GLENDALE—On Tuesday, March 24, the Board of Education of the Glendale Unified School District (GUSD) honored first place winners of a district-wide contest, sponsored by GUSD and the Committee for Armenian Students in Public Schools (CASPS). In mid-2014, the office of the Superintendent initiated a special project in commemoration of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, and invited CASPS to help design and plan the contest with the intent to provide students opportunities to learn about historical facts of the genocide, and to ponder moral issues surrounding all incidents of cruelty and inhumanity as well.
Thus, GUSD and CASPS organized a district-wide contest for all students in grades 4-12. Students could enter the contest in four categories: art, poetry, essay, and digital media. Different grade levels were given different themes to explore. Each school evaluated its contestants, selected its winners, and submitted their names and works to the Board of Education. CASPS and several members of the Board of Education then worked together on selecting first place winners in each grade level, and in each category. The process was conducted with guidelines and criteria that CASPS and GUSD had jointly and specifically designed for the Genocide Centennial contests. At the March 24, 2015 meeting, the Glendale Board of Education presented each student with a certificate, and CASPS Board members greeted and congratulated each of the winners.
Taline Hagopian — Keppel Elementary School
Tenny Alaverdian — Wilson Middle School
Danny Nguyen — Roosevelt Middle School
Aslik Sarkisian — Hoover High School
Hayk Gargaloyan — R.D. White Elementary
Alex Bzik — Wilson Middle School
Celine Ohanian — Hoover High School
Group Entry — R.D. White Elementary School
Dalar Aghakhanian, Tigran Megrosyan, Stephanie Voskanian, Alec Tatevosian, Nareh Agekian, Sarah Manookian, Sarkis Ovayan, Ellena Shahbandarian
Group Entry — Roosevelt Middle School
Haik Oganesyan, Zhorzhik Hovakimyan, Monte Sinanyan, Raffi Mirzakhanyan
Group Entry — Clark Magnet High School
Yongjae Kwon, Michael Johnson, Josh Windolph, Sabrina Scarborough
Yervand Matevosian — Verdugo Woodlands Elementary School
Lara Poghosyan — Muir Elementary School (honorable mention)
Christineh Antinian — Roosevelt Middle School
Maricela Ruiz — Glendale High School
Maneh Nazaryan — Crescenta Valley High School
CASPS thanks the GUSD Board of Education and Dr. Sheehan for initiating this important project, for teaching our youth about ongoing injustices perpetrated against humankind, and for promoting harmony through education. We also thank Dr. Sebastian Puccio for implementing this program with utter dedication and professionalism. We are equally grateful to Jackie Scott, for her involvement and for helping bring the contest to fruition. Last but not least, we thank the hundreds of students who participated, and all the teachers and parents who encouraged them throughout the process.
Following the awards ceremony, the Board of Education also passed a resolution titled “Remembering the Armenian Genocide and Reaffirming a Better World” designating April 2015 as Month of Commemoration of the Centennial Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.