Senator Raptakis’ Visit to Plato Academy Schools
On Monday, November 13, 2023, Senator Leonidas P. Raptakis of Rhode Island District 33, also distinguished as the Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Special Legislation & Veterans’ Affairs and the Secretary of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, accompanied by his wife Dr. Donna Raptakis, stepped into the dynamic realm of Plato Academy Schools.
Mr. Raptakis is also the president of the World Inter-Parliamentary Association an interparliamentary organization of the Greek diaspora bringing together legislators of Greek origin from around the world.
Senator Raptakis, a passionate advocate for the Greek language and a dedicated supporter of our schools’ mission, graciously dedicated time to tour our facilities and engage with students, teachers and staff. His visit included classroom observations, conversations with students, and discussions with educators.
The journey unfolded at the heart of Plato Academy Schools, the Home Office where he met with the Plato Chiefs and staff. The agenda was as diverse as the educational landscape itself, covering the organization’s rich history, its profound mission, and visionary pursuits. Renowned for his dedication to education, the senator delved into the foundational aspects that elevate Plato Academy within the academic sphere.
Continuing his trip through the educational corridors, Senator Raptakis visited administrators and classrooms at the Clearwater campus, guided by the school Principal, Mrs. Sara Sutera, along with Assistant Principals Mrs. Jill Keller and Mrs. Melissa Beck. The dynamic team, provided insights into the seamless orchestration that ensures the smooth functioning of Plato Academy Clearwater, underscoring the dedication and professionalism of its educators. He also met with teachers and students of elementary and middle school grades and the Director of the Greek Department Mr. Konstantinos Aretis, in his classroom, who emphasized the value of working together for a common vision.
Soon after, Mr. Raptakis had the opportunity to meet with Greek teachers dispatched from Greece under the provision of the Ministry of Education of Greece and listen to the problems and challenges they face in the United States.
The senator’s exploration extended to the heartbeat of the academy – the classrooms. Engaging with both teachers and students, transcending age boundaries from elementary to middle school, Senator Raptakis was enveloped in an atmosphere full of energy and a natural curiosity an environment where education becomes a lifelong passion.
The culmination of this journey reached its zenith at Plato Academy Tarpon Springs. Here, Senator Raptakis delved into a cultural odyssey, meeting with the Principal, Mrs. Emily Heilman, and assistant principal, Mrs. Megan Britz. The senator gained insights into the meticulous planning that underpins a holistic educational experience at Plato Academy Tarpon Springs.
Injecting a cultural flourish into the visit, Senator Raptakis met with Greek teachers Mrs. Tanya Parker and Mr. Fotios Kokkalides.
Students presented samples of the projects they are currently working on, including the creation of ancient Greek pottery, studying the temple of Parthenon in Athens, Greek mythology and many more.
Their pride in showcasing students’ Greek history projects stood as a testament to the school’s unwavering commitment to fostering a profound love for Greek culture and heritage. The visit was not merely a tour; it was a celebration of the fusion of education and cultural enrichment that defines Plato Academy’s unique identity.