Return to flip book view

Flowerdale Autumn 2023

Page 1


Page 2

Chrisna ArnokourosChrisna ArnokourosYear 10, ScienceYear 10, Science

Page 3

across generationsCONTENTSCOVER PHOTO(Left to right) Evangeline Mead, Zander Ioannou, Sophia Bush, and Aalia Prasad, Year 7.INSIDE FRONT COVERChristina Arnokouros, Year 10, Science.BACK COVER PHOTO(Left to right) Sachit Awale and Aminah Okao, Year 8. EDITOR/FEATURESMs Adellea Greenbury, Head of Marketing and Ms Zoe Zapantis, Maketing Coordinator.PUBLISHERAlphington Grammar School18 Old Heidelberg Road,PO Box 5008,Alphington Victoria 3078Tel. 03 9597 4777Email 2023 SCAN HERE TO UPDATE YOUR DETAILSor type in this url Grammar School Alphington GrammariansFEATURES02 FROM THE PRINCIPAL’S DESK04 CLASS OF 202205 2023 SCHOOL CAPTAINS SECONDARY CAPTAINS PRIMARY CAPTAINS08 MR SAV AND MS T10 SACHIT AWALE: CODE TO SUCCESSEVENTS12 EVENT SNAPSHOTS14 SCHOLAR’S ASSEMBLY ANDREW VOULIOTIS16 CREATIVE ARTS FESTIVAL20 MOANA24 CLASS OF 2012 ALUMNI REUNION26 OPEN DAYALUMNI STORIES28 AMY AND ALEX PAPAMARKOU32 EVAN AND ELENA TSIOUKIS36 FROM STUDENT TO STAFF STEPHANIE ATWA NICOLE KITSAKIS MARIA KOUTROUZASCOMMUNITY NEWS42 WEDDINGS, ENGAGEMENTS, AND BIRTHS

Page 4

Page 2From the Principal’s Desk

Page 5

Page 3Dr Vivianne Nikou reects on strong beginnings and the importance of knowing where you have come from to appreciate where you are.Welcome to this edition of Flowerdale, Autumn 2023: Across Generations.With each new academic year there is much hope and optimism that lls the air. After the last few years there is a growing determination to continue to rebuild our lives, school community, and evaluate our curriculum and learning opportunities. There is much excitement across the school as experiential opportunities are back on the agenda. Camps, excursions, incursions, and international travel is once more a reality for our all of our students, and the excitement is especially palpable for our Years 9 and 10 students. This edition of Flowerdale looks at change over time and “Across Generations”, with some wonderful contributions from various generations within our school community.We take the time to reect on the strong start to our year with our Scholar’s Assembly, where we recognised and celebrated the high achievers in our latest generation of graduates, the Class of 2022. Our Keynote Speaker, Mr Andrew Vouliotis (Class of 2007) inspired the students through his address, which was a unique look at seizing opportunities, taking risks into unknown employment nee Tsaboukas and Alex Papamarkou (Class of 2012), as well as John Savopoulos and Helen Theodoropoulos, better known as Mr Sav and Ms T.Our Visual and Performing Arts departments have certainly grown over the generations, with wonderful new opportunities for students to be part of splendid productions, musical performances, community events, and arts showcases. We take the time to spotlight the artistic endeavours of our students within these pages in features of our Arts Festival and Primary production of Moana. Other events that have earned a mention include our 2023 Open Day and Class of 2012 Alumni Reunion. This edition also features many happy events in our growing community, with Engagements, Weddings, and the arrival of new babies to celebrate. This happy news can all be found in our Community News segment.I hope you enjoy reading this autumn edition of Flowerdale. Dr Vivianne Nikou Principal pathways, and working in creating a bold new future using Articial Intelligence. One student who was particularly inspired by his words was Sachit Awale, whose innovative ALPHA project we spotlight within the magazine.This edition also looks at the leadership opportunities and aspirations of our current school captains across both Primary and Secondary Years: Aristea Papax, Rudra Sekhri, Keppel Gordon, Sia Kerasiotis, and Jonathan Karambelas. We share ve truly unique stories from alumni and sta; Elena Tsioukis nee Groutas (Class of 2006) and Evan Tsioukis (Class of 2001), Maria Koutrouzas (Class of 2001), Nicole Kitsakis (Class of 1997), and Stephanie Atwa (Class of 2015). The journeys of these alumni began here at Alphington Grammar, and The School has played a key role in their lives ever since. Some of these alumni are just now bringing through the next generation of Alphington Grammar students to join our community, while others have since returned to join us as sta. We are also very proud to be able to share the stories of two families brought together within Alphington Grammar’s walls, Amy Papamarkou

Page 6

Page 4Class of 2022We would like to congratulate the Class of 2022 on their commendable achievements.Results Notable results include:• 51% of students achieved an ATAR over 80, placing them in the top 20% of the state. • A median study score of 32. • An average ATAR of 78, well above state average.The Dux of the School, Zoe Tonkin, is pursuing her interests in Commerce and Engineering through a double degree at Monash University. Thomas Brady is Dux Proximus and is studying a Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne with plans to pursue a Master of Engineering.University OersMany of our students have received their rst choice oers across a wide range of disciplines, reinforcing the strengths of our students’ academic and personal achievements.features

Page 7

Page 52023Student Leaders

Page 8

Page 6Secondary School CaptainsRudra SekhriHi everyone! My name is Rudra and I’m extremely grateful to be School Co-Captain for Alphington Grammar School in 2023. I love to experiment and try new things, and this year, I’d like to continue on the legacy of the previous School Captains in making the school a much more welcoming space for trying new things. “If you only do what you can do, you’ll never be more than you are now” - Master Shifu, Kung Fu Panda 3.Keppel GordonHi, I’m Keppel and I am very excited to help lead our school as Vice Capitan for 2023. I have seen some of the incredible things that students have accomplished, and I am looking forward to creating new ways for students to excel and helping people achieve their goals. This year’s Leadership Team has already started working on some excellent ideas and I’m thrilled to be part of the changes we will make to improve our school.Aristea PapaxMy name is Aristea Papax, and I’m this year’s School Co-Captain. This is my 14th year at AGS as I started my journey here in pre-prep as a four-year-old. I’m looking forward to working with our dynamic leadership Team this year and doing so many more amazing things on top of what we’ve already put into motion this term, including our homeroom initiatives and House Night extravaganza.Rudra, Aristea and Keppel Rudra, Aristea and Keppel School Captain and Vice CaptainsSchool Captain and Vice Captains

