Your words will guide me even when I am not present. Thank you.

George Hadjipavlou (16 years old – Class of 2018)

Thank you for the wise answers in my personal 13-15-year-old diary; and thank you for bringing it to me as you promised when I graduated, on my wedding day, wrapped up in a beautiful box with a frame of a picture of you and me hugging each other on the school final party. You are an inspiration Ms. Xenia. When my husband and I read that diary we simply cried; and those were tears of joy for having the honor to have met and been taught by a teacher like you, who knows how to teach but above all who knows how to love.

Nicole Ioannides Varnava (Class of 1992)

Dear Mrs. Xenia, more like my second mother I guess. I just wanted to tell you that you are the most inspiring woman in my life, no jokes. You are my role model, the woman I am looking forward to looking alike. You are authentic and one day I wish I can spread some magic to the people as you do now!

Chloe Georgiou (16 years old – Class of 2018)

An energized 14-year-old in the body of a wise, educated, professional woman. Could you ever not listen to her? No chance. Even I followed her advice and passed my English exam and I did it with pleasure despite my dislike for teachers and school in general.

George Kyriakou (16 years old – Class of 2018)

The bravest woman-teacher I have met so far. She does make a difference in the class but also in the world. She manages to affect the society through her teaching as she miraculously links in class work with societal issues and community service; and she does it so skillfully that we all see it as a fun game. Respect!

Andreas Tziambos (16 years old – Class of 2018)

My dear Xenia,
you are not a simple teacher; you are a unique person, a woman who provides encouragement and inspiration in the souls of students simply because you have a great genuine love and deep awareness of these souls and that is the reason you are able to touch them and leave your mark forever. I feel very blessed to have met you and to have been taught by you.

Maria Mavrogenous (Class of 1992)

Good morning Ms. Xenia,
I have just published my first book and I felt the need to send you this email, 20 years after the last day I saw you in class as my English teacher. I am Lysandros Lysandrou; I don’t know if you remember me. I am the young man whose English were horrible, the boy who told you after the first lesson ‘Ms. Xenia, you need to know that I will never learn English’. Your answer is still carved in my memory. You looked at me with your expressive eyes, you smiled at me and said, ‘what is your name?’ ‘Lysandros’, I answered and then you addressed me with my name and said ‘great name…. well, my dear Lysandros I want you to remember that in my class the word ‘never’ and ‘cannot’ are not allowed. Will you make a deal with me? Say ‘of course I can learn English, because my friend Ms. Xenia will make sure I will’ and you gave me your hand for the handshake and the deal. And I believed you. And you did it. In the two years that followed I followed you everywhere. At break time, in the cafeteria, in class… with lots of questions; and you always had an answer and a simplified way of explaining the most difficult concepts.
My published story has a lot of ‘Xenia’ in it. The most inspiring and touching thing about your teaching is not the typical things that every English teacher or book teachers us; the most inspiring and memorable lessons were the messages you instilled in our minds and souls though story telling and through songs. You taught us to never give up and to pursue our dreams no matter what. You taught us to stand before an audience and to present without fear but always with respect to our audience and their needs. You taught us not to be afraid of mistakes and failure because our failures and mistakes can become our teaching tools. In my story, the one I published, the hero turns his problem into a strength; and it is definitely not a coincidence that my story has its own song… just like the memorable songs you always used in class to teach us language. Thank you teacher Xenia. You deserve this title. Follow the link to my book on amazon and if you like it please send me a note.

Lysandros Lysandrou (Frederick University Course)

My dear teacher Ms. Xenia,
I felt the need to send you this letter as I am now in a conference in the USA with my current job and I have just finished presenting in front of a huge audience. As the audience was applauding, I felt the need to scream to them ‘please save your applause for Ms. Xenia, my one and only teacher, the person who managed to take me out of my shell and to turn me from a worm into a beautiful butterfly’. Honestly Ms. Xenia, everything you taught me as a teenager in your classes of English and life, every single writing technique, listening tip, vocabulary awareness, passage management, vocabulary learning though songs, storytelling, public speaking, verbal and non-verbal communication….everything, would simply be meaningless and it would be forgotten, had it not been for your passion, innovative and crazy, out of the box creative techniques and your moral lessons that touched our souls and made us shed tears. Today, I stand here in this huge conference room as a young adult and I tell you ‘continue to spread the light in the minds and the hearts of the young people you teach’. Thank you teacher!

Eliana Aravi (Class of 1998)

My dearest Ms. Xenia,
Thank you for being near me all these years. Thank you for everything you have taught me, thank you for being in my life, thank you for being YOU. Words cannot describe everything I learnt from your lessons. You have a way to make each lesson special and unique, helpful for our English and helpful for our lives as well. I believe you deserve all the hugs in the world. I will always be grateful to you and also I will always feel lucky to have been your student.

Stefania Christophidou (16 years old – Class of 2018)

Dear Ms. Xenia,
After attending your classes for 9 years, I simply need to tell you that I am not ready to leave you forever. This journey has been an unforgettable experience, a magnificent way to educate me not only on an educational level but also on a personal, psychological, character level. Throughout your teaching and through the years in your school I have grown as a learner but also as a person: I learned perfect English, passed my University Exams with distinction but I also matured, learnt to behave, to respect, to have values important to a child, a teenager and a decent adult. If someone asked me what will stay from my years with you I would answer the following:
The smell of your coffee, mixed with the essential oils you always used in class with a diffuser to boost our energy and fix our mood, your huge smile and very distinctive voice always asking us how we felt or complimenting us on our looks, hair, clothes when we felt that nothing on us looked right; But above all, what will always be carved in my heart will be the way you looked at us, filled with love, warmth. We felt as if you gave birth to all of us; and here I need to add a huge thank you for always believing in us as a professional, as a woman, as a teacher, as a mother. You believed in us and in our capabilities when we ourselves doubted ourselves. I will always remember the laughter, the tears of gratitude, the stress relief techniques that always accompanied our lessons which were lessons of English but above all, lessons of life, of struggle of not giving up, of learning to look at everything form a different perspective; they were lessons of exceeding limits, of failing and trying again, of being taught the right techniques to tackle language exams, of using music and songs to learn vocabulary which would never be forgotten. Hard and unpleasant exam papers became creative games by you and difficult vocabulary became a competition between us and we had no option but to learn and to learn with style and with fun and with love. But we did not only learn language; we learnt moral lessons from your personal stories on love, survival, poverty, even funny cooking tips which became amazing speaking lesson like the amazing real story “how to protect your canary from ending up in your soup’ which stirred up so much creative writing in our class. As you can see I can speak for hours about my positive memories from your lessons.
Thank you Ms. Xenia, mother, teacher, friend. You will always be in my heart.

Rafaella Solomou (17 years old – Class of 2018)

Dear Ms. Metaxa,
During the time I spent as your student in your teacher training/leadership course I have learnt new ways to build community within my classrooms and I am excited, because I will soon have many opportunities to use this knowledge in my classroom and in the seminars I will give to colleagues next year.
You also turned on my “reflection machine” and it seems that I will be doing a great amount of thinking about my personal philosophy concerning leadership and teaching methodologies. It is an interesting quest and I thank you for setting me off for it.
Finally, I thank you sincerely for the warm atmosphere you created during your lessons.
I am looking forward to the next module we will have together.

Katerina Trimi (Teacher Training Course)