St. Stephen’s School Showcases Expanded Campus at Opening Ceremony

WATERTOWN, Mass.—On Sun., Oct. 14, St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School (SSAES) hosted a Grand Opening Ceremony for its recently completed building project, located at 46 Elton Ave. in Watertown. The event marked the completion of the largest building project supporting the Greater-Boston Armenian community over the last 20 years, and provided the school with an opportunity to thank the volunteers, partners, and donors who generously gave their time and financial support to make the project a reality. It also allowed the school to showcase the new building to the community at-large; it includes the addition of a new, 6,000-plus sq. ft., two-story structure encompassing classrooms, a learning center, and indoor and outdoor recreation areas.

(L-R) Fr. Antranig Baljian, Jeffrey Bilezikian, Noubar Afeyan, Principal Houry Boyamian, Anna Afeyan, Dr. Robert Mirak, Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate, Aurelian and Anahid Mardiros, Avak Kahvejian, board chair, and Sarkis Ourfalian, board member. (Photo by Garo Lachinian)

Notably, the project was funded completely by donations, which allowed the school to fully cover the costs without using its endowment fund or incurring any debt. The primary donors, Noubar and Anna Afeyan, the Mirak Family, the Bilezikian Family, and Aurelian and Anahid Mardiros, were all recognized for their leadership and generosity with a Certificate of Merit from the Armenian Prelacy, which was presented to each of them by his Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate, who officiated the Grand Opening Ceremony. The building is named after Noubar Afeyan, a long-standing supporter of the school, who commended its achievements and highlight the importance of supporting Armenian education within the diaspora.

The financial generosity of the community, coupled with the unparalleled support of volunteers (especially that of Ara Krafian, the CEO of the architectural firm SMMA, who designed the new building and oversaw the construction process, and whose father, Yervant Krafian, was one of the founding members of the school 28 years ago), were key contributing factors to the success of the project, which took 62 days from groundbreaking to completion. However, as Houry Boyamian, the principal of the school, duly noted, “The expansion of our facilities is a commendable accomplishment and a testament to what we can achieve when we come together with one purpose, but the real accomplishment is the learning that will take place inside the walls of this building, and for that I thank our teachers and students.”


St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School was founded in 1984. The school has distinguished itself with its bilingual curriculum, academic strength, devoted staff, and low student-to-teacher ratio. SSAES is the only Armenian day school to be fully accredited by the Association of Independent Schools in New England (AISNE), the accrediting body for independent elementary schools. AISNE has commended the school for “creating an environment where all the students love to read and appear committed to academic excellence,” and for recruiting a remarkably talented and dedicated staff. The AISNE accreditation puts St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School academically on par with other prestigious private schools in the region.

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