Why Choose a Greek School?

Dr. Aris Hadjinicolaou, MD

Dr. Aris Hadjinicolaou, MD

A testimonial by Dr. Aris Hadjinicolaou, MD, former student of “École primaire Socrates”

Education has always been a central pillar to my development as a person, an academic, a researcher, and a doctor, and it all began at Socrates.

Starting Socrates at four years of age, I am filled by nothing but fond memories of kindergarten in Mrs. Katsifarakis’ class. Rare are the schools that introduce you from your very beginnings not only to an excellent curriculum that includes three languages, but also to a vision of life that will lead you throughout your experiences. We learned what it meant to be Greek and to develop Greek identity, along with everything that implies. We were exposed to the complexities of our heritage, and we were taught how our ancestors formed the bases of the first civilized societies, and how this had shaped the world then and still affects the world now, centuries later.

While working with children, one thing is clear: growing up is not easy, it never has been and it never will be. Experiencing and developing complex identities does not make development of a child’s life any easier. However, one of the wonders of attending Socrates is the fact that we are surrounded by other children who are faced with these same issues, allowing us to connect on yet another level. We grew up together, learning what it meant to be Canadian, Greek-Canadian, and a global citizen. This made us even more aware, conscious and proud of our Greek heritage and identity and created bonds between us that last a lifetime. We live in Canadian society, a modern society where education and health are universally accessible, surrounded by opportunities, in a country with a beautiful landscape, rich in natural resources, with history and philosophy.

Socrates was the diving board that plunged me into the ocean that is the world. It’s a steep dive, but when you are well prepared, you enjoy your way down and your splash makes a ripple that will continue to affect the lives of others. Socrates is where I came from; it formed my roots and that is something I will never forget, because without it I would not have been the same person. To the teachers, classmates and friends that I met during my seven years there, I owe the world.

Dr. Aris Hadjinicolaou, MD

Post-Graduate Psychiatry Resident, McGill University Health Center

MSc Candidate, McGill University