Celebrating 20 Years of Plato Academy Schools

A vibrant celebration of Greek language education and culture took place on Saturday, March 2, 2024, as Plato Academy Schools marked their 20th anniversary in grand style. The event, held at the bustling Steve Christopoulos Hall in Clearwater, Florida, brought together school educators, local community leaders, families, and students to commemorate the Academy’s significant milestone and its rich legacy.

Plato Academy Schools 20 Years Logo
Celebrating two decades of student success.
Plato Academy Schools 20 year anniversary

Today marks a monumental milestone in the history of Plato Academy Schools – our 20th anniversary.

Our unwavering dedication to providing a high-standards education and striving for excellence has led us to this momentous achievement.

This milestone is a testament to our shared vision of progress as an academic community, where every member supports one another and collectively we surpass expectations.

Louis (Elias) Kokkinakos

The success we’re celebrating today is the outcome of the dedication of our teachers, families, students, and staff. We also want to express our gratitude to our local community partners and supporters of the Plato Education Foundation. This foundation was established to enrich Greek culture, language, arts, and history through the programs offered at Plato Academy Schools.

Amy Hayes

On the occasion of this anniversary, the Plato Academy Leadership has chosen to shine a spotlight on the founder, Mr. Theodoros (Terry) Tsafatinos, recognizing and honoring his significant efforts and contributions to the advancement of the Greek language and culture.

Plato Academy Schools 20 year anniversary

Members of Plato Academy Schools Board: Yale Walker, Treasurer; Ilias Kokkinakos, President; Ioannis Petalas, Vice-President; and George Antonaklas, Secretary. On the right side speaking to the microphone is the founder of Plato Academy, Mr. Theodoros Tsafatinos.

In his address to the members of the school committee at the Academy, Mr. Tsafatinos emphasized that the driving force behind the school’s establishment was a love for the Greek language and the necessity for its teaching to the new generations and preservation of the cultural wealth of this language in the United States. He then expressed gratitude to the members of the Board for their dedication in upholding this vision.

During the event, a video presentation showcased snapshots of the school’s journey from 2004 to the present day. It featured various school events, trips to Greece, celebrations of national celebrations, art events, athletics activities, and everyday moments from school life. Many attendees had the chance to view photos from former students and alumni, reminiscing memories from their time at Plato Academy.

Steve Christopoulos

Special recognition was given in this significant report, to Steve Christopoulos, who assumed leadership of the school in 2005. Until his untimely passing in 2018, he not only steered the first school of 35 students in Clearwater, to a remarkable success but also expanded the number of schools to nine across Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Pasco counties. Today, these schools educate 4,000 students from kindergarten to 8th grade provideing daily Greek language lessons and a high standards K-8 education. In honor of his contributions, the room where the ceremony was held has been named the Steve Christopoulos Hall.

Attendees at the event included teachers from all nine campuses along with their families, and distinguished guests such as the Consul General of Greece in Tampa, Mr. Loukas Tsokos, accompanied by his wife Evi; Rhode Island State Senator Mr. Leonidas Raptakis and his wife Donna, who also has extensive experience in leadership in education; Tarpon Springs Mayor Mr. Kostas Vatikiotis and his wife Darlene; the vicars of the Cathedral of St. Nicholas of Tarpon Springs, Reverend and General Hierarchical Commissioner for the Tampa Bay area Father Athanasios Charos and Reverend Theophanis Katsiklis with his wife Stella Makris; as well as Reverend Samson Kasapakis, vicar of the Holy Church of Agios Stefanos, accompanied by his wife Mallory.

Among the most memorable moments of the event were the captivating dances performed by the dancers of the Cretan club “Drosoulites” and their youngest dancer Giorgos Belmadoros, as well as the traditional dance club of the parish of Agios Stefanos, “Kefi,” who delivered exceptional performances representing traditional dancers from mainland Greece. Music was provided by the orchestra “Demetri and the Islanders”, and DJ Harry kept the atmosphere lively. The exceptional presence of singer Christina Zantis had nearly all of the attendees dancing to her tunes. The students of Plato Seminole Academy left a lasting impression with their rendition of the traditional song “Fragosyriani,” adding a special touch to the event.

Seminole dancers

Danielle Cisetti, the Director of Academics and Master of Ceremonies for the night, highlighted the crucial role of school teachers and emphasized how this event serves as a tribute to their dedication and hard work. Following her remarks, awards were presented to school partners and supporters who have contributed to the Academy’s mission throughout the years.

The event featured prestigious awards recognizing members of the school community for their outstanding contributions.
Following this, honors were bestowed upon partners who actively support the Academy’s mission.

Theodosia Hareas

Parent of students at Plato Academy, engaged counselor, actively involved in almost every school activity.


State Senator, Lou (Leonidas) Raptakis

Senator Leonidas Raptakis is a dedicated advocate for Plato Academy schools and for the advancement of the Greek language. Hailing from the beautiful Greek island of Andros, his commitment to supporting Hellenism extends to active involvement in organizations like the World Hellenic Inter-Parliamentary Union. He tirelessly amplifies the voice of the Greek-American community.


Corporal Carlos Brito

Corportal Carlos Brito, has been selected as the recipient of the Volunteer of the Year Award. As a dedicated parent and ardent supporter of Plato Academy Seminole initiatives, he holds a special place in our hearts. This recognition comes in light of his recent challenging situation and we are excited that he is again back with us.

Plato Academy Schools 20 year anniversary

Adam Ventulett

Plato Academy Schools 20 year anniversary

Πάστορας Genniser Davega

Plato Academy Schools 20 year anniversary

Gopi Brahmbhatt

Owner of Mathnasium Trinity and active supporter of Plato Academy Trinity

Plato Academy Schools 20 year anniversary

Reverend Father James Rousakis

A steadfast advocate of the Academy’s endeavors since its establishment, he regrettably couldn’t attend due to prior commitments. Accepting the award on his behalf was his granddaughter, Sofia Rousaki, a proud alumna of Plato Academy.

Plato Academy Schools 20 year anniversary

Rocco Melchiorre

Eagle Scout Project, Troop 475

Supporter and alumnus of Plato Academy Tarpon Springs.

Sean Ferraro

Madison Avenue Pizza (Curlew Rd. και Alt. 19, Dunedin).

Supporter of Plato Academy Palm Harbor

Σαβέλλα Καρόσα και Στέλλα Μακρή

Partners of Plato Academy Clearwater actively support almost all school activities. This event was made possible thanks to their efforts.

Plato Academy Schools 20 year anniversary

Juan και Genia Yanuzzi


Gala Sponsors