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Teacher Feature: George Metropulos of Central Elementary

Get to know Belmont native and seasoned educator, George Metropulos.

Whether it's his infectious smile, his ever recognizable license plate “GTMETRO” or his Greek last name that rings a bell from his former days as mayor, George Metropulos has left a lasting impression in the hearts of many Belmont residents.

George has resided in the hills of Belmont for more than 50 years and attended Belmont schools: , and .

He's remained in the classroom for more than two decades, occupying the third grade class of Belmont’s .

When asked why he chose the third grade, he replies, “Children in third grade are starting to see the world from their own perspective. They act like sponges and are curious about how things work, all while gaining a sense of independence.” His teaching influences come from Harry Maravelias and Mel Johnson.

Being a former pupil of George’s, I can personally say his style of teaching throws away the traditional lesson plans based around finite tests and evaluations and offers a more holistic approach. He teaches the student how to learn and evaluates their physical, emotional and mental learning capacities.

“By teaching a form of Socratical learning the students are required to engage consistently in the process of coming to answers on their own, rather than being given the answer by the teacher,” George declares. 

All his hard work has paid off. George has been awarded Teacher of The Year: Ralston Middle School (1993) and Educator of The Year: Belmont-Redwood Shores School District (2010).

Besides time logged in the classroom, George spends hours giving back to the Belmont community by volunteering at his alma mater Carlmont High, participating in Belmont’s Notre Dame de Namur theatre projects and holding an upstanding role on the Board of Directors for the Lesley Senior Communities.

George has been announcing Carlmont basketball games, emceeing crab feeds and helping the boosters club for more than 15 years. His impact on the Scot society is expansive as he was awarded "Top Scot” in 2000 as well as inducted to the Carlmont High School Hall of Fame in 2005. 

When you’re not hearing his voice broadcasting through the mic, you can hear him echoing on top of NDNU’s stage. “The Christmas Carol is my favorite performance; we call it “the gift”, the community benefits so much because we collect canned food and toys for the underprivileged all donated to the Samaritan House and Second Harvest Food Bank,” says an optimistic George.

Giving back to the less fortunate also emerges in his efforts to help extremely low-income seniors find housing through the non-profit organization Lesley Senior Communities. LSC includes four senior communities, operated in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), located throughout the San Mateo area, including Belmont. 

George’s Belmont fan base is widespread; from his favorite barista at Peet’s to the students in his class, he is loved throughout the neighborhood. George’s home will forever be Belmont because he loves the small town feeling with the big city attitude, the people, businesses and open space.

Janet Leist March 14, 2011 at 06:29 PM
So glad to see this well deserved recognition for George in the Patch. He's one of the most giving, dedicated community members I've ever met. George, thanks for all you have done and continue to do for our kids and our Belmont community. You're one of a kind and we're lucky to have you in our lives :)
Katie March 14, 2011 at 08:34 PM
I went to central elementry school though didnt have Mr. Metropulos, but I wish I did! Everyone who had him in 3rd grade loved him, and remains their favorite teacher...He has definitely made positive impacts on MANY MANY people around Belmont!
Gary Brenner March 14, 2011 at 08:38 PM
My daughter remembers you "back in the day" at Central and C-mont!! Thanks for all that you do in the Community. I nominate you for the Belmont Hall of Fame. See you in Church (OK, so you are not perfect)
Eva C March 14, 2011 at 09:52 PM
George is an amazing person, and I was so happy to read this great article about him! George, I love and admire your big heart and willingness to give. Your cheerfulness and humor are just what we all need! Sending you a big hug, and one to your mom, too!
Terri Cook March 14, 2011 at 11:38 PM
Great article on the G-man, but you forgot to mention he served as a Parks and Recreation Commissioner, and served a term on the city council and was mayor for one year. I recognize the focus was on his teaching style, but you also mentioned other community service. George epitomizes that and I think he has inspired many of his students to become involved as well. He's always telling me about how involved he remains with former students over the years, including attending their college graduations, weddings, baptisms of their kids, etc. He's your all-around nice guy and I'm privileged to know him and was privileged to serve on the city council with him. I've known George since high school (although he's OLDER than me!) Ha Ha!
Cindy Fields March 15, 2011 at 04:59 AM
Besides being a local politician, a community volunteer, an actor, an inspirational teacher, and the educator of the year, George is the best story reader ever! Congratulations George. Well deserved designation; it just needs to end in ... and so much more!
Laura Hill March 15, 2011 at 05:57 AM
Thank you Nikki for highlighting our wonderful 3rd grade teacher. George has been more than my teacher, he's been a mentor, a costar, and ultimately my friend. I know that I can always call on him for a lesson plan or a quick gyro! He is a member of my family and I share the love that Belmont has for him! George has taught me that education is a part of who you are and that learning makes you a better citizen of this world for that reason. He has inspired me to teach for all ages and levels and form myself into the teacher that would make him proud. Thank you Georgie!
Rebecca March 15, 2011 at 01:12 PM
He wasn't always at Central...Some of us were fortunate enough to have this guy at Orion--where the brightest stars shine. ;-) George is still one of the brightest.
Cathy Wright March 15, 2011 at 02:01 PM
Well deserved recognition, George! My kids were lucky to have you and I am honored to call you my friend!!
Bobbi Bazzani March 15, 2011 at 03:26 PM
Excellent article, but of course I am biased. : ) How lucky am I that two of my children had George for a teacher! George, you deserve all of the recognition, you have done so much for Belmont and especially for Carlmont High School. You have inspired many children over the years. (kudos to Cannoli) We love you!!!
Jeff Young March 15, 2011 at 09:34 PM
Jeff Young I met George at NDNU years ago in their theatre dept and I was reaching into my back pocket to pull out my wallet and shook hands with George...Terrific human being and talented actor and dancer and singing and OLD CROW......Love you George..Jeff Young
Steven Maravelias March 16, 2011 at 08:26 PM
Steven Maravelias, I went to Ralston and Carlmont schools with George and always enjoyed having him around. He seemed to be the light in a lot of people's day. He still is the light. I thank you George for recognizing my father in the article, it does you both proud. I remember when I won a big wrestling match, you use to tease me by calling me " Greek of the Week!" . So in turn I nominate you for " Greek of the Week! " out of love and respect. Keep shinning the light, leaders are made one kid at a time, one day at a time. Glad to say I know you and your family. Keep young children s dreams alive, it is the true glory of god by inspiring others to greatness.
Cori March 16, 2011 at 11:17 PM
Cori McKenzie It is wonderful to see George highlighted. I can't think of a more deserving person. George’s genuine interest in his students is a key reason he is one of the most enduring favorite teachers. He educates and entertains his current students while keeping in touch with former students... And he encourages all of them continually. As our illustrious Greek colleague, George has enriched the lives of countless kids, as well as all of us who have had the privilege of working with him.
Colleen Devlin March 29, 2011 at 05:27 AM
George is a great teacher and role model! He shows young children how to think and how to give back to their community. Both my daughters had him as a teacher at Central, and the "Master of the Universe" made an indelible impression on them and our family. We think the world of him. Thanks for all you do, George!

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