LOS ANGELES—Prelacy Schools reopened their doors to welcome students to the 2019 – 2020 academic year on Tuesday. On behalf of Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, local parish pastors participated in back-to-school ceremonies, offered prayers and read the Prelate’s message.
Prelate Mardirossian presided over the back-to-school ceremony of Rose and Alex Pilibos School, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. He was accompanied by St. Garabed Church Parish Pastor Archpriest Vicken Vassilian.
In attendance were ARF Central Committee representative Garo Ispenjian, Board of Regents member Sarkis Ourfalian, representatives of St. Garabed Church Board of Trustees and of community organizations, school administrators, faculty, parents, and students.
The program began with the invocation by Fr. Vicken. Student Council members led the pledge of allegiance and national anthems. English teacher Patil DerHovagimian delivered welcoming remarks as the day’s MC. Representatives of Congressman Adam Schiff, State Senator Anthony Portantino, and L.A. City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell were in attendance, and delivered congratulatory remarks. Armenian teacher Sona Madarian delivered her message and well wishes for a bright new school year. Students delivered remarks and presented cultural performances.
Principal Dr. Alina Dorian delivered her message, reflecting on the School’s 50 year legacy of excellence, integrity, heritage, community, and unity, adding that the school has, for half a century, not just educated students, but elevated their minds, spirits, faith, and heritage. She thanked all past and present teachers, faculty, and staff for their hard work, and, addressing the students, urged them to continue to strive for excellence, to set their minds to great heights, and to always remain true to the core values of our faith and nation.
The Prelate began his message by greeting Principal Dorian, Assistant Principal Maral Tavitian, and the entire school family as they embark on their golden anniversary year and move forward to greater heights with the legacy of a rich past, strong present, and hopeful future. He blessed and commended all the teachers who serve with heart and soul, and the parents for their love, sacrifice, and devotion. He wished for the new academic year to abound with the Lord’s blessings and to be successful and fruitful.
In his message to the students, the Prelate urged them to always remember and appreciate the privilege of attending an Armenian school, which is not an ordinary place of learning but a distinctive institution where students grow and develop in their identity as Armenians. “Take advantage of the unique instruction you are fortunate to be offered; learn our uplifting prayers and our language, learn about our rich history and heritage, our ancient faith and homeland, and think of how you can contribute to the advancement of our nation,” stressed Prelate Mardirossian. He concluded by, once again, blessing and commending all those who play a part in the continued success of our schools, the members of the Board of Regents, local school boards, principals, directors, faculty, and volunteers.
The program concluded with the benediction and singing of the Lord’s Prayer.