The General High School, Vocational High School and Junior College (IEK) Class of 2020 bid a heartfelt farewell to AFS through simulation videos of the commencement ceremony, while traditional graduations were held for the Kindergarten and Elementary School.
The geographical diversity of the High School and Junior College graduates’ origin, combined with the restrictions imposed against the spread of COVID-19, created the need for an alternative graduation this year, one that would allow students, parents, faculty, staff, donors, friends and the broader AFS community to be part of this unique celebration. Two online events on the School’s website and social media honored – over the course of two weeks – our students’ successful completion of three years of hard work, dedication, and tremendous commitment to the institution’s core values, through daily posts of photos and short videos. Both events concluded with the simulation videos in late June. You can watch the General and Vocational High School virtual graduation here and the Junior College one here.
Both videos include remarks from the Chairman of the American Farm School and Perrotis College Board of Trustees, Dr. David Acker, as well as the American Farm School and Perrotis College President, Dr. Panos Kanellis. "You have made sacrifices and adjustments that did not seem possible six months ago. You have proved that you can adapt and innovate in finding new ways to achieve important goals” said Dr. Acker addressing the graduates, while Dr. Kanellis underlined: "Everything you learned here at the School has given you the knowledge and skills to lead a successful life.”
The Greek Minister of Rural Development and Food Makis Voridis addressed the graduates as well: "You have chosen a fascinating and exciting industry, one that is rapidly evolving, offering great potential and hope." Remarks were also sent by the internationally renowned tennis player Stefanos Tsitsipas who said: “Miracles happen in life when you work hard. Be strong and passionate and just keep going. It is important to have a vision and believe in it.”
Director of the General High School Paris Petras and Director of the Vocational High School Apostolos Vourkoudis in turn addressed the Class of 2020 and conferred honors and awards upon our deserving young graduates, while the High School distinctions in national and international competitions were also mentioned.
Director of the Junior College Dr. Evangelos Vergos addressed the graduates by saying “In addition to gaining specialized and certified scientific knowledge, you were also taught zeal, ethos, discipline, self-confidence and leadership - skills that will help you become sustainable farmers and entrepreneurs in the future.” In his remarks, the CEO of Melissa - Kikizas Food Products S.A., Alexandros Kikizas, referred to the unique education offered by the American Farm School: “From the things you’ve learned, I single out your familiarity with technology and its applications in your field and especially the culture for continuous improvement and adaptation."
The Kindergarten and Elementary School graduations took place in person, possible thanks to the small number and locality of the families – in the John Moscahlaides Square in front of Princeton Hall with all protection measures meticulously implemented. The young students who said goodbye to Kindergarten sang and recited poems, receiving the warm applause of their excited parents. At the Elementary School graduation, a few 6th graders participated in the ceremony riding their bikes as a symbolic gesture to the special character of their school. Remarks were made by President Dr. Kanellis, Elementary School Principal Tassos Papanastasiou and the President of the Parents’ Association Christos Grollios.
Congratulations Class of 2020!