WATERTOWN, Mass.—St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School (SSAES) successfully completed its 38th academic year, thanks to a highly competent and dedicated teaching staff, individualized instruction, specialist teachers, updated teaching materials and curriculum, use of technology, after school enrichment programs and a comprehensive assessment program.
The graduation ceremonies were held on June 16 (kindergarten) and June 17 (elementary). Both kindergarten and fifth grade students presented poems, songs and an Armenian dance. In addition, the fifth graders read their farewells.
In her remarks, SSAES principal Houry Boyamian announced that in addition to completing the curriculum in each grade, the school was able to conduct many extra-curricular activities. She stated that the pandemic did not stop the school from celebrating or commemorating traditional holidays, including Armenian Cultural Day, Vartanantz, May 28, a commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, talent shows, a visit to the Armenian Museum of America, and a two-week trip to Armenia for fifth graders. She concluded her remarks by expressing her profound gratitude to the teaching and administrative staff, to the SSAES board, the education, health and technology committees, as well as to Rev. Archpriest Antranig Baljian and the St. Stephen’s Church Board of Trustees. She thanked the parents for their encouragement and unwavering support in another challenging year with the pandemic.
During the kindergarten ceremony, Fr. Baljian and Mrs. Boyamian honored Nora Hackett for her 21 years of dedicated service as assistant treasurer of the school, with a Certificate of Appreciation awarded by His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy. Hackett will retire at the end of June after being part of the SSAES family from the day the school opened its doors. Her father Yervant Krafian was one of the founding members of the school. Hackett has been a volunteer, a PTO chair, and assistant treasurer for 21 years. All three of her children are SSAES alumni.
In his remarks, Fr. Baljian expressed his appreciation to the administration and faculty for their dedication and effort in providing an excellent education to all students. Then, Fr. Baljian and Mrs. Boyamian presented the diplomas and the awards to the graduates.
The following students graduated from SSAES’ kindergarten program: Arek Babb-Mikaelian, Dalita Bell, Dante Carbunari, Khoren Dennigan, Brayden Duhanyan, Aren Ekmekji, Eva Giragosian, Arev Hacobian, Sevag Karagozian, Ani Kechichian, Lara Kirejian, Alexander Krikorian, Levon Luarasi, Andrew Manguikian, Nicholas Ntasios, Emma Orchanian, Diana Ohannesian, Sylvie Said, Anya Savo, Sanahin Arzoumanian Schwartz and Lucine Zurabyan.
On June 17, the following 10 students graduated from SSAES, bringing the number of graduates to 358: Siran Arakelian, Aiki Arzoumanian, Olivia Dimopoulos, Lori Garbedian, Leanna Iskenderian, Josephine Keumurian, Eva Khalarian, Arda Mahserejian, Aline Mikaelian and Giselle Tarabelsi.
I-Prelacy Award for Excellence in Armenian (silver coin of Levon the 1st): Siran Arakelian, Aiki Arzoumanian, Aline Mikaelian, Eva Khalarian, Leanna Iskenderian
II- Armenian Relief Society Award: Lori Garabedian (Excellence for Oral Expression)
III- President’s Education Awards– Grade 5
Presidential Award for Educational Excellence: This award recognizes the academic success of students who have excelled in their studies and earned high scores in standardized tests.
Presidential Award for Educational Achievement: This award recognizes students who work hard and give their best effort in school.
-Presidential Award for Academic Excellence: Siran Arakelian and Aiki Arzoumanian
-Presidential Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement: Aline Mikaelian, Eva Khalarian and Leanna Iskenderian
IV-Certificate of Recognition for Special Strength (All Subjects)
Siran Arakelian: Class historian
Aiki Arzoumanian: Most inquisitive about space
Olivia Dimopoulos: Always willing to try new things
Lori Garabedian: Inventive in math connections, history and science explanations
Leanna Iskenderian: Excited to learn everyday
Josephine Keumurian: Eager to learn
Eva Khalarian: Leadership, helping others
Arda Mahserejian: A kind friend and helps others to feel included
Aline Mikaelian: Understands graphs
Giselle Tarabelsi: She works hard to do the right thing
V-Certificate of Recognition for their Special Strength (Armenian Studies)
Olivia Dimopoulos, Arda Mahserejian, Giselle Tarabelsi: Hard worker
Josephine Keumurian: Eager to learn