Tripoli honors Ioannis Giannopoulos founder of the first Greek school in America


By Catherine Tsounis

Special from Kosta Mac radio Broadcaster of 91.5 Tripolis

A major event took place on October 22, 2020, in Tripolis, a provincial city in the heart of the Peloponnese mountains of Arcadia. Mrs. Stella Kokolis, President of the Federation of Hellenic American Educators and Cultural Associations of America, the “Hellenic Paideia” of America and Mrs. Meropi Kyriakou of the Greek Teachers Association “Prometheus,” traveled for an honorary event held in memory of Ioannis Giannopoulos, an  Arcadian of the Peloponnese, at the Apostolopoulou Spiritual Center. Ioannis Giannopoulos founder of the first Greek school in America. The event was organized by the Municipality of Tripoli in collaboration with Mr. Dimitris Talaganis who has designed the bust of Ioannis Giannopoulos and is part of the celebrations of the 200th Anniversary of National Independence. The memory of Ioannis Giannopoulos will be honored in St. Augustine, Florida, March 2020. The unveiling and placement of Ioannis Giannopoulos bust will be held at the school he founded.

The Greek Orthodox Church supportive of the military and all patriotic events. Military Parade Tripolis.

Mrs. Stella Kokolis, President of the Federation of Hellenic American Educators and Cultural Associations of America was able to organize a historic pilgrimage in memory of John Giannopoulos.  The young man came to this great country in the late years of 1700s and his first thought was to build a school. This school is the only wooden school in the USA, that is still in Existence.

The event was attended by: The Tripoli Music School (Byzantine & Traditional Choir Musical Ensembles with the Director of Musical Ensembles Mrs. Athanassopoulou Christina and accompaniment of European Percussions by Professor Mr. Tsakiridou Kyriaki, songs by Mr. Siakotas Vassilis (historian) The Dance Clubs of Tripoli: Lyceum of the Hellenes (Tripolis Branch), “Arkadian”, Greek Dance Center, Tripolis Dance Club, Folklore House of Tripolis (dressing the children of Tripoli) School) The Kalamata Association “Hellenic Monks” The “Traditional Weapons Club” Patras The author Despina Blastropoulou in reading texts The War Museum (Tripolis branch) with the rare photographic material for the event The event will be curated by Mr. Gerasimos Vakros, an Arkad-an filmmaker. The camera of drt915.gr was spoken by Arkansas artist Dimitris Talaganis, Tripoli Mayor Costas Tzoumis, Arcadian Vice-Mayor Christos Lambropoulos and the President of the Hellenic Association of Greek Politicians. Expatriate community of  the United States of America.1

Edward Everett who was the Major supporter of Greek Independence in 1821, Areos Square Park.

“I am very happy and proud that the last 8 years I was able to help and promote the Greek language in a more productive way,” President Stella Kokolis explained. “I organize seminars around the country and in Cyprus. In order to teach the teachers new approaches to teach the language to our children  Also, I was able to meet educators around the county to talk about their work experience which was different from state to state  Hear their problems and their concerns.  I was able to organize a historic pilgrimage. In memory of John Giannopoulos.  The young man came to this great country in the late years of 1700s and his first thought was to build a school. This school is the only wooden school in the USA.  That is still in Existence.  Also, I am very pleased that many associations of teachers around the country, especially Athena teachers Ass. Of Florida are cooperating in my successful endeavors.”

Mrs. Stella Kokolis accomplishes projects with enthusiasm and dedication. Her enthusiasm is legendary that explains how she can achieve success. She has tried to help everyone. Intellectuals who write books and speak perfect Greek have been unable to reach out to the people of the Greek-American community as she has for decades. As a single parent, the educator understands the voices of the Greek-American people. She is not a transplanted intellectual from Greece. She feels it is her duty to nurture the values of the Greek language and culture that are rapidly disappearing in the United States. An intellectual with multiple degrees, she has kept our Greek legacy to the west alive. Mrs. Kokolis keeps alive the spirit of the heroes who have shed blood and lost their lives to keep Greek culture alive during 400 years of enslavement under the Ottoman Turkish Empire.

