The door to a new life was opened by Katerina Pagiannidou at the age of 82 by deciding to attend the 1st Second Chance School in Neapolis almost 65 years after the last time she sat at a desk. In fact, last May she got her high school diploma, so her desire to learn became even stronger.

In September, she enrolled at EPAL Stavroupoli and is now a high school student, proving that open horizons and a thirst for learning have no age. After all, this is what all her teachers and classmates advocate.

Total reset to the world of knowledge

Mrs. Pagiannidou attempted a complete return to the world of learning after an initiative taken on her behalf by her daughter by completing the relevant registration application at the 1st Second Chance School (Neapolis) in Thessaloniki. With a lot of joy and at the same time spreading optimism, she confesses in the monthly edition of the magazine “Outside the Walls” (Issue 176) of the municipality of Neapolis-Sykeion the surprise she experienced at the time but also her indescribable joy at the end of the school year with her graduation.

Her return to the classrooms meant a new life for her as she mingled with younger people. Now she is a student of the Vocational Lyceum of Stavroupoli together with her classmates from the 1st SDE of Neapolis.
“I won a second life”

A particularly moved Katerina Pagiannidou recounts how she came to sit at the desks again at the age of 82: “My daughter Maria submitted the application for registration at the 1st SDE without my knowledge. My granddaughter informed me one day that we are having holy water and I have to go to school! “Grandma, you have to go to SDE!” she told me, and I said to her, “what is this SDE, my child?” I didn’t know.”

Her children and grandchildren who urged her to go back to school

Mrs. Katerina declares herself very lucky for her children and grandchildren who encouraged her to go back to school and also for her teachers. She makes a special mention of the director of the 1st SDE Vaia Kouvaras and declares “happy for what I experienced during these years of her studies at the 1st SDE and happy to continue, in the company of my classmates at EPAL Stavroupoli”.

Regarding what she did at the Second Chance School where she “didn’t see the time every day to go”, as she typically says, she is articulate and analytical: “I enriched my knowledge, I participated in many events and in the play we prepared to take part in the Education Festival and Culture of our municipality. I took part with the whole team from our school in the “Panagiotis Afali” People’s Street in both years of my studies. All this I could not even imagine 8 years ago when I experienced the loss of my husband”. As for the difficult years of her childhood and adolescence, she refers to them with nostalgia but also with some bitterness since she grew up in Sparta in difficult and poor years in a family with eight siblings. Although she was a first grader in elementary school, “in those years, girls had to get married and only boys could study.”

In Neapolis, where she has lived for the last 62 years, Mrs. Katerina moved as soon as she got married in her 20s.

What she confesses, smiling, is that after the release of “Outside the Walls” there are not a few people who stop her in the neighborhood and ask her if she is… herself.