EDITOR’S NOTE (Nick Stamatakis): In the many months since we have started reporting on the various abuses by former St. Demetrios School principal Anasasios Koularmanis (always supported and protected by “Godfather” Andriotis), we have been receiving numerous anonymous complaints by students and others. In this post we will focus on former students’ complaints underlining their “anonymity”. Why do they hesitate to reveal their identity? Because they are afraid that they and their family members will be still subjected to the retribution, threats and blackmails by Andriotis, Koularmanis and their “gang”. The threats are real and they were performed with no hesitation as we have seen in the articles that I posted exposing his various acts of retaliation against students, parents and faculty of the School. And his self-interests are evident after he admitted his side-deal with Andriotis– an arrangement for Koularmanis to receive a 10% commission on the $25 million grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
#1 – STATEMENT BY THE FORMER STUDENT COUNCIL PRESIDENT:
As Student Council President:
- As the Student Council President in my senior year, I met with Koularmani on a weekly basis to discuss the ideas brought up by the Council.
- More often than not, I would try to meet with him after all my classes were finished, where I would have to wait a ridiculously long time even when the meeting was scheduled in advance.
- When we did meet and all the topics were discussed, he would often speak to me about totally off-topic things such as gossip and even about other students.
- On occasion he would even bring up my female classmates and the mothers of other students making inappropriate comments, unbecoming of an educator.
- He once told me a rumor of my friend’s parents going through a divorce that I had no prior knowledge of, which made me feel uncomfortable knowing that type of information. – It made me feel uncomfortable because it made me wonder if he speaks about me to other students or faculty in the same inappropriate manner.
- He would even speak to me about the sexuality of one of my close classmates and how weird he finds my classmate’s homosexuality to be. The homophobia made me feel uncomfortable.
- In one meeting he awkwardly brought my older sister’s past relationship, and how she should have stayed with her ex-boyfriend since she would have lived a good and easy life. After I said how she could provide for herself through her own career as a nurse, he continued his sexist rant about how she wouldn’t have to work if she was with her ex and could just be a good housewife. – That whole conversation made me feel uncomfortable since it was my sister he was talking about and it was very sexist
- Koularmani’s discussions about sex made the female students feel very uncomfortable to be around him.
- After a fundraising event for charity I held with the Student Council, I never received a confirmation of any charity receiving the money we raised (approximately $600.00).
EDITOR’S NOTE: What comes to mind when we read this alumnus’s experiences? Koularmanis was unprofessional, failed to exercise time management to meet his appointments, and exhibited a lack of caring. He would gossip to a minor? He made sexist comments? Sexually harassed his female students? Was homophobic? Misappropriated student funds? Under Andriotis’ leadership of the School Board, was there an oversight committee to oversee Koularmanis? Was there a complaint committee at the School Board so that parents, faculty and students can be heard and Koularmanis’ conduct could be addressed and stopped? Koularmanis and Andriotis were able to dismantle all checks and balances so that that their improper and corrupt conduct could continue unabated.
As a Senior Student:
- Koularmani was one of my 12th grade English teachers. It was rare for him to even show up and to even have an actual class. On the rare occasions that he did show up for class, he would either show up late or ramble about random topics.
- Random topics would include how he has a bad relationship with his wife and how love is fake. He would follow up by using my own relationship at the time and would embarrass me in front of my class and say how my relationship will not last and how love, especially in high school, is fake and a waste of time. Although my relationship did not last, that type of topic was not appropriate for teacher and students to discuss and was humiliating for me since I was used as an example.
- He even once mentioned how he had secured a donation that consisted of millions of dollars and was nonstop praising himself of how much money he made for the school. Although it was a great sum of money and is something to be proud of, it wasn’t something to discuss with students.
- Many times, students would be caught with drugs, and these students were supposedly expelled, but only to have them return the following school year.
- It wasn’t a rare occasion in the school to see a student be expelled and have them return the next year, leaving many students wondering how they even came back.
- Many of us would speculate that they just had to pay the school or just Koularmani extra money to come back.
- My 12th grade class raised a large amount of money through several fundraising events to give to charity and to use some of it to help with senior expenses, and, just like he did with the money raised by the Student Council, that money was taken from us and no explanation was given by him
- When I tried to get my classmates together to confront him about the whereabouts of the money, they all backed out fearful of his reaction, which is a great example of his bully personality. The reasoning we were given was that the money belonged to the school which was not true, since we raised the money with legitimate plans as to how we were going to use it.
- Taking money from the senior class that was raised through events was a regular occurrence as senior classes from the past have confirmed to me that the school would take the money raised with no explanation as to where it went.
- I was highly involved in most school events from 9th-12th grade, which allowed me to see Koularmani more than the average student.
