Kindergarten through 8th Grade Teaching Staff
Mina Giannakakos has sixteen years of experience working in Early Childhood Education. Prior to working at the Annunciation Day School, Mina taught Pre-K for fourteen years at Riverview Nursery School in Rockland County, New York. Mina attended Rutgers (the State University of New Jersey) and holds a degree in Sociology and Elementary Education. While in New York, she attended various professional workshops on early childhood development.
Mina believes that teaching play and direct exploration is a basic tool for learning. She is passionate about teaching young children and provides many opportunities for growth in their cognitive, social, and emotional development. Her favorite saying is “we are all happy at school,” and strives to achieve this goal for each child.
Mina enjoys spending her summers in Greece and visiting her mom, family and friends. In her free time, she also enjoys baking, gardening, reading and long walks. She has been married for 27 years to her husband Panos, and is the proud mom of a daughter (a Cornell graduate) and a son (a college student at Kennesaw State University).
Mina feels very blessed to have lived in different parts of the United States such as New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Maine and to have gained such unique and personal experiences from her time in these places.
Janet Brown joined ADS in August as our first grade teacher. She brings over 20 years experience teaching kindergarten through eighth grade, and serving in administrative roles. Janet began her career as a Physical Education and Health teacher in public and parochial schools. She completed her M. Ed. in Leadership and Supervision in 2004. Soon after, Janet saw a need for experience teaching in a regular classroom before becoming a school administrator. She gained her Early Childhood Certificate in 2004 and began teaching second grade. In 2007 she became the Curriculum Director at Christ the King School. After seven years developing and implementing curriculum and supervising teachers, she moved to The Schenck School to become the Associate Head of School. During her tenure at Schenck, Janet earned her certification in the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators at the Associate Level as well the completion of over 20 hours of Orton-Gillingham Multisensory Math training. The practicum hours working with students in these areas sparked a desire to return to the classroom once again.
Her teaching style is one that keeps students engaged and moving. Having a background in PE has affected her instruction through incorporating movement and brain breaks into lessons. Individualizing and adjusting instruction to meet the needs of each child is one of her strengths. While she loves teaching all subjects, her recent training in the use of Orton-Gillingham methods has made reading and math her favorites!
When Janet is not at school, she enjoys hiking, gardening, reading and taking exercise classes. She has been married for 32 years to her husband, Chris. Their son, Gavin, an alumnus of St. Pius X and Georgia Southern University, is now 24 years old and lives in Buckhead. They have two very energetic boxers named Georgia and Buster.
Arielle Kontoes attended the University of Phoenix, where she received her Masters of Arts in Elementary Education. Prior to earning her Master’s in Education, Arielle was an assistant teacher at Annunciation Day School in both preschool and elementary school. After completing an internship teaching third grade in Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) Arielle began her professional career as a fourth grade teacher in Gwinnett County. Arielle currently teaches third grade at Annunciation Day School and strives to meet the different needs of all her students. Arielle fosters critical thinking by using various instructional strategies to encourage active learning and independent thinking. She believes children learn best in a caring and loving environment and thinks it is important to promote values that will help her students succeed both inside and outside the classroom.
Arielle is a lifelong member of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation. Outside of school, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.
Judy Parris received a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education from Mercer University and has been working in education for over twenty-four years. She spent twelve years in the preschool environment, ten of which she worked as a preschool director. Judy has also taught third grade for nine years and currently teaches fourth grade at Annunciation Day School. To ensure that every student is successful in their learning, Judy teaches with the individual child’s needs in mind.
Judy has been married to her wonderful husband, Russell, for over 30 years and has two grown children. When Judy is not teaching she relishes spending time with her two grandsons.
Elizabeth Zervakos attended Georgia State University where she earned a Master of Arts in Middle Level Education with a concentration in English Language Arts and Social Studies. After completing her internships in the Atlanta Public School system, she began her teaching career working for Fulton County Schools. Elizabeth currently teaches fifth grade at Annunciation Day School where she strives to establish cooperative relationships with both students and parents. Elizabeth strongly believes that every student can learn when effectively engaged and appropriately supported. Elizabeth is proud to teach at Annunciation Day School because it provides a safe and loving place for children to grow and learn.
As a member of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation, Elizabeth continues working with the youth as a Greek dance instructor for first and second grade students. During her downtime, Elizabeth enjoys Greek dancing with the Cathedral’s adult dance group and spending time with family and friends.
