St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School Unveils Expanded Building


WATERTOWN — