they must realize the necessity be flexible and adaptive in today's diverse societies. We thank CEDEFOP for opening its doors to our students and we hope that it will become a tradition for Pinewood students to visit CEDEFOP every year.

Microscopy Lab at Aristotle University                                                                                          May 11

The Physics Class in Grade 10 visited the Physics Department of the Aristotle’s University for a tour of the lab of electronic microscopy. Professor Dr. Dimitrakopoulos and PhD student, Ms. Bazioti, explained to the students the principles of the operation of an electronic microscope, the function of all equipment that is used for the preparation of the samples and the interpretation of the resulting images. Interestingly, we learned that a sample needs very careful handling before it is ready for use, which takes five to six days! When it is ready, it is so small that it is visible only under an optical microscope. The students had the opportunity to watch the operation of an electronic microscope and to see magnifications of high resolution that enable the observation of acual atoms. Our hosts answered many questions from our students and explained the importance of microscopy for several technological applications. We thank Aristotle University and Dr. Dimitrakopoulos for their gracious hosting of our students and for opening the door to the study of physics to them.

Visiting Authors from Canada                                                                                                        May 12

The International Festival of Authors, or IFOA, is a Canada-based organization that has grown remarkably since its first days in 1974 and is most known for its annual 11-day festival presenting Toronto audiences with the best literary talents from around the globe. There have been over 8,500 published authors from more than 100 countries, including twenty-one Nobel laureates, on the IFOA stage during Festival and additional programming year-round.   We are pleased that 3 authors on the tour took time to visit Pinewood and present to our Middle School students.  Read more...

Photo & Video Competition                                                                                                             May 18

The photo and video competition took place in the Spring and the winners were announced in May. The winners were chosen again this year by Mr. Takis Tzimas, owner and editor of the highest quality photographic magazine in Greece, “Photographos”. Read more...

Visit from the U.S. Department of State                                                                                         May 18-19

The U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Schools, is a strong supporter of Pinewood’s efforts to provide outstanding educational opportunities for its students. As part of their support, the chief education officer for our region, Dr. Bea Cameron, makes periodic visits to Pinewood to meet with us in order to keep abreast of our activities, growth and improvements. Dr. Cameron visited this month and met with the Board of Directors members and the Director. We were pleased to share our recent MSA re-accreditation details and other important initiatives with her.

Pinewood Scholars Series I: Education, the Humanities & Cultural Heritage                            May 27

From the Press Release: The first annual Pinewood Scholars Series was a definitive success as measured by its high quality speakers and scholarly interaction among the audience. Six dynamic women, four from the Pinewood community and two from the wider circle of Pinewood friends, joined forces and through their presentations, incited attendees to think how important “Education, the Humanities and Cultural Heritage” are for our own lives.   Read more...

Pinewood and the EUforia Project Wrap Up                                                                                May 30

At the end of May, our Grade 6 Social Studies students’ participation in the EUforia Programme, a transnational cultural partnership between Greece, Hungary and Poland, made possible through funding by European Commission’s MEDIA program, came to a close. Read more...



EYP Spring Show                          June 3

We enjoyed a wonderful Early Years Program Spring Show from the youngest members of our school community this month! Congratulations to the entire EYP faculty and staff, Dr. Smite and all of the people who made this a success! Also, a very big thank you to our parents for their endless support throughout the year!

Senior Prom                                  June 4

The annual Senior Prom took place with great cheer in the air on Saturday, June 4! Hosted and paid for by the Junior class, our Seniors will be honored with an evening of good food, friends and dancing. The dance is a formal, so students were dressed in their very best! Secondary teachers, as well as the whole High School (Grades 9-12), were attendance for this wonderful tradition.

At prom, it is customary for those in attendance to vote for a Prom King and Queen. This year, the honorary titles went to Edoardo Brizi for King and it was a tie between Juliet Rheault and Maria Eleni Dionelli who shared the title of Queen.

Spring Drama Production – “Pinocchio”         June 8

The annual Spring Drama production this year, the classic tale of the adventures of Pinocchio, the wooden  puppet carved by the woodcarver, Geppetto in a small village in Italy who dreamed of becoming a real boy, was highly entertaining! This imaginative retelling of the classic by Carlo Collodi was graced with the talent of our Elementary and Middle School students. Thank you to Ms. Liza Tziatas, Ms. Dimitra Bentioulis, Dr. Gundega Smite for their time and effort in preparing our young students for their performance and to all of those who helped behind the scenes. In addition, a big thank you to our Elementary and Middle School parents for their much-appreciated support throughout the year!

Fifth Grade Stepping Up Ceremony                                                                                               June 13

The annual ceremony marking the end of Elementary School and the start of Middle School, the Stepping Up Ceremony is a sentimental one for our Grade 5 students and parents. This year, we heard lovely original poems about their Elementary experiences, fond memories through touching songs and their ‘real life” fears were revealed in a made-for-the-occasion play! We wish our Grade 5 students the very best as they move into the next stage of their education at Pinewood.

Class of 2016 Commencement Ceremony                                                                                      June 14

Our annual commencement ceremony for the graduating class of 2016 took place in a lovely outdoor setting on campus and with great fanfare. Dr. Stefanos Gialamas, President of the American Community School, Athens, graced us with his words of wisdom and parents of the graduating class were overjoyed to see their sons and daughters receive their high school diplomas and awards for their accomplishments. A special congratulations to Foivos Isakoglou, valedictorian of the class, and Maria Poimenidou, salutatorian of the class. On behalf of the faculty and staff, I wish each of our graduates a prosperous future at university and beyond.

Summer Reminders

School Calendar 2016 – 2017

The School Calendar for next year may be viewed on our website at under the News tab.

Registration for 2016 – 2017

I kindly remind you to re-register your child(ren) for the upcoming school year as soon as possible. Select classes are filling up quickly with new student enrollment and wait lists will begin if a grade level reaches its maximum number of students. Our Admissions Office is calling home to remind you to re-register electronically and we are in the office every day from 9:00 – 16:00 if you would like to come in to re-register. Thank you again for your continued support of our Pinewood growth and development.