Mrs. Stella Kokolis, President of the Federation of Hellenic American Educators and Cultural Associations of America.

Her generosity is legendary. When someone needs funding for a project or a scholarship for a student, Mrs. Kokolis gives money from her own pocket. The educator is one of the giants of our time in the field of bilingual education in the global community.

In Areos Square park, Tripolis is the statue of a great Phil-Hellene Edward Everett. Who was Edward Everett? “ In 1821, Greece declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire, its first appeal to America for recognition and support was not to the US government, but to a classicist Edward Everett. Yet, after the Greek War of Independence broke out in February 1821, a phenomenon in which the US press dubbed ‘Greek fever’ or ‘Greek fire’ swept across the nation. Few fanned the flames as much as Edward Everett, who, as the first American point of contact for the revolutionaries, led the charge on behalf of the Greeks in America.

Here is a chapter of Everett’s life – decades before his last national hurrah at Gettysburg – that is largely overlooked in the United States. As a young man, Everett was appointed to the first named professorship of Greek at Harvard. He became the second American traveler (after the Philadelphian Nicholas Biddle) to record a journey through the Ottoman Empire and was the first classical scholar to combine his academic pursuits with activism on behalf of the Greek people and the cause of Greek independence.”2  For the 200 year anniversary of the Greek Revolution in 1821, Arcadians remember Greek Phil-Hellenes.

Prominent leaders at the honorary event held in memory of Ioannis Giannopoulos. Courtesy of http://www.drt915.gr

“I understand the great love Arcadians have for Greek civilization. The first visit of a Patriarch to the Peloponnese took place in September 21st-22nd, 2009. His Holiness, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople visited Tripolis, capital of Arcadia. Andreas Lykourentzos, Deputy Prime Minister of Education, welcomed the Patriarch by saying “from the heart of Morea and the capital (Tripolis) of Arcadia, the homeland of Modern Martyrs, we show our great love for the Patriarch of Constantinople, leader of the Christian Church. I welcome you first as a Tripolitsiotis and as an Arcas, representing our people of Arcadia. Our citizens are dedicated to the trades, professions and sciences. We are your supporters in Greece and Overseas. The Arcadians remain loyal to the traditions and sacrifices of our Nation on behalf of the Christian Faith and for the freedom of our country. In the 21st century, The Light of the Phanar shines in our hearts and the world.”

Kosta Mac of 91.5 Tripoli Arcadia and his liaison Christos Macarounis emailed the http://www.drt915.gr Greek article and videos.

References:

  1. http://www.drt915.gr/i-tripoli-timise-ton-ioanni-giannopoulo-idriti honorary event held in memory of Ioannis Giannopoulos -tou-protou-ellinikou-scholiou-stin-ameriki-video-pics/
  2. https://www.historytoday.com/miscellanies/greece-gettysburg-edward-everett-american-patriot
  3. https://greekamericanexperience.wordpress.com/2018/04/02/spread-of-greek-culture-at-2nd-ny-international-day-of-greek-language/

Videos

https://youtu.be/-jDD0wslixQ-Program

https://myoutu.be/09ck9JJs4hA – program

Links:

 https://greekamericanexperience.wordpress.com/2017/02/23/mrs-stella-kokolis-role-in-the-celebration-of-greek-language/

Photos:

Photo1- Prominent leaders at the honorary event held in memory of Ioannis Giannopoulos. Courtesy of http://www.drt915.gr

Photo 2 – Mrs. Stella Kokolis, , President of the Federation of Hellenic American Educators and Cultural Associations of America

Photo3 -Greek military at Tripolis wupportive of the Giannopoulos Memerorial event. Photo from a patriotic Tripolis parade

Photo4 – The Greek Orthodox Church supportive of the military and all patriotic events. Military Parade Tripolis.

Photo 5 – Edward Everett who was the Major supporter of Greek Independence in 1821, Areos Square Park.



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