St. Stephen’s School Holds 2013 Graduation Ceremonies

WATERTOWN, Mass.—The St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School (SSAES) in Watertown successfully completed its 29th academic year this June. The graduation ceremonies were held on June 13 for preschool and kindergarten students, and June 14 for elementary students. At the Elementary Graduation Night on June 14, the school was honored by the presence of His Grace Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian, vicar general of the Armenian Prelacy, who had come from New York to present the Prelacy Queen Zabel Award to Principal Houry Boyamian, the principal of SSAES for 25 years.

The 2013 graduates
The 2013 graduates

On both days, Boyamian in her speech focused on the school’s achievements, especially in its STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Initiative. She mentioned that 2013 coincides with the 10th anniversary of the school’s accreditation by the Association of Independent Schools in New England, as well as the 10th anniversary of the Graduating Class Trip to Armenia. The latter, she said, will be celebrated at the end of the program with the participation of the graduates from the past 10 years. She thanked the faculty, the administrative staff, the PTO, the parent volunteers, the school board and committees, the St. Stephen’s Church board of trustees, and Rev. Fr. Archpriest Antranig Baljian, as well as all the organizations and individuals that contribute to the betterment of the school.

On June 13, Boyamian and the preschool director, Mrs. Orchanian, honored Araxie Poladian for her 20 years of service at the preschool. Orchanian then explained the theme of the preschool and kindergarten graduation: the Children’s Imaginary World. The children presented through songs, dances, and poems “Life under the Sea,” “A Visit to Space,” “Armenia’s Kingdoms,” “A Picnic at Lake Sevan,” and more. The students then surprised Boyamian with a special song and banner thanking her for her 25 years of service.

On June 14, the first part of the elementary program was dedicated to mothers, as His Holiness Aram I has proclaimed 2013 “The Year of the Armenian Mother.” The second part of the program was dedicated to Armenia. The elementary students explored both themes with poetry recital and songs, followed by a video presentation of the fifth grade’s class trip to Armenia, which was coordinated with great expertise by Ardemis Megerdichian, the Armenian teacher for grades 1-5.

The program ended with past graduates filing on stage to sing “Mer Sarer” and to cut the anniversary cake. On this occasion four students addressed the attendees: Araxi Krafian, Nairi Krafian, Meghri Der Vartanian, and Kristina Ayanian, who was recently elected Miss Teen USA. The students from grades 1-5 then surprised Principal Boyamian with a video presentation in which each grade expressed their gratitude and thanks.

On both days, Archpriest Antranig Baljian expressed his appreciation to the administration and faculty for their dedication and effort. He especially thanked Boyamian on her 25th anniversary.


Kindergarten and elementary graduates

The following 23 students graduated from kindergarten: Lori Avakian, Matthew Babigian, Nayiri Chekijian, David Davidian, Christian Diaz, Kristina Dorian, Leanna Dorian, Alisa Ficiciyan, Shant Gebeyan, Hohn Diran Gengozian, Christian Goebel, Diana Grigoryan, Ryan Guebenlian, Haig Guzelian, Mark Guzelian, Hrant Hachikian, Taleen Haleblian, Alexan Haroutunian, Nora Haroutunian, Amelia Kassardjian, Alex Kebadjian, Zachary Kefeyan, Anoush McCarthy, Gagik Minasyan, Sarine Nigoghosian, and Natalie Tenekedzhyan.

The following 15 students graduated from the Elementary School: Emin Abrahamian, Vickie Bazarbashian, Beiyna Chaparian, Taline Chaprazian, Gregory Cormier, Nairi Enright, Ani Ganjian, Christina Kew, Sarine Mahrokhian, Patil Mahserejian, Victoria Sarkissian, Emma Surenian, and Carlo Vosbigian.


Grade 5 Awards for Excellence in Armenian Studies

Prelacy Award: Sarine Mahrokhian, Emin Abrahamian, Taline Chaprazian, Ani Ganjian. Armenian Relief Society Award: Beiyna Chaparian. St. Stephen’s School Award: Gregory Cormier (Armenian history).


Awards for ‘Special Strengths’

Armenian Grammar: Christina Kew

Effort: Vickie Bazarbasian, Emma Surenian, Nairi Enright

Love and interest in Armenian studies: Victoria Sarkissian, Patel Mahserejian, and Carlo Vosbigian


President’s Education Award

Presidential Award for Academic Excellence: Emin Abrahamian. The purpose of this award is to recognize the academic success of students who have excelled in their studies and who have earned high scores in the Standardized Tests.

Presidential Award for Academic Achievement: Sarine Maroukhian and Beiyna Chaparian. The purpose of this award is to reward students who work hard and give their best effort in school.


American Citizenship Award

Ani Ganjian. The American Citizenship Award recognizes students who show a positive attitude toward classmates, school, and community; display an understanding and appreciation of civic responsibility; possess strength of character and the courage to do what is right.


Grade 5 ‘Special Strengths in Subjects’

Math: Christina Kew, Carlo Vosbigian, Nairi Enright

Science: Victoria Sarkissian

Writing: Ani Ganjian, Patil Mahserejian

Reading comprehension: Taline Chaprazian, Emma Surenian, and Vickie Bazarbashian

Social studies: Gregory Cormier


ARS Essay Contest

First place: Vickie Bazarbashian ($30 gift certificate from Barnes & Noble). Second place: Sarine Maroukhian ($25).


Nishan and Arshalouys Scholarship Fund for Music and Art

Art: Isabella Balian. Music: Arek Adourian ($200 each) (Gr. 4)


Anahid Kazazian Scholarship

Lori Ganjian and Berj Chekijian ($100 each) (Gr. 4)

Perfect Attendance Award

Kindergarten: Gagik Minasyan. Grade 1: Aren Panian. Grade 2: Chris Ashjian, Vana Karaguesian. Grade 3: Tamar Chaprazian. Grade 5: Nairi Enright.


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