I graduated in 1980 from Pinewood. It was a wonderful 4 year high school experience meeting students and teachers from all over the world - many of which I have been able to reconnect through Facebook in the past couple of years. We were a great school community and for a relatively small size we certainly did a lot - bake sales, hot dog sales, competitions in sports and academics, theatre productions and excursions - evening climbing to the top of Mt Olympus. I participated in the debate team, volleyball, student council and was part of the National Honor Society. The international spirit of the school and intimate class sizes really nurtured my love for learning and travelling.
Pinewood will always have a special place in my heart because of the support and caring that was provided from my teachers - even when we broke the rules a little bit.
I have been in the financial services industry and specifically Insurance and Risk Management for 35 years. I Hold the title of Vice President of Corporate Risk Management for Jones Brown a Gallagher Company working in Hamilton Ontario Canada where I live with my husband and son who is just starting university this year. I am also a professor at McMaster University where I have taught Risk Management and finance courses through the Continuing Education Management Studies program. I try to come back to my beloved Thessaloniki Greece every few years as my parents are from Katerini and my sister actually lives there now. Thank you for the great memories and the valuable life learning experiences that have enabled me to excel professionally and as a person.
Pinewood had such wonderful diversity, with a student body from all over Europe and the world. It helped me reconnect to my Greek roots while also exposing me to an international perspective. Pinewood gave me the tools to embark on a professional and personal journey that has brought me back to Greece today. Thanks to the education and social network at Pinewood, I have been able to combine my love of Greece and international education at my current position in the Study Abroad Office of the American Farm School/ Perrotis College.!
One Modern Greek class exerted a tremendous and lasting impact. Mrs. Ziakas played a 45rpm of Theodorakis’ music to the verses of G. Seferis’ “Άρνηση”. She tried to ‘broaden’ the picture as she pointed out without explaining the brilliantly harmonized lyrics with music. Also, she pointed up how this emotion (broadly taken, ‘denial’ is negative) blended into the overall positive echo of the musical sentence, inviting us to observe how the composer’s broader musical expression matched a particular emotional emphasis in Seferis’ words, the words of the infinitely melodious Greek language.
University of Belgrade, Serbia
Pinewood has a place in my heart which will never be extinguished. I have many fond memories and lifelong friends from my years teaching there (1970-1991). Learning with my wonderful students led to unforgettable times; the couple of days we dedicated to learning about bats after finding one in our classroom, animated conversations, poetry, field trips, plays, art shows and science fairs. . . students who came to me speaking no English and left competing with classmates. Biljana Obradovic is an example and now is a published poet and a university professor. I could surely continue, but have run out of space!
University of Western Kentucky, B.S.
University of Louisville, M.S., Rank I
"I did graduate in 1969, though I missed the ceremony as we moved to the Philippines in May! Had a wonderful time. Fell in love with all the TiHi girls, but had a girlfriend in Pylea. Ευχαιστώ την Κυρια Ζιάκις για τα μαθήματα στα Ελλινικά! (Too bad I've forgotten so much.) I also loved science class with Miss Slater.. Too bad you weren't there after the basement lab was completed! I am attaching a photo of myself and our son. Note: The Kapampangan script is backwards as this is a selfie!"
"One of my favorite memories and one that I often reference when talking to my students is our annual trips to Mt. Olympus. The friendships built on those trips last a life time."
"A group of us from the 1960's recently stopped by Pinewood in the early summer of 2016. We were totally impressed by the school you are now attending! If I can offer a word of advice, keep those bonds tight with your fellow students and strengthen them as you make your way through life. One day I hope you can meet together in a similar way and discover that this unique school experience also plays a foundational role in the person you will become in life."
"It was so good to meet you and to see the transformation of Pinewood. Thank you, thank you. I can think of many people from my childhood who would be very happy to see what the school offers today. In particular, my father, John Custer, who served on the school board most of the time he was in Thessaloniki, would see a dream fulfilled… "