Page 9

Page 7Jonathan Karambelas Hi, my name is Jonathan Karambelas and I am currently one of the two Primary School Captains. Being a School Captain makes me proud of what I have achieved and this role means a lot to me. What I would like to achieve this year is for everyone to be happy, everyone to be kind to each other, make sure that we all try our best and to have an extraordinary school year! I will do my best to be a positive role model and I will always be there to help fellow students when they ask for help.Athanasia Kerasiotis Primary School CaptainsHi, my name is Sia Kerasiotis and I’m honoured to be one of the Primary School Captains along with Jonathan. Being School Captain reminds me that putting in hard work and never giving up enables me to achieve any goals I set out in life. What I would like to achieve this year is to encourage my fellow students to support and encourage each other no matter how hard things might get. Also, to remember to enjoy the nal Primary School year as well.Primary Leadership Team, Primary Leadership Team, Year 6Year 6

Page 10

Page 8featuresMr Sav and Ms T Helen, John and Paul’s story is a sweet one, of family brought together over the years within AGS’ walls. By Adelle GreenburyJohn Savopoulos and Helen Theodoropoulos – also known aectionately as Mr Sav and Ms T – have become staple gures within Alphington Grammar School in the near two decades they have been here. While John currently works as Campus Administrator and a Year 7 Science teacher and Helen as Pericles Mentor and Year 7-10 English, Greek and Humanities teacher, this was not always the case. The majority of our alumni community will have fond memories of John in one of many roles –he has worked as Head of IT, Head of Science, VASS Coordinator, Sport Coach, House Mentor, VET Coordinator, Daily Organiser, and Campus administrator – and of Helen as an English, Humanities, Greek or EAL teacher, Head of EAL, Year 7 and 8 Assistant Coordinator, or Learning Support Coordinator. Many people will also know their son, Paul, who is now in Year 8. Alongside this, their own love story, largely set within AGS’ walls, is not as widely known. In this piece we take the time to prole John, Helen, and Paul, and explore their family’s story.John and Helen started at AGS within a year of each other; John began as a teacher in 1994, and in 1995 Helen took on some CRT work on campus that spanned across ELC, Primary, Secondary, and even the front oce. She became a full-time teacher covering English, EAL and Greek in 1997. The early years at the school were rocky, they both admit. Resources were limited, and John reveals that teaching a VCE IT class with “a handful of donated old Telstra PCs that had no hard drives … needed to be started up with a oppy disk drive and were not networked” was a unique challenge. Helen shares that most of the sta purchased their own stationary to get through the year. Space was also a bit of a conundrum; John shared an oce with 11 other sta in what is now the First Aid room, which seems incomprehensible. Helen was based in the LOTE oce with another 9 sta members, located in the middle of a double portable where the Andrianakos Centre now stands. Nevertheless, through passion, commitment, and hard work, they always made it work.Despite working together, Helen and John were initially not particularly close. In fact, for the rst eight or so years of being co-workers, they barely spoke; having oces in distant parts of the campus, they rarely ever saw each other. Eventually, though, this began to change.“We eventually started to say hello to each other while walking across the basketball courts heading to class,” they tell me. They also discovered that they had in fact crossed paths as teenagers, attending the same Greek School, though they had never noticed each other.As time went on, they began attending the same social functions and spent more time talking to each other. They started dating in 2004, though only a small group of sta knew at the time. A bona-de secret romance, they kept their relationship strictly under the radar from the majority of sta and all the students at the time. To add to the comedy, a group of senior students had made it a point that they wanted to see Helen and John become a couple; unbeknownst to them, they were already dating. The secret was maintained until Helen and John announced their engagement during a sta brieng. “When sta heard John and Helen, they assumed we both got engaged at the same time to dierent people with the same names. When we told them we were engaged to each other they were shocked,” they revealed of their surprise announcement. “They could not believe that we had managed to date for so long without anyone realising.”“They could not believe that we had managed to date for so long without anyone realising.”

Page 11

Page 9Helen and John got married shortly after, in 2006, and their son Paul joined the AGS community as part of our ELC in 2014. Throughout their time at AGS Helen and John have made lifelong friends and memories. In fact, both list these friendships and the tight-knit community as the best part of working at the school; two of the reasons they decided to send Paul here even before he was born, along with the focus on wellbeing and the well-rounded education Alphington oers. They both emphasize how fortunate they feel to have worked with such amazing people who supported them both professionally and personally, and who they now consider family.“We wanted Paul to be part of the AGS community,” they share. “From the very beginning he felt comfortable and safe… Being at AGS so long, he has formed great friendships over the years.”When asked about their fondest memories from over the years, Helen highlighted the Theatre Studies trip to Japan in 2001, which was AGS’ rst international trip and was an amazing experience.“Students performed at a few schools, we got to travel on the Bullet train to go to Miyajima Island, and visited Hiroshima, where students made paper cranes at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. We also attended the Kabuki Theatre to watch a unique performance of dance drama,” she says. “Coincidently, John was also on this trip. It was after this trip that we started attending the same social functions along with work colleagues that eventually became close family friends.”John shares Helen’s fondness for the Japan trip, but also mentioned the teacher tour to NASA in 2016 and taking the U14 Boys Soccer Team to Brisbane as part of an international tournament in the early 2000s.Since Paul joined Helen and John at AGS, there were new experiences to be had and hurdles to overcome. The whole family now enjoys quality time driving to and from the school every day.Being around each other every second of every day would be an interesting experience for anyone, but Helen and John share that they rarely cross paths during the day; some students and sta do not even realise they are married, due to the dierent surnames. And while working together means that work can often spill over into home life, it also means that they can deeply understand each other’s workload and commitments. Even Paul does not mind being around his parents all that much; in Primary School he barely saw them at all, though that is starting to change now that he is in the Secondary School. At rst he would try to dodge his parents in the hallways, Helen tells me, but she likes to think he is getting more comfortable with it now. Paul concedes that the situation can be “interesting at times”, and that being able to see them more often does take a bit of an adjustment. For now, he remains grateful that he is not in either of their classes.“…it might be awkward for both of us,” he admits.Nevertheless, Helen, John, and Paul’s story is a sweet one, of family brought together within AGS’ walls. Their love of the school community and the memories, friends, and family they made throughout their journey is paramount for them.“Be proud of your school and enjoy your school years, because the experiences you will have will become lifetime memories,” Helen and John share. I can’t help but feel that this piece of advice complements their story perfectly.

