LA CRESCENTA, Calif.,—Vahan and Anoush Chamlian School hosted the sixth annual inter-school recitation contest, on Saturday, March 16. The event was organized by the Board of Regents of Prelacy Schools under the auspices of Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian. Fr. Ghevont Kirazian was in attendance, delivering the invocation and conveying the prelate’s blessings.
Over 100 students from the following schools participated: Rose and Alex Pilibos, Mesrobian, Ferrahian, Marie Cabayan, Chamlian, Ari Guiragos Minassian, AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian, AGBU Vatche and Tamar Manoukian, Sahag-Mesrob, Armenian Sisters Academy, and ARS Saturday Schools.
Remarks were delivered by Board of Regents Chair Lisa Gaboudian, Armenian Sisters Academy teacher Linda Kandilian, Chamlian Vice-Principal Rita Kaprielian, and Board of Regents member Lena Kortoshian. This year’s jury members were Grigor Ogaryan, Takouhi Arzoumanian, Sayat Baboumian, Kevork Bedikian, Maral Varjabedian, and Mgo Panossian.
The recitations were presented in three parts; 4th and 5th grades, 6th – 8th grades, and 9th – 12th grades. Students eloquently presented the works of literary masters such as Taniel Varoujan, Siamanto, Hamasdegh, Aram Haigaz, Moushegh Ishkhan, Hovhannes Shiraz, Yeghishe Charents, and Avedik Isahagian.
All participants received certificates of commendation from the Board of Regents and Diaspora ministry and mementos from the Prelacy.
The awards ceremony was held at the Prelacy’s “Dikran and Zarouhie Der Ghazarian” Hall, on Thursday, April 11. The event was chaired by Prelate Moushegh Mardirossian. In attendance were members of the Board of Regents and judging panel, principals, teachers, the winnings students and their parents.
The program opened with a prayer, after which Board of Regents Lisa Gaboudian delivered welcoming remarks. She gave thanks for the large number of participants, and expressed appreciation to judging panel members Grigor Ogaryan, Takouhi Arzoumanian, Sayat Baboumian, Kevork Bedikian, Maral Varjabedian, and Mgo Panossian for their patience and diligence, as well as to Mihran Toumajan for his continued efforts from the very first year.
Board of Regents member, and Master of Ceremonies, Sarkis Ourfalian thereafter introduced the winners from each category and invited them to the stage to receive their awards, which included personalized plaques and mementos of the Catholicosate in Antelias and the Genocide monument in Bikfaya. Mementos were also presented to the judging panel. The first place winners each recited their winning poem.
Below is a list of this year’s winners:
In the elementary division:
Lorig Artinian, 1st place (Mesrobian)
Lily Haytayan, 2nd place (Marie Cabayan)
Emily Semerjian, 3rd place (Chamlian)
Arpi Aivazian, 4th place (Ari Guiragos Minassian)
In the junior high division:
Karni Balian, 1st place (Ferrahian)
Hrag Khacherian, 2nd place (Chamlian)
Andre Giragossian, 3rd place (Chamlian)
In the high school division:
Alik Artinian, 1st place (Mesrobian)
Ara Yacoubian, 2nd place (Pilibos)
Jbid Melkonian, 3rd place (Pilibos)
Shant Hovagimian, 4th place (AGBU Manoukian)
On behalf of the judging panel, Mgo Panossian congratulated the students, encouraged them to continue speaking and reciting in their mother tongue, and read them his latest poem— dedicated to Armenian youth. Mihran Toumajan also encouraged students to participate in the pan-Armenian poetry festival in Shushi over the summer.
In his closing message, the Prelate expressed his pride and joy at the students’ talents and wished for the number of participants to continue to grow each year. He blessed and commended the Board of Regents, judging panel, principals, and teachers. He especially thanked the parents for their sacrifice and devotion in instilling love and reverence for our language and heritage in the hearts of our youth, and wished for the public to be invited the following year to enjoy and applaud our students’ efforts.
The event was brought to an end with the Armenian National Anthem.