Skip To Main Content

John Nohos

Family Ties

You could say John Nohos is a child of war but he prefers to think of himself as a child of ACS. Born in Beirut in 1969 (his father was posted here with the UN) John first set foot on campus when he was six years old and his Greek parents decided it was time for him to start school. The year was 1975 and Lebanon was on the brink of the civil war that would last through the early nineties. Except for two brief periods when he was evacuated to Athens, John spent his entire school years at ACS – shelling, snipers and all – and graduated with a class of 14 students in 1988.

Like most ACS students, John was fortunate enough to be insulated from the worst effects of the war; but it was a scary time filled with uncertainty. Most ACS families left Lebanon, except for those who stayed either out of necessity or conviction. “When I was in second grade I remember that all first through third graders were taught together in one classroom. In tenth grade there were only two students in my class.” The threat of random acts of violence upended daily life but there was one thing John and his skeleton crew of classmates could count on: ACS would be open and they would be safe. ACS was their second home and the faculty, staff, and classmates became their second family. John explains, “We created a bond, a bond that is very strong to this day. But It wasn’t just the students and it wasn’t just the teachers. It was the custodians, the security guards. Everything had an effect on us, even the walls, the courtyard, that tree.” John points out his classroom window to the large beautiful carob tree in the middle school courtyard. “That tree. That is where we all hung out every day, every year. Everything happened around that tree.”


John has now planted his own roots at ACS. After studying in Athens and working as a stockbroker, John returned home to ACS permanently in 2009 to teach middle school social studies. After 14 years of teaching, John has had a lot of students pass through his doors. What’s one of his favorite things about ACS now? Attending reunions and welcoming alums back to campus. “I just love to see the big smiles on their faces,” he says as his eyes light up. “It’s all about the connection. We’re family.”