NESA’s Aristea Evangelou Retires

Beloved NESA Center staff member Aristea Evangelou retired at the end of 2019, after 18 years with the organization.

Born and raised in Cairo, Egypt, Aristea was a long-time staff member at Cairo American College before moving to Athens, Greece, where she worked for the International School of Athens (formerly TASIS Hellenic International School), joining NESA in 2001. Her NESA portfolio included conference registration, data, surveys, and membership support.

NESA honored Aristea at last October’s Fall Leadership Conference in Bangkok. Executive Director Maddy Hewitt made the following remarks at the Saturday Soiree:

I’d like to make a special tribute. We want to take this opportunity to recognize someone very special to NESA. Aristea Evangelou, who is here tonight. 

Aristea, who is a NESA staff member, has served the organization for the past 18 years. In December, she is retiring and will no longer be with us at the NESA Center. Tonight, we celebrate her; her many years of devoted service, her gifts to NESA of talent, spirit and soul. 

Aristea, you are surrounded by our NESA Center Team who have shared much of what is included in this tribute.

Aristea, your name “Aristea” means “The Best Kind,” or “Excellence,” in Greek, and we all agreed that none of us could have named you better.

Words that come to mind when people think of you:


THE BEST KIND - Excellence: You certainly live up to your name!

You were born and raised in Cairo, Egypt, and your connection with NESA has been a long one. For 10 years before NESA, you worked at Cairo American College where both David Chojnacki and I served as administrators, before joining NESA. You have a deep understanding and appreciation of NESA Schools and of the “International-mindedness” that we aspire to as citizens of the world. On behalf of our NESA Team… we share that

We love you, Aristea.

For your activism and contributions to positive change, with never a thought for recognition or laurels.

For your own love of nature, adventure, fitness, travel and swimming in the sea.

For your energy as dancer, reader... intrepid movie goer... cinema aficionado.

Also for your love of your two boys, now adult men, your love of Friksos, your cat, your love and loyalty to family and friends who are dear to you.

We love you, Aristea.

Even for your love of shoes! (An impressive collection of SHOES she has!)

And…perhaps we love you most, Aristea, for speaking truth to power. For your integrity and for your wisdom as a judge of character.

Aristea Evangelou with her NESA colleagues in Bangkok: (l-r) Ranya Karafilly, Maddy Hewitt-NESA Exec. Director, Bridget Doogan, Laura Canellopoulou, Jill Kalamaris, David Chojnacki-former NESA Exec. Director.

Earlier I said Aristea will no longer be with us at the NESA Center. I lied. So much of what NESA is, is also Aristea. Just as it would be a lie to remove the seeds, the red jewels, from a lovely red Greek pomegranate and still call it a pomegranate.

As she moves onward, she does not have the power to do other than leave jewels of herself behind.

She leaves behind an ethos of belonging and attention to the needs of the NESA membership.

She leaves behind her youthful energy and inspiring work ethic.

And Aristea leaves behind the strong sense of team that so defines the NESA Center.

And leaving these things, she will nonetheless take with her... our gratitude, our very best wishes, and our love.

Join us in viewing a short slideshow featuring NESA times with our beloved Aristea!

Thank you, Aristea … Please come up to accept your gifts.