By Salpi Asayan
LOS ANGELES — The TCA Arshag Dickranian School marked its 30th anniversary during the 2010- 2011 scholastic year with curricular and extracurricular activities. This milestone was also highlighted by the major steps teachers took to improve their instruction skills in order to provide students with a more conducive educational environment and to stay aligned with the school’s mission.
In the area of mathematics, middle and high school mathematics teacher, Vergine Harutunian, had great success in the improvement of students’ results in the Stanford Test Results, a nationwide test issued by the state of California. “Since my tenure at the school in 2009, the test results improved 8 percent in 2010 and 10 percent this year,” she said. “My goal is to improve this in the upcoming year by fostering a fun learning environment, motivating my students and helping them achieve higher educational standards.”
Harutunian holds a master’s degree in mathematics from Yerevan State University and has completed the Eisenhower Intensive Staff Development Program for Secondary Mathematics Teachers. She participates in the California Math Council-Southern Section Conference in Palm Springs every year and is a member of Golden Key Math and Science Honor Society and the Mathematical Association of America. She has served as a mathematics teacher at Yerevan Community College from 1977-1984 and at AGBU High School from 1989-2009. During her tenure at the university and AGBU, she implemented lesson plans for at least five classes annually in basic math, pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, algebra II, pre-calculus, math analysis and calculus. This experience has provided her with the ability to explain complicated mathematical concepts in an effective manner, engage students of different learning abilities and support struggling students in learning.
Second-grade students had a noteworthy experience in the past months as well, in which they took a field trip to the California Science Center, where students were able to tie their knowledge to actual experiments. “California Science Center is a great way to get students excited about science,” said second-grade homeroom teacher, Lusine Asatryan. “It allows them to move out of the classroom and experience the hands-on exhibits, from the shaking Earthquake Room to Tess, the 50-foot body simulator.”