Celebrating Brilliance

Plato Academic Excellence Awards 2024

On the evening of Friday, April 19, 2024, families convened at the auditorium of Plato Academy Tarpon Springs for the 2024 Plato Academy Academic Excellence Awards. This event was a celebration of dedication, resilience, and the pursuit of knowledge, by honoring students who demonstrated outstanding academic achievement.

Plato Academy Schools Academic Excellence Awards 2024

The auditorium, elegantly decorated for the occasion, brought together parents, teachers, and students. Jorge Gomez, a talented Plato student, set the stage with a piano performance, while a slideshow featuring artwork from students across all nine Plato campuses adorned the screen over the stage.

The students’ and their families were invited days earlier, but were not told which award they would receive. As they walked through the lobby, guests admired an array of student-created artwork made by students of Plato Tarpon Springs, and included paintings, sculptures, and Greek pottery, alongside traditional Greek uniforms used during dance performances.

dance uniforms

The ceremony commenced with gracious welcomes from Emily Heilman and Sara Sutera, Principals of Plato Tarpon Springs and Plato Clearwater, respectively. A beautiful rendition of the USA and Greek National Anthems, sang by Ava Brode, a Plato Academy Tampa student, marked the beginning, followed by opening remarks from Chief of Schools, Amy Hayes, and a keynote address from Chief of Academics, Danielle Cicetti.

As we applaud the remarkable accomplishments of our students, we also celebrate the embodiment of Plato Academy’s mission in each and every one of them!

Ninety 5th and 8th grade students from all Plato campuses were recognized with achievement awards in Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science.

The Plato Academy Schools Board 2024
Plato Academy Schools Governing Board

World Language (Greek) certificates of achievement were given to 8th grade students.

As the evening drew to a close, Dawn Parker, Chief of Staff Development, delivered the closing remarks, underscoring the collective efforts of the entire Plato Academy organization in advancing its mission and achieving such remarkable results.

Plato Academy Executive Leadership
Plato Academy School’s Executive Leadership

In closing, the 2024 Plato Academy Academic Excellence Awards ceremony highlighted the dedication, talent, and collaborative ethos that define the Plato Academy community. The profound impact of a collective dedication to learning and growth is at the heart of Plato Academy Schools.

It’s worth noting that the majority of students who received awards in Math and Science were girls, which fills us with great pride.

Keynote Speeches

Amy Hayes - Chief of Schools

Plato Academy Chief of Schools

Good evening proud parents, and our brilliant students,

It is with great pleasure and excitement that I welcome you all to the first annual Plato Academy Academic Excellence Awards ceremony. Tonight, we gather to celebrate and honor those among us who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in the fields of mathematics, English language arts, science, social studies, and, in our 8th grade category, the addition of world languages, specifically the Greek Language.

Education is the cornerstone of progress, and here at Plato Academy, we believe in nurturing not only academic excellence but also a passion for learning that extends beyond the classroom. Today, we recognize the dedication, hard work, and unwavering commitment of our students who have excelled in these diverse areas of study.

Before we proceed further, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge the esteemed board members. Their commitment to educational excellence is truly commendable, and we are grateful for their tireless efforts in fostering an environment where students can thrive and reach their full potential.

Our Board Chairman: Mr. Louis Kokkinakos

Vice Chairman: Mr. John Petalas

Secretary: Mr. George Antonaklas

Treasurer: Mr. Yale Walker

I would also like to extend our deepest gratitude to our sponsors, whose generosity has made this event possible. Your support not only enhances the prestige of these awards but also underscores the importance of recognizing and celebrating academic achievement in our community.

Thank you to: The Saminik Group and to Ryan Hughes Designs for your contributions to this evening’s events.

As we prepare to honor our deserving recipients tonight, let us remember that success is not merely defined by accolades or awards, but by the knowledge gained, the skills acquired, and the impact we make in the world around us. Each of our awardees has demonstrated not only academic prowess but also a commitment to personal growth and a thirst for knowledge that will serve them well in their future endeavors. We are very proud of each of you.

Congratulations to all the recipients, and may your journey towards academic excellence continue to inspire and motivate others for years to come. 

I would like to now introduce our esteemed Chief of Academics, Ms. Danielle Cicetti who will present our Keynote Address.

Thank you.

Danielle Cicetti - Chief of Academics

Dear Students, Parents, Family Members, Teachers, Administrators, Board Members – All Members of Our Plato Academy Family, Welcome.

