Ari Guiragos Minassian School Unveils Expansion

March, 2019-

Ari Guiragos Minassian Armenian School’s administration hosted an expansion and dedication ceremony on March 17 marking the opening of recently renovated classrooms and administration office.

The ceremony began with a prayer by Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian and Reverend Father Karekin Bedourian, blessing the newly renovated spaces.

Following the prayer, Nora Marachelian, AGM’s School Board chairperson, delivered opening remarks, providing an overview of the needs leading to the expansion. She stated that given a waiting list of students for pre-kindergarten, as well as a wish to update facilities to support 21st century learning skills, efforts were undertaken to reconfigure existing spaces to add a pre-kindergarten classroom, completely redesign and upgrade a kindergarten classroom, and also update the entire administration area.

The ceremony continued with the school’s esteemed principal, Sanan Shirinian recognizing the importance of the power of community for the success of such a project. In particular, Ms. Shirinian emphasized the key role played by the Forty Martyrs Church pastor and board of trustees. She recognized the school’s librarian, Anahid (Anna) Der Parseghian, who, for her years of service and generours donations, will have the library named after her. Shirinian thanked the Meghrouni, Basmadjian and Shaverdian families for their generous donations. She also recognized the tireless efforts of volunteers Samantha Megrin and Jerry Poladian.

The Prelate made brief remarks, congratulating the Orange County community for their active involvement and continued support of the school throughout the years.

After the expansion and dedication ceremony, AGM Student Council members provided brief remarks to welcome the community to the school’s Open House.

Parents and community members then proceeded to visit the newly renovated spaces, as well as the campus’s classrooms and facilities. Students’ scholastic and artistic work were on display throughout the classes.

Ari Guiragos Minassian Armenian School is in its 33rd year of instruction, and continues to push forward its mission of empowering minds, celebrating culture and enriching character.

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AGM Celebrates at the 32nd Annual Banquet

On March 24, 2018, over 200 supporters of Ari Guiragos Minassian Armenian School came together in Gugasian Hall, to celebrate the school's accomplishments at the 32nd Annual Banquet.

Under the theme of Growing Together, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, attended and conveyed his congratulatory message. Forty Martyrs Church Parish Pastor Rev. Fr. Karekin Bedourian and Board of Trustees members, Board of Regents Chair Mrs. Lisa Gaboudian, School Board members, representatives of community organizations, parents, and sponsors were among the guests in attendance.

The program opened with remarks by Mr. Kevork Keshishian on behalf of the AGM School Board. Fr. Karekin delivered the invocation. Fourth grade student Arpi Aywazian and second grade student Kristina Tatarian presented songs and recitations.

In her remarks, Principal Shirinian emphasized how choosing Armenian school means so much more than just dropping off your child at the school gates.  "AGM is not just a school, it's a complete lifestyle", she said. "The heart pumps 2,000 gallons of blood to your body, 24 hours a day. It never rests, it’s the hardest working muscle we have. Like the human heart, AGM never rests. It’s a muscle that pumps life into our community,  because it has a unrelenting obligation to our people. Our school can never miss a beat, because its working hard to raise hundreds of children that will one day be the torchbearers of this lifestyle we love so much."

Principal Shirinian went on to convey her gratitude to Forty Martyrs Church Board of Trustees for their unwavering support.

Referencing the evening’s motto, “Growing Together,” His Eminence commended the community’s collective efforts which have led to the School’s continuous progress over the past thirty-two years. He stressed the importance of unity in our service to our parishes, schools, and our nation, stating that “in order to grow together we must work together, with harmony, goodwill, and honesty, with one mind, one accord, and one goal, the good of the collective.” He blessed the devoted servants who have dedicated their time and efforts to building churches and schools, blessed the memory of the founders who are no longer with us, and commended all those who continue to serve in their example for the flourishing of Ari Guiragos Minassian School, including the Principal, past and present board members, faculty, parents, alumni, benefactors and sponsors.

Growing Together. Ծաղկինք Միասին

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Career Series Takes Students to North Justice Center

December 11, 2017-
This year, AGM has adopted an experiential learning approach, which encourages students to learn through experiences, particularly outside of the school campus. Our 4th-6th grade students are participating in a Career Series, through which they visit different offices each month, to meet with professionals on site, take tours, engage in activities planned for them, and gain first-hand exposure to diverse career opportunities.
Our first trip, held in November, was to California State Assemblyman, Tom Daly's office in Anaheim. Assemblyman Daly, along with his District Director, gave our students insight about how a bill becomes a law in the CA State legislature. Students also went through the motions of passing a bill until it reaches the Governor's desk. They were given copies of the California Constitution, and learned what it might be like to one day become a politician.
Today, our upper elementary students visited the North Justice Center, where they had the opportunity to watch Judge Manssourian in action. They began the visit by witnessing real defendants and attorneys negotiating cases, and met the sheriff who explained his role in keeping the courtroom safe. Afterwards, Judge Manssourian dismissed the court and invited students back to his chambers to answer questions about the the justice system, and how to become a judge. The trip concluded with a full mock trial, where students entered their own courtroom and played the roles of judge, defense/prosecution attorneys, jurors, bailiff, clerk, and witnesses.

These first-hand experiences are important in helping expose our students to the world around them, and the many exciting career opportunities they can pursue.  In the upcoming months, students will also be visiting U.C. Irvine to hear about academia, the Apple Store to learn about a future in tech, and more!