- A regular student who simply goes to and from school and who has no involvement in school events could easily forget Koularmani was principal since he would never visit the classrooms, or interact with students, choosing instead to be locked in his office and avoid people.
- He was either not present at school or he would lock himself in his office all day, and once that final bell rings, he was in his car or you could catch a glimpse of him walking down the stairs to the parking lot.
- My own mother who has sent and still sends her children to the school found it almost impossible to have a meeting with him.
- Regardless if the meeting was scheduled in advance or not, he would make my mother wait ridiculous amounts of time to speak to him, to the point where she would have to get up and leave in order to not miss any more time from work.
- The pattern to make parents wait a long time to get to meet with him was designed to avoid parents and discourage parents from trying to meet with him.
EDITOR’S NOTE; How professional was Koularmani when he rarely showed up to instruct the class? And when he did show up, he would talk about his family discord and hatred toward his wife, instead of the lesson plan. Who evaluated his performance? The uneducated Andriotis? Koularmanis has often said he likes to be in the classroom “bull-shitting” with the kids. This alumnus’ family paid good money for Koularmanis to bull-shit with the students. But Koularmanis cared about the donations he brought in, since he claims he had a side deal with Andriotis that he would make a commission (a side hussle) on donations made to the School.
ANONYMOUS STUDENT #2
Hello, I have attended Saint Demetrios for high school (9th through 12th Grade) I would like to come out and tell you stories regarding Anastasio Koularmanis (The Principle) Peter Stasinos (The Dean) NEKTARIOS PAPAZAFIROPOULOS (One of the Priests) ANASTASIOS POURAKIS (One of the Priests. Let me start off by saying the student’s story regarding Anastasio Koularmanis is 100% true and I am shocked it took this long for anyone to come out. But there are more stories regarding Anastasio Koularmanis, he has not only expelled students for taking drugs and later let them back in the school. He has allowed students who bully to either come back to the school a year later or not even punish them at all. One of my siblings has been bullied for 2 years by the same student and now they have had to go through therapy for many years and developed PTSD like symptoms because of the bullying and Anastasio Koularmani’s lack of caring and being bribed. There is also the dean (Peter Stasinos and he has done things to me that has made me feel uncomfortable and has also blackmailed me. For example, one day I was sitting by the office waiting for my mother to pick me up and there is a row of chairs where students sit to either wait for their parents, class, teachers, etc… Stasinos sits right next to me and we start talking which is fine. He starts talking about other students’ relationships and always called the ones he did not like. This made me feel uncomfortable because now I know all this information and as he said these things to me, a student with his group of friends sat down next to me and Stasinos said word for word I will never forget this: “Hey how is your mother, I miss her bouncing on my balls”; This made everyone quiet and feel awkward. Anastasios Koularmanis was there as well and I can tell he knew this made feel uncomfortable so he tried cracking a joke and said “he was just joking, don’t take it seriously”. For the blackmail part this still makes me feel like I have never been justified and I feel like I have been ignored by the school. I remember one day I was feeling really sick and I could not stand for the pledge of Allegiance and before we did the Pledge of Allegiance Stasinos said over the speaker “Whoever does not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance will get detention or even a suspension”; Of course my math teacher kept yelling at me to stand and I could barely physically stand, so I was taken to the dean’s office and Stasinos made me feel very uncomfortable because he said I am lying about being sick. I had a doctor’s note at the time and was taking antibiotics as well and showed them to him. He said every week he wants me to go to the doctor and ask for a doctor’s note. My doctor even called up the school saying that I was very sick and there was no need to come. This made him very angry and still accused me of lying and started to threaten me because I started to question him. The first threat he told me that he could stop me from attending any college by suspending me. I told him no you cannot because I am not lying and I started to cry because he said how would your mother feel about you suspended and not able to attend college. Then he said this will ruin my life and he smiled while he said all this. He got impatient with me and said “You are suspended get the fuck out of my face”; I went in the library crying alone and about 10 minutes later Ms. Karagiorgos (Vice Principal at the time) called me in with Stasinos and said I was not suspended and Satisnos said “I am not suspending you because I heard you were a good kid”. This angered me because they knew that the threats would get the school in trouble and I tried speaking out but no one in the office listened they kept saying come back another time we are busy. And for the two priests that I have listed, they have ranged from homophobic comments towards other students, threatened children that Halloween was sinful and if they participated in trick or treat they would go to hell. There are so many more stories that should be reported and I want to help to tell my story and help others speak as well. You can email me anytime and if you have a phone number I am more than happy to talk but I would like to be kept anonymous for now because the school has a mafia-like reputation as you stated in the article. Thank you for telling our stories. Contact me back as soon as you can there is more I want to tell you.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Peter Stasinos is the Dean of Students. It is no secret that Peter Stasinos is the cousin of Koularmanis. One wonders whether Stasinos got his job on his merits or because of his relation to Koularmanis. What college degrees does Stasinos have? What training did Stasinos have in order to serve as Dean in order to handle behavioral and disciplinary matters at the School? How unprofessional is it for a Dean to refer to students as “retarded”? Or for Stasinos to speak about a student’s mother, “bouncing on [his] balls”? Or to make a mockery of a child’s medical condition? Congratulations to Andriotis for allowing Koularmanis and Stasinos to operate autonomously at the mental expense of the students.
