WATERTOWN — On March 31, the President of the Republic of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan and his delegation visited St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School. The officials accompanying the President were, Vigen Sargsyan, Chief of Staff, Hranoush Hakobyan, Minister of Diaspora, Levon Mkrtchyan, Minister of Education and Science, Grigor Hovhannissian, Ambassador to the United States, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Ambassador to the United Nations, and Consul General, Sergey Sarkisov. The president was accompanied also by the Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy, Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan and by the Primate of the Eastern Diocese, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian.
The president and his delegation received a warm welcome by the school administration, board of directors and student body, as well as, by St. Stephen’s Armenian Church’s pastor, Antranig Baljian and members of the board of trustees. Two students greeted the president with the traditional bread and salt, wearing Armenian national costumes. The rest of the students with the Armenian flag in hand, sang the Armenian National Anthem.
In her welcoming remarks Principal Houry Boyamian, gave some information about the school, explaining that some of the students come from a dozen nearby towns. In other cases, parents drive long distances to provide Armenian education to their children. She also, explained that in the Greater Boston Area, where there are the best public and private schools of the nation, St. Stephen’s always maintains high educational standards to encourage parents to send their children to Armenian school. She stated that in addition to providing a quality education, the school passes onto the new generation the Armenian language, culture, history, and instills a sense of identity and love for the Motherland. For this reason, every year, in May, the school organizes the Graduating Class Trip to Armenia.
Then, the president and his delegation had the opportunity to meet with each grade. First, they enjoyed listening two songs, dedicated to Armenia, sang by the preschoolers. Then they visited all of the classrooms and interacted with the students.
Before leaving, the President presented a magnificent khatchkar to the principal, as a gift to the school, while Hakobyan presented books and resource materials from the Ministry of Diaspora.