GLENDALE—The Committee for Armenian Students in Public Schools (CASPS) hosted its 14th annual reception honoring the 2010 outstanding graduating Armenian students from the Glendale Unified School District on June 25.
More than 180 students who earned a grade point average of 3.5 or greater were honored at the reception hosted at the Armenak Der Bedrossian Hall of St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church. Joining the honorees were their parents, teachers, school counselors and administrators as well as GUSD and community leadership.
CASPS Executive Director Arsineh H. Hovannisian opened the evening with her remarks and introduced the Master of Ceremonies, 2009 CASPS honoree Michael Badalyan
In his invocation, Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate of the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, commended the high achieving youth and encouraged them to always remember the community from which they came and to make use of their education to give back to the community.
Badalyan also invited CASPS board member Medea Kalognomos to present the CASPS message in Armenian.
Alexander Kazandjian, Emil Minas, Arthur Sarafian and David Vartanyan, the four honorees with the highest grade point average from each school represented addressed the crowd and 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.
In his keynote address, Kevin Welsh, longtime Hoover High School principal, recounted with much humor and insight his admiration for the Armenian nation and the many ways Armenians have made a positive impact on his life.
A special recognition was bestowed upon longtime CASPS board member Laura Atoian, who has served the organization with tireless and selfless devotion.
The evening’s ceremonies were concluded with congratulatory remarks by GUSD Superintendent Dr. Michael Escalante and the presentation of monetary awards and certificates. Honorees from each school received certificates from CASPS, U.S. Representative Adam Schiff, and State Senator Carol Liu. The four honorees with the highest grade point average received a $500 award sponsored by the Armenian Educational Foundation and the Melanie Ookthens Memorial Fund. AEF representatives Mr. Razmig Hovanessian and Mr. Varoujan Keosseian personally handed the checks to the students. CASPS thanked the Ookthens family and the Armenian Educational Foundation for their generous donations.
As explained in opening remarks, this event provides a unique and refreshing opportunity to celebrate the positive aspects of our community.
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 4000 children and parents across ethnic groups in the Glendale and Los Angeles Unified School Districts.