American International School of Thessaloniki, Greece

Dr. Giampapa's News (January 2014)


Please visit our NEWS page to read the 2nd edition of the Journalism Club's student newspaper, PINEWORD!

2nd Annual Student Photography Competition

This year, we hosted our 2nd annual student photography competition with 33 participants submitting 70 photos.

The awards ceremony, which took place on December 18, revealed the following winners which were based on Creativity, Originality, Composition and General Impression / Feeling:




A special thank you to the following judges of the competition:

  • Mrs. Amalia Spiliakou - Host country studies coordinator-Art Historian
  • Mr. Dimitris Michalaros - IB Visual Arts Teacher-Artistic Director of Action Field Kodra-municipality Kalamarias
  • Mr. Spyros Dukas - Photographer-Graphic-Yearbook Editor
  • Mr. Takis Tzimas – Owner Fotografos Magazine

Also, a special thank you to the following people, without whom the competition could not take place:

  • Mr. John Konchylaki, who sponsored all of the printing of the photographs for the competition Mr. Takis Tzimas for publishing an article about the competition in his magazine Fotografos (January 2014) and choosing the overall winner
  • Mr. Kostas Papantoniou, Pinewood school photographer, who organized the entire competition.

A link to all of the photographs may be viewed here:

Purchase Photo Competition Prints NOW!

Each of the original prints from the photography competition are now on sale for 4 euros each. Come in to purchase yours today or email Mr. Papantoniou (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). All proceeds from the sale will go to the Arts Department for the purchase of a new video camera. Thank you for your support!

Winter Fundraising Concert

Congratulations to Dr. Gundega Smite for her organization of the Winter Fundraising Concert in December. Nearly 20 students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 performed in the show, which raised 150 euros. All proceeds will go towards the purchase of musical instruments for the Music Department.

Pinewood Holiday Party Thank You!

A heartfelt thank you to the organizing committee (Mrs. Linda Kainz, Mrs. Natalie Pinakidou, Dr. Clare Squires, Mrs. Tammy Mizas) for a very successful holiday party that brought together teachers, parents and friends of Pinewood for a night of eating, dancing and good cheer. A total of 1,800 euros was raised and will go towards funding a teacher to attend the annual NESA Spring Educator’s Conference in Bangkok, Thailand this Spring! A big thank you to all of our sponsors from this evening, too!

Piracy in Somalia Seminar

Commander Dimitrios Spirou, Greek Navy, joined us in December to present the world-wide problem of piracy. Commander Spirou delivered an insightful presentation by discussing why piracy off the coast of Somalia is an issue, how it started, the pirate’s modus operandi, how the military is combatting piracy and the most current status of the issue.

His presentation opened all of our eyes to this and other issues around the world.

A big thank you to him for sharing his time with us.

Secondary Midterm Exams

Midterm Exams begin for students in Grades 6 – 12 on Monday, January 20 and will run for the entire week. As a reminder, the Midterm Exams are weighted at 20% of the First Semester grade. It is our expectation that students have already started the review process. Waiting to late to prepare for these important assessments will not produce the results that we expect from our students.

During exam week, students may arrive at and leave school according to their exam schedules if they have arranged their own rides. However, the buses will be operating regularly in the mornings and afternoons in the event that students stay at school for the duration of the regular school hours.

Internal Assessment Week for IB2 Students

While all secondary students are taking Midterm Exams next week, our IB2 students will be working on and finalizing their internal assessment work in all subjects. Internal Assessments are a very important component of all IB courses, since marks the students receive for their internal assessments count towards their final IB scores (depending on the course, between 20-50% of the final IB grade). Internal Assessments consist of various tasks depending on the subject (i.e., oral recordings for language courses, laboratory reports for science courses, portfolio exercises for mathematics, case studies/commentaries/research essays for the social sciences, art workbook pages for visual arts, etc.). The purpose of Internal Assessment week is to give students the opportunity to interact with their teachers, focusing on these assignment tasks for a week without having to cover new material for their courses.