Page 12

Page 10Sachit Awale: Code to Success features“[Andrew] showed ... with a lot of hard work and persistence, you can achieve success and be at the centre of technological advancements.”Sachit Awale is a Year 8 Socrates student at Alphington Grammar School and was selected for the learning extension program ALPHA in Year 7. Through the ALPHA program, Sachit has been able to deepen his interest in technology and, in particular, improve his knowledge of coding. According to Sachit, coding is one of the most important topics to learn in today’s world as our society becomes increasingly reliant on technology. “By learning coding, people can help to revolutionise our world,” he proclaims. Sachit’s passions for coding and problem solving have been inspired, inuenced, and supported by the people in his life, spanning multiple generations. Whether it be his parents, his teachers, guest speakers, or his peers, these people have enabled him to develop his skills and pinpoint his interests. His tenacity, hard work and commitment has been ingrained in him by his parents, as he thoroughly points out:“I have been taught by the generations before me, especially my parents, that nothing is easy; you will always have to work for anything you want. I have been taught that nothing is perfect; everything can always be improved, which is especially vital for coding, since your project can always be quicker or easier to navigate around. Lastly, I have been taught that you must always work hard and to always give your 100%, even if it is not something you enjoy.”Sachit started learning to code in Year 7, picking up HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, though he mainly uses JavaScript now. He was drawn to the problem-solving aspect of coding and loved how it felt to challenge himself to nd the best solutions and solve countless bugs. These initial steps towards learning coding in Year 7 planted the seed for his interest in technology, and eventually lead to his ALPHA project in Year 8. “Learning to code has made me more interested in technology as a whole,” Sachit admits, “and by learning a simple language like JavaScript, I have many other gateways to other languages, such as Python for Data Science, C# for game development or Flutter for app development.”Sachit’s ALPHA project is driven by this inspiration and love of coding. After attending the Secondary Swimming Carnival last year and hearing teacher feedback from Mr Pat O’Shea, Sachit concluded that the logistical aspects of the carnival were held back by existing technology. Encouraged by Sachit Awale, Year 8 student, discusses his ALPHA project inspired by Scholars Assembly Guest Speaker Andrew Vouliotis. By Adelle Greenbury

Page 13

Page 11ALPHA Coordinator Mr James Smith, Sachit went on to brainstorm ways to make the event more ecient. Andrew Vouliotis’ (Class of 2007) Scholar’s Assembly speech served as the next point of inspiration for Sachit’s project. Listening to his speech, Sachit was struck with how fast technology can progress. The career Andrew works in today was not even possible when he was at Alphington Grammar in his youth, and this lled Sachit with excitement for what technological advancements would come next; advancements that he could be at the forefront of, with his coding skills.“I felt inspired to continue coding, since [Andrew] showed how even with simple beginnings, with a lot of hard work and persistence, you can achieve success and be at the centre of technological advancements,” Sachit writes.Andrew also spoke about how he developed a timetabling software for use within the School during his time as a student. This sparked Sachit’s imagination and fuelled his work towards overcoming the issues with our current Swimming Carnival points calculation system.“After the assembly, I noticed a signicant jump in his engagement with the project – as evidenced by the fact that he is already nished when it is not due until the end of Term 2!” said Mr Smith.Sachit eventually devised a solution that integrated his coding knowledge and his experience with websites: a site that indicates the current and upcoming event, which House is in the lead, and calculates increases in House points based on the inputted placements of the students. The project has had its fair share of challenges; Sachit has admitted that the sheer amount of potential tools to use and nding the ones that align best with the project has been overwhelming. Mr James Smith, ALPHA Coordinator Mr James Smith, ALPHA Coordinator and Sachit Awale, Year 8and Sachit Awale, Year 8The nature of coding also means that it can become frustrating when the code runs into an error or does not produce the wanted result, but you do not understand why. Nevertheless, the challenges only make the task more rewarding, according to Sachit. Countless hours of errors, confusion, debugging and Googling are quickly forgotten as soon as the code starts to work. In addition, with the support from Mr Smith, Sachit is also being mentored by Year 12 student Rudra Sekhri. Rudra helps by taking control of the back-end of the website and the user interface, which Sachit admits is more of a struggle for him. By using Python, a dierent programming language which is more suitable for handling large quantities of data, Rudra is exploring ways to use the website to showcase the time, calculate event timings, and display the winning House results. “We are both good at dierent things, [so] it means that we make a good team because one person is not doing everything, and we each get something done,” Sachit writes.With the support of his parents, Mr Smith, and Rudra, Sachit has managed to produce a very impressive solution to a school-wide problem. The next test is to take it to our Swimming Carnival and see how it performs. It may not be the world just yet, but perhaps Sachit has managed to revolutionise our 2024 Secondary Swimming Carnival.While the website may be complete, Sachit will assuredly continue tinkering and problem-solving as his skill improves. We can count on Sachit to continue working hard far into the future, whether in school, web development, software engineering, AI programming, or whichever path he chooses; as long as it is something that “makes [him] and others around [him] happy.”

