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Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

Au revoir, Madame! Honoring Anita Sapalidis’ inspirational path through education and retirement

Kate Miller
Madame Sapalidis waving goodbye to her classroom.

North Penn is home to many different passionate and enthusiastic teachers. Whether it’s Science, Mathematics, English or Linguistics, every teacher shares a common passion of teaching. One of the most important teachers in the linguistics department, Anita Sapalidis, announced her retirement after 29.72 years of teaching at North Penn.

“I always knew I wanted to do something with French, I always loved it, and that was the most logical career for me. It’s a career that I’m really happy I ended up choosing,” Sapalidis exclaimed.

Growing up in Paoli, Chester county, Anita Sapalidis discovered her passion for languages at an early age. She began studying French in elementary school, and developed a lifelong interest and passion for the language. The passion for linguistics grew with her into college. 

“I did my first two years of college at West Chester, and they have a very good study abroad program, so I ended up going to the south of France and studying,” Sapalidis stated

Making effective use of West Chester University’s study abroad program, she went to study at Université Paul Valéry in Montpellier. Named after French Poet, Paul Valéry, the university shaped Madame Sapalidis’ future, helping her expand her knowledge of the French language and meeting her husband, to whom she later went to live in Greece. 

“I speak fluent Greek, because my husband is Greek, his whole family is Greek. We lived in Greece for about six years, and one of my three kids speaks fluent Greek, and the other two are not as fluent,” Sapalidis explained

Madame Sapalidis lived in Ptolemaida with her husband for six years. Ptolemaida, an Industrial city, located in Western Macedonia, Greece, brought new experiences and memories for Madame Sapalidis. But, unfortunately, due to the economic situation in Greece at the time, and the opportunities that life in the USA offered, she returned to the USA with her husband six years after living in Greece. 

“I wanted to raise my kids here in the United States, economically, Europe, or at least Greece is going through some tough financial times, and the people work so hard, but they don’t have a lot to show for it at the end of the day,” Sapalidis exclaimed.

Before coming to North Penn high school, Madame Sapalidis interviewed at a couple of different school districts, and North Penn ended up becoming her favorite because of the cultural diversity and variety the school brings, where she began her career at Pennbrook for four years before coming to the high school. 

“I love the variety, the diversity, the culture, that for me is the biggest part here. Everybody brings something different to the table here at North Penn, and that’s actually my favorite part. I love looking at my classes and seeing the many different backgrounds and interests, but we’re all sitting together because they’ve chosen French,” Sapalidis stated.

Madame Sapalidis’ passionate and enthusiastic approach to teaching is one of the main reasons why she is adored by her students. Her approach to being understanding towards the many different unique backgrounds that the students will have a lasting impact on both the students and North Penn.

In addition to being the only AP French teacher at North Penn, Madame Sapalidis also teaches French 2, French 3 5.0 and 6.0 classes.

“If it’s [AP French] meant for them, it’s always going to depend on what their eventual goals are. It’s always going to look good on college applications. If you make that jump from French 3 to French 4, and French 4 to AP, it  shows commitment and interest towards studying French, ” Sapalidis explained.

Throughout her 29.72 years at North Penn, Madame Sapalidis has made a lasting impact at North Penn, teaching students not only the French Language, but empathy, diversity and opportunity in class and in life. A lesson not just for the students, but for the High School in general. 

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