Message from the Director

  • Welcome to the Saint Katherine’s Hellenic Education Center (HEC) Site

    Saint Katherine’s community is dedicated to educating youth and adults in the Hellenic language, culture, and Greek Orthodox faith.  The “Padeia Greek Bilingual Preschool” is the only full-time Hellenic program offered in the Washington, DC area.  In addition, the Hellenic Education Center (HEC) offers a part-time pre-K through 8th grade Greek School, as well as Adult Community Education classes. Our goal is to become one of the pre-eminent Hellenic educational institutions in the United States.

    During my education, learning English as a second language was a great accomplishment.  As I think back to my childhood, I remember my family feeling very proud of me learning another language other than Greek.  They believed that their investment in my English classes was a means for me to have greater opportunities, choices and success in my future.

    The HEC Greek language courses are not only about teaching grammar, reading, writing and speaking but also about understanding and respecting the social and cultural similarities and/or differences between other cultures. Learning another language can open a window of opportunities for the whole family.   It is an enriching experience that expands the boundaries of knowledge, as well as, our own self-awareness as Greeks.

    I am very proud of my Greek heritage, and believe that learning the Greek language and culture is a way of maintaining the beauty of our background throughout the future generations. Sustaining the knowledge and having connections of our cultural backgrounds are critical whether it be through family ties, appreciating Greek literature through the arts (drama, music, or chorus), math and science, philosophy, theology, or simply…vacationing in Greece.

    Having the knowledge of the Greek language allows our students the opportunity to connect or re-connect to their grandparents, cousins and other relatives overseas. Students at our HEC Greek program have the opportunity to earn college credit through a Greek exam offered at the University level. We are planning to expand our education outreach programs in Cooking classes, Byzantine Music, Traditional Folk Chorus, Vocal classes and more.

    We need your support.  If you sign up as a student, volunteer or lead a class, we can grow together as a community. Our commitment to share as we work and learn from one another will inspire our youth to pass on the Greek language and Orthodox values to future generations. Please help and be a role model for our children to make connections with HEC’s community involvement.

    To conclude, I would like to quote a famed verse from Plutarch which reflects our school’s philosophy:  “A mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled”.

    Eleni Alexopoulou

    HEC Director