BY LOUISA JANBAZIAN
It’s another new school year. After a two-month break, teachers, students, and parents have enthusiastically returned to their daily lives and challenges at Merdinian School. For the 38th year, by the grace of God, the School opened its doors to Armenian children and embraced them with the promise of a safe environment, where the students will grow up and develop in spirit and mind.
On Wednesday, August 21, at 8 a.m., Merdinian School welcomed 36 full time faculty members and 230 students, who were ready to start the new academic year with renewed energy, goals, and opportunities. As the “First Bell” rang, students, faculty, parents, and board members gathered at the Aram and Anahis D. Boolghoorjian Hall for the Opening Ceremony of the new school year. The program started with National anthems led by music teacher Alice Der Kevorkian, followed by the recitation of Psalm 121 by three 6th grade students led by Religion Department Chair Lena Ekmekjian.
Rev. Serop Megerditchian, Merdinian School Board member and Senior Pastor of the Armenian Cilicia Evangelical Church of Pasadena, CA, addressed the students, parents, and the teachers with the Bible verse “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52), and emphasized that “Merdinian’s students are called upon to develop and grow not only physically, but also in academics, education, wisdom, as well as Christian and Armenian heritage. As such, when they successfully complete their schooling, they will be able to find favor from God and from men.”
Board Vice Chair Rita Meneshian addressed the students, faculty, and parents on behalf of the School Board, and thanked the parents for entrusting their children’s education to Merdinian School.
In her remarks, School Principal Lina Arslanian gladly announced the increase in student numbers and made a quick overview of the summer camp activities, as well as current and new programs to be implemented in the coming school year. These new projects include: the revamping of the technology curriculum and the new Technology Lab equipped with new computers, 3D printers (which were gifts from departing 8th grade students), a Robotics table, and Chromebooks to be used by the 5th through 8th grade students in their classrooms and at home.
After introducing the teaching staff and their responsibilities for the 2019 – 20 academic year, Principal Arslanian concluded her remarks by stating, “We continue to find new ways to live our mission, educate our students, and pursue excellence. Together we are transforming teaching and learning.”
The Opening Ceremony ended with the singing of the Lord’s Prayer, “Hayr Mehr,” and Benediction offered by Rev. Megerditchian.
The Merdinian Preschool held its Opening Ceremony on Monday, August 19. Principal Arslanian welcomed the students and expressed her enthusiasm over the expansion of the Preschool to accommodate 74 preschool students. She thanked the Preschool Director Marijan Kevorkian for her input and valuable leadership and wished the preschool faculty the best for a productive and successful year. Kevorkian, in her turn, welcomed all parents, assuring them that their children at Merdinian Preshool will enjoy loving care in a nurturing environment. The parents then visited the classrooms for an orientation session with their children’s teachers.
Established in 1982 by the Armenian Missionary Association of America and the Armenian Evangelical Union of North America, Merdinian School, located in Sherman Oaks, CA, is the only Armenian Evangelical School in the United States. The School offers a broad-based curriculum that fosters academic excellence, high moral values, and spiritual enrichment in the Armenian Evangelical tradition. Merdinian strives to create a safe and nurturing environment where every student receives personal attention to become a successful and responsible individual. For more information, you may contact the School directly at 818.907.8149.