CASPS Concludes A Successful Year of Activities

The CASPS board and committee

GLENDALE—The Committee for Armenian Students in Public Schools capped off its year of activities with a series of events in May to coincide with the end-of-the-year activities, ending the 2010-2011 academic year with a bang

At the CASPS annual reception

Annual Reception

On Thursday, May 26, CASPS hosted its 15th annual reception honoring the 2011 outstanding graduating Armenian students from the Glendale Unified School District (GUSD).  Over 180 students who earned a grade point average of 3.5 or higher were honored at the reception hosted at Brandview Connection. Joining the honorees were their parents, teachers, school counselors and administrators as well as GUSD and community leadership.

In his invocation, Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate of the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, commended the honorees and encouraged them to remember the community from which they came and to make use of their education to give back to the community. 

Ani Aharonyan, Lillian Boodaghians, Ani Misirian, and Anahit Muradyan, the four honorees with the highest grade point average from each school represented addressed the attendees. Each thanked the key people in their lives and expressed enthusiasm for the new chapters ahead. All of the honorees distinguished themselves not only academically, but in their extracurricular activities and community service as well.  The evening’s program highlighted their many accomplishments as students and members of their respective school communities.

This year’s reception also included CASPS’ annual art contest awards presentation.  Guests were treated to 10 beautiful pieces of art by high school students who were required to incorporate the theme “Valuing the Strength of your Dual Identity-Your Armenian American Self.”  CASPS board member Angie Mathevosian announced the names of the award recipients who received their monetary awards from Mr. Herand Der Sarkissian of the Armenian Educational Foundation.

In his keynote address, Garo Ghazarian, renowned criminal attorney and vice chair of the Armenian Bar Association inspired the students with words of wisdom.  Mr. Ghazarian mesmerized his audience with a very personal account of life’s valleys and peaks.

Attendees also enjoyed third-grader Stepan Krbekyan who performed a traditional Armenian song on his “shvi.”

The evening’s ceremonies were concluded with congratulatory remarks by GUSD Superintendent Dr. Richard Sheehan and the presentation of monetary awards and certificates by board member Laura Atoian. Honorees from each school received certificates from CASPS, U.S. Representative Adam Schiff, State Senator Carol Liu and State Assemblymember Mike Gatto. The four honorees with the highest grade point average received a $500 award sponsored by the Armenian Educational Foundation.  CASPS thanks the Western Prelacy, Armenian Educational Foundation, and the Melanie Ookthens Memorial Fund for their continued support.

As explained by Arsineh Hovannisian, CASPS’ executive director and echoed by Arthur Sarafian, an honoree from 2010 and this year’s master of ceremonies, this event provides a unique and refreshing opportunity to celebrate the positive aspects of our community.

The CASPS North Hollywood award recipients

North Hollywood Students Honored

On May 31, the Committee for Armenian Students in Public Schools (CASPS) honored more than 150 academically excelling 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 a festive and memorable event, held at Los Angeles Valley College’s Monarch Hall.

Executive Director Arsineh H. Hovannisian welcomed the guests to CASPS’ fifth annual event and introduced the mistress of ceremonies, Mary Tsaturian, an honoree from the previous year. Following the invocation and blessing by His Eminence Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate of the Western Prelacy, Miss Tsaturian invited Khachig Chris Melikyan, CASPS board member and Dean of Students at East Valley High School, for the CASPS address.

The keynote speaker for the event was attorney Garo Ghazarian. His inspiring speech included a personal retrospective on life’s challenges and the importance of hard work and commitment to a cause.

Alma Pena Sanchez, Superintendent of LAUSD Local District 2, followed with words of appreciation for the community and commendation for the students. She shared the Local District’s report card and noted how much she enjoys attending this annual event.

The five students with the highest grade-point averages, Adrine Gbakian, Kerob Karibyan, Angelica Kechuchyan, Khatcher Margossian and Anna Shirazyan then took stage for their personal addresses of appreciation. Their beautiful words were well-received by the audience. Each of these honorees received $400 by Mr. Razmig Hovanessian on behalf of the Armenian Educational Foundation. CASPS thanks the Western Prelacy and the AEF for their continued support.

Finally, Anna Keshishyan, the key organizer of the successful event, presented the certificates and awards to all the students. Each student received certificates from CASPS, LA City Council President Eric Garcetti and U.S. Congressman Howard Berman. Community leaders, the Superintendent, and CASPS representatives congratulated the students.

CASPS 2011 Fund Raising Event
On Thursday May 5, 2011 CASPS held its annual fundraising event at 156 S. Brand Boulevard in Glendale. More than 100 friends of CASPS enjoyed the Salsa Night gathering with Emilio Rivas, Artistic Director and Choreographer of Mosaico Dance Ensemble. Rivas was joined by fellow dance teacher Andrea Ramirez. The duo dazzled the guests with their salsa performance and provided dance instructions to the enthusiastic crowd.

Executive Director Arsineh H. Hovannisian welcomed the guests and gave a brief overview of CASPS’ current activities while board member Laura Atoian presented plaques and gifts to all who donated their time to help make the event a success.

The sumptuous buffet dinner, including all beverages and desserts was donated by CASPS friends and volunteers. Everyone appreciated the friendly ambiance of the event, and commented positively on the importance of supporting our students in public schools.

Established in 1994 under the auspices of the Western Prelacy, The Committee for Armenian Students in Public Schools was created by a group of concerned educators and citizen leaders to lay the foundation for a grassroots organization that would help address the social and educational needs of immigrant school children.  Working in collaboration with school districts and administrators, students and parents, CASPS has served the community in various capacities through its various programs.  To date, the programs have served over 5000 children and parents across ethnic groups in the Glendale and Los Angeles Unified School Districts.

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