  • Please be sure to visit our ACTIVITIES page to view the After School Activities schedule for each week of the month.
  • Note that all Secondary activities (Grades 6-12) are canceled during Midterm Week (January 20-24). Early Years and Elementary activities run regularly.
  • Don't forget to visit our Home page to read the articles about our IT classes and the Hour of Code, the Host Country Studies trip to the Telogleio Foundation of Art and more!
  • Also, visit our Photo Gallery to see the additions, including photos from our EYP Christmas Show, Winter Concert, Elementary Drama Production and more!
  • Also, every other Wednesday, Pinewood hosts its own Pinewood Radio Show on FM 100.6 Live! We encourage you to tune in from 17:00 to 18:00 to listen to great American and British music compiled around various themes. You can tune in to FM 100.6 or listen on your computer or phone via live streaming at Our next broadcast will be on Wednesday, January 15th!

Dr. Roxanne Giampapa

Dr. Giampapa's News (November 28, 2013)

December is always a busy time of the year and this December is no exception. I am delighted to invite all of our families and friends of Pinewood to our three Christmas productions, the Winter Music Concert on Wednesday, December 11 at 18:00, the Early Years Christmas Show, The Joys of Christmas, on Friday, December 13 at 13:30 and the Elementary Drama Club’s A Christmas Cinderella on Monday, December 16 at 13:00 and 18:00. We hope you can join us for at least one of our productions as they are wonderful displays of student confidence, talent and creativity…and festive entertainment for the holidays!

TED Talk: The World’s English Mania – Good or Bad?

Education at Pinewood is about transfer of knowledge. In other words, as David Perkins of Harvard University asks, “What’s worth learning?” When a student is exposed to a physics concept or a historical event in the classroom, he must be able to use this knowledge in real-life settings. If it is not valuable outside the school walls, then it is not worth learning. This is why I like this TED Talk, “The World’s English Mania”. It talks about why English is becoming the language of problem-solving, indeed, a noble reason to learn English. Although much of the video talks about how English is taught in China, which is the polar opposite of how we teach English at Pinewood, the end of the video makes the compelling case for English as a representation of “hope” wherein the world has a common language to solve its common problems – a language that allows those proficient in it to be a part of the global conversations. (

PineWord: The Pinewood Student Newspaper – Autumn Edition

Extra! Extra! Read the Autumn Edition of PINEWORD, the student newspaper! Pinewood's Journalism Club meets weekly under the supervision of Mrs. Hartofillis and is responsible for the circulation of the student-run newspaper, PINEWORD. The primary aim of the club is to allow students to give their perspective on any local and global issues which they deem newsworthy, but also encourage student interest through entertaining columns such as Agony Aunt and Horoscopes. The newspaper is to be published each quarter, both in printed and electronic form, and it is hoped that a wide readership will be built amongst the students, teachers and parents of the Pinewood community.

You will also find it on our website here.

Street Defense Seminars

On November 6 thand 20th, the Pinewood Secondary students and faculty participated in a “Street the Defense” seminar wherein they learned simple, yet effective techniques of self-defense. The workshops, hosted and run by the Kalamaria Fight Club, was a great success. Students learned that the most important component of remaining safe in public spaces is to be aware of their surroundings and reacting in smart ways to avert a possible confrontation. Pinewood thanks Mr. Kostas Gallis for arranging the workshops with our community!

Philanthropic Activity

Pinewood is involved in philanthropic activity throughout the year. However, near the holidays, this activity increases as our students and families come together to help those in need. Here are just two of the projects from November:

  • On behalf of Pinewood & Cedefop, I thank everyone who brought in food donations for the benefit of Artos Drasi in November. Your thoughtfulness is much appreciated by those in need at this time of the year. Despite the short time frame of collections, you managed to donate a substantial amount of items!
  • Congratulations to Grade 11 students for their organization of the household and food drive at the end of November. As part of their Thanksgiving project, these students collected a tremendous amount of items for Hamogelo tou Paidiou (Smile for the Child), a non-profit organization that helps children in Greece. See the attached letter for more information on how YOU CAN DONATE!
  • Thank you to our IB students for donating your time to help our young readers through our C.A.R.E. Program! C.A.R.E. (Care for A Reader at Elementary) is a reading project at Pinewood aimed at helping elementary students with their developing literacy skills. The program is carried out by volunteer students from our IB Program. Each IB student is assigned a student from Grades 1-5 and works with his/her 'child' weekly on reading skills. This is carried out in a stress-free, fun-filled learning environment and our elementary students relish the individual attention while learning to read.

