GLENDALE–The Committee for Armenian Students in Public Schools, also known as CASPS, celebrated the budding talent of 20 young Armenian artists. CASPS organized its inaugural art contest for Glendale Unified School District Armenian high school students entitled “Your Armenian-American Identity.” With the help and collaboration of District personnel, Armenian students were given the contest parameters and one month to prepare their artwork. Their submissions were fantastic. Each and every piece of artwork demonstrated talent, attention to detail and relevance to the theme. The students were asked to depict their perceptions of being an Armenian-American.
The three judges, Vachag Der Sarkissian, Caroline Lais-Tufenkian and Seeroon Yeretsian, had a very difficult time choosing the three winning entries. Ultimately, because of the depth and quality of the work, they added five honorable mention awards.
The 20 artistic creations were displayed at the GUSD Board Room for all students, parents, families, District staff and community members to enjoy. During the short program, Medea Kalognomos, a long-time CASPS board member, gave a brief presentation about CASPS and its mission. She then introduced CASPS Executive Director, Arsineh H. Hovannisian, to emcee the rest of the program. Two of the three judges discussed the judging process and difficulty of choosing the winners. As far as they were concerned, all the students were winners for displaying such talent and commitment to the theme.
Finally, the winners were announced. Razmig Hovanessian of the Armenian Educational Foundation, the organization that generously donated the first- through third-place awards, was invited to present the checks and certificates to the students. He was flanked by GUSD board president Greg Krikorian, board members Joylene Wagner and Nayiri Nahabedian, GUSD Superintendent Dr. Michael Escalante, Assistant Superintendent Alice Petrossian, and CASPS board members Dr. Hagop Der Megerdichian, Rouben Gourjian and Laura Atoian. The third-place award of $250 went to Hoover High School student Arotin Hartounian. The second-place award of $500 was presented to Glendale High School student Selin Shirvanian. And the first-place award of $750 was given to Glendale High School student Shant Alvandyan. The five honorable mentions were each awarded a $100 from CASPS. They were Menua Chaparyan, Sevan Gatsby, Arami Matevosyan, Ani Mkrtchyan, and Talin Vartanian. CASPS is very proud of all twenty students who exhibited hard work and passion for their culture and identity. We applaud the GUSD teachers who participated in this endeavor, and we thank the Armenian Educational Foundation for its generosity and continued support of CASPS and Armenian students in public schools. CASPS hopes to make this art contest an annual tradition.