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Nikos Chremos, February Employee of the Month

With nicknames like “Superman” and “Octopus,” ESL Community Liaison Nikos Chremos does it all.  According to his co-workers, he goes above and beyond the call of duty every moment of every day and deserves to be named Durham Public Schools February Employee of the Month.

“We call Nikos ‘Superman/Octopus’ because he can multi-task so easily,” said Madeline Felekos, ESL Specialist. “He can be helping one person on the phone, looking up something on the computer for someone else, and helping the person in front of him fill out forms all at the same time.”

Chremos was nominated for the award by all of his coworkers.  In their nomination they said, “We have an unofficial motto in our office.  If anyone has a question, ‘Niko knows’ is the answer.  And if he does not know, he will be able to find the answer in no more than two phone calls.”

During the recent magnet application period Chremos was able to assist thousands of parents with magnet applications while simultaneously resolving numerous parent and school issues, questions, and complaints. With his Bluetooth headset in his ear, his computer on one side, and parents and mounds of papers on the other, he represented the ESL office as the best resource for Spanish speakers in the district.

Not only does Chremos look like a Wall Street trader with his computer and multiple headsets, he even helped a student fix his trumpet!  The family came into the ESL offices for other reasons, but told Chremos their son’s trumpet was not working.  After he made some adjustments to the instrument, the student was playing it again right in the ESL office.

While his coworkers claim Chremos deserves the lions- share of the award, he is quick to point out they are a team and he would not be as successful without the people that surround him.  The ESL team includes Donna Scaggs, Laura Bruhn, Fernando Campos, Pablo Friedmann, Sarah Shaw, Madeline Felekos, Mercedes McCurley, Monica Belford, Pablo Uriz and Susana Diaz.

The staff at the ESL Resource Center welcomes and serves families of English Language Learners. The office is a hub of activity from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and is responsible for enrolling students, testing them on English language proficiency, responding to calls from schools, parents and the community and serving schools with student and parent interpretation and translation services.