Three Greek Australians are among the 75 most influential academics who made their way onto The Educator’s prestigious Hot List of teachers on the cutting edge of excellence.

Julie Pilioglou (Caroline Chisholm Catholic College), Holly Photiou (Ormiston College) and John Toulantas (St Catherine’s School) were recognised for their brilliance in the K-12 education sector over the past 12 months.

Ms Pilioglou, who was nominated by a number of people, was surprised but honoured to be named among some of the leading educators in Australia, and was happy that her love for education has helped others. “I think to be recognised across the country is a big honour,” Ms Pilioglou told Neos Kosmos.

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Her journey in education has taken her around the world, from Singapore to Switzerland. Initially, she taught Physical Education before moving onto career guidance. “I stood out in PE at a time when it was dominated by Anglosaxons,” she said. “I did my teaching degree and then add-on courses and placements.”

As she got older, she reinvented herself as a guidance counsellor. “I love what I do because I’m helping students discover their passion,” she said, feeling privileged to be able to do this.

“When you’re 17 it’s okay not to know what you want to do with your life, but if you find something you love you’ll never consider it working.”

And that is how it has been for her.