The President of the Federation of Greek Teachers of America, Stella Kokolis, was honored by the Secretary-General for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, John Chrysoulakis, on behalf of the General Secretariat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for her invaluable contribution to the Greek language education and Greek Hellenism, awarding her the Hellenic American Women’s Council (HAWC) award, in the context of a conference organized by the HAWC in Spetses for the 200 years since the beginning of the Independence Struggle.
In his speech, which took place at the Anargyreio and Korgialenio School of Spetses, General Secretary Chrysoulakis described as “commendable and invaluable” the work of Stella Kokolis, as well as “substantial and active” the role she has played in the events of Greek language education in the USA “without deviating even for a moment from the fundamental principles of the Greek tradition, which she followed throughout her course as a teacher”.
Her name, stressed Chrysoulakis, is known throughout the Greek community. “She is the Greek woman of America, who honors her Greek origin. The teacher, who with her uninterrupted offer reminds to all of us that you are not born Greek, but first of all you become with the help of your teachers “.
Speaking about the special weight and the contribution of the honored Greek woman to the Greek educational issues of the Greek diaspora of America, Chrysoulakis characteristically stated: “Stella Kokolis is one of the first things you learn when you come to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to undertake to serve the national cause of Greek Hellenism. The reference to Chrysoulakis is inevitable when you are informed about the Greek language education of the Greek diaspora. An important omission is the decision making for the education of the Greek diaspora if the opinion of the President of the Federation of American Teachers has not been seriously taken into account by the political leadership “.
As General Secretary of Hellenes Abroad and Public Diplomacy but also as a person – continued Chrysoulakis – “I admire Stella Kokolis. I recognize her creativity, social sensitivity, and generosity. I appreciate her insistence on the meaning of Greek education with the ecumenical principles of Greek Orthodox culture. I respect her constant commitment to what I consider to be the central idea of the neighborhood life of the Greeks. We exist as a center of Hellenism because we coexist in the parish “, Chrysoulakis underlined, closing his speech.