GGT's Visiting Faculty
Manos Chaniotakis, Ph.D, MIT
Dr. Chaniotakis is CEO of Ergopedia which he co-founded in 2004 while teaching at MIT. Ergopedia develops software and hardware educational technologies and uses those technologies to create and deliver curricula with rich interactive and personalized content. Since 2009, Dr. Chaniotakis has led Ergopedia through a series of strategic partnerships and financing arrangements that has allowed the company to grow from a university startup to one that provides integrated teaching and learning solutions to school systems across the United States. He is an expert in designing and implementing software solutions in K-12 education and has extensive industry experience in consumer and industrial electronics. Dr. Chaniotakis is author, co-author and contributor of a number of science and engineering curricula that are widely used in secondary education, including Essential Physics and A Natural Approach to Chemistry. Dr. Chaniotakis holds a BS in Physics from the University of Minnesota, a MS in Aerospace Engineering and a Ph.D. in Plasma Physics and Fusion Technology from MIT.
Dr. Manos Chaniotakis taught an interactive and engaging session to our students on Ελληνισμός/Hellenism, the importance of learning the Greek language, and knowing who we are. Students learned about the ecumenical value of Hellenism and were empowered by the responsibility to advance and promote Hellenism. Dr. Chaniotakis encourages tapping into the extensive network of Greek scientists and educators in the greater Boston area, in order to continue to enrich GGT’s students' learning experiences with age-appropriate and thought provoking topics related to our Greek language, culture and history.
Cindi Triantos Trent, BFA, Emerson College
Cindi holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree in Dance and Theater Education from Emerson College. She is a faculty member of the Frances Rich School of Fine and Performing Arts at Deree - The American College of Greece in Agia Paraskevi, Athens, Greece where she teaches dance and musical theater. She also teaches at the Veaki School of Dramatic Arts under the auspices of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture in Athens, and serves as International Advisor and faculty member of the International Theater and Dance Project.
Cindi is a Certified Autism Movement Therapist Provider, and specializes in teaching movement and dance to children and teens on the autism spectrum. She founded “Olympia on the Rainbow” a summer camp for children and teens with autism and teaches a specialized dance program, “Dancing on the Rainbow” at various special education centers in Athens. She is also a Certified Pilates Instructor leading classes in selected spas and fitness centers in Athens. Her personal fitness coaching specializes in breathing, relaxation and spinal health methods. She is creator The KeΦi Workout, a cardio dance class set to popular Greek music.
As Founder and Director of "Stagedoor Kids & Stagedoor Youth", Cindi teaches musical theater workshops in Athens, Corfu, Syros and Cyprus. She has directed and choreographed performances at the Ionian University of Music, Herod Atticus, Megaro Mousikis and Pallas Theater in collaboration with Mikis Theodorakis, Mimis Plessas, Vasilis Skoulas and Tatiana Papageorgiou.
Cindi taught lessons on the history and origins of Greek dance as GGT students performed dance sequences and rhythmic movements with roots in ancient Greek music and dance. She emphasized the importance of music and dance in our Greek heritage. Cindi also led teachers and parents in her “Kefi Workout”, a fun, fitness program of Greek dance steps done to Greek traditional and popular music.
Thalia Coccini, MA, UMASS, Amherst:
Thalia is the Director of Operations and Partner of Educational Tours and Cruises, a small, family tour operator company, specializing in academic group travel arrangements for universities, colleges, art associations, and small groups traveling to Greece, Italy and Turkey. Her experience lies not only in a lifetime of travel in Greece and being brought up in a family breathing hospitality values, but also from her work experience in various areas of hospitality such as hotels, corporate travel companies, and visitors bureaus among others. She holds a BA in Communications from Fairfield University, and a Master’s degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Administration from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
Thalia led GGT students on her “Virtual Journey to Greece” interactive workshops where they experienced the history of Greece and its breathtaking landscapes, seas, and scenery. She is always excited to share her love of travel to Greece and its sites with our GGT students!
Despina Makredes, CCE, AAC
Chef Makredes is licensed as a Culinary Arts Educator with the Massachusetts Department of Education, and is a Certified Culinary Educator (CCE)with the American Culinary Federation. Her membership and involvement in the American Academy of Chefs (AAC) with the American Culinary Federation, Epicurean Club of Boston, and The Culinary Guild of New England ensure that she remains current in the Hospitality Industry. Chef Makredes also meets the State requirements of ServSafe Certification.
Her passion for teaching Culinary Arts began over 30 years ago. In 1992, as founder and Chair of Everett High School’s Culinary Arts Department, Chef Makredes developed and implemented the Culinary Arts program at Everett High School in accordance with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.
As a Culinary Educator, Chef Makredes worked with Everett High school students in the Boston Future Chefs Program which prepares youth for post-secondary education and career opportunities. She was also the Culinary Club Advisor for an after school program at Everett High School. Her past experiences include teaching in Adult and After school Education programs for Salem State, Lynnfield, Melrose and Everett. Chef Makredes' work experiences include the Boston World Trade Center, Sebastian’s Catering, North Andover Country Club, Famolare Catering, Boston, and Lead Chef for Majestic Cruises from Boston, Harbor.
Recently retired as Chair of Everett High School’s Culinary Arts Department, Chef Makredes is currently launching “Cooking with Despina”, where she shares her passion for cooking, and offers lessons on culinary arts; the preparation, presentation, and serving of specialty foods.
Chef Makredes shared her talents with GGT students during her “Koulourakia Workshops” as they learned Greek baking terms through song and this hands-on activity while they rolled, baked and enjoyed their own koulourakia!