BY SAREEN KASPARIAN
It’s official: I’m now an eagle! If you’ve spent any time on Alexandria Street in Hollywood as a student, alumnus, or parent, you understand the profound significance of this declaration. For those who might not be acquainted with the emblematic eagle, allow me to introduce you to Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School, fondly known as the home of the Eagles.
I became a part of the Pilibos family late in my academic journey. It was just last year that I witnessed firsthand the vibrant spirit and dedication to academic excellence that defines Pilibos, as my brother joined as a freshman. In a matter of weeks, it became clear to me that Pilibos was where I truly belonged. Observing my brother’s remarkable growth both academically and socially, all within the embrace of a nurturing Armenian community, solidified my desire to be a part of this enriching environment as well.
On Thursday, August 17, 2023, the curtains rose on the inaugural day of the 2023-2024 academic year. A surge of school spirit reverberated throughout campus, from the vibrant courtyard to the echoing corridors of lockers, culminating in the grand opening ceremony within the gymnasium. The hue of blue enveloped us, adorning the brick walls with a serene sky-like tint. Blue banners, meticulously strewn across the campus, danced in the breeze, a testament to the unity that colors our shared journey. Emanating strength were the school’s core values, etched boldly: Excellence, Integrity, Heritage, Community, and Unity. Yet, this year, a new current coursed through Pilibos, as a fresh theme took center stage—purpose.
As we crossed the threshold into the gymnasium for the commencement ceremony, we were greeted by the resounding words, “The purpose of life is a life of purpose.”
With warmth and authority, Mrs. Maral Tavitian, the School Principal, welcomed her assembly of students, addressing the significance of this year’s thematic focal point. She was unequivocal in clarifying that the purpose she sought to instill transcended the confines of mere careers or goals. Rather, this purpose must propel us towards self-improvement and a greater sense of purpose. Continuing her address, she emphasized how this guiding purpose held even more weight in the present, urging us to raise our voices for our brothers and sisters in Artsakh. She inspired us to discover purpose in aiding others, pressing us to embrace even the tiniest gestures and to freely give love and joy to our loved ones.
The ceremony culminated in a truly heartwarming tradition: each senior took the hand of a first grader and led them out of the gymnasium, guiding them to their respective classrooms. I proudly held the delicate hand of my young student, his shy smile a reflection of the new bond we were forming. In that tender moment, an overwhelming feeling washed over me—I had found my place, my sanctuary amidst the Eagles’ nest.
Sareen Kasparian is currently a senior at Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian 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.