2nd  Annual Student Photography Competition

The 2nd  Annual Student Photography Competition is another exciting opportunity for student  creativity at Pinewood. Please see the following list of important dates for the competition:

  • December 1: Last day to submit photos
  • December 2: All photos entries will be printed by Koghylakis
    The judging committee will view all photo entries on the web
  • December 3: All photo entries will be displayed in the lobby of the school
    Photos will be displayed until Winter Break.
  • December 6: Results of the judging committee will be given to the school
    The 5 winning photos will be sent to Mr. Takis Tzimas, owner and editor of ΦΩΤΟγράφος Magazine, for final judgment & published in the Winter edition of the magazine.
  • December 18: Awards announcement and ceremony at 12:00 in the school gymnasium

Please click here for more details about categories and submission requirements.

IB Visual Arts and the Biennale of Contemporary Art

The Pinewood IB Visual Art program visited the Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art on November 21, 2013 at Helexpo in downtown Thessaloniki. The Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art is the biggest contemporary art event in Thessaloniki and one of the biggest in Greece. The Pinewood IB Visual Art students were challenged by the educators of the State Museum of Contemporary Art Mrs. Evi Papavergou and their Visual Art teacher Mr. Michalaros, to analyze selected artworks from the main Pavilion of Biennale (Pavilion #6).
The students split into 4 different groups in order to study different artworks of important contemporary artists including Liliana Moro, Marta Dell' Angelo, Marina Abramović, and many more. They had to study carefully the artworks and to base their analyses on a list of questions that they had to be prepared to answer in a presentation. Each group presented in front of the rest of the students, visitors and staff of the Biennale.
This visit was very important for the development of all the participating IB Visual Art students, giving them the chance to exercise their critical thinking, to experience some of the most fresh ideas and pioneering approaches of art today, but also to do their artistic investigation on original artworks. All students had to collaborate with each other by sharing knowledge and presenting together. The artworks that the students studied during their visit will be their main topic of
research in the next days.
For more images visit our page on Facebook:

Aegean Tournament

Pinewood will be participating in the Aegean Tournament again this year at Anatolia College. The four-day tournament will begin on Thursday, December 5 and end on Sunday, December 8. Please come out to support our Girls’ Basketball team and the Pinewood Cheerleaders!

  • Thursday Dec. 5 (4.45pm) Pinewood Vs Arsakio (At Anatolia)
  • Friday Dec. 6 (9.30am) Anatolia Vs Pinewood (Panorama Gym)
  • Saturday Dec. 7 (5.30pm) Pinewood Vs ACS (At Anatolia)

Events & Reminders

  • NO SCHOOL on Friday, November 29 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.
  • Please check the After School Activities schedule for the week of December 2 – 6 by visiting the Activities Program page.
  • Purchase your Pinewood t-shirts and support the Pinewood Cheerleaders! Order Forms for kids and for adults.
  • It has been a Pinewood tradition for Faculty to organize the Christmas Party for parents and teachers. This year the party will take place on Saturday, December 14th at the Thermi Riding Club.  Special appearance of the Fotis Fotiadis Band, our very own Pinewood Alumni!  Mark your calendars and arrange your babysitters!! Tickets will be on sale soon!  We hope to see ALL of you there to join in the holiday festivities!
  • EYP & Elementary Semester I ended on Friday, November 22. Report cards will be distributed on December 2 to all families in PreK1 – Grade 5.
  • Students in Grades 1-3 will visit Teleogleio Art Gallery as part of the Host Country Studies program on December 3.
  • The December Elementary Assembly will be held on December 6 at 8:45 am. All are welcome!
  • The December SAT I and II will take place on December 7.
  • The December Board of Director’s meeting will take place on Tuesday, December 10 at 18:00 on campus.
  • The Winter Music Concert will take place on December 11 at 18:00 in the gymnasium. All are welcome!
  • The Early Years Christmas Show will take place on December 13 at 13:30 in the gymnasium. All are welcome!
  • The Elementary Drama Production, A Christmas Cinderella, will take place on December 16 at 13:00 and 18:00 in the gymnasium. All are encouraged to attend!
  • The Winter Break begins on Friday, December 20 with an EARLY DISMISSAL at 12:00. Classes resume on Wednesday, January 8!
  • Our Home page and Photo Gallery are full of articles and photos from last month’s events, too. Be sure to visit both for more exciting November news.

