GLENDALE—The Chamlian Armenian School hosted the grand opening of its state of the art library, the Anita Torosian Literacy and Resource Center on Thursday, December 14, located on the school campus.
Just in time for the holidays, the students and staff at Chamlian Armenian School have received a special gift – the long-awaited opening of the Anita Torosian Literacy and Resource Center. The planning and renovation of this space has been underway since the 2015-2016 school year, the catalyst for which was the untimely passing of the school’s Academic Director, Anita Torosian; a beloved teacher, an irreplaceable mentor, and an incredible educator.
For close to two decades, the original Chamlian library has provided its students with the tools needed to support lifelong learning. Now, Chamlian celebrates the opening of a new library; one that continues the tradition of creating lifelong learners while embracing the technological advances that are needed to support education today.
The library officially opened on the evening of December 14, with a ribbon cutting ceremony led by Torosian’s husband, Henrik Hakoupian, and their daughter, Lily. After his wife’s passing, Hakoupian graciously offered to be the library’s main benefactor to honor his wife’s dedication to Chamlian, her respect for academia, and her love for reading. Hakoupian contributed to this project not just monetarily, but with his innovative vision and commitment to exemplary work. Community leaders, teachers, administrators, faculty, and many others were present to support Chamlian and Hakoupian during this momentous occasion.
Raffi Hamparian served as the program’s Master of Ceremonies, inviting the speakers and guiding the guests through the evening’s program. The opening remarks of the evening were led by Dr. Talin Kargodorian, Chamlian’s principal, and Artin Ghazarian, chairman of the library committee; these were then followed by a blessing by Archbiship Mousheg Mardirossian.
Ghazarian thanked the committee for their tireless work and dedication; the library, he said, could have been nothing short of extraordinary, as Anita Torosian was an extraordinary person herself. His heartfelt tribute to Torosian was moving and inspiring, as he stressed the importance of carrying her legacy on through the utilization of a space she would have loved. He thanked “Dr. K” for her open-minded and forward thinking mindset that allowed the school to make such educational strides.
Dr. Kargodorian’s speech was equally as moving, as she recognized Ghazarian’s pivotal role as not just the chairman of this committee, but as Torosian’s childhood friend. She spoke about his perseverance, unmatched work ethic, and dedication to making this new center deserving of Torosian’s name. Kargodorian then presented both Hakoupian and Ghazarian with plaques to thank them for their generosity and foresight; they were the driving force behind the realization of this great dream. The genuine gratitude expressed in both Ghazarian and Kargodorian’s speeches moved the audience to tears, cementing the feeling that this significant event was not just about the opening of the library, but about carrying forth the memory and legacy of Anita Torosian.
Board member Armen Abrahamian, whose own daughter was Torosian’s student and friend, also expressed his genuine appreciation for all that Kargodorian and Ghazarian had done to preserve the memory of such a great educator.
The new library at Chamlian comes with an impressive list of design and technological aspects. The designer hired to work on the initial rendering was Mrs. Judy Van Wyk. Her design of the Anita Torosian Literacy and Resource Center is impressive; the airy layout, flawless lighting, and custom furnishings are perfect; no detail has been overlooked.
Along with the impressive design, Chamlian’s new library comes with a remarkable list of technological components that are designed to support the school’s rigorous curriculum. Thirty-six brand new Chromeboxes sit atop desks designed especially for collaborative projects, waiting to be utilized in the new innovative technology center. This center will lead students into a “cloud-based” Google centered educational system that is designed to allow constant updates and advances in order to ensure students will consistently be on the cutting edge of education. During the opening Cathy Leverkus, a Mackin representative was demonstrating the ebook platform now available to all students, and Paul Bogan from WolfVision was giving parents a walkthrough of the innovative camera system that opens up a world of teaching and learning opportunities. Another notable feature of the library is a state of the art “young reader” section where students will be able to read in a group environment, view presentations on an interactive projector, and participate in technologically advanced learning activities with an in-ceiling camera system and Epson Brightlink technology.
Walking through the doors of the new library, there is no doubt that the utmost care has been taken to ensure that this space falls nothing short of being perfect. And after speaking with those present at the opening, it is clear that the driving point of this great achievement is the gratitude and love felt for Ms. Anita Torosian. Torosian’s dedication to Chamlian, to the world of education, and to every student she came across is evident in the way she is spoken about, and in the way the library committee has stopped at nothing to make this space deserving of her name.
The grand opening of the Anita Torosian Literacy and Resource Center is only the beginning of celebrating this space. Generations of students will walk through its doors, learning, growing, and remembering the amazing educator who set the precedent for educational excellence that exists at Chamlian.