Page 14

Page 12Secondary Swim CarnivalSecondary Swim Carnival Scholars AssemblyScholars AssemblyPrimary STEAM ShowPrimary STEAM ShowGatewaysGatewaysAnpodes FesvalAnpodes FesvalBook Parade DayBook Parade Day Community Service WeekCommunity Service WeekAnnual Music ConcertAnnual Music ConcertEvent Snapshots

Page 15

Page 13VCE Awards NightVCE Awards NightCreave Arts FesvalCreave Arts FesvalOpen DayOpen DayGreek Independence ParadeGreek Independence ParadeHouse AthlecsHouse AthlecsValedictory DinnerValedictory Dinner House NightHouse NightJunior ProduconJunior ProduconEvent Snapshots

Page 16

Page 14Scholars’ Assembly 2023Spotlighting our Scholars’ Assembly, our 2022 High Achievers, our DUX Zoe Tonkin and Keynote Speaker Andrew Vouliotis, Class of 2007. This article includes text extracted from the assembly address by Dr Vivianne NikouThe annual AGS Scholars’ Assembly was held this year on Monday the 20th of February. Our Scholars’ Assembly brings us together to celebrate the eort and outstanding achievements of our Class of 2022; a group of young men and women who have demonstrated our school values and school motto in a tangible way.What brings us together as a community is a core set of values, and at the heart of it all is “The Pursuit of Excellence”.The results of the Class of 2022 must be seen as a testament to their commitment to excel in their academic studies and to work hard. By any measure, the Class of 2022 had all the challenges of the COVID years, however this did not deter them. It made them stronger, and they have again set the bar high for others to aspire to. 51% achieved an ATAR of above 80 putting them in the top 20% of the state.These results are not the result of just their last year of study but of many years of study. Like an athlete, a musician, a craftsman building on their own strengths and skill set, it takes time. Years, in fact! As the gold medal tennis player Andre Agassi said, “Nothing substitutes for just plain hard work”.The recipient for the Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars’ Program for this year was Rudra Sekhri. The program aords the opportunity to mix with like-minded peers and future leaders at The University of Melbourne. A tailored program of events and activities will support and enhance the chosen students’ secondary studies, inspire their career plans and provide opportunities to interact with the University community. We congratulate Rudra on this achievement.We also welcomed Andrew Vouliotis, Class of 2007, as our Keynote speaker. Andrew is a proud Alumni of Alphington Grammar School. He arrived at Alphington in Grade 3 in Ms McCulloch and Mrs Vayenas’ homeroom. Andrew was involved in all aspects of school life, ultimately serving as the School Vice Captain and Pericles Andrew Voulios, Class of 2007Andrew Voulios, Class of 2007Zoe Tonkin, Class of 2022 and Zoe Tonkin, Class of 2022 and Andrew Voulios, Class of 2007Andrew Voulios, Class of 2007events

Page 17

Page 15High Achievers, High Achievers, Class of 2022Class of 2022House Vice Captain. He was awarded school colours in Music and Drama.Since graduating in 2007, Andrew received a full scholarship to Swinburne University of Melbourne to study in the eld of Information Systems. Today, he is a senior sta member at one of Australia’s Largest Articial Intelligence research institutes – an area that existed, but was only discussed in the context of sci- movies, when he was a young graduate. Andrew’s speech was a condensed masterclass in the opportunities, risks, and future of articial intelligence. Through examples of his own work and demonstrations of his points, he lit the ame of curiosity in the minds of the students in the audience and showed new graduates how life can unfold. As a year level, the Class of 2022 showed incredible support for each other and worked well with their teachers to bring home these results. Results they can be very proud of. I congratulate them for all they have achieved and wish them well for all they will go on to achieve.In particular I congratulate The DUX for this year, Miss Zoe Tonkin. She achieved a top ATAR of 98.7, placing her in the top 2% of all students in the state.Zoe is universally remembered as a hardworking, responsible young woman with a quirky sense of humor. Despite having come later than her peers to our school community and facing her own set of challenges at home and in her personal life, she did all she could to contribute to her new school and challenge herself. No one can deny that Zoe is a worthy Grammarian and deserving School DUX whose name now proudly sits engraved on the school honor boards in the entrance of our school. Below is a Read about how Andrew’s speech inspired the next generation on Page 10 in Sachit Awale: Code to Successshort extract from her speech that embodies her tenacity and commitment to her studies.“As teenagers, we have the potential to change. Arguably, we have more options than any other age group. We have the resources without the weight of commitment. We don’t have full time jobs and kids and partners. So, if you really want to do well, then start now. Make the change that you know you have to make. Everyone has one.I made that change, and it was terrifying. I uprooted my comfortable, familiar life and moved to Melbourne. But doing that is why I’m here. That’s why I came to this school, and ultimately, is a big part of my success.But I’m also here because of all the support systems I had last year. So, thank you to everyone who pushed me or believed in me, and a big thank you to my teachers and all of the teachers who have helped me out too.”Overall, our Scholars’ Assembly was a showcase of what we can achieve if we open ourselves to opportunity and put in the work. Everyone in the audience beneted from this display of excellence, commitment, and passion.

Page 18

Page 16

Page 19

Page 17Creative Arts Festival 2022The Creative Arts Festival ran on Thursday October 20th 2022 after school in the Secondary STEM area. The festival included exhibitions with work from Years 7 to 12 Art, Media and Visual Communication Design students.The Creative Arts Festival is an annual event and a chance to highlight the creative pieces our students have worked on all year. Students, parents, and sta alike make the most of the opportunity to appreciate the artwork across a wide range of mediums. The main new addition to the festival this year was an artist market. The market contained products and pieces created by students across all Secondary year levels. Student-run stalls sold candles, glazed pottery, plants, paintings and prints. The artist market along with the exhibitions brought much pride to students and parents alike.The evening was a great success, and it was amazing to see such a great collection of student work in the same physical space for the rst time since

Page 20

Page 18Angelique Karalis, Angelique Karalis, Year 9Year 9Chrisna Arnokouros, Chrisna Arnokouros, Year 9Year 9Ilya Assaran Darban, Ilya Assaran Darban, Year 1Year 1Andy Wang, Andy Wang, Year 4Year 4Revant Srivastava, Revant Srivastava, Year 11Year 11Maya Jovanovic, Maya Jovanovic, Year 11 Year 11 Anastasia Fokianos, Anastasia Fokianos, Year 11Year 11Mira Dhiman, Mira Dhiman, Year 1Year 1

Page 21

Page 19William Li,William Li,Year 4Year 4George Mouradis, George Mouradis, Year 10 Year 10 Aaliya Sachon,Aaliya Sachon, Year 10 Year 10Emily Vostri, Emily Vostri, Year 9Year 9Lucy Blake, Lucy Blake, Year 10 Year 10 Sean Brady, Sean Brady, Year 11Year 11Tianya Liu,Tianya Liu,Year 5Year 5Evan Batsakis, Evan Batsakis, Year 5Year 5