Dr. Roxanne Giampapa

Dr. Giampapa's News (November 1, 2013)

November is a very busy month at Pinewood. Two important events are Parent-Teacher Conferences on November 13 and the Pinewood Corporation meeting on November 20. Parent-Teacher Conferences are a time for parents to meet one-on-one with teachers to discuss their child’s progress. We encourage you to arrange your schedule to attend these informative meetings for Early Years, Elementary and Secondary teachers. The Corporation meeting on November 20 will be an opportunity for parents to hear presentations by the Board of Directors as it relates to school operations. I encourage all to attend both events!

Campus Safety

In our continuous efforts to make our campus a protected one for our students, we have installed a new gate at the entrance of the Early Years building. This is meant to define the space where students may go and to safeguard from students walking into spaces that are off limits. Although our Early Years and Elementary students are never unattended in this area, we felt that it was a positively added safety feature for the campus. As such, we request that all parents using this gate please be reminded to CLOSE AND LATCH it upon entering and exiting from it.  Thank you for your cooperation in making our campus a safe one for your children.

Elementary Assembly

In the first Elementary Assembly of the year, students in each class proudly stood in front of their peers to share a snapshot of what they are learning currently in their classes. The philosophy of the Elementary Assemblies is to present current demonstrations of knowledge and gives students the opportunity to gain experience in public speaking, build confidence and have fun with learning. This month, Grade 1 showed off their reading skills, Grade 2 expressed their feelings about homework in a choral reading, Grade 3 shared poems from the likes of Robert Louis Stevenson, Grade 4 enlightened us with a poem about Christopher Columbus’ trip across the ‘ocean blue’, Grade 5 sang an impressive song about sedimentary rock and the ESL class read their research about mammals.

Dave-n-Luke Perform “Godot over the Wall”

In October, we invited Dave-n-Luke in to perform their newest play, Godot Over The Wall, an adaptation of Over The Wall by James Saunders combined with parts of Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot. Their play inspired our Secondary students to think abstractly and existentially about the concept of “walls” and what they symbolize.

The aim of the Dave-n-Luke duo is to entertain through the performance of accessible texts in English. With this, they hope to encourage teachers to do drama activities with their students. So far, they have performed in Greece (including several performances at Pinewood), Georgia, Italy, Serbia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Turkey. Their future program  includes performances in Cyprus (November, 2013) and the UK (April, 2014). You can visit their website (and see our students comments) at:

A very heartfelt thank you to David Gibson and Luke Prodromou for their tireless creativity and thoughtful entertainment.

Pinewood Visits Arsenal – Lolas Soccer School

The Pinewood Elementary Soccer team visited the facilities of Arsenal Soccer Academy at Lolas in Souroti. Our young soccer players had a tour of the facilities and then had their weekly practice on a regular field with natural turf.

This is the beginning of the cooperation between Pinewood and the Arsenal Academy that, among other things, will include a special 50% tuition discount to all Pinewood students who would like to join the Arsenal Academy at Lolas. There is also a 50% discount for all Pinewood parents who would like to join the Lolas Fitness Center.

We are in discussions with Arsenal and Lolas for Pinewood’s participation in the Arsenal Spring Soccer Camp and the possibility of reintroducing the Pinewood Language and Activities Summer Camp in a joint effort. More news as developments are made!

For additional information, please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Tsachtanis ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Anti-Bullying Workshop with Rainbow After the Rain Campaign

It is with great pride that I announce our Middle School student's successful participation in Thessaloniki Pride's first “Rainbows After the Rain” Anti-Bullying workshop which took place on Wednesday October 16th.