ANONYMOUS STUDENT #3
I attended Saint Demetrios middle school back in the early 2000’s when he has just become principal and I can say with confidence that things were the same then and seem to have just gotten worse over time. He is an absolute AWFUL educator and I say this as someone who has now spent my entire life in academia. My remaining memories from St. Demetrios all involve Koularmanis’ lack of professionalism (ironically, I was able to recognize this even as a middle school student..I recognize it even more now as a doctor). I was a quiet, polite middle school student at the top of my class who got into a specialized high school in the early 2000s. Koularmanis had made it a habit of calling students at home to let them know if they had gotten into a specific HS. The day he called my house to let me know I was accepted, I had friends over. I of course shared my happiness with my friends. The following morning I was called down to the office and was chastised for “bragging” to my friends that I had been accepted. As an incredibly quiet, shy student who never got into trouble, I naturally broke down in tears in his office. His response was screaming at me “I DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT”. This is something that TO THIS DAY, I will NEVER forget. The months and months of hard work that I had put in to gain acceptance was not even mentioned. If I wanted to tell my friends, it was my choice. I had worked incredibly hard with a mediocre education that I had gotten at St. Demetrios and after all, he was the one who called my house to let me know. To make matters worse, for students who were transferring out of St. Demetrios to other high schools that he did not “approve” of, his response would be “What possessed you to enroll there?” Educators empower. They do not make their students feel terrible over an accomplishment. Those who have referred to him as a “bully” are 100% on point, in my opinion. The irony is that the students who TRULY reached these accomplishments on their own were chastised, while those students who had failing grades or disciplinary records were all able to gain admissions to top colleges. It is no secret anymore at that at St. Demetrios grades are super inflated, grades are changed and disciplinary records are just erased. I myself as a straight A student was not even immune to this-as I took the Math regents in 8th grade, my teacher looking over my shoulder whispered “check your last answer” to which I responded “I don’t need your help”. I was then called out of the classroom and asked not to tell my parents about this interaction. For years and years, I have been pleading with the Greek community to expose this terrible educator and the school for their incredibly unethical behaviors. Our Greek community’s education is suffering because of this! If we care about our children and their futures, we NEED to put people in administrative roles who deserve to be there and who can fix the mess of a school he left behind.
When I left St. Demetrios, I was asked to write an opinion article for the National Herald thanking St. Demetrios for my success. My admission to a top NYC high school and my future as a physician had nothing to do with Koularmanis’ education. In fact, it was despite the terrible education, lack of guidance and gross lack of professionalism that I was able to get where I am. Now that is something I am willing to write about.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Sadly the story of this alumnus is not uncommon. Any “educator” who fails to encourage his students to excel (like the School’s motto: Ever to Excel) is doing a disservice to the School and its students.
ANONYMOUS STUDENT #4
“…While chaperoning the Senior Class at its end of the year trip to Aruba, he took the underage students of a parochial school to Hooters so that he can drink and party with minors around scantily clad waitresses….”
EDITOR’S NOTE: When parents signed their consent forms for their children to go to Aruba, did Mr. Koularmani disclose to the parents that he would take their minor children to Hooters? Aren’t there dozens of other restaurants in Aruba that he could have taken his parochial students? Sadly, we see that Koularmani cannot separate his prurient proclivities from his activities as an educator.
ANONYMOUS STUDENT #5
EDITOR’S NOTE: One has to wonder how Andriotis professed to run a tight ship, yet he overlooked all the flaws of Koularmanis for over 2 decades. It is obvious that neither Andriotis nor Koularmanis cared about the students. All of Koularmanis’ improper conduct was covered up by Andriotis who threatened anyone who complained about Koularmanis. Over the years, Koularmanis was “untouchable”; Andriotis may have covered for his adopted son, but the Department of Education and Queens County District Attorney’s office may not be so forgiving. Koularmanis’ act was so obvious that he could not complete the first year as co-chairman of the School Board for the Cathedral School. Bishop Apostolos knew who Koularmanis was and how he operated the School. Why did Apostolos not advise AB Elpidophoros about how corrupt and inept Koularmanis was to take the position as Director of Greek Education? How compromised is Apostolos that he is afraid to go against Andriotis and Valiotis, just so that whatever “dirt”; they have on Apostolos does not get disclosed?