by: Evelyn Pittas and Frances Tottas, Senior Class Advisors, ACS Athens
It gives us great pleasure to have this opportunity to honor the students who represent the Senior Class of 2015. Every one of these students has worked towards doing the extra that makes the ordinary, extraordinary! John William Gardner, U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare (1965-68), puts it like this: “Some people have greatness thrust upon them. Few have excellence thrust upon them, they achieve it. They do not achieve it unwittingly by doing what comes naturally and they don’t stumble into it in the course of amusing themselves. All excellence involves discipline and tenacity of purpose.” All members of the senior class student council have displayed the kind of discipline, leadership and tenacity of purpose that has allowed them to achieve their goals. Their example, their passion and their dedication is an inspiration to us all. We congratulate and salute each one of them!
Citizenship at ACS, Athens
By Konstantinos Papadimitriou, Senior Class President Being a conscientious citizen has different meanings influenced by the setting one is placed in. A hypothetical example of citizenship is helping your sick neighbors by going to the pharmacy so as to provide them with their medicine, something essential for their wellbeing. Furthermore, in a different context, another appropriate example is when one helps in replanting trees in burnt areas. Through such action the individual does not only help the environment and strives towards the sustainability of the planet but also the people that live close by the area and are directly affected by the disaster. Being a noble citizen means being an active one, taking responsibilities and providing services to other people without expecting anything in return. A principled citizen in a community such as school must obtain qualities of responsibility, respect for the others but also for the environment – the school grounds – and the innate interest of being aware of all the events and issues which a school is involved with. More specifically, citizenship in our school entails taking part in various projects such as recycling, in which the 9th grade has done an exceptionally successful job, making sure that all recyclable items are collected and not gone to waste. Through this 9th grade task, collectively ACS students, teachers and administration have contributed in providing a healthy environment, through multiple recycling projects such as collecting bottle caps that Nestle recycles to provide wheelchairs for disabled children. On another level, citizenship at ACS is displayed through the way in which students treat each other on campus. For example when a student visits the school or is new to the school, there is always someone who includes them into the community, shows them around campus and also helps them get to know all the teachers and students. This unique and friendly spirit has been evident throughout ACS’s history in the past years and is the reason for all crucial elements which lay behind ACS’s educational goals. Furthermore as ACS is an “international school embracing American educational philosophy,” it hosts students from all around the world from beautiful cultures, interesting lifestyles and different languages. Owing to the high diversity of students, respect towards all ethnicities and ethnic groups is an essential element in determining the pleasant and international spirit the school has acquired. Finally, ethical citizenship in a school environment is portrayed by the students’ actions when they come face-to-face with their role in social standing. Being aware of their social and moral responsibilities and acting upon them if needed ultimately proves that citizenship in the American Community School of Athens is represented by the phrase, “doing the right thing when no one is watching!”
On Being a Responsible Citizen
By Achilleas Vriniotis, Senior Class Vice President Ares Adam, Senior Class Treasurer Myrto Manticas, Senior Class Secretary In today’s society the essence of responsible citizenship seems to be slowly fading away. It is our responsibility as youth, to restore this virtue, and revive true nobility and kindness. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” If we take a look around, we see that corruption and vice has taken over our world. If we want to be able to call ourselves honorable global citizens, we should first seek to better ourselves in our community and inspire others around us to do the same. A conscientious citizen in a community needs to attain values such as empathy, gentleness, compassion, honesty and decency. Good citizens are role models; responsible for inspiring and encouraging others to seek self-improvement and to desire a difference in the world. Pessimists may believe that the world is doomed, but the world can change just as the eyes of humanity have seen it change throughout time, and it always starts with responsible citizenship! For the true improvement of our society, the values of a responsible citizen must be implemented through our actions. Good citizenship can be exemplified through simple acts of kindness that can range from helping an old lady pass the street, to distributing sandwiches to people in need. However, the true self-improvement in being a responsible citizen starts in the school environment. Examples of such citizenship within school can be and have been seen through picking up garbage when finishing lunch, opening the door when students and teachers pass by, or preventing a bullying incident through protecting a defenseless classmate. Practicing these simple deeds on a daily basis can motivate others to follow and together truly impact the world. Acts of kindness and thoughtful gestures can lead to a world where good citizenship is the global value.