Under the leadership of Mr. Thanos Vlachogiannis from Thessaloniki Pride and Educational Psychologist, Photini Karamouzi, Pinewood students participated in small and large work groups and produced posters, skits, and conducted discussions on issues relating to discrimination and equality with the overriding focus being on the tolerance of the uniqueness of others.

We congratulate Thessaloniki Pride on their tireless efforts to make our world a more balanced place for everyone and thank them for bringing to light the issues of bullying in all frameworks as it is integral to promoting tolerance, understanding, acceptance, and peace. Congratulations to our students who, once again, met this challenge with enthusiasm and open-minds.
Mrs. Linda Kainz
Middle School Team Leader

2nd Annual Pinewood Student Photography Competition

After the great success of last year's photography competition, I am pleased to announce this year's competition. Interested students may submit photographs that they have taken in 5 different categories. For the full list of regulations, submission procedures and deadlines, please see the official Photography Competition handout. Good luck to all of our student photographers!

Pinewood Journalism Club is Looking for Your Donations

This year Pinewood has started a new after school activity, Journalism Club. We are looking for sponsors to support our student newspaper through out the year.
We are looking to publish four editions and we are offering advertising space:
10 euros for ¼ of a page 
15 euros for ½ of a page
20 euros for the whole page
Prices include advertisements for all four editions of our newspaper

If you are interested in supporting us, please contact us at:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
All offers are appreciated.

The Pinewood Journalism Club

Our Generous Students!

A Big Thank you to Aravella and Evelina!
The cheerleaders are truly appreciative for love, support, and amazing initiative from Aravella and Evelina in grade 4!  These two amazing young ladies wanted to organize their own fundraiser to help the Cheerleaders.  With Halloween in the air, they made over 70 ghost lollypops to sell and in one day they were able to sell all the ghost lollypops!!

This generous gift is allowing our new Cheerleaders aid in getting their own uniform. We cannot wait to show off our uniforms. Again, thank you to these two Pinewood Cheerettes!

The Pinewood Cheerleaders

A Big Thank You to Rita Platanos!
Thank you to Rita Platanos, ‘’17, for donating a number of tennis rackets to the school for use in our Activities Program! Ms. Niki appreciates your generosity very much!


  • Please check the After School Activities schedule for the week of November 4-8 by visiting the Activities Program page.

  • Pinewood’s annual Halloween Trunk or Treat event takes place on Friday, November 1 from 18:00 – 20:00 on the Pinewood campus! All children in EYP, Elementary and Middle School, along with their families and friends from outside Pinewood, are welcome to join in on the fun!

  • Quarter I ends on Friday, November 1 for all Secondary students. Report cards will be distributed on November 13.

  • The November Board of Director’s meeting will take place on Tuesday, November 12 at 18:00 on campus.

  • Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held for all grade levels (PreK1 – Grade 12) on Wednesday, November 13. Specific details about times will be sent to you next week.

  • Quarter I Honor Roll Assembly will take place for secondary students on Wednesday, November 13 in the gymnasium at 12:00.

  • Students in Grades 4-5 will travel to an Art Gallery on Tuesday, November 19 as part of the Host Country Studies program.

  • Be sure to check out our Home page to read about last month's Host Country Studies trips and to see photos from each trip.

  • Student Council Halloween Dance will be held on Friday, October 8 in the Pinewood gymnasium. Look for details from our High School Student Council in the coming week.

  • The November Pinewood Corporation meeting will take on Wednesday, November 20 at 19:00 in the gymnasium. All parents and teachers are encouraged to attend.

  • Trimester I ends for Elementary students on Friday, November 22. Report Cards will be sent home on December 2.

  • Thanksgiving luncheons will take place on Thursday, November 28. Elementary students & parents will share lunch at the school and Secondary students & teachers will have lunch at an off-campus location.

  • NO SCHOOL on Friday, November 29 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

  • Our Home page and Photo Gallery are full of articles and photos from last month’s events, too. Be sure to visit both for more exciting October news.

Dr. Roxanne Giampapa