KZV Teacher Mary Karpanian Receives Herbst Foundation Award for Excellence

From l to r: Mary Karpanian, Dwight Merriman, Krouzian principal Grace Andonian

SAN FRANCISCO—“What nobler employment, or more valuable to the state, than that of the man who instructs the rising generation.” Those words of the Roman Philosopher, Statesman and lawyer, Marcus Tullius Cicero echoed through the halls of Krouzian-Zekarian-Vasbouragan Armenian School in San Francisco, California on May 9.

On that day, the entire student body, along with teachers, administration, staff and parents, gathered at a special ceremony to honor the long time, beloved Kindergarten teacher, Mary Karpanian as she was presented with a Herbst Award for Teaching Excellence by Dwight Merriman of the Board of Directors of the Herbst Foundation in San Francisco.

Each year, the Board of Directors of the Herbst Foundation presents the Herbst Award for Teaching Excellence to teachers at select private and parochial schools in San Francisco who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in the classroom. Mary Karpanian embodies the spirit and the purpose of this award.
Born in Beirut, Lebanon and schooled at the Haigazian College in Beirut, Karpanian came to San Francisco in 1980 and has spent the past 22 years at KZV Armenian School enlightening the lives of the students that have been fortunate to pass through her class.

What makes Karpanian so special and so successful as a teacher is her ability to engage her students through a variety of teaching strategies as well as her ability to touch the very core of her students. She firmly believes in the value of self-confidence in children and instills in her students the value of taking pride in their education and in their overall lives.

Karpanian stimulates the intellectual curiosity of her students, fostering critical and creative thinking and problem solving. Combining “old school” teaching methods with “new world” understanding, she has been able to reach through to the hearts and minds of her students, fostering within them a personal desire and need to learn, grown and improve. Karpanian has touched the lives of each and every one of her students with her special gift of teaching and has allowed each one of her students to take their stand in the midst of the rising generation.

Joined by her son, Doctor Hagop Karpanian and by her daughter, Noushig Karpanian who currently works at UCLA’s stem-cell research center, both former students, graduates and valedictorians of KZV Armenian school, Mary Karpanian humbly accepted her Award at the sound of thunderous applause and a standing ovation. She is truly a noble, exemplary teacher who is a true leader of future generations.


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  1. Yeghisapet Chouldjian said:

    An award so richly deserved! Brava Deegeen Karpanian for all that you have done to inspire generations of our youth toward personal excellence and an enduring commitment to the strengthening of our community and Cause.

  2. Vanessa Kachadurian said:

    Mary, from other Armenian schools on the West Coast a heartfilled thanks for your dedication to the students at KZV. With love from Fresno, please visit us again soon.

  3. Margit A. Hazarabedian, Ph.D. said:

    Having chaired the founding Board of Governors of the San Francisco – Bay Area’s only daily Armenian School, KZV — at its inception called St. Gregory’s Armenian School — I am proud and grateful to read of your wonderful success as a teacher! I congratulate you, knowing that the many, many people who worked so hard to build, establish and maintain the school, appreciate little more than excellence in its teachers — with the happy exception, undoubtedly, of the academic advancement of its students. Thank you, for your constant devotion to the children, as you teach them the love of learning, and for your enduring service to the parents, as they entrust them to you.