It is with great honor and privilege that I stand before you today to celebrate the exceptional achievements of our students. Tonight, we come together to recognize and applaud the academic excellence that has distinguished these remarkable individuals.

At Plato Academy academic accomplishments are expected, encouraged, and fostered at every level. Excellence of character emphasized and fostered through our character education program and House Sophrosyne, House Philotimo, House Athena, and House Arete. Beyond the basics of an advanced academic program the Greek language and culture is embedded throughout our academic and character educational programming, expanding the language and cultural awareness of our students. The academic excellence required for these students of honor to have not only accomplished their academic goals, but truly exceed them and perform at the top levels, is worthy of our gathering and acknowledging them.

In a world where knowledge is paramount and innovation is revered, the pursuit of academic excellence is a journey that demands dedication, perseverance, and an unwavering commitment to personal growth. The students we honor tonight have exemplified these virtues in abundance, rising to the challenges set before them and surpassing expectations with their intellectual prowess and scholarly achievements.

Each of the recipients being honored tonight has demonstrated a dedicated unwavering pursuit of knowledge, a thirst for understanding, and an insatiable curiosity that has propelled them to the pinnacle of academic success. Through their tireless efforts and unwavering determination, they have not only excelled in their studies but have also inspired their peers and enriched our academic community with their passion for learning.

Behind every academic triumph lies a story of dedication and persistence. The journey to excellence may look simple and seamless from the outside, but is not without challenges and obstacles. Even still these students have met every hurdle with courage and fortitude, emerging stronger and more determined than ever before.

As we gather here tonight to celebrate their achievements, let us not forget the invaluable support system that has nurtured and guided them along the way. To the parents, teachers, mentors, and loved ones who have provided unwavering support and encouragement, we owe a debt of gratitude for helping to shape the bright minds we honor tonight.

To the recipients of tonight’s awards, I offer my heartfelt congratulations. Your accomplishments are a testament to your hard work, dedication, and unyielding commitment to excellence. As you continue on your academic journey, may you never lose sight of the boundless potential that lies within you, and may you continue to inspire those around you with your passion for knowledge and your thirst for greatness.

In closing, let us celebrate not only the achievements of tonight but also the limitless possibilities that lie ahead. Together, let us continue to foster a culture of academic excellence, innovation, and lifelong learning, knowing that with dedication and determination, anything is possible.
Congratulations once again to all the recipients, and may your future be filled with continued success, fulfillment, and endless opportunities.
Thank you.

Dawn Parker - Chief of Staff Development

Καλησπέρα Ladies and gentlemen, Plato Academy Board members, Plato staff, proud parents, and, most importantly, our outstanding students,

As we draw the curtains on our first Plato Academy evening celebrating Academic Excellence Awards, I am filled with immense pride and gratitude. Tonight, we not only honored the exceptional achievements of our students – your children, but also celebrated a significant milestone – 20 years of Plato Academy’s unwavering commitment to nurturing young minds and fostering a love for learning.

For two decades, Plato Academy has stood as a beacon of educational excellence, guided by a profound mission to assist students in achieving their full potential. Our mission is not just words on a page; it is the heartbeat of our schools, driving us to require and nurture high academic and behavioral standards in a safe, supporting, challenging, and enthusiastic environment.

Tonight, as we applaud the remarkable accomplishments of our students, we also celebrate the embodiment of Plato Academy’s mission in each and every one of them. Our students, through their dedication, perseverance, and passion for learning, exemplify the high standards we uphold. They have demonstrated not only academic excellence but also integrity, compassion, and a thirst for knowledge.

As we reflect on the journey of the past 20 years, we are reminded that Plato Academy’s legacy lies not just in the bricks and mortar of our buildings but in the hearts and minds of our students. You are the living embodiment of our school’s ethos, fortified by a study of the Greek language and culture, and fostered by a commitment and cooperative effort among the school, students, parents, and community: our family.

To our exceptional students, I invite you to join me on stage/steps for a final group photo. Let us capture this moment as a testament to your hard work, dedication, and the values that define Plato Academy. As you stand together, know that you are not just individuals receiving awards but ambassadors of excellence, integrity, and lifelong learning.

Congratulations once again, and may your journey ahead be filled with continued success, growth, and endless possibilities.


Plato Education Foundation

This event was made possible with the generous support of our sponsors through Plato Education Foundation. Anyone who wants to support the mission of Plato Academy Schools can sponsor events like this. Learn more at https://platoeducationfoundation.com

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