“AIEN ARISTEUEIN” or Ever to Excel is a motto from the sixth book of Homer’s “Iliad”. Glaucus, the hero, said “Hippolocus begat me. I claim to be his son, and he sent me to Troy with strict instructions: Ever to excel, to do better than others, and to bring glory to your forebears, who indeed were very great … This is my ancestry; this is the blood I am proud to inherit.”1
Educator George Kanellopoulos brought glory to his country, church and family, on Sunday, February 28th at the Fortieth Anniversary Luncheon of the Greek Teachers Association “Prometheus” at Terrace on the Park, Flushing, N.Y. He was honored by a certificate from Michael Giannaris, NY State Senator of District 12, Greek Teachers Association “Prometheus” and the Department of Education of Greece for outstanding service as a President of Prometheus. He served as President from 1994-1996.
His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios of America, Mr. Stephen Cherpelis, Archon Dikaiophylax of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Dr. Theodosis Pelegrinis, Deputy Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs of Greece with staff member George Krikis, Mr. Vasilis Philippou Consul-General of the Republic of Cyprus, Dr. Thalia Chatziagiannoglou, Head of the Office for Educational Affairs of the New York Consulate General of Greece and prominent persons from the education and business communities attended. Over two hundred and seventy persons attended.
“He has distinguished himself as a teacher of the Greek Omogenia (community) and a power of education learning in the “Stephen and Areti Cherpelis” Greek School of St. Nicholas Church, Flushing, New York,” said Prometheus President Demosthenes Triantafillou.
George Kanellopoulos was born in Likouresi, Arcadia, Greece. He attended the Gymnasium of Dimitsana, Greece. “The Arcadians remain loyal to the traditions and sacrifices of their Nation on behalf of the Christian Faith and for the freedom of our country in the 21st century.” 2 In 1970, the family immigrated to New York. He acquired the following degrees: Bachelor of Arts in classics, Queens College of CUNY; Master of Arts in T.E.S.O.L, Long Island University and school administration degree from St. John’s University.
His teaching career included: Day School of the Holy Trinity Cathedral, Manhattan; Frances Lewis High School, Fresh Meadows NY, in Modern Greek and English as a Second Language, 1986-2016; Afternoon School of Holy Cross School, Whitestone, as a teacher and then Principal during the period 1986-1991; “Stephen and Areti Cherpelis” Greek Afternoon School of St. Nicholas Church, teacher 1992-2000 and Principal from 2000 till present time.
Mr. Kanellopoulos was honored by “The National Herald” as Teacher of the Year 1996 and the Parents and Teachers Association of St. Nicholas Afternoon School in 1998. He was honored as Principal of the Year by the Parents and Teachers Association of the Afternoon School of Holy Cross School, Whitestone, 1996 and the Philoptohos of St. Nicholas Church, Flushing, NY in 2014. He is the father of two children, Stavroula and Vasilis.
“Our students are a strong graduating class,” he explained. “They come to learn the basis of Western Civilization, religious hymns, ancient Greek plays and the wisdom of philosophers. You must transmit Hellenism to the next generation. This responsibility is on your shoulders. We do not let the Greek language be extinguished. We encourage our students to remain faithful to the Greek Orthodox Church.”
“The church and school were built by many immigrants as me,” explained Dikaiophylax Archon Stephen Cherpelis. “We support the unique work of Principal George Kanellopoulos.” Prof. George Kanellopoulos, as he is known to many, has aided many of his students obtain their dreams. He is unselfish, tough and a no-nonsense educator.
His patience has resulted in saving youth. A thirteen year old, who was having problems in her first year of High School, had her life changed by Prof. Kanellopoulos suggestion of hiring two tutors from Francis Lewis High School. She achieved success through his colleagues’ tutoring and their psychological support when her Mother was diagnosed with cancer. Ever to excel, to do better than others, and to bring glory to his ancestry is the blood George Kanellopoulos is proud to inherit.