Page 22

Page 20Year 6 Production: MoanaA look into our Year 6 Junior Production of Moana with photos of the cast.Following the rescheduling of the production due to COVID restrictions in Semester 1, our Year 6 students were able to perform in front of family and friends the heart-warming musical adaptation of the Disney classic. The students performed to two sold out crowds, showcasing just how talented our Year 6 cohort is in singing, acting and dancing. The costumes, the scenery and the music transported us to the Pacic Islands and a journey of self-discovery with messages of bravery and selessness as Moana mustered up all the strength within to try to save her village from dying. What a great message as we face our own challenges and dangers.Congratulations to all our Year 6 students on their commitment to rehearsals over many weeks to bring this Disney production alive. A special thank you to our Musical Director, Ms Stephanie Atwa, the Music and Performing Arts Team, Mrs Priya Wilson, Mr Ewen Baker and Ms Felicity Wallace, the Year 6 Teachers, Mr Luke Barnewall, Ms Georgia Vrakas and Ms Erin Longuet, our Maintenance Team, Mr Andrew Bunton and Mr Sam Droscher and, our Music Administrator, Ms Kate Salvatore.“We performed Disney’s Moana, it was an amazing experience I will sure not forget soon. Special thanks to Ms Atwa for making it happen.”Zander Ioannou (Chief Tui)“We had a very fun time practicing week after week to perfect our production of Moana. We were always so excited to have music and would take any opportunity to practice.”Christina Lablache (Chief Ancestor) “I really enjoyed doing Moana. I loved it, it was a really lovely experience.”Anastasia Moses (Gramma Tala)events

Page 23

Page 21Kyara Fokianos, Year 7Kyara Fokianos, Year 7Year 6 Producon: MoanaYear 6 Producon: Moana

Page 24

Page 22

Page 25

Page 23

Page 26

Page 24

Page 27

Page 25Class of 2012Alumni ReunionA look into the Class of 2012 10-Year Alumni Reunion. On Saturday the 12th of November 2022, we welcomed back over 50 past students and sta to the class of 2012 10-year Alumni Reunion. Held in the Lyceum Center on campus, the event featured food, drinks, nostalgic photos, and good company. Watching the interactions between members of the Class of 2012, it was like no time had passed at all.While they were on campus, the graduating class of 2012 were able to take a private tour of the facilities as well as reconnect with their classmates and sta. The campus has changed dramatically since their time at Alphington Grammar, and it was incredible to watch the amazement and wonder of the faces of our alumni. They even took a detour to their old homeroom and attempted to nd the time capsule they had hidden in the ceiling. No luck just yet, but we will keep an eye out.Overall, it was a wonderful day watching our alumni and sta reminisce and share stories together. We are looking forward to hosting our graduating classes of 2003 and 2013 to their 10- and 20-year reunion on Saturday the 18th of November 2023.update your alumni details hereevents

Page 28

Page 26Open DayThe day was our busiest one yet with over 1,000 people registered to attend. There was a steady stream of visitors throughout the whole day that we welcomed through our gates. The weather was on our side and the music department had multiple bands, ensembles and choirs performing in various areas around the school that made it a buzzing and inviting atmosphere. On the day we had several sta and student-led Our annual Open Day event was held on Saturday the 4th of March for both Secondary and Primary prospective families. Children were able to meet their peers and get involved in a range of interactive activities that allowed them to picture their life here at Alphington Grammar including calligraphy and donut key chain making with polymer clay. Overall, the day was incredibly successful, and it was amazing to see many of our students enthusiastically leading families around our

Page 29

Page 27Alumni Stories

Page 30

Page 28Amy and Alex Papamarkou, Class of Amy and Alex Papamarkou, Class of 2012, Nicholas and Andre Papamarkou2012, Nicholas and Andre Papamarkou

Page 31

Page 29Amy and AlexPapamarkoualumni storiesWhen did you start and nish at AGS, and how old were you? Alex: I started in Year 6 when I was 12 years old and graduated Year 12 in 2012. Prior to joining AGS I attended Primary School at St Carlos Borromeo in Greenvale. Amy: I started pre-prep in 1999 when I was 4 years old. I graduated from AGS in 2012. Tell us a bit about yourselves. What do you do?Alex: After graduating from AGS I completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Finance at RMIT University. From there I started working at the Bank of Melbourne where I am currently working as a Relationship Manager. In my role I manage clients’ Banking and their home lending portfolios. I’m approaching 7 years with the company and during this time I have also worked in my family’s business, namely the operation of Clean Maker, a self-service car wash. Outside of work, my hobbies are basketball, gaming and traveling to Greece!Amy: After High School I completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing at RMIT University. I started working at NAB back in 2018, and currently work in the Small Business Marketing Team as a Creative and Content Analyst. My role involves working with agencies to develop creative assets used in marketing campaigns, which we use across a range of channels such as billboards, digital marketing, radio ads and more! Prior to NAB I worked in my family’s business; my parents owned a café called Delphi which was on High St in Northcote. I’m currently on maternity leave from work and have my hands full with 2 young kids. In any spare time, I get, I enjoy exercising, traveling and spending time with family and friends.Tell us about when and how you met.We rst met when Alex came to AGS in Year 6 (2006). We were friends for many years until we started dating in Year 12 (2012).Describe the story of your relationship from your time at AGS up until now.We rst started dating at the beginning of Year 12. After High School we both attended RMIT but at dierent campuses. We have traveled together to various countries, mostly around Greece where we’ve spent plenty of time in the Peloponnese – where both of our families originate from. We got engaged in 2017, married in 2019, and were blessed with our two sons Nicholas in 2021 and Andre in 2022.What is your fondest memory from your time at AGS? Alex: A highlight of school was playing basketball with my peers during recess and lunchtime. We were never the best but that didn’t stop us from making a team in a social league at Coburg called the “Spartan Cavaliers”. We played for several years after graduating High School. In addition to my year level playing together post-school, I actively play for two teams from the classes of 2010 and 2014 alumni and attribute these connections to those times we played in school.Amy: I went on the 2010 art trip to Paris and London with the school. It was an amazing 3 weeks in Europe just before Christmas. I got to travel with some of my closest friends and also got to know other people from other year levels better. I still remember the fun we had on that trip and am grateful I got the opportunity to go.Amy Papamarkou nee Tsaboukas and Alex Papamarkou, Class of 2012, chat to us about their life, career, and experiences at Alphington Grammar.

