“Tell me what you plan to do with your one wild and precious life”

– BeHappy.me


MEET HELEN SIANIS-ATHANASIOU

 College Admissions, English, Positive Psychology, Life Skills   & Creative Writing

 

I am a dedicated educator with experience as a guidance counselor, teacher, and administrator. Having worked with youth of all ages both stateside and internationally,  I have coached, facilitated, planned and implemented educational programs to students, staff and parents alike. I have also taught English and Literature, as well as a wide variety of other subjects, including Positive Psychology, Life Skills, and Creative Writing. My diverse background as an educator and secondary counselor, allows me to connect with my students empathetically. Thrive is a culmination of my accomplishments and love for inspiring students in becoming the best version of themselves.

 

Experience

  • Teacher/Mentor Fusion Academy Lake Forest, Illinois
  • Guidance Counselor/Teacher/Examinations Officer: St. Catherine’s British School, Athens, Greece
  • Program Manager: Higher National Diploma in Business: New York College, Athens, Greece
  • Elementary School Teacher: ACS Athens, Greece/Cragin School, Tucson, Arizona

 

Competencies 

  • Strong knowledge of curriculum, instruction, and administration as it relates to students at the elementary, middle, high school, and college levels
  • Possesses the ability to develop, assess, and implement an effective, results-driven, instructional program in a professional learning model
  • A strong child-centered leader who inspires and mentors instructional and support staff
  • Exemplary interpersonal skills, approachable, and highly visible throughout the community
  • Bilingual: Greek/English written and oral languages

 

Education

  • National Louis University Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.)

1999-2000

  • University of Arizona-Student Teaching/Licensure 

2000

  • Loyola University of Chicago Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English

1990-1994

MEET DEBBIE DI VERDE

 

Creative Writing, Theater, Acting, Portfolio, Positive Psychology, Life Skills & English

 

I am an experienced educator with a passion for teaching. I have worked with all levels of education from elementary to college.  Developing strong curriculum and lesson plans that comply to Illinois Core Curriculum standards is my expertise.  My goal in providing exceptional, innovative lesson plans, is to achieve the best possible outcome for each individual student.  While English, Literature, and Language Arts are my primary teaching skills, I have also taught Theater, Portfolio, and Creative Writing Classes.  Being an Educator as well as a Creative, allows me to bring a unique dynamic to any situation, whether it be in a classroom setting or one-on-one as a tutor/mentor.

Experience

  • Teacher/Mentor at Fusion Academy
  • Adjunct English Composition Professor at the College of Lake County
  • Co-teacher/Children’s Literature at the College of Lake County
  • Professional Actor/Commercial/Stage/Film – Greater Chicago Area
  • Published Author – Short Story/Poetry
  • Tutor – Greater Chicago Area

 

 

Competencies

  • Exceptional written and communication skills
  • High level of interpersonal skills, warm, and approachable
  • Skilled in developing engaging lesson plans that are thoughtful, and carefully tailored to students’ strengths, needs, and interests
  • Patient and empathetic toward students that allows for a connection that promotes significant growth
  • Collaborative, supportive, and inspiring 
  • Goes above and beyond to implement new ideas
  • Interactions with students, parents and colleagues are infused with joy, energy and humor

 

Education

  • National Louis University Master of Science (M.S.) in Written Communication, 2011-2014
  • National Louis University Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Applied Behavioral Sciences, 2001-2003
  • William Rainey Harper Community College Associates Degree (A.S.) in Dental Hygiene, 1997-1999

WE ARE

KNOWLEDGABLE & EXPERIENCED
We are experienced educators with a passion for teaching. We have worked at all levels of education from Elementary to College for a combined total of 30 years.
WARM & FUN
Our patience and empathy allow us to connect with the people we work with. Each of us brings a unique dynamic and skill set to our workplace.
COLLABORATIVE
We continuously learn from, motivate and inspire each other and hope to be positive role models for those we work with.
Ms. Siani was by far the most helpful and knowledgeable person in our school both about universities and the process of admissions itself. Always available, always willing to help, and an amazing person to work with! Thank you for  everything Ms. Siani!  
Jason P. Brown University-Mathematicas and Economics
 
Debbie served as my intern during the fall 2014 semester in my Children’s Literature Class at the College of Lake County. I quickly realized that Debbie was an affable and highly intelligent colleague who would contribute significantly to the pedagogy of the course. Debbie was eager to become involved almost immediately in the planning of the syllabus, the readings, the assignments, and, most importantly, class activities. Debbie’s strengths lie in her enthusiasm and her ability to think quickly on her feet. On the first day I asked her to play the role of an emcee in a children’s literature themed Family Feud ice breaker game. She eagerly adapted to the role, and her high level of energy
Nicholas Schevera, Ph.D., Professor of English, College of Lake County
 
Mrs. Siani-Athanasiou is one of the best teachers I have come across, and I don't say that lightly. She is selfless, resourceful and goes above and beyond to help you. A particularly unique trait is her ability to connect with us, her students, to really empathize with what a high schooler must be going through. She was instrumental in helping me shape my personal statement so as to showcase who I am in the most effective way. The mock interviews that she assisted me with undoubtedly helped me gain entry into three UK medical schools. She's great!!
Anna Z. University College London-Medicine
 
My experiences in Ms. Di Verde’s classroom were by far the most positive and memorable ones in my academic career to date. She encouraged creativity and self-expression for our writing, all while showing us techniques that made our essays stronger. Not only was she a great professor, but her kind spirit made it easy for my peers and I to come to her with any questions or concerns whether they were academic or not.  
Christina B., Former Student, College of Lake County
 
One of the reasons I liked talking to Mrs. Siani was her personality and her attitude towards us- the students. She was always willing and delighted to help me with any questions I had either regarding university or choices concerning internships. My choice of university was not the first one, however, she seemed very fond of it and their work, and explained to me why it would be a good fit for me; and turns out it was a great choice!  
Marianna H.T., Northeastern University in Boston Major: Psychology & Behavioral Neuroscience
 
I believe things happen for a reason and they did!  Debbie Di Verde came into our son's life when he was going through an extremely challenging time.  Our son was not only an underperforming Junior at High School but more worryingly he saw no future for himself.  Debbie became his English teacher and opened up his love for writing.  Debbie also mentored our son and helped him to recognise his strengths and potential - we got the son we knew and loved back - and he went off to college last August.  Debbie is a very special and beautiful lady both inside and out and we count her as a good friend in our lives. Thank you!
Jane C., Parent, Fusion Academy