In an emotional and festive atmosphere, this year's 12th Grade Graduation Ceremony took place at the Junior-Senior High School premises and it included music, dance, memories of school life, speeches and award presentations.
The keynote speaker of the event was Mr. Thanos Veremis, Emeritus Professor of Political History at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Mr. Veremis said he is not nostalgic about his school days because of the nervousness during the exam period, but he still thinks it is a time when graduates will get to live their best moments. Graduates, he said, are going to fight in a “new stadium”, free from the compulsions of school studies. He advised them to follow the example of the founder of the Schools, to avoid big words and to be true to themselves, as the father says to his son in Shakespeare's “Hamlet”. He wished the graduates many pleasant moments in their future lives and successful professional and personal choices, and he told them to love and embrace these choices as they will spend the rest of their lives with them.
The farewell speech to the graduates was delivered by the President of the Schools, Mrs. Aikaterini Mantoulidou, who amongst other things mentioned: “Go through life with the principles and values that we, your school, your beloved teachers and your families with a lot of love and a high sense of responsibility have taught you. Be proud of your Greek descent, always be the best ambassadors of the Greek spirit and our homeland. Having both feet on the ground and your eyes towards the sky, start for the long journey of life, following the bright example of the founder of your school, teacher, creator, fighter, visionary Evangelos Mantoulidis, who got angry with anything that was small, mediocre and easy, who always sought higher and more difficult visions, who knew how to dream and how to make his dreams come true. I hope that your life will be full of beautiful challenges and valuable experiences. I hope that will be healthy, optimistic, creative. The wishes of all of us, your teachers, your parents, your grandparents will hopefully warm your soul and support your dreams”.
Mrs. Aspa Hasioti, Mandoulides General Director and Senior High School Principal, welcomed the attendees and, addressing the graduates, said: “Today you’re receiving the most beautiful gift: time. You have all the time ahead of you to do and live whatever you love.
Go after the seemingly impossible and try as hard as you can to make it possible. Do not let anything come in between you and your dreams. Even defeat must be a springboard for victory.
Find the strength to follow your heart and intuition. Most of you know what you really want to do in your lives.
Do things that are fun when you think or talk about them, no matter how old you will be. Do things that will make you proud.
Find what you love and plunge into it. Only then will you be happy, content, full.
We will all miss you, our dear children, but it is time for you to look ahead, to become “what happiness asks of you, but also to make this world a happy place”.
Awards were presented to the graduates that were admitted into top American and European universities, to the ones that won distinctions in international and national competitions in mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology, and to the ones that participated successfully in computer science, Forensics, conferences, music, theater, dance, art and, of course, sports events.
The “Evangelos Mantoulidis” award was presented to graduate G. Gkyzis and the farewell speech on behalf of this year's graduates was delivered by E. Kolympianaki and D. Stagkos.
On behalf of the Alumni Association of the Schools, graduate Christina - Dionysia Sarantidou, Lawyer, welcomed the new graduates to the Association while graduate Eva Tsoukalidou - Kouvela, Lawyer - Economist, also greeted the event.
The artistic part of the ceremony was covered by Mandoulides Schools Orchestra and Choir under the direction of Ioannis Polymeneris and Eleni Theodoridou respectively, with mathematician Ilias Katsogiannis in the lead vocals.
Parents and relatives of the graduates, teachers, as well as intellectuals, politicians and members of local government attended the graduation ceremony.