Flushing school to honor girl

By Nathan Duke

A Bayside mother whose daughter was killed last year during a car accident in Greece has gained the approval of a community school to create a playground in memory of the 6-year-old girl.

Effie Nicolopoulos and her husband, Eleftherios Tsiboukis, created a scholarship fund and launched plans for a playground at William Spyropoulos Greek American Day School, which is in Bayside near the Flushing border, after their daughter, Katerina Tsiboukis, died in a July 12 car crash in Greece.

“The kid was amazing,” her mother said. “She was beyond her years. Katerina was in first-grade, but she was ready to do junior varsity in swimming and orange belt in aikido.”

The girl, 6, was in a car with her younger sister, Christina, 4, as well as Nicolopoulos’ parents at the time of the accident. Christina Tsiboukis was the only survivor.

“They were three very dynamic people,” Nicolopoulos said of Katerina and her parents. “I’m lucky they were a part of my life.”

The postmark deadline for the Ekaterini Tsiboukis Scholarship Fund is April 30. The fund’s address is P.O. Box 610284, Bayside, NY 11361.

The William Spyropoulos school’s board unanimously approved a plan put forth last year by Nicolopoulos and her husband to construct a playground in their daughter’s honor. Since the school at 196th Street and Northern Boulevard does not have a playground, its students currently play outside on a brick courtyard.

The Ekaterini Tsiboukis Playground, which will be locked at night, will have one large piece of equipment that will feature slides as well as two smaller pieces and new benches.

Nicoloupolos’ younger daughter currently attends Noah’s Ark school for kindergarten, but will attend the Greek school next year.

The playground is expected to be completed by early September, Nicolopoulos said.

“Our goal is to have it open before schools starts,” she said.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at nduke@cnglocal.com or by phone at 78-260-4566.

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