Page 32

Page 30What was your experience like at AGS? We both enjoyed the small community aspect and to this day some of our closest friends are people we met at school. What do you miss the most/think back fondly on about Alphington Grammar? We recently attended our 10-year High School reunion which brought back so many memories. If we had to narrow it down to one thing it would denitely be the people – both teachers and peers. When you’re at school you don’t fully appreciate the fact that you get to spend 5 days a week with your friends. Also, the friendships we formed with teachers is something you don’t get in larger schools and we were lucky to have them.What is one thing you would do differently if you were to go back in time? The cliché of “I wouldn’t change anything” resonates strongly when reecting on our time at AGS and it’s easy to see why – we both had an overly-positive experience and met each other at AGS. What did you want to do/what career path did you consider pursuing as a student at AGS and how has that changed? Alex: I selected Finance/Economics as my career pathway and so far have stayed true to that - thanks Mrs Mallis!Amy: I was very uncertain about what career path I wanted to take throughout high school. I considered Medical Imaging, however hadn’t completed the prerequisite subjects so I enrolled into a bachelor of Exercise & Sport Science at RMIT with the hopes to eventually transfer. I knew this wasn’t the career path I wanted, so after my 2nd year I took a break to re-evaluate. I went back to RMIT and completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. What is your greatest accomplishment and how did you achieve it? We were very fortunate to purchase our rst home at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. The property market had started to slow due to the uncertainty that came with the lock downs, auctions had stopped and buyers were reluctant to purchase. We managed to seize this opportunity and nd a house in our ideal location and purchase before the property market picked up again. We credit it to beginner’s luck and knowledge applied from our line of work… but mostly beginner’s luck!As a family what are some of your proudest moments or most memorable milestones?Our family is still young, we have 2 under 2 so we’re still achieving a lot of those early milestones with our children. More recently Nicholas (our eldest) learned to walk just before we left for Greece. By the time we got home he was ready to run! Also, watching Nicholas become a big brother to Andre has been incredible; he’s very loving, caring and always excited to see his baby brother.What is the biggest challenge you have faced and how did you navigate it?Moving into our rst home and having our rst child during the COVID lockdown was tricky to manage. Luckily, we have both our parents who live close by who were able to help.What is your biggest goal in your life?Nurturing a loving family that allows our children to have a joyous life.What is a personal motto, rule, or belief that you live by? “Treat others how you want to be treated” and “I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing” – Socrates… there’s always more to learn! “ The friendships we formed with teachers is something you don’t get in larger schools and we were lucky to have them.”

Page 33

Page 31alumni storiesDo you want to get involved in the alumni community, be spotlighted in the magazine, or recommend an alum for us to interview for a feature article? Email us at with your questions, comments, or suggestions.We also accept submissions of engagement, wedding, birth or vale notices for publication. Amy, Alex, Nicholas and Andre Amy, Alex, Nicholas and Andre PapamarkouPapamarkouAmy and Alex, Amy and Alex, Year 11 FormalYear 11 Formal

Page 34

Page 32Evan and Elena Tsioukis, Evan and Elena Tsioukis, Class of 2001 and 2006Class of 2001 and 2006

Page 35

Page 33Evan and Elena TsioukisEvan Tsioukis, Class of 2001 and Elena Tsioukis nee Groutas, Class of 2006, talk to us about their life, career, and experiences at AGS.alumni storiesTell us a bit about yourselves and what you do!Elena: I’m 34 years old. I studied at AGS from Year 7 in 2001 to Year 12 and graduated in 2006. I Studied Bachelor of Commerce (Int Business) / Diploma of Social Media Marketing. Currently I’m working as a Marketing/Social Media/Digital Marketing Manager at Plantein Foods. Evan: I’m 38 years old and have been at AGS since the schools opening in 1989. I graduated as part of the Class of 2001. After High School I studied Food Sciences and now I’m the Managing Director at NMPS Food GroupWhat was your experience like at AGS? Elena: I loved that AGS was a community and that as a student you weren’t just a number. All the teachers knew you by name (even if they didn’t teach you) and you knew them. I made great friends who are still my best friends until this day – my best friend Xanthi is now also my sister-in-law! Evan: I joined AGS the rst year it started in 1989 and I was the rst-grade prep class. AGS is the only school I ever knew so it was an easy decision to send my children here. The people you meet along the way at AGS become lifelong friends and the school community continues to build. What were you like as a student? Describe yourself as you were when you were at AGS.Elena: Upon starting year 7 I was very shy and given that a lot of students came from Primary School, it was challenging entering a new environment and making new friends. At AGS I was Xanthi Sukkarie nee Tsioukis, Nick Papaioannou, Dean Stratus, Xanthi Sukkarie nee Tsioukis, Nick Papaioannou, Dean Stratus, Elena Tsioukis nee Groutas, Catherine Tsintzas, Chrisne Elena Tsioukis nee Groutas, Catherine Tsintzas, Chrisne Zabis nee Georgiou and Aimee Evriniadis, Zabis nee Georgiou and Aimee Evriniadis, Class of 2006 Class of 2006

Page 36

Page 34able to learn more than just academics, I learnt a lot socially and made lifelong friends. Evan: There was a lot of change throughout my 13 years at AGS, the school evolved and has continued to develop and succeed. My time at AGS was a very special part of my life and I have great memories of my time there. Looking back now I would have liked to have a few more years there. Describe your favourite memory of your time at AGS.Elena: My favourite memory would have to be our Theatre Greece Trip in 2003. I was 14 at the time and I believe the experience this trip gave me really assisted in responsibility, maturity as well as an incredible eye opener to the world. Although my mum (and now mother-in-law) came away with us, I had an amazing sense of freedom in such a carefree place, and I learnt a lot from that trip. Evan and I travel as often as we can with Angelique and Christos, and we strongly believe their experiences from each foreign place educates them immensely. Evan: My favourite memory of AGS is most denitely the friendships that I made. Why did you decide to send your children to AGS?We are both still very close with all our friends that we went to AGS with, and we wanted our children to grow up within the same community. We believe the culture of a school is just as important as the academics it provides as it shapes you to become the person you are. We are both so happy that AGS still remains a tight knit community of parents, students and sta that support each other. What are your children’s favourite parts about learning at AGS?Angelique: I love Art, Greek, Music & Library. Christos: I love Sport – especially Soccer.How has AGS impacted you and your family? For starters we both attended AGS and now we are married. Our closest friends are still our best friends to this day and that’s really sentimental to us both. What advice do you have for current AGS students or alumni? Don’t put pressure on yourself to think you have to know what you want to do when you nish High School. You are still so young. Try your best for your own personal achievement. Your schooling journey is yours nobody else’s. What is a personal motto, rule, or belief that you live by?Always have a goal in life. When you are in school it is hard to imagine where your life will lead. It is ok to dream and set your standards as high as you can reach. Surround yourself with good relationships and positive people.Christos Tsioukis, Christos Tsioukis, Year 1Year 1Angelique Tsioukis, Angelique Tsioukis, Year 3Year 3

