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CommunityMrs. Athena Tsokou Kromidas Honored on Three Hierarchs Day at the GOA...

Mrs. Athena Tsokou Kromidas Honored on Three Hierarchs Day at the GOA NYC Holy Trinity Cathedral

Hellenic News of America
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By Catherine Tsounis

Greek Learning includes a culture and a language which has an unbroken oral tradition of more than 3500 years. The Three Hierarchs, Basil the Great of Caesarea, Gregory the Theologian of Nazianzus, and John Chrysostom combined Greek philosophy and Christian faith in the early years of the Christian Roman Empire.

They believed in Greek Classics, Mathematics and Science. They used the Greek language to spread their message in the Greek speaking world of Europe, Africa, and Asia. This continued in the Eastern Roman Byzantine Empire, the Greek Orthodox Church during the 400 years of occupation by the Ottoman Empire, till our present time in 2024.

Legendary Greek American educator Mrs. Athena Tsokou Kromidas, President of the High Council for Greek Education in the USA was honored at the Three Hierarchs Feast on Tuesday morning religious January 30th, at the Greek Orthodox Holy Trinity Cathedral at 337 East 74th Street. New York, NY 10021. The religious service/Vasilopita (Cutting of New Year’s Bread) was performed by His Eminence, Archbishop Elpidophoros of America.
She served as the first President of the High Council for Greek Education in the US from January 30, 2020, till January 30, 2024, by the request of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America. The presidency office is for a two year term. An exception was made for legendary educator/administrator/writer Mrs. Athena Tsokou Kromidas. She is a speaker on Greek culture and education at public events, radio, and television Greek programs.

Mrs. Kromidas. Photo Catherine Tsounis

Mrs. Kromidas was mistress of ceremonies of a memorable student program that included the following schools: The Cathedral School of the Holy Trinity, NYC; Greek American Institute (GAI), Bronx; A. Fantis School, Brooklyn; Dimitrios & Georgia Kaloidis Parochial School (DGK), Brooklyn; St. Demetrios Cathedral School, Astoria; and the William Spyropoulos Day School, Flushing. The students read selections on the meaning of Greek Letters. Greetings were delivered by Director o0f the Department of Greek Education Dr. Anastasios Koularmanis and prominent speakers. For more information, contact https://www.facebook.com/goarch.

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“You are our youth, inspiring us to promote Greek Letters, the basis of our ethnic identity,” said President Kromidas to the audience of students. “You give us strength to continue our mission. We are preparing you for your journey as the best citizens in the world. You will become better than us. I thank the educators and parents who work together to continue the success of Greek education.” The underpaid educators, who do not have the economic advantages of the NYC public schools, have created a superior education system through their dedication and unselfish support of the parents and the Greek Orthodox
Church of America.

Archbishop Elpidophoros addressing audience on the meaning of Greek heritage. Photo Catherine Tsounis

“The great Byzantium, however, is undoubtedly the Orthodox church,” said Lars Brownworth in his groundbreaking podcasts “Lost To The West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization.” “Pressed into service by the forces of nationalism in the 19th and 20th century, the church provided a cultural repository Greek linking the people of the former Empire with the glorious epochs of the past. Today the Byzantine Eagle flutters proudly from the flags of nations, from Albania to Montenegro and though each state has its local version of the church, the heritage all bear is Byzantine.”
“Mrs. Kromidas is one of the most prominent educators in the United States,” said His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros. That is why I asked her to be the first president of the high Council of Greek education in America. She has done so well. You are an example of kindness and goodness, a person who radiates love and goodness for our culture. Thank you for your work. Rev. Vasileios Tsourlis is her successor as President of the High Council of Greek Education in America.”

In a personal interview, Mrs. Kromidas explained “the wonderful chapter of the Supreme Council’s unstoppable struggle for Greek Letters and our culture was completed! ,” said President Kromidas in an interview. “In this unique journey we shared our joys, our anxieties, our challenges and our reflections on the preservation and promotion of our language and our culture. It was an honor to preside over the Council, whose members are authorities in the academic, educational, priestly, and business worlds. I will forever be grateful for their support and encouragement.

What were our accomplishments? They included: Greek language seminars on techniques and curriculum virtual and in person; for Greek language teaching as a Greek heritage language; all our projects were a cooperative effort with the Department of Greek education of the Greek Orthodox archdiocese; the books my roots in Greek were published and will in English within a few weeks; series of seminars with many professors from Greece from leading university’s; celebration of 200 years of the Greek revolution and Hagia Sofia Cathedral; supporting the establishment of a The Hellenic Education Fund to benefit the Greek Archdiocese school; meeting educators, community leaders and pastors across the United States through the Internet during the pandemic and after: many other projects.

Mrs. Athena Tsokou Kromidas is embarking on a new chapter of her educational career. Aristotle, Alexander the Great’s teacher, said “Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.”

The copyrights for these articles are owned by the Hellenic News of America. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner. The opinions expressed by our authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hellenic News of America and its representatives.

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