Arshag Dickranian School Celebrates 30th Anniversary: More than $110,000 Raised at Benefit Gala Banquet


LOS ANGELES — The TCA Arshag Dickranian School (ADS) celebrated its 30th anniversary with a gala banquet on Saturday, April 2, at the Taglyan Cultural Center. The event was one of the series of affairs taking place throughout the school year in observance of the anniversary.

Traditionally being solely hosted by the PTO, this year the Banquet Committee integrated into including members of the Board of Trustees, past Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) chairpersons and several alumni.

At arrival, guests were greeted by the host committee, then moved to join the gathering at the lobby to rub shoulders with old and new acquaintances in attendance, amongst whom were benefactors, prominent officials, past and present parents, committee and faculty members, alumni, upper-grade students and friends. It was heartening to see the assemblage of 350 devotees gathered for the common purpose of paying tribute and offering their support to Arshag Dickranian School. At the end of the social hour, Fr. Manoug Markarian, archpriest of St. John Church, offered the invocation.

Houri Taglyan-Kourouyan was the emcee for the event. She introduced herself as a personification of the 30-year success story of the TCA Arshag Dickranian School. She was an alumna of the first graduating class, in 1990, went on to pursue higher education, married a former classmate, enrolled her child at the school and became a member of the PTO.

From left, Dr. Missak Kitchian and his son Nareg, Hmayak Baltayan

After sharing her thoughts about the merits of her alma mater, Kourouyan concluded her remarks by acknowledging the presence of several dignitaries, amongst them the banquet’s guest of honor, Hmayak Baltayan, Los Angeles City Council member Paul Krekorian and Grigor Hovhannisyan, the consul general of the Republic of Armenia, inviting the latter to the podium to present his congratulatory remarks.

Following the consul general’s remarks, the lights of the hall were dimmed for the video presentation of the blessings and congratulatory message of Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Armenian Church Western Diocese.

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Krekorian delivered the keynote address. Being the first Armenian-American ever elected to serve in the Los Angeles City Council, Krekorian commended the Arshag Dickranian School for its accomplishments throughout the past 30 years. “Armenian schools are the only bastions for preserving our language and heritage. Hence, their presence in our communities and the tremendous effort rendered to preserve their existence should not be taken for granted,” he said, adding that the only reason why he can’t express himself in his mother tongue today is because there were no Armenian schools in his time as a student.

Mr. and Mrs. George Mandossian

The entertainment portion of the program was provided by singer Gaguik Badalyan, who performed a range of Armenian songs, after which the lights were dimmed again for a 20- minute video show depicting the land acquisition, the ground breaking, the Opening Day and the 30-year journey of ADS, produced by Meher Kourouyan (Class of 1994).

Being her last year serving as chairperson of the PTO, Opheli Garibyan then presented her members with token gifts in appreciation for their devoted service to the school.

Principal Vartkes Kourouyan then took the podium to conduct the candle lighting ceremony with all those who donated $1,000 or more for the occasion. “The 30 candles on display depict the years the Arshag Dickranian School has served this community,” he said, calling the name of every donor to approach and light a candle. He then announced that aside from the candle-lighting ceremony, the school had received over $50,000 from various donors, including a $10,000 gift from Baltayan, a $10,000 donation from the TCA Board of Directors and a $5,000 gift from the TCA Pasadena-Glendale Chapter. He further added that the complete list of donations will be published soon.

The ceremony then continued with the raffle drawing and dancing into the midnight hours to disco music spun by DJ Chris Shahbazian.

For more information on the school, visit

LA City Council member Paul Krekorian, emcee Houri Taglyan-Kourouyan and Armenia’s Consul General Grigor Hohannisyan


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