 

 

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Church Commits $25,000 for Preschool Project

November 21, 2017-

The Forty Martyrs Armenian Apostolic Church Board of Trustees has committed a donation of $25,000 to fund a new project for the preschool division at Ari Guiragos Minassian Armenian School.

This generous donation will serve to launch our Outdoor Classroom Project, which will entail a renovation of the preschool yard. The project will offer students an optimal outdoor learning space, fully equipped with art stations, block stations, a garden, and many other elements of exploration.

"We are tremendously grateful to have such a supportive Church Board, who believes in the mission of AGM. We are thrilled to be building upon our already spectacular preschool program. The Outdoor Classroom Project will offer our kids a beautiful, diverse and stimulating outdoor learning environment, where they can play, learn and grow together!" said Principal Shirinian.

The renovations are set to be completed within the 2017-2018 school year.

 

 

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Mrs. Margo Baghjajian Honored for Decades of Service

November 12, 2017 - On Sunday evening, the Board of Regents of the Armenian Prelacy Schools honored  55  longtime Prelacy School employees, who have tirelessly served for over 25 years. Among those honored, was our very own Mrs. Margo Baghjajian, who has dedicated herself to AGM for 29 years.

His Eminence Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, alongside the Board of Regents Chair, Mrs. Lisa Gaboudian, presented Digin Margo with the award, as well as certificates of recognition from Congressman Schiff, and Assemblymember Nazarian.

For those of us who have known Digin Margo over the years, we know she is an indispensable part of the AGM Family. She's not only our receptionist and office manager, but also our nurse, our religion teacher, and our go-to for all things we might need. Digin Margo puts her heart and soul into her work, and AGM is blessed to have had her service for nearly 3 decades! 

A photo of Digin Margo with a few of our current 6th grade graduates!

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Another Successful Spooktacular at AGM

Our PTO has once again put on a memorable Halloween Spooktacular event for hundreds of our students and community members!
Attendees enjoyed trunk-or-treet, a rock climbing wall, a maze and giant slide, delicious burgers and drinks, and much more.

We loved seeing all our friends at family come together on campus to celebrate the season together!

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AGM joins National Elementary Honor Society

We are very excited to announce that Ari Guiragos Minassian Armenian School has been accepted as a member of the National Elementary Honor Society (NEHS).
Our participation in this organization means offering our students something much more than being on the honor roll. The National Honor Society is America's largest student recognition program for 4th-12th grade students.
Our 4th-6th graders will be eligible for membership consideration at the end of the first quarter if they meet the minimum requirements.
Conditions for selection, or what will qualify a student for candidacy are the following :
1- A minimum 3.5 GPA
2. High standards of honestly and reliability
3. A cooperative and supportive disposition
4. Courtesy, concern, and respect of others
5. Citizenship grade- "Excellent" marks on the report card.
6. No more than 2 tardies per quarter.
7. Minimum absences
Students who meet these minimum requirements after the first quarter report cards are released, will be asked to complete a candidate information form to tell us about their accomplishments in service, responsibility and leadership. These forms will be reviewed by the 4th-6th grade faculty and principal for final approval.
After reviewing all candidate applications, selected students will participate in a special induction ceremony.
We look forward to working with our students in support of academic excellence and high achievement, and lay the strong foundations for their future success.

 

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2017-2018 Student Council Elected

Our 2017-2018 Student Council Body is comprised of 4 executive seats.

Talar Keshishian (6th grade) - Chairperson
Lara Cinar (5th grade) - Vice Chairperson
Sevanna Sardarian (5th grade) - Secretary
Patil Tutunjian (6th grade) - Treasurer

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AGM Teachers Attend Training in France

August, 2017

The Armenian Communities Department of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation organized the first “Zarmanazan” summer camp from 17 July to 11 August 2017 in La Bourboule, France. This educational project is part of the Department’s Western Armenian revitalization program. Mrs. Ani Geloian & Ms. Talin Artinian, were 2 of the 15 teachers invited from around the world, to participate in this month-long training, to learn new and innovative language instruction methods.

Zarmanazan was composed of two complementary modules. First, it was a Western Armenian language immersion summer camp for children ages ten to fifteen. It created an innovative and playful world where the children lived and learned with the language intrinsically and continuously.  Secondly, it offered an academic course designed for Western Armenian teachers or teachers-in-training in the Diaspora.

40 children, 20 facilitators, 15 teachers and 6 lecturers from ten different countries participated in the camp.

The Zarmanazan camp was the core component of the “Teaching Western Armenian in Diaspora” teacher training course offered by Inalco. Innovative pedagogical approaches and best practices were introduced through seminars, readers’ and writers’ workshops, and, very importantly, through practical training with the children. Based on second language acquisition and critical thinking methodologies, the course will continue throughout the year with follow up assignments. Teachers also participated in a language immersion program that was completely new to them (Portuguese), thus experiencing language acquisition challenges both as teachers and as learners.

AGM is excited to have their staff returning from this rigorous professional development, and begin implementing new techniques in Armenian instruction.

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AGM First graders scored higher than 82% of students nationally on their STAR reading test

STAR reading is a computer-adaptive test pioneered by Renaissance Learning. It's taken 3-4 times a year to help teachers measure student growth, estimate their understanding of state standards, and predict students’ performance on the state test. The STAR reading test tracks development in five domains:

  • Word Knowledge and Skills
  • Comprehension Strategies and Constructing Meaning
  • Analyzing Literary Text
  • Understanding Author’s Craft
  • Analyzing Argument and Evaluating Text

We are so proud of our incredible 1st grade class for soaring beyond the standard!

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