Home Community Rye Hellenic School Honored Educator Athena Tsokou Kromidas

Rye Hellenic School Honored Educator Athena Tsokou Kromidas

Clergy, Education and community leaders with Mrs. Athena Tsokou-Kromidas

By Catherine Tsounis

            “Educating the mind without educating the Heart is no education at all,” -Aristotle.

            An exceptional person, with a heart, who bent rules, considering each child’s needs,  shaped all from the mid 1980’s to our present time. Today, they are educated individuals, the backbone of American society, always acting with a heart. This is part of the legacy of Mrs. Athena Tsokou Kromidas, Greek American educator/administrator/professor/radio personality. Since her retirement in 2018, Mrs. Tsokou Kromidas has donated her services as President of the High Council of Education of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

            The Greek Orthodox Church of Our Savior Hellenic School held their 2022 annual dinner dance honoring Mrs. Athena Tsokou Kromidas on Saturday, May 7, 2022, evening at Marro’s Hall, Rye, New York. A lavish cocktail hour, dinner, the parents of the Hellenic School and fellow parishioners prepared dessert bar. Student dance performances, dancing with music by Spartan sounds, photo booth time, dancing and raffles were offered to all. The amazing price was $85 for adults, children $40 and free admission for the Hellenic School students. The community must be commended for presenting one of the finest dinner dances in the metropolitan area.

The clergy and school personnel include: Rev. Protopresbyter Elias G. Villis; Rev. Presbyter George Hazlaris; Parish Council President Greg Alexopoulos; Hellenic School Board Chairman Andonis Neroulias; Prof. Demosthenes Triantafillou and Assistant Principal Meropi Kyriakou. Chef Mike Kourounis and the Hellenic School members prepared the outstanding cuisine. This is an incomplete list. For further information, contact https://www.gocoos.org

“It is with great humility, love, and respect that I stand in front of you today in this beautiful Marros Hall of the Church of Saviour in Rye!” said  Mrs. Tsokou Kromidas. “Tonight, I feel blessed to be surrounded by people who are very dear to me! The very reverend Father Elias Villis Pastor of this Parish and Chancellor of the Direct District of the Holy Archdiocese of America, spiritual leaders, colleagues, community leaders, parents, friends, and children! Words cannot adequately capture the extent of my gratitude to this great Parish and its Hellenic School for honoring me tonight!

            The honoree explained “The 45 years that I passionately served the Hellenic Paideia as its humble servant and admirer was the greatest and most significant chapter of my life! It was a privilege and the utmost distinction for me to invest my years in our youth, teaching them the Greek Language and the Hellenic Orthodox Ideals and guiding them to embrace the Hellenic Ethos!

            The children of our great Omogeneia have always been the center of my dreams and my vision! It gave me a great sense of satisfaction and it was a great accomplishment to serve them! I owe this unique privilege to our beloved spiritual and parish leaders, to my colleagues, parents, supporters, and most of all to the students at our schools. The students were at the center of my vision for the perpetuation of our Language and Heritage!!! It was indeed a great honor and a divine gift, that I had the opportunity to teach our youth the Hellenic American Orthodox Paideia!

Dearest Fathers, Leaders, Colleagues, Parents and Supporters, please accept my gratitude! I urge you to please continue to support our schools! Their mission of perpetuating the Hellenic Orthodox Ideals and principles is divine! To have your children attend the Hellenic School of this wonderful church is the greatest gift you can offer them. I have been blessed to have my own two grandsons, Stefanos and Nikolas, attend this school with excellent teachers and the prudent administration of Mr. Triantafillou who I respect greatly and thank wholeheartedly!”

            Her education background includes: Bachelor of Arts degree in Classical Philosophy with honors from the University of Athens; Master of Arts in Bilingual Education with a scholarship from St. John’s University; and a Professional Diploma in School Administration and Supervision from C.W. Post University. The educator served as an adjunct instructor at St. John’s University in the Greek Language and Literature Program. She has aided the Greek Consulate in their education program.