Page 37

Page 35Dean Sakellaropoulos and Jordan Papadopoulos Dean Sakellaropoulos and Jordan Papadopoulos Class of 2000 and Evan Tsioukis, Class of 2001Class of 2000 and Evan Tsioukis, Class of 2001

Page 38

Page 36from student to staffStephanie AtwaSteph Atwa, AGS Music Teacher, speaks to us about how life as an AGS student led her to a career in teaching. By Adelle GreenburySteph Atwa, Class of 2015, has only been out of High School for 8 years, and has been working at Alphington Grammar for all 8 of them. She started as a Year 7 student in 2010 where she was a good student – “…a bit of a nerd,” she admits – and participated in every ensemble she was physically able to. From strings to choir to Folk Band, her passion for music and beautiful singing voice were impossible to miss. Though she admits she had her weaknesses, particularly in sport, her musical talent and commitment lead her to becoming the Vice Music Captain in Year 9 and the Music Captain in Year 12, winning the Matthew Rocca Award during her VCE studies, and landing in the 2015 Top Sound performances for her Year 12 composition.Looking back on her time at Alphington Grammar, Steph reects that she is very grateful for her experiences, for the amazing people she met who she is still friends with to this day, and for the inspirational teachers that she looked up to. The opportunities that The School has granted her have lead her to where she is today. One experience that has stayed with her throughout the years was the Art trip to Paris and Spain lead by Ms Kimonides and Ms Patrikios when she was in Year 10. She was able to go on the overseas excursion with her closest friend Elleni Tsaketas (School Captain, Class of 2015) who she met in Year 7 and remains her closest friend today. “We had an amazing time going to art galleries, exploring the cities, and having dinner on the Eiel “It makes a big difference to work with people you feel supported by.”alumni stories

Page 39

Page 37tower,” she reminisces. After graduation, Steph was heavily inuenced by the teachers she had growing up. Her experience taught her how a good teacher can impact your choices, and how inuential they truly are to the students they teach. This, combined with her unceasing passion for music, helped her decide what the next steps were in her life journey.Steph’s teaching career and her time as a student neatly blend together; she was hired as an Instrumental Music Teacher in 2016, the year after she graduated. In that rst year, she taught cello and guitar and worked around 3 hours per week. However, this quickly increased as Steph worked on obtaining her qualications. In her second year, Steph took on an additional instrument, piano, as well as the position of Music Administrator. Across the next few years she continued adding various responsibilities such as Voice Teacher and increasing her hours until she received her teaching degree in 2021. From 2022 onwards, Steph was hired as a full-time classroom music teacher.Today, Steph has become a familiar face on campus to many students and sta and has settled into the role of Music Teacher and Byron House Mentor. While she loves the music and working with the students, she believes that the most impactful thing about her job is the team she works with.“I work with an incredible team in the Music Department and throughout the school,” she writes. “It makes a big dierence to work with people you feel supported by and have positive friendships with.”So far, Steph has achieved great things in her career and life as she continues to balance teaching and performing. Two of the highlights are playing with the saxophonist for the Rolling Stones, Tim Ries, at the Jazzlab in 2018, and more recently, the debut of her rst solo school production, the Year 6 production of Moana, in 2022. Overall, Steph is a clear example of taking advantage of the opportunities available across all the departments at Alphington Grammar.“Say yes to the opportunities oered to you,” she writes.While she may still believe she is fundamentally the same person as she was in High School, Steph’s priorities are clearer and more dened. She is still passionate about playing music, but she has also become someone who can guide and facilitate the same excitement for Music and the Performing Arts in her students as she works to provide them with their own opportunities.

Page 40

Page 38Nicole KitsakisNicole Kitsakis, Class of 1997 and current Year 5 teacher, chats to us about her memories at AGS as a student and her journey to teaching. By Adelle GreenburyNicole Kitsakis studied at Alphington Grammar School for two years, starting in Year 7 in 1992, before accepting a scholarship to pursue dance at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA). Her brother Jon also attended AGS from Year 4 in 1992 to his graduation in 2000. Now, Nicole is a Year 5 teacher at AGS and a proud married mum of two children, Estelle (11) and Marcus (8). Nicole’s memories of her time at AGS are of a warm and welcoming community. She was a conscientious student and fully immersed herself into the Sports curriculum in particular. Nicole fondly recalls how the expansive grounds provided space for her and her friends to hide away and chat with each other during breaks and lunch times, and how she used to do cartwheels on the grass outside Flowerdale hill. Though she was only a student here for two years, her experience was a positive one, she assures me. “My most fond memory was how during lunch breaks we would sit on the bridge overlooking the river and oval area,” she shares. “I also recall my English teacher, Mr Barry Carozzi, playing the guitar during our lessons and making the learning experience fun and extremely interactive.”When Nicole accepted a scholarship to the VCA, it was to pursue her passion for dance and grow within this specialised area. She was an extremely passionate dancer from a young age, and after her graduation in 1997, went on to pursue a Bachelor of Dance. Her commitment and hours of training also led to her performing at the 2000 Olympic games, a once in a lifetime experience that remains one of her greatest achievements and fondest memories.“The atmosphere was electric,” she says.Nicole credits both AGS and the VCA for giving her the maturity, condence and growth she has today, and for shaping her into the best teacher, friend, mother and partner she could be.Nicole knew that she wanted to transfer the passion she had for dance to inspire and guide children to nd their own calling. Through teaching, she could accomplish this, and positively inuence future generations. She became a permanent teacher in 2007, where her rst class was a cohort of Year 4s in the old portable classrooms.“This class was very special to me as I taught a number of the same students again two years later in Year 6,” she says.Since the start of her teaching career, Nicole has taught many dierent year levels, and worked alongside a long list of supportive mentors and colleagues. The people who have surrounded her have helped her grow and develop within her career. She emphasises the importance of utilising the opportunities available to you, to dream big, and to never underestimate yourself.Today, Nicole enjoys being interactive with both students and sta, and loves how her role encourages her to keep learning. She also still appreciates the opportunity to teach or choreograph dance as part of the school curriculum when the opportunity arises.

