It Started with a Skype Call

Wonderful happenings are the norm at our school and whether it is a field trip or a visit at the King Center, our kids are having the best time while learning from caring and loving teachers.  I should know… my family has been a part of the Holy Trinity family for eight years now, and I have been an active volunteer since day one.

Hi! I am Sophia Tomadakis, Community Resource Liaison for the Distinguished Lecture Series at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy for the last four years, and I love it!

The idea for this educational program came to me four years ago, when I started Skyping (teleconferencing) with my family who lives in Greece.  I thought, what an amazing tool to connect with people from around the world and best of all … it’s free!  My idea was to invite (either through Skype or in person) professionals to share their life experiences and enhance what the students are learning from the books in the classroom.

Immediately, I shared the idea with Mrs. Ford who approved and started planning the program with the school’s administration.  Within two months we had a lineup of many presenters, and the rest is history!

More than 45 wonderful speakers graced this program with their presence so far.  From authors, historians and physical therapists to lawyers, doctors, policemen and educators from parks like SeaWorld (for a full list please visit www.htacademy.org/distinguished-lecture-series). I think a great highlight of the Series has been the presentation of Astronaut Winston Scott who shared his personal video from space!  Millions have seen pictures and videos from space thanks to NASA, but only the very privileged students of Holy Trinity had the honor of watching an Astronaut’s personal archive with the actual Astronaut up close and personal narrating it!  The whole school was in attendance in chapel for that presentation.

On a more personal note, we invited my hero, my husband, Dr. Manolis Tomadakis, to speak to the fourth grade students that first year.  He shared some of his scientific research with the students, but the most important part of his lecture was his life journey from Greece to the USA and “The Road to Success through hard work and ethical decision making”.  Something we are constantly teaching the students in our school (with Character Education, community projects, and more).

Emphasis is given always on character development, and the presenters are encouraged to share not only their educational background, but also their mistakes and the experiences that helped them succeed in their respective fields.

To me, promoting, encouraging and supporting good character has always been the backbone of this program, because I want all the students, including my son, to leave the school with the most valuable tools for effective learning and living.  And that’s what the Distinguished Lecture Series have been:  An opportunity to give our students “real world” examples of great people and an inspiration for their future.

For more information please visit the school’s web site at www.htacademy.org.

Sophia Tomadakis is the mother of Michael Tomadakis (‘20) currently in Mrs. Brockell’s fifth grade class.

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