On June 2, 2010, the Committee for Armenian Students in Public Schools (CASPS) honored more than 150 Armenian students enrolled in Local District 2 of the Los Angeles Unified School District for their academic achievement. Students, parents, teachers, counselors, administrators and other community members were treated to an invigorating and memorable event, held at Los Angeles Valley College’s Monarch Hall.
Executive Director Arsineh Hovannisian welcomed the guests to CASPS’ fourth annual event and introduced the mistress of ceremonies, Satenig Baghdasaryan, honoree from the previous year. Following the invocation and blessing by Very Reverend Father Muron Aznikian on behalf of His Eminence Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate of the Western Prelacy, Miss Baghdasaryan invited Khachig Chris Melikyan, CASPS board member and Dean of Students at East Valley High School, for his congratulatory remarks.
The keynote speaker for the event was the honorable Paul Krekorian, LA City Council member. His inspiring speech included a look back at his own career that was filled with “many firsts.” Among them were being the first Armenian to sit on the Burbank School Board, being the first Armenian to represent the biggest group of Armenians in the Diaspora in the California Legislature, and being the first Armenian to take a seat on the LA City Council. He encouraged the students to strive the become trailblazers in their respective careers.
Alma Pena Sanchez, Superintendent of LAUSD Local District 2, followed with words of appreciation for the community and commendation for the students. She expressed her pride to represent the students and added that she enjoys attending this annual event.
The four students with the highest grade-point averages, Noemi Agagianian, Samantha Arman, Christopher Hakobian and Mary Tsaturian, then took stage for their personal addresses of appreciation. Their beautiful words reminded the audience of their deserved honors and brought tears to many eyes. These honorees received $500 awards sponsored by the Armenian Educational Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. Eddie and Laura Atoian. CASPS thanked AEF and the Atoian family for their generosity.
Finally, Mary Balian Saghbazarian and Anna Keshishyan, two of the key organizers of the successful event, presented the certificates and awards to all the students. Each student received certificates from CASPS and from Councilmember Krekorian. Community leaders, the Superintendent, Mr. Krekorian and CASPS representatives congratulated the students on stage and group pictures followed.