Page 41

Page 39Maria KoutrouzasMaria Koutrouzas, Class of 2000, speaks about the unexpected path that brought her from student to teacher. By Adelle GreenburyMaria Koutrouzas started at AGS in 1996 and graduated in 2000. Her siblings George and Ellie also graduated from AGS, in 2002 and 2005 respectively. She is now a Year 3 teacher in the Primary School, working part-time, and admits to being “part of the furniture here at AGS”. Maria has very fond memories of being a part of the AGS community, where everyone knew everyone, and shares that it is still very much like that now. She also emphasizes how much she appreciated the support of her teachers and how they went above and beyond to make sure their students achieved their goals. In fact, many of those sta members are still here, and have transitioned from her teachers to her colleagues: “Mr Papoulis, Mr Diamandikos, Ms Diakodimitriou, Mr Savopoulos, Mrs Mallis, and Ms Theodoropoulos, just to name a few.” As a student, Maria was admittedly fairly quiet, though she enjoyed being with her peers and did her best to develop strong friendships; some of which she has kept to this day. One of her favourite memories from her time as a student was Music Camp in Year 11, where all the bands in the school attended a week long Music Camp and stopped to perform at public schools on the way. One of the songs on rotation was the Ricky Martin hit, “Maria”, and at one of the stops Mr Wayne Simmons told the children it was written about her. “I was mobbed by half the school asking for an autograph! Needless to say, we had to make sure Mr Simmons didn’t mention that again at any of the other schools. I did love my 15 minutes of fame though.”Maria started as a sta member at AGS in 2007, after a brief stint as a kindergarten teacher and by picking up emergency work across Sports, Art, Greek, and various Primary classes. The following year, bolstered by the condence she built from the consistent calls to come in, she secured a position as a permanent sta member. While teaching was not her rst choice as a graduate, with time and positive experience it has become a great passion of Maria’s. In particular, Maria resonates with the planning and curriculum building involved, and she nds great joy in being able to wake up to a job she loves.It is undeniable that AGS has been a constant gure in Maria’s life through many milestones; her and her siblings’ graduations, the start of her career, her marriage in 2009, and the birth of her rst child Kiki, and her second, Kosta, to name a few. Alphington Grammar is a place that has been there throughout, and oers her the support for, her greatest achievement so far: her children. Raising them and giving them as many opportunities as possible is something she takes great pride in, and the exibility of her role at Alphington allows her the balance she needs to do this. As of this year, Maria has been teaching for 18 years. She has grown signicantly in her con-dence since graduating and has come to a point where she is proud of who she is and what she has achieved: both professionally, and personally.George, Class of 2002, Maria, Class George, Class of 2002, Maria, Class of 2000 and Ellie, Class of 2005of 2000 and Ellie, Class of 2005

Page 42

Page 40Secondary Swimming Carnival,Secondary Swimming Carnival,Year 12, 2023Year 12, 2023

Page 43

Page 41

Page 44

Page 42community newsBirths,Weddings Alex Papamarkou and Amy Papamarkou nee Tsaboukas, both (Class of 2012), welcomed their second son, Andre, on the 4th of October 2022. “He’s the perfect addition to our family and big brother Nicholas absolutely adores him.”Konstantinos Nisiotis (Class of 2012) and his partner Athena were blessed to have their bundle of joy, Stephen Nisiotis, arrive 6 weeks premature on the 26th of November 2022. “Our hearts are so full of love.”Engagement, wedding, birth and vale notices are welcome for publication in future editions. We would love to honour these milestones within our community. Please send any notices and photographs to: To make sure you receive invitations, information about future events, and Flowerdale, scan the QR code. Alternatively, visit the form manually at: Burns (School Nurse) and her partner Matt welcomed their son Arlo Parker Welch on Thursday 4 August 2022. “Arlo is just perfect: super active, very capable, and always charming others with his big cheeky smile.”Samuel Savvidis and Pallavi Daniel (Class of 2015) got engaged on the 2nd of November 2022. They are forever grateful to have become friends at AGS, and can’t wait to spend their lives together.

Page 45

Page 43community newsKonstantinos Nisiotis (Class of 2012) married Athena Nicolaou on Tuesday the 4th of January 2022, celebrating together with their families after having to reschedule the wedding 3 times! Andrew Diviny (Byron Head of House and Secondary PE Teacher) and his partner Poppy welcomed their daughter, Maggie, on October 4th 2022. “She’s perfect in every single way.”Robert Panara (Secondary EHASS Teacher and Aristotle House Mentor) and his wife Bianca were overjoyed to welcome their daughter Emma Lina Panara on the 24th of August 2022. She has been dubbed “Emma Shark” by her brother, Connor Panara. It is with great sadness that we learn of the passing of the Grammarian listed below. AGS extends our sincere condolences to their family and friends.Keana Mokbel: (1997-2023), 16th of April 2023Valeand Engagements

Page 46

Page 44Jack McLean, Year 10 and Jack McLean, Year 10 and Mio Maglen-Machado, Year 8Mio Maglen-Machado, Year 8

Page 47

Page 45Reach out,Reconnect,Remember.Reconnect with the Alphington Grammarians alumni community today.@AlphaGrammariansalphington_grammar_schoolAlphington Grammarians

Page 48

Page 46Alphington Grammar School18 Old Heidelberg Road,PO Box 5008, Alphington Victoria 3078Tel. 03 9597 4777Email @AlphaGrammarians alphington_grammar_school Alphington Grammarians