The first Greek Charter School in the United States
Since 2000 Athenian Academy has been changing the way the world thinks about Charter Schools. At that time, the concept of charter schools was relatively new in the state of Florida. Not only was the concept of charter schools new, a multilingual focus at an elementary level caused a great deal of skepticism even though in over 20 European Countries, second and third language instruction is required to begin in schools with children as young as 5 years old. The founder of Athenian Academy, Mr. George Poumakis, was so convinced and passionate about the benefits of American children learning the Greek language, culture and customs, that he gained the support of the Education Consulate of Greece and together, they negotiated a groundbreaking teacher exchange program that paved the way for the school to open. Now, sixteen years later, the original Athenian Academy has expanded from a K-2 school with as few as 50 students, to a K-8 school educating over 500 students, added Spanish language instruction in 2007 and was granted “High Performing Status” in 2014. Today, the founders of the original school, along with the governing board, Choice Charter School Services and the School Leader are equally as passionate about sharing the school model and the benefits of multilingual education with many more students in Florida school districts.