Ari Guiragos Welcomes Students, ‘Mayrig and Me’ Event

Ari Guiragos Minasian students on the first day of school

ORANGE COUNTY— The only daily Armenian school in Orange County launched its 27th school year with more than 100 students, faculty, parents, and community leaders rejoicing in support of the soaring Ari Guiragos Minassian Eagles!

The opening ceremonies of the new school year began with the traditional Armenian prayer by Forty Martyrs Armenian Apostolic Church Reverend, Father Hrant Yeretzian, under the auspices of Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian. AG Minassian School principal Mrs. Kohar Zaher welcomed back students for the 2012-2013 academic year with a sense of renewed commitment and dedication to excellence in education. Zaher highlighted some of the past achievements of the Armenian school as an excellent educational institution and as a second home to Armenian Americans in Orange County. She also thanked the community for their unwavering support and commitment to help AGM continue to thrive.

AGM School Board chairman, Mark Karatas emphasized new programs and upcoming projects to continue improving the quality of education, adding electives and all within an Armenian atmosphere. Kevork Keshishian, current chairman of the Forty Martyr’s Church and past School Board member promised the community’s support and commitment to continue to work together enhance the facilities and help AGM continue to grow.

The morning ceremonies concluded with students receiving Holy Communion at Forty Martyrs Church then excitedly heading to their classrooms with their caring and supportive teachers to enthusiastically start the new academic year!

The AGM School is a success story like no other. AGM opened its doors in 1986 and overcame many adversities. The only daily Armenian school in Orange County has been accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) since 2005 and has the support of all segments of the Armenian community. The committed faculty and administration, the dedicated school board, the strong PTO, along with the community have been able to increase the student population by over 50% in the last few years.
This year there will be new and exciting programs and additions to the curriculum. Students will have the opportunity to experience music lessons, learn a third language, and participate in an updated and enhanced exercise program.

Beginning instrumental music has been added to the curriculum for third, fourth, and fifth graders because of the profound impact it has on improving academics, reinforcing the concept of teamwork, and encouraging self expression. Students will have the opportunity to receive instruction in their choice of violin, viola, cello, flute, or recorder.
Power Play Kids Gym is another new program added to the Physical Education curriculum at AGM, allowing students to exercise in creative ways, incorporating warm up exercises with skills and drills, cardio movements, and stretching routines. One of the key components of this program is to teach students about the importance of healthy eating. These classes will not only keep kids fit while having fun, but will also teach them life-long skills.

The necessity of learning a third language will also be fulfilled this year when students will be able to take Spanish language lessons, further increasing the advantage for students graduating from AGM.

The highly successful “Mayrig and Me” music and movement program will also continue this year after an overwhelming amount of requests from the community. Parents will be able to participate with their 18-24 month old children in the weekly classes creating a stronger bond within the family and between the family and the Armenian School.
The school board and administration worked tirelessly during the summer vacation to improve the facilities at AGM to be ready for the students’ return. A padded floor replaced wood chips in the jungle gym play area to make it safer and more comfortable for the students, and the preschool play area was modernized with age appropriate equipment to enhance the experience for the 2-5 year olds. The classrooms were also upgraded with new cabinets.

Ari Guiragos Minassian Armenian School is located at 5315 W. McFadden, Santa Ana, CA 92704 and accepts students without regard to race, color, creed, ethnic origin or religious affiliation. For more information and to enroll your child at AGM contact the  administration at 714-839-7831 or visit


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  1. Kevork Keshishian said:

    Thank you for a wonderful article. Words cannot describe the pride and dedication we feel towards A.G. Minassian school. There is one very important name that is not mentioned in this article and that name is Chris Guldjian. Chris assembled a core group of volunteers whose only purpose was to rebuild AGM. Chris was the driving force and leader who took on a Herculean task to save one of our diaspora’s most precious institutions, an Armenian school. With hard work and perseverance it is truly a success story for Orange County and we really have Mr. Chris Guldjian to thank.

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