PALLOS HILLS, IL.- Mary Zaharis was hired by the parish of SS. Constantine and Helen in Palos Hills and the Koraes School Board as Principal of the Koraes School. Mrs. Zaharis has served as an Assistant Principal at Sycamore Elementary School in suburban Atlanta, Georgia for the past 4 years. Her duties there included: administrator in charge of Math and Science, Gifted Program, Technology Program, Special Education, and Student Support Team Meeting Leader. She has also been after school program coordinator, staff development coordinator, and ITBS (Iowa achievement) test coordinator for grades 1-5. She supervised and assessed 27 teachers and a staff of 60, and served as the discipline administrator for the school’s 860 students. In addition, she was part of the administrative team that opened the school and helped transition three separate elementary schools, their staffs, and different cultures into one.
Prior to administration, Mrs. Zaharis taught Kindergarten, 3rd and 5th grades in both public and parochial settings for 12 years. She has been nominated three times for teacher of the year. Mrs. Zaharis holds a Masters degree, has been certified to teach gifted students for grades 4-8, and has taken post-Masters development courses including “Integrating Technology Training,” and “Discipline Panel Training.”
Mrs. Zaharis is a classical pianist, enjoys both iconography and the readings of the Church Fathers, and speaks fluent Greek. She was Youth Choir Director at the Annunciation Cathedral in Atlanta, Georgia and served as President of the Southeastern Federation of Greek Orthodox Choirs for the Metropolis of Atlanta.
She expressed to the school board that she would like to dedicate her energy and talents to the children of our Church and that it has always been by dream to oversee an Orthodox Church School. As a School Board, we are excited to find this very talented individual who will work closely with our priests and teachers to continue and build upon the cultural tradition, religious training and academic success our children are fortunate to receive here at Koraes.
A special reception welcoming her officially to our School and Community will take place following the Divine Liturgy of the Dormition of the Theotokos on August 15th in the East Room.
On Thursday, June 3rd, Commencement Exercises took place for the 88th Class of graduates from Koraes Elementary School at Saints Constantine and Helen Church. Koraes is the Elementary Day School operated by the Greek Orthodox Parish of Saints Constantine and Helen in Palos Hills, IL.
These exercises were especially honored by the presence of His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago. Also present were the Parish Priests, Reverend Byron Papanikolaou and Reverend Nicholas Jonas, as well as the Parish Council President, Theodore Argiris, the Parish Chairman of the Board, Peter G. Lagen, the School Principal, Asemena Stathopoulos, and other dignitaries.
Uplifting speeches were heard from the Salutatorians Christopher Tsoukalas and Amalia Webster and the Valedictorian Kyle McGrath. All gave inspiring speeches pertaining to the education they received at Koraes and the bright future they seek ahead.