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Nick Dellas talks about the Educational Leadership Association

Nick Dellas

Nick Dellas is a teacher of English and a FLS owner who has been running Chronos School, one of the most successful FL schools in the greater Athens area, for more than twenty years. Nick Dellas is also the Chairperson of ELA (Educational Leadership Association), a newly formed FLS owners’ association, which aims to improve the quality of educational processes, optimize students’ educational experiences and promote educational values.

Text by: Anastasia Spyropoulou - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ELA is a new association of Foreign Language school owners. How was it conceived?

There are approximately 6.000 foreign language schools in Greece, according to a recent survey. All schools are state regulated and function in a competitive environment with a number of challenges. However, one can not help but notice the diversity of the industry with differing attitudes and practices towards language teaching and education in general.

Some school owners have set extremely high standards for quality and innovation in their schools creating an impact not only in their local communities but also in the industry. It was only a matter of time for these school owners to embark on discussions on how to share their ideas and join their forces to found an Association. A few months later, the Educational Leadership Association (ELA) was born.

In January 2019, 21 Language School Owners from Greece, the Founding Members of ELA, hosted our Launching Event in Athens. We presented ourselves and shared our vision in front of an esteemed audience of publishers, exam board representatives and ELT stakeholders.

In June 2019, we held our General Assembly at the wonderful venue of the Orizontes Tzoumerkon Hotel Resort for the process of voting and electing our Board of Directors of nine members.

Our Association is still growing as there are now 23 member schools, and currently we have 4 School Owners who have applied for entry.

What is ELA’s mission?

The Educational Leadership Association (ELA) is a nonprofit membership association with 23 member schools, 250 EFL teachers and provides services to more than 6.000 students in Greece. 

ELA’s mission is to improve the quality of the educational process and related services to students and their parents, to optimize the students’ educational experience through guidance and support and promote educational values related to respect, creativity, solidarity, tolerance, critical thinking and co-operation.

We are a group of inspired schools, ready to provide the language learning community with cutting-edge approaches, ultimately helping people realize their potential and finding their place in the modern world.

Each ELA member school maintains its business autonomy and independence as we engage solely on educational-driven projects.

All ELA members assume the roles of both educators and entrepreneurs. We are all mission-driven and opt for bringing to light positive impact to our communities. We share much of the same educational agenda but most importantly, we share a similar motivation to provide children with the best education possible.

What gap does ELA wish to cover? Educational, ideological, practical?

To answer your question directly, I would say we focus on all three levels. In a world where education is becoming alarmingly superficial, it is our duty to help young people realize their potential and find their place in the modern world.

Our hope is to encourage schools to participate actively in the process of continual improvement. We aspire to foster excellence in language education by providing multi-purposeful educational services and we are determined to bring about change.

We all believe in the power of collaboration and co-operation in order to inspire our teachers and students. Through our partnership we aim to raise awareness among members of our local communities, maximizing each other’s potential to the fullest.

Although we are ambitious in our endeavours, I must share with you that our Association is still in its infancy and there are numerous challenges ahead of us. We must continue to work hard to overcome pitfalls and pave the way for future success.

Are all members like-minded?

As ELA members, we all pursue the highest standards. Each ELA member school offers its unique characteristics that make our schools thriving institutions in a highly competitive market. Each ELA member school has achieved reputation that has spread beyond its local community.

All ELA members assume the roles of both educators and entrepreneurs. We are all mission-driven and opt for bringing to light positive impact to our communities. We share much of the same educational agenda but most importantly, we share a similar motivation to provide children with the best education possible.

All members are determined to bring about change by contributing their expertise and enthusiasm through channels of dialogue and cooperation, respecting differing opinions thus encouraging creative diversity. 

As President of the Board, I am committed to strengthening our member schools, our organization and our partnership.

ELA

How does a FLS owner become a member?

Any School owner seeking to become a Member of the Association can find information on our website www.ela.edu.gr . They can express their intention of joining our Association simply by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Once we receive an application, all Founding Members will be consulted in case they wish to exercise their veto power due to a conflict of interest based on proximity with the applicant.

An ELA member school will be assigned to contact the school owner and discuss all matters concerning our Association in person. This is an important step in the application process for both the School owner and ELA, as it provides the feedback for the School owner to decide on whether to proceed further with his/her application procedure.

The final stage and decision on granting membership falls to the Board who will convene to decide on whether to approve or reject the application.

What should a member expect from ELA? Why should someone want to join the association?

Becoming an ELA member connects you to a network of leaders and educators shaping foreign language education in Greece. As a member of ELA, your school is recognised as being affiliated with some of the top Language Schools in Greece. 

We are building a culture of cooperation and synergies. Our Association is team-driven whereby all schools work together, and focus on common projects.

Networking with other member schools who are doing the same type of work can expand our perspectives on what we do. In addition, learning from others who work in the same industry can challenge our knowledge and maybe even our assumptions. Taking part in workshops, attending conferences and summits provide member schools with an opportunity for growth.

Ultimately, membership benefits lie in the active participation and contribution by all member schools to achieve our shared goals and mission.

You have already organized a teacher training event. What is next?

The 1st ELA Teacher Academy was an outstanding event that took place in Grand Meteora Hotel, Kalabaka on the 7th April 2019 with the participation of 120 motivating ELA teachers. With the support of inspiring speakers, we attended unique presentations and workshops on trending innovative teaching strategies and exchanged ideas.

This year we are proudly holding our 1st ELA Youth Summit “Human Rights are not Optional” on the 22nd and 23rd April with the participation of 140 ELA students, 23 ELA Teachers and 23 member schools. We all believe that increasing awareness of human rights through education is the first step toward accomplishing meaningful human rights reforms. During the two-day Summit, ELA students from all over Greece will come together to present projects they have been working on from the beginning of the school year. Group discussions, case-study debates and team building events have been planned to empower our students to tackle prejudice and improve relationships in our ever more diverse and challenging society.

 

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