The dynamic educator played an active role in helping St. Nicholas Church forge a close relationship with the 111th Police Precinct. Her work helped to make the neighborhood safer and contributed to the appointment of a crossing guard at 196th Street and Northern Blvd. in Flushing. She played a key role in the reestablishment of a Modern Greek program at Benjamin Cardozo High School.

A prolific writer and poetess, her works have been published internationally in newspapers and periodicals. Mrs. Kromidas has participated in radio, television, panel discussions, Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Board of Education, Greek Teachers Association “Prometheus,” the Greek Regents Committee and international lectures. In January 1993, she was selected as Educator of the Year by the National Herald newspaper. Congress Member Gary Ackerman in 1996 inscribed the Greek American educator’s accomplishments in the Congressional Record, which represents the history of the United States of America.

The same year, she received a citation from the State Assembly of New York by Assembly Member Mark Weprin. On November 21, 1998, Athena Tsokou Kromidas was honored as Educator of the Year by the Panchiaki “Korais” Society. His Eminence, Archbishop Iakovos, of the Greek Orthodox Church of North and South America, honored her with the Medal of the Three Hierarchs. His Eminence, Archbishop Iakovos, said in a letter that Mrs. Tsokou- Kromidas has given “exemplary service to her church. You have honored it with your loyalty, integrity, piety, and true dedication. And now as you complete your years of personal and family devotion to the Church and her institutions as a member of the Archdiocesan Council of Education, I would like you to know that I will continue to depend on your assistance whenever and wherever needed.”

In May 1996, the Chios Mesta Association of America that represents the village of her birth honored her for her unique contribution to Chios, Greece, and the Greek American community. Panchiaki Syllogos Korais honored her for Excellence in Education in 1998. Political leaders presented her with citations for her unique role as a political activist at the January 2001 Greek Afternoon School Testimonial in her honor.

Mrs. Tsokou Kromidas comes from a northeastern Aegean island that gained its freedom in 1912. She helped organize the 100-year centennial of Chios freedom. “It was 100 years ago, on November 11, 1912, that the island committed to seek its liberation from the Ottoman Empire and be united with Greece,” Kromidas said, adding, “A series of events titled ‘The Centennial Celebration,’ taking place throughout the year of 2012, have been organized to honor the centennial anniversaries of the liberation of Chios and the founding of the Panchiaki Korais Society…We have a very ambitious program for the day with speakers of the highest esteem who will be presenting topics on political and financial developments in Greece, intellectual developments as well as the flourishing of maritime in Chios, key scientific milestones and Hellenic presence in America. Our goal today is to have you leave this symposium with a wealth of knowledge and a deeper appreciation of our Greek heritage.”

She has been honored numerous times in her career. She was honored for her lifelong dedication to the preservation of the Greek language and customs at the Fortieth Anniversary Luncheon of the Greek Teachers Association “Prometheus” that was held at Terrace on the Park, in Flushing. She was honored as President from 1986 – 1988 by Prometheus President Prof. Demosthenes Triantafillou.

She is a legend – loyal and steadfast. Recognizing her education work were His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios of America, Mr. Stephen Cherpelis, Archon Dikaiophylax of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Dr. Theodosis Pelegrinis, Deputy Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs of Greece with staff member George Krikis, Mr. Vasilis Philippou, Consul-General of the Republic of Cyprus, Dr. Thalia Chatziagiannoglou, Head of the Office for Educational Affairs of the New York Consulate General of Greece and prominent persons from the education and business communities. She received honors from Michael Gianaris, NYS Senator of District 12, the Greek Teachers Association “Prometheus” and the Department of Education of Greece. The Chian Federation presented its 34th Annual Homeric Award in 2013 to Principal Athena Tsokou-Kromidas. She had a weekly radio program on Cosmos FM. In March 2018, St. Nicholas Shrine Church of Flushing honored the educator. The PTA of the William Spyropoulos School, in May 2018, showed their appreciation in an exceptional dinner dance and commemorative journal. Since Jan. 30, 2020, She has served as president of  the re-establishment of the High Council for Greek Education in the U.S. by His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros.

