St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School holds 2017 Graduation Ceremonies


WATERTOWN — In June, St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School (SSAES) completed its 33rd academic year. The Graduation Ceremonies were held on June 15 for the Kindergarten and preschool students, and June 16 for the elementary classes.

Principal Houry Boyamian spoke about St. Stephens’ 14th annual graduating class trip to Armenia, the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Week and the Science Fair hosted by the school this year. She thanked the faculty, the administrative staff, the PTO, the parent volunteers, the school board and committees, the St. Stephen’s Church board of trustees, and Rev. Fr. Archpriest Antranig Baljian for their contribution to the advancement of the school.

The Kindergarten class graduation was held on June 15 and the graduates were Siran Arakelian, Aiki Arzoumanian, Vatche Balikian, Lila Degermenci, Olivia Dimopoulos, Lori Garabedian, Leanna Iskenderian, Garen Keledjian, Josephine Keumurian, Eva Khalarian, Arda Mahserejian, Fiona Manguikian, Sarina McCarthy, Aline Mikaelian, Arame Minassian, Christian Salibian, Lukas Stamatakis, Anthony Papazian and Gizelle Tarabelsi.

Svetlana Vehapetian was honored with the golden logo of St. Stephen’s for her 15 years of service as a preschool teacher.

During the elementary class graduation on June 16, Lili Barsoumian was awarded Ambassador of Armenia (from the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia) for her 32 years as music teacher at St. Stephens. The fifth-grade graduates were Maral Abrahamian, Serena Antoine, Alina Chaparian, George Chapian, Krikor Iskenderian, Michelle Joubanian, Sarah Joubanian, Antrias Kahvejian, Naera Margios, Talar Markarian, Zepure Merdinian, Andre Monteiro, Aren Panian, Sienna Soghomonian, Bianca Tamburrini, and Gregory Tinkjian.

Awards were handed out to the students in the fifth-grade class. For excellence in Armenian studies, the Prelacy Award was presented to Maral Abrahamian, Krikor Iskenderian, Michelle Joubanian, Antrias Kahvejian, Talar Markarian, Zepure Merdinian, Bianca Tamburrini and Gregory Tinkjian. Alina Chaparian and Sarah Joubanian received the Armenian Relief Society Award. The Certificate of Recognition for Excellence in Armenian History was awarded to Aren Panian. The Certificate of Recognition for Interest in Armenian Studies was given to Serena Antoine, George Chapian, Sienna Soghomonian, Naera Margios, and Andre Monteiro.

The Presidential Award for Educational Excellence, which recognizes the academic success of students who have excelled in their studies and earned high scores in the Standardized Tests, was awarded to Krikor Iskenderian, Antrias Kahvejian, Gregory Tinkjian and Bianca Tamburrini. The Presidential Award for Academic Achievement, which rewards students who work hard and give their best effort in school, was given to Talar Markarian, Maral Abrahamian, and Michelle Joubanian.

The American Citizenship Award, which recognizes students who show a positive attitude toward classmates, the school, and community, and display an understanding and appreciation of civic responsibility, possess strength of character and the courage to do what is right, was presented to George Chapian.

Certificates of Graduation were bestowed to the fifth-grade students. Alina Chaprian and Zepure Mrdinian received Excellence in Language Arts, Excellence in Social Studies was presented to Aren Panian, Creativity was given to Sarah Joubanian and Andre Monteiro, Naera Margios was awarded Excellence in Science, Excellence in Engineering was given to Sienna Soghomonian, and Serena Antoine received Excellence in Math.

Scholarships were also distributed at the ceremonies. The Nishan and Arshalouys Najarian Scholarship Fund for Music and Art granted 200 dollars each to fourth graders Natalie Tenekedzhyan and Sarine Nigoghosian for art and Gagik Minasyan and Haig Guzelian for music. The Anahid Kazazian Scholarship for Excellence in Armenian Studies offered $100 each to fourth grader John Diran Gengozian and third grader Vartan Arakelian.

Results of the ARS Essay Contest were shared during the ceremonies. In the fourth grade class, first place went to Taleen Haleblian and second place went to Gagik Minasyan. In the fifth-grade class, first place went to Zepure Merdinian, second place to Serena Antoine, and 3rd Place went to Krikor Iskenderian.

In both ceremonies, Archpriest Antranig Baljian expressed his appreciation to the administration and faculty for their dedication and effort.