BY SAREEN KASPARIAN
I saw it on Instagram first as I was casually scrolling through stories. I paused when three key words registered– Chamlian. Expansion. Property.
As a proud member of the Chamlian Armenian School Class of 2020, it brings me great pride and excitement to witness the growth and development of my cherished school. Chamlian holds a special place in my heart not only because it’s my alma mater, but also because it’s the same stomping grounds that my mom, aunt, uncle, and younger brother walked upon.
Every experience I had during my Chamlian years had two things in common: a beautiful backdrop and the presence of two important groups of people. The dedicated teachers and staff taught us how to read and write Armenian, celebrated Armenian culture and religion and masterfully covered all the core subjects– from the multiplication table to the rise of industrialism to the fundamental forces of nature. The second impactful group was my classmates, my trusted friends. Although the Class of 2020 separated into smaller groups as we enrolled in different high schools, our Chamlian bond remains strong and vibrant.
But for now, let’s concentrate on the backdrop, which is Chamlian’s beautiful campus. With blooming buds and decorated walls, the Chamlian facility is a perfect second home for its students. The campus includes buildings dating back to 1982 as well as new, modern buildings like the Baghdassarian Gym. Around every corner, you will see students in the process of learning, exploring, wondering, and growing in deep, meaningful ways. Every space is an adventure in the making– from classrooms and outdoor learning spaces to fields and stages to the award-winning Anita Torosian Literacy & Resource Center.
Although the existing campus affords Chamlian students many resources necessary to achieve academic excellence, the purchase of the new property, located across the current campus on Lowell Avenue will allow younger students to experience Chamlian even sooner with a state-of-the-art pre-school facility.
“Chamlian Armenian School is where a 21st century education meets and exceeds grade level expectations, where a dynamic faculty and staff are dedicated to preparing global citizens of high integrity, where a modern and proactive approach is utilized in preserving and promoting our Armenian heritage, and where academic excellence ensures a generation of students excel into an innovative future,” said Head of School, Chamlian, Dr. Talin Kargodorian.
So much has changed even in the few short years since my departure. The open field where I used to play basketball with my friends during lunch, and the tables where I used to talk to my friends during snack time, have now been expanded and remodeled to include soccer fields, playgrounds, and tennis courts. Reading about Chamlian’s expansion allowed me to pause and reflect as an alumnus. I began to think of ways I could be a part of Chamlian’s future growth and success.
To my generation (whether you’re a Chamlian alum or other school), here are some ways to stay connected:
- Join the Alumni Association- No matter what year you graduated, whether it was as early as the 1970s or as recent as the Class of 2022, you belong to the alumni circle.
- Follow your school on social media- Instagram is a great way to follow athletics, special events and educational milestones.
- Volunteer- Many schools offer opportunities for established and experienced alumni to mentor younger students. Other volunteer opportunities can include helping with fundraisers, events and extracurricular activities.
- Keep in Touch- Take charge of your graduating class by launching a special chat group or roster with current contact information. This will make it easier to reconnect years later and help your school organize alumni events by graduation year.
- Showcase your School Pride- Shine light on your school by upholding high ethical standards and demonstrate integrity in all of your personal and professional interactions.
“It is always the pride of the entire Armenian diaspora when an Armenian school utilizes the opportunity to expand and open their doors to serve an even wider array of students and families. With Academic Excellence, Integrity, Innovation, and Armenian Heritage as our guiding principles, we look forward to the future of Chamlian Armenian School with immense optimism as we continue grounded in tradition, yet growing into the future,” said Kargodorian. “We look forward to opening the new page of this exciting chapter at Chamlian.”
Sareen Kasparian is currently a junior at Crescenta Valley High School and a member of the Pasadena Nigol Touman chapter of the Armenian Youth Federation. Teachable Moments is a knowledge exchange, a column dedicated to sharing generational insight as we intertwine experience and reasoning with modern day problems and solutions.