GLENDALE—The Committee for Armenian Students in Public Schools on April 26 hosted its 21st annual reception honoring the outstanding graduating Armenian students from the Glendale Unified School District. More than 150 students with grade point averages of 3.5 and higher were honored at the reception held at the Glendale Adult Recreation Center. Joining the honorees were their parents, teachers, school counselors, administrators and other GUSD and community leadership.
In his invocation, Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate of the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, commended the honorees and encouraged them to be productive and upstanding members of the community.
Arsineh Hovannisian, CASPS’ executive director, opened the evening program with her introductory remarks, noting that the annual event provides a unique and refreshing opportunity to celebrate the young treasures of our community, and to look forward to their maturation into civic leaders. Her comments were echoed by this year’s mistress of ceremonies, Christine Dashdemirians, who reflected on her own journey from CASPS high school honoree five years earlier to her completion of collegiate studies.
In her keynote address, Vivian Ekchian, Superintendent of Local District Northwest of Los Angeles Unified School District, inspired the students with words of wisdom. She stressed the importance of their commitment to education and the need to give back to the community. She also encouraged the students to visit her in the years to come for career-related advice.
Attendees also enjoyed profound and moving musical performances by Hoover High School senior Mrrik Noubarentz, who played Chopin’s Nocturne No. 20 on piano, as well as Crescenta Valley High School’s Arin Sarkissian, who offered a flute performance of Komitas’ Kroong.
Each honoree was given the opportunity to say a few words to the attentive and emotional audience. Many thanked the key people in their lives, while all expressed enthusiasm for the new chapters ahead.
The honorees distinguished themselves not only academically, but in their extracurricular activities and community service as well. The evening’s program highlighted their many accomplishments as students and members of their respective school communities.
The evening’s ceremonies were concluded with congratulatory remarks by GUSD Board President Dr. Armina Gharpetian and Superintendent Winfred Roberson, and by the presentation of monetary awards and certificates by board member Annette Zarian. Honorees from each school received certificates from CASPS, Rep. Adam Schiff, State Senator Anthony Portantino and State Assemblymember Laura Friedman. The seven honorees with the highest grade point average received a $500 award sponsored by the Armenian Educational Foundation and CASPS.
CASPS thanks the Western Prelacy, Armenian Educational Foundation, and the Melanie Ookthens Memorial Fund for their continued support.
Established in 1994 under the auspices of the Western Prelacy, The Committee for Armenian Students in Public Schools was created by a group of concerned educators and citizen leaders to lay the foundation for a grassroots organization that would help address the social and educational needs of immigrant school children. Working in collaboration with school districts and administrators, students and parents, CASPS has served the community in various capacities through its various programs. To date, the programs have served over 5000 children and parents across ethnic groups in the Glendale and Los Angeles Unified School Districts.