Jeanne Miller attended the University of West Georgia, where she earned a Bachelor's degree in Sociology, with a minor in Secondary Education. She is currently certified to teach fourth through eighth grade Science and sixth through twelfth grade History, Political Science, Geography, Economics, and Behavioral Science. Jeanne has taught in Catholic Schools for 11 years as a middle school Science teacher, and for 3 years as fifth grade teacher. Jeanne currently teaches sixth grade Math, Science, and Social Studies at Annunciation Day School and strongly believes in the importance of hands-on learning in all subjects, especially science. Jeanne fosters respect and acceptance of others in the classroom and encourages life connections to information learned in the classroom.
Rebecca Young joined ADS in January 2017 as our seventh grade teacher. Rebecca began her career in education 21 years ago as a Chemistry and Physics teacher, working in the District of Columbia, New Jersey and Virginia. She took a break from teaching to be a stay-at-home mom and professional community volunteer.
Rebecca's education includes a Bachelor's of Science degree in Chemistry from Spelman College in 1994, and Master's degree in Liberal Studies form Georgetown University in 1997. She is currently working on her second Master's degree in Teaching at Mercer University.
When Rebecca is not teaching, she enjoys reading, volunteering, playing Sudoku, and spending time with her family. She and her husband Mike have been married for 20 years, and have lived with their four children in Sagamore Hills community for 14 years. Their children are Summer (freshman at Spelman College), Amber (senior at Lakeside attending Yale University this fall), Mikey (sophomore at Lakeside High) and Chris (8th grader at Henderson Middle).
Margaret Flores brings to our school a love for teaching young children. She finds joy nurturing each child’s social and emotional development while inspiring his/her natural curiosities to explore and discover the world. Margaret holds teacher certification and a M.A. in Child Development with doctoral training in learning and instruction. However, her greatest achievement and source of personal inspiration has been and continues to be raising her own three children.
Rose Mancuso (Fine Arts) is a Columbia, SC native and recent graduate of Coker College, where she received a degree in Musical Theatre. Her previous teaching experience includes studio teaching with Hartsville Community Music Program and Black Creek Arts Center, and student teaching internships with Thomas Hart Academy and Thornwell Elementary School in Hartsville, South Carolina. Rose loves passing along her love for music and is excited to be a part of the Annunciation Day School family.
Katey McCandless (PE) hails from Hudson, Ohio, and is a graduate from the University of Georgia where she studied Spanish Education, played Club Softball and was a member of Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority. After teaching middle school Spanish for a year in Greenville, SC, Katey returned to school and obtained her Masters of Science in Sports Administration from Georgia State University, leading her to serve as the Atlanta Area Manager for Jump Start Sports, which offers after school sports programs to ADS students each semester! A former softball and basketball player, Katey's sports knowledge spans far beyond typical sports, and she plans to bring that to the classroom each day! Katey is a Certified Youth Sports Administrator (CYSA), who looks forward to sharing her passion and love for sports with your children!
Kalliopi Tsikourika (Greek) studied Classics at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. After receiving a Masters of Art degree in Ancient Greek Literature from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom, she returned to Thessaloniki to teach Ancient Greek Language, Latin, History, Academic Writing and Modern Greek Literature, at high school level.
In 2002, she moved to Washington, DC, and pursued a teaching career as an afternoon Greek language teacher at both the Saints Constantine and Helen School and the Hellenic School in Potomac, MD. Kalliopi also served as the Principal for two years at the Saints Constantine and Helen School, and was an oral examiner for the Ellinomathia Tests.
Kalliopi moved to Athens, Georgia, with her family in 2012, and has worked as an afternoon Greek Language teacher for the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation ever since. It was during that time that she was recruited to work for the Annunciation Day School as the Greek Language teacher. Kalliopi teaches Greek language to Kindergarten thru seventh grade.
Magda Polykreti-Vourtsis (Greek) received a Bachelors in Political Science from Panteion University of Athens, Greece as well as a Certificate of Competency and Teaching license for English and French language from the ministry of Education of Greece.
In 1998, Magda moved to New York where she worked as a full-time Greek language teacher at the Greek American Institute of Zoodohos Peghe in the Bronx. She also taught at the Greek afternoon school of Holy Cross parish in Whitestone. During her time in New York, Magda participated in several educational seminars organized by the Greek Ministry of Education and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America at the School of the Transfiguration in Corona and the School of St. Demetrios Astoria School.
After returning to Greece, Magda assisted the Greek language department of Byron College in Athens, for two years.
In 2013 Magda and her family moved to Atlanta and enrolled their youngest son at the Annunciation Day School. The following year Magda began teaching Greek Language to kindergarten thru fifth grade. Going on her third year, she now teaches Kindergarten thru seventh grade. Magda also helped in the development and implementation of the curriculum for the Greek Language Department.