Interschool Recitation Contest Awards Ceremony

On Saturday, March 11, 2017, the fourth annual Western Prelacy Interschool Recitation Contest was held at Vahan and Anoush Chamlian School in Glendale, with the participation of nearly fifty students from local Armenian Schools. The awards ceremony took place at the Prelacy “Dikran and Zarouhie Der Ghazarian” Hall on Tuesday, March 28, presided over by H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate. His Eminence was joined by Very Rev. Fr. Torkom Donoyan, Very Rev. Fr. Vache Balekjian, and Executive Council member Dr. Kaloust Agopian. Board of Regents Chair Mrs. Lisa Gaboudian and members, Principals, teachers, parents, jury members, students, and parents were in attendance.

The program began with the Lord’s Prayer. In her welcoming remarks, Mrs. Gaboudian lauded the mission and role of Armenian Schools, commended the educators dedicated to preserving and fostering the Armenian language and the parents who make sacrifices to send their children to Armenian Schools.

Board of Regents member Mrs. Lena Kortoshian and Dr. Valentina Ogaryan served as the MC’s. They first invited the members of the jury and committee member Mr. Mihran Toumajan to the stage to present them with mementos of appreciation. On behalf of the jury, Mr. Grigor Ogaryan and Mrs. Maral Varjabedian commended the students for their enthusiastic participation.

The first place winners were then invited to present their winning recitations. Two students also presented a dance number and piano piece. The winners were:

First Place: Varant Chalekian (Pilibos School) and Peter Deirbadrossian (AGBU Manoukian School) in the High School division; Ani Anmahouni (Chamlian School) in the Junior High division; Karni Balian (Cabayan School) in the Elementary division.

Second Place: Harout Tarzian (Pilibos School) Alex Kasamanian (Ferrahian School) and Alex Manoogian (Mesrobian) in the High School division; Christina Agojian (Sahag-Mesrob School) and Araz Balian (Ferrahian School) in the Junior High division; Rita Garabed (Cabayan School) in the Elementary division.

Third Place: Sevoolig Bastilian (Ferrahian School) in the High School division; Alik Artinian (Mesrobian School) and Areni Chalekian (Chamlian School) in the Junior High division; Diana Krikorian (Pilibos School) in the Elementary division. The winners received the Armenian translation of the Chronicles of Narnia and Sardarabad Bookstore gift certificates from the Board of Regents, and Faith, Hope, and Love key chains from the Prelacy.

Mr. Tumajan spoke about the pan-Armenian poetry festival which takes place each summer in Shushi organized by Avan Shushi Plaza director and Executive Council member Mr. Alec Baghdasaryan, and encouraged the students to participate.

The Prelate began his message by commending the students for their spiritually heartening presentations and the Board of Regent, educators, and parents for planting love of our language and culture in the hearts of our youth, wishing that this annual event grow into community-wide festival. Addressing the students, as the future of our nation, the Prelate urged them to keep our mother tongue alive and appreciate the value of the national instruction and education they receive at school and at home, because our schools and families put tremendous effort in their upbringing as Armenians. His Eminence commended also the efforts of Mr. Baghdasaryan in organizing the Shushi festival.

The program concluded with the benediction and Armenian national anthem.

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