Leo Tampacopoulos (HBA 1996)

Leo TampacopoulosTeacher, History & Political Science

Docendo discimus”-- We learn by teaching. The ancient Latin phrase from Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger is the modern-day professional motto of U of T Mississauga alumnus, Leo Tampacopoulos.

Tampacopoulos, who works with 18-to-21-year-old students enrolled in an alternative education program, says that his work as a teacher requires him to be willing to 'think outside the box,' and also to draw upon reserves of empathy and patience.

He graduated from UTM with an honours bachelor of arts, and went on to earn his education degree at OISE. Prior to working in his current position, Tampacopoulos facilitated a special program for at-risk students in the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, and supported children dealing with anxiety and depression as part of a unique partnership program with the Trillium-Credit Valley Adolescent Mental Health Clinic. He has held a number of teaching positions, serving students with special needs, English as a second language, and at George Brown College. He is currently pursing a graduate degree through U of T's St. Michael's College.

“There are many challenges to this job, including dealing with social issues and discipline issues that come up," Tampacopoulos says. "But the reward is when kids truly look to you as a role model and they respond to your approach to teaching and caring.” 

Tampacopoulos maintains his ties to UTM as a "Backpack to Briefcase" panellist, mentor and by sharing his journey to becoming an educator through the Living Library program.

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