GLENDALE–In a school district where 10,000 of a total 28,000 students are Armenian–it’s nice to have a school board member who not only focuses the needs of youth while striving to serve the wishes of the community–but also provides a forum for Armenian clubs in the district to be heard.
Greg Krikorian–a second term member of the Glendale Unified School District Board of Education does just that through his meetings with executive members of the four Armenian Clubs in Glendale and La Crescenta High Schools.
One of the forces behind the establishment of Armenian language classes at Glendale High School–Krikorian talked about the same elective class now offered at Crescenta Valley High School. "I am excited for all the students at CV high school–Armenian and non-Armenian–who now have the opportunity to develop their Armenian language skills. In a community as diverse as ours–it is refreshing to see a variety of language classes offered to our students. I wish I had had the opportunity to study Armenian when I was a student growing up in Hartford–Connecticut–but there was no such class offered."
In their most recent meeting with Krikorian–the clubs planned their upcoming year by focusing on their 5th annual district-wide Genocide Assembly to commemorate the 91st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
The 2006 event will be held on April 21 and will feature music–dance–and poetry programs from each of the high schools. The past four Assemblies succeeded in drawing hundreds of proud students–teachers–and parents.
The clubs also discussed tentative plans for Hye Hopes II–a fundraiser for schools in Ghapan–Armenia. Hye Hopes I raised over $10,000 for 3 schools in Ghapan–with over 1000 students and their families supporting the effort.
Krikorian offers the following to explain his special commitment to the District’s Armenian clubs since first being elected in 2001: "It has been an honor for me to serve my community as a member of the Glendale Board of Education over the past five years. I have seen so many of our students mature and grow in multiple ways–not only academically–but also as responsible American citizens who are committed to remembering and honoring their Armenian roots."
But the students also have a few words to say on how Krikorian impacts their activities as well as them–personally.
"Throughout the years Greg has been a great example to us–not only with respect to our responsibilities as American citizens–but to never forget what we lost in the Genocide," says Susie Badalian of Hoover High School.
Krikorian also uses the meetings with the clubs to foster more cooperation and friendship between students from different high schools.
"This was awesome–I was able to meet the other three high school executives and learn what they are doing this year," says Sona Sargsyan of Glendale High School.
"I’ve been meeting with him for over three years and we’re fortunate to have Mr. Krikorian. Far too many times people run for office–seek our help–then disappear. We love Greg because he has always been there for us," says Rosie Iskanian.
Krikorian stresses that there are "plenty of challenges ahead," and says that the support of Board of Education President Mary Boger and other members is invaluable.
Greg Krikorian can be reached at email@example.com.