            Mrs. Athena Tsokou Kromidas has been supported and inspired by her husband, Stefanos Kromidas. He is her strength, always in the shadows encouraging her to progress and succeed in her education career. They have two sons George and John. George is married to Anna Kanterakis and have four boys, Stefanos, Nicholas, Michael, and Lukas.

            Principal Demosthenes Triantafillou said “Mrs. Kromidas is a brilliant philologist unique in the modern Hellenic literary role world. She is possessed by a deep pathos for the Hellenic language and heritage. She has been continuing the legacy of Adamantios Koraes, another giant of Greek literature. We feel honored that she was the honoree of our PTO and the Hellenic School of the Greek Orthodox Church of our Savior in Rye! Axia!”

            Educator/Principal Timoleon Kokkinos added “she is a radiant educator, with wisdom. She is close to the children and is recognized in the Greek American education world for her sensitivity to the average person.” George Melikokis explained that “Mrs. Tsokou Kromidas is a charismatic person, well-educated and exceptional educator in the Greek American school. She is respected by all.” Educator Konstantina Xerakia believes “Mrs. Kromidas is a great educator and great person. Her personality and her kindness is always visible to me. She was a great mentor and advisor. Former Principal of the Greek Afterschool of St Nicholas Shrine George Kanellopoulos said “congratulations to the community of Rye New York for the honor bestowed on Mrs. Athena’s. She is the mother of Greek education among the community. Mrs. Kromidas has spent 25 year bringing Greek education to America.”

            Despina Siolas MD/PhD a graduate of William Spyropoulos School, believe “Mrs. Kromidas is a true champion of Greek Arts. Her work has touched generations.” “Mrs. Kromidas was the administrator of William Spyropoulos School when I attended,” said Kosta Koutsoubis, Physical Therapist. “She is kind that goes with a brilliant intellect. She taught me the meaning of not only being educated but being sensitive to all around me. One of my finest moments was having a key role in an ancient Greek play, which showed my parents and friends my Greek language ability.” A memorable evening for a dedicated educator who believes in perpetuating Greek language, culture, and the Greek Orthodox faith.


  1. Τιμουμε την Κα Αθηνα Κρομμυδα εκπαιδευτικο , Διευθυντρια του Συμβουλιου Ελληνικης Παιδειας της Αρχιεπισκοπης Αμερικης που βοηθα πανω απο 500 ελληνικα σχολεια στις ενοριες των ΗΠΑ να εχουν προγραμματα με μαθηματα ελληνικων για τα παιδια της Ομογενειας.

    Προσωπικα χαιρομουν να την ακουω στο ραδιοφωνο Cosmos fm 91.5 τα Σαββατα, οταν για πολλα χρονια παρουσιαζε διαλεκτα κομματια της ελληνικης λογοτεχνιας .

    Ο ΕΛΛΗΝΙΣΜΟΣ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΟΙΚΟΥΜΕΝΙΚΟΣ ! Aς βοηθησουμε να γινουν σε καθε πολιτεια στις ΗΠΑ δεκα ΔΩΡΕΑΝ ΔΗΜΟΣΙΑ Ελληνικα charter schools ,οπως στην Φλοριντα .Ας επισκεπτομαστε καθε χρονο το METROPOLITAN MUSEUM για να εμπνεομαστε απο τα ασυγκριτα εργα των προγονων μας!

    Στο Διαδικτυο Google και You Tube βρισκουμε το Ευαγγελιο, μαθηματα Ελληνικων, τα ΖΟΥΖΟΥΝΙΑ για παιδια,ολα τα βιβλια της Αρχιεπισκοπης της σειρας taellinikamou ,ολους τους αρχαιους συγγραφεις στην LOEB CLASSICAL LIBRARYκαι ολα τα σχολικα βιβλια της Ελλαδας στο « ψηφιακο σχολειο». Μπορειτε να τα διαβαζετε , οποτε ευκαιρειτε στο εξυπνο τηλεφωνο σας. Θα ωφεληθειτε!

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