LEXINGTON, Mass. — The family of the late Edward M. Juskalian has just announced the donation of $100,000 to the Armenian Sisters’ Academy of Lexington, where his granddaughter is currently a student.
Edward Juskalian was a second-generation American-Armenian, whose family immigrated from Kharpert in the late 1800s. He grew up in Medford, Mass., and along with his wife, Barbara, raised three children who were taught the Armenian culture and values, and given a strong sense of self and community.
When Juskalian’s grandparents arrived in the United States in the late 19th century, they too faced some of the discrimination many immigrants experience. The need to integrate quickly, learn the language and earn income became daily challenges. But Juskalian’s grandparents, Setrak and Satenig, were not unfamiliar with triumph over struggles.
These difficulties only strengthened the resolve of the Juskalians to succeed. Therefore, they worked hard to provide for their family and teach their growing family the values of commitment, perseverance and dedication to a goal.
After returning from his US Army stint in Korea, Juskalian joined his father, Mehran, in their heating business. Through hard work, the father and son earned a reputation for quality workmanship and attentive customer service.
Juskalian’s parents, Mehran and Queenie, also taught their son about the value of hard work and about the need to give back to the community. These lessons led Juskalian to the Armenian Sisters’ Academy through his son, Edward Juskalian Jr. and his granddaughter, Emma.
The elder Juskalian was delighted when his 4-year-old granddaughter spoke Armenian in full sentences and was singing Armenian songs he had heard as child. He was also impressed with the Armenian Sisters’ Academy and the dedication of the sisters and the teachers. He spent some time with the sisters, learning about the school and its teaching philosophies and methods.
He found loving, almost motherly care towards every single child and he felt like the school went beyond being a school to being a community. It offered something unique he had never seen before. He also recognized the magnitude of the sacrifices the sisters have made, and the vows they have taken for the teaching and advancement of the children. He felt a connection to the school, and discovered a hidden treasure in the Armenian Sisters’ Academy.
In his experience as a businessman, Juskalian was a “bottom line” man, and he was able to recognize a great value when he saw one — and he really saw one at this school. He saw a school with a very lean operation, and an administration that needed so little to deliver so much. There was not a lot of fanfare and frivolities, and certainly no waste.