By Natalie Gabrelian
The Holy Martyrs Armenian Day School (HMADS) opened its doors and loving arms to the New York community on Nov. 7, welcoming children and families to its milestone 50th academic school year. As the school hallways once again filled with the laughter and pitter patter of hungry young minds, HMADS welcomed back a special one of its own as the newly appointed principal.
“This academic year is one of great joy for the HMADS family. As we look forward to celebrating the school’s 50th anniversary in 2017, what better way to rejoice in its successes than to welcome class of 1989 alumna Seta Tavitian Megherian as principal,” exclaimed School Board co-chairs Arpi Candan and Hovannes Malikyan. “Together with the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), Friends fundraising committee and alumni, the HMADS School Board is very proud of Seta and we wish her all the best in her new role in the HMADS family.”
Megherian has been devoted to the field of education for almost 18 years and brings to her alma mater nearly ten years of experience in the NYC public school system. Along with a deep passion for teaching, she enlightens children and youth by introducing them to an endless world of possibilities. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Sociology from Hofstra University and a master’s degree in Education from Touro College.
Born and raised in New York, Megherian received her elementary education at HMADS, where she made lifelong friends, and graduated under Principal Zarminé Boghosian. A deep interest in vocal music led her talents to the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts. During these high school years, she also attended post graduate Armenian classes at the Khrimian Lyceum of the Eastern Diocese, where she furthered her Armenian studies and graduated having had the privilege of her former principal as her teacher. “I gained so much insight from Mrs. Boghosian about the role I could play in our Armenian community. She not only gave me a voice but a platform, as well.”
Principal Megherian embraces each day under the guidance and expertise of long-time HMADS principal, Zarminé Boghosian, who continues to serve the school as administrator. “After graduating HMADS, I kept in close contact with her,” explains Megherian. “We always had a special bond. I sought her advice many times during my college years and she was always there for me. She has been an integral part of my life, and has taught me life lessons I value and treasure today. I am honored and humbled to have this opportunity to lead our school, working together alongside our one and only Deegeen (Mrs) Boghosian, who has been my teacher, mentor and friend for many years. I admire her for her true dedication to our school and community.”
Indeed, Megherian has held tight to these life lessons, which include the value and importance of one’s Armenian roots in order to uphold our rich heritage, traditions and culture. As a teenager and young adult, she was actively involved in youth programs such as the Holy Martyrs ACYOA and Hamazkayin Dance Group. She now shares these values with her husband Vartan Megherian, as they raise their sons Armen and Ari—values she has also helped instill in the youth of the greater Armenian community through past involvement with the St. Sarkis Youth Club and Summer Camp.
Heartfelt gratitude and most sincere appreciation to Zarminé Boghosian for her over 25 years of unwavering dedication, leadership & guidance, priceless contributions and service to the school and greater Armenian community. As visionary, intellectual, educator, mentor and longstanding principal, she has built Holy Martyrs into the exceptional institution it has become today. Over the years, Boghosian has been awarded for her priceless contributions to education and the community, and most recently was awarded the St. Sahag-St. Mesrob Medal of Honor and Encyclical bestowed by the order of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.
What began as the small Hye-Bardez Nursery School in 1967 has developed into an award-winning elementary school in the New York area with Boghosian at the helm. As principal, she encouraged learning outside the classroom through the participation of guest speakers, instituted Heritage Week and the HMADS Science Fair, which have continued on to become HMADS traditions, to name only a few. Boghosian’s love and passion for HMADS now burn even stronger as she enjoys the sweet harvested “Fruits of Our Roots” through Seta Megherian.
“It is our mission to continue the true legacy of our school, while implementing our beautiful Armenian language, culture and rich history. Working closely with a group of dedicated, motivated and caring teachers to build strong relationships with parents, students and our community is part of our mission. We are looking forward to an exciting, productive year and strive to continue to provide academic excellence for our students in a positive, loving and nurturing environment,” promises Megherian.
Celebrating nearly 50 years as a pillar of the New York Armenian American community, Holy Martyrs Armenian Day School (HMADS) of Bayside, Queens, has earned a well-deserved reputation for academic excellence and for inspiring a love of Armenian heritage in her students. It has provided generations of Armenian and non-Armenian children alike the golden opportunity to learn the Armenian language, culture, and heritage, while at the same time, to gain a top-rate elementary education. The small classroom settings and focus on individual abilities has allowed the dedicated staff of this private elementary school to provide a nourishing learning environment for students in grades N-6. While strengthening their Armenian roots, HMADS has helped these children blossom into successful human beings. Its students and close to 275 alumni have distinguished themselves with academic and professional honors, and are active and respected members of their Armenian communities. Today, this pillar stands as the only Armenian elementary school in New York.
Join HMADS in welcoming home Principal Seta Tavitian Megherian, and wishing her the best of luck and a bright future in all endeavors.
Natalie Gabrelian is a HMADS Board Member and class of 1988 alumna.