PanHellenic Student Conference: “Kostis Palamas. 160th Anniversary of His Birth”

 

The two-day PanHellenic Student Conference, “Kostis Palamas: 160th Anniversary of His Birth,” was successfully held on January 23 and 24, 2020 in the College Theater.  The Conference was co-organized by the Kostis Palamas Foundation, the Junior High and High School of Athens College, and the Junior High and High Schools of Psychico College, under the auspices of the 2nd Athens Directorate of Secondary Education, in celebration of the 160th anniversary of the birth of our great poet and the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Kostis Palamas Foundation.

 

Sixteen (16) high schools and thirteen (13) junior highs from around Greece, Cyprus and Istanbul took part either by presenting papers and/or posters.

High Schools Presenting Papers:

  1. 1st Glyfada High School
  2. Othisi Private High School
  3. A΄ Arsakeio Tositseio Ekali
  4. Ionideio Model High School Piraeus
  5. 1st Papagos High School
  6. 2nd Irakeio Attiki High School
  7. HAEF - Psychico College High School
  8. Evangelical Model High School
  9. HAEF – Athens College High School
  10. 1st Pefki High School
  11. 2nd Ag. Paraskevi High School
  12. 4th Ag. Paraskevi High School
  13. International School of Athens
  14. 2nd Messolonghi General High School “School of Greek Studies”
  15. Kokkinochori High School “Fotis Pittas”
  16. 1st Chalkida High School (poster)

 

Junior High Schools Presenting Papers:

  1. International School of Athens
  2. 1st Ilion Junior High School
  3. HAEF – Psychico College Junior High School
  4. E. Mantoulidis Schools
  5. HAEF – Athens College Junior High School
  6. “Paidagogiki Protoporia” Private Junior High School
  7. 3rd Nikaia Junior High School
  8. Messolonghi Junior High School for the Arts
  9. 2nd Messolonghi Junior High School
  10. Zografeio Junior High-High School
  11. Kalyvia Agrinio Junior High School
  12. 1st Kalamata Junior High School
  13. I. M. Panagiotopoulos School

 

Additionally, seven (7) schools participated as “observers”:

  1. Drosia Lemessos Cyprus Junior High School
  2. 2nd N. Psychico Junior High School
  3. 1st Melissia Junior High School
  4. 4th Metamorfosis Junior High School
  5. Psychico Junior High School “Konstantinos Karatheodoris”
  6. Anavryta Model General High School
  7. 2nd Pefki General High School

In all, 214 students presented papers and 789 participated as observers.

Honoring the Conference with their presence and with addresses were: Mrs. Sofia Zacharaki, Deputy Minister of Education; Mr. Richard Lee Jackson, Athens College President; Prof. Konstantinos Kasinis, Professor Emeritus of Modern Greek Literature and General Secretary of the Kostis Palamas Foundation; Mr. Athanasios Faloukas, Director of the 2nd Athens Directorate of Secondary Education; Mrs. Tasoula Karageorgiou, President of the PanHellenic Union of Philologists; and, Co-Director of Athens College and Coordinator of the Hellenic-American Educational Foundation’s School Units.  Mr. Georgios Kosyvas, Regional Director of Education in Attica Prefecture, whilst absent, sent a written greeting address.

 

The Kostis Palamas Conference was innovative in the preparation of students. It brought students and their teacher-advisors in contact with university professors, Palamas scholars, lecturers, former Secondary School Advisors, as well as current Secondary School Coordinators, by assigning a special mentor to each participating school. The special mentor worked with the school and prefaced the team’s papers at the Conference.

On both days, Mr. Richard Jackson, College President, opened the proceedings, who on one occasion recited verses from The King’s Flute.  Prof. Konstantinos Kasinis delivered the opening address and Psychico and Athens College students presented a musical program with verses from the great poet’s poems of our great poet set to music, taught by the College’s Interschool Head of Music, Mr. Stefanos Tsokakis.

Under the leadership of Ms. Despina Douka (Director of 2nd Ag. Paraskevi General High School), Ms. Maria Koutousi (Philologist representing the 2nd Athens Directorate of Secondary Education and (College Deputy Directors) Nikos Kalogeras, Athanasia Anagnostou, Vicky Moumtzi, Leonidas Kaisaris and Nicole Kanelli, with intermittent poem recitations by Athens and Psychico College students, participating conference students and their teacher-advisors presented various aspects of Palamas’ life and work. Through speeches, dramatization, dance, music, singing and art, they presented biographical dimensions of the poet, his work in education, essential aspects of Palamas as a poet – essayist – playwright – correspondent, as well as the significance of Palamas’ works today.  Thus, they highlighted the need to reread his work and integrate them more effectively into modern Greek secondary education.

Conference Coordinator was Dr. Polyanthi Tsigkou, Consultant to the College President. Responsible for the organization of the event were: Dr. Polyanthi Tsigkou (on behalf of Athens – Psychico Colleges), Ms. Despina Douka – Philologist and Director of 2nd Ag. Paraskevi General High School (on behalf of the Kostis Palamas Foundation), and Ms. Maria Koutousi – Philologist (on behalf of the 2nd Athens Directorate of Secondary Education).  The contribution throughout all stages of the Conference of Ms. Roula Protopapadaki and Ms. Eugenia Oikonomou (on behalf of Athens College) was invaluable, as was the contribution of Ms. Thomi Nikoli (on behalf of the 2nd Athens Directorate of Secondary Education) and that of Ms. Panagiota Ioneskou (on behalf of the Kostis Palamas Foundation) on the two days of the Conference (24 - 25.1.2020).  This ambitious undertaking was supported by the impeccable hospitality of Athens College.