Interschool Recitation Contest Awards Ceremony Held at the Prelacy

On Tuesday, March 13, 2018, the awards ceremony for the fifth Interschool Recitation Contest was held at the Prelacy “Dikran and Zarouhie Der Ghazarian” Hall presided by H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate. The contest was held on Saturday, February 24, with the participation of over sixty students from eight Armenian schools. Attending the awards ceremony were Very Rev. Fr. Muron Aznikian, Archpriest Fr. Nareg Pehlivanian, Executive Council members Mr. Antranik Kasbarian, Dr. Kaloust Agopian, and Mr. Alec Baghdasaryan, Board of Regents Chair Mrs. Lisa Gaboudian and members, judging panel, principals, teachers, judging panel, the fourteen winnings students and their families.

The program began with the Lord’s Prayer. In her welcoming remarks, Mrs. Gaboudian spoke of the recitation contest as a way to highlight the unique mission of Armenian Schools and stated that witnessing the performances fills our collective hearts and souls with pride and joy. As this year’s contest was dedicated to the centennial of the first Republic of Armenia, Mrs. Gaboudian noted that the students’ performances were a powerful testament to the fact that Armenia lives inside their hearts, and thanked the parents and teachers for the instruction they are providing to our youth.

Mrs. Lena Kortoshian, Board of Regents member and MC, thanked the members of the judging panel, Grigor Ogaryan, Takouhi Arzoumanian, Sayat Baboumian, Kevork Bedikian, and Maral Varjabedian for their input, as well as Mr. Mihran Toumajan for his hard work. Next, the winners were invited to the stage group by group to receive their awards and mementos, while the first place winners also recited their winning piece. The winners were: In the elementary division, Lorig Artinian (Mesrobian School) won 1st place, Lim Kalemkerian (Sahag-Mesrob) and Hrag Khacherian (Chamlian) won 2nd place, and Katherine Bosnoian (Pilibos), Emily Arabian (Sahag-Mesrob), Sophie Hagopian (Pilibos), and Arpi Aivazian (Ari Guiragos Minassian) were in 3rd place. In the junior high division, Alik Artinian (Mesrobian) won 1st place, Erik Markarian (Chamlian) 2nd place, and Diana Navasartian (Pilibos) and Karni Balian (Ferrahian) 3rd place. And in the high school division, Areni Chalekian (Pilibos) placed 1st, Sarine Sarjian (Mesrobian) 2nd, and Alex Kassamanian (Ferrahian) 3rd.

Judging panel members Mr. Kevork Bedikian and Mrs. Takouhi Arzoumanian delivered their message highlighting the importance of this contest as a way of familiarizing our youth with the treasures of Armenian literature and bonding them with our heritage. They stated that though there are 14 winners, the judging panels deems all of the participants as winners, and thanked the Prelate, Executive Council, teachers, and parents for their collective care and instruction of our youth. Mr. Toumajan also thanked all those who make this annual contest possible and gave information on the pan-Armenian poetry festival held in Shushi each summer for the past seven years by the initiative of Mr. Alec Baghdasaryan, in which the Prelacy has participated the past five years, urging the students to participate.

Prior to inviting the Prelate for his message, Mrs. Gaboudian thanked Board of Regents staff members Khajag Jamgotchian and Alina Sarkissian for their contributions to the event’s success.

His Eminence expressed pride and joy that the event not only continues but grows year after year, and commended Mr. Baghdasaryan, the Board of Regents, judging panel, teachers, parents, and participants for their hard work, efforts, and sacrifices. Addressing the students, he urged them to uphold and promote our language and cultural treasures and also invited them to participate in the Shushi festival where last year a student from our Prelacy Schools, Varant Chalekian, placed an impressive second. The Prelate noted that earlier in the day, he and the Primate of Artsakh had visited Chamlian School where award winner Eric Markarian had recited poetry and the Primate had invited the students to visit Artsakh. His Eminence concluded by blessing the students, stating that the souls of our immortal poets are no doubt beaming with joy at their performances dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the first Republic of Armenia.

The program concluded with the benediction by the Prelate followed by Cilicia and the Armenian national anthem, after which guests enjoyed a reception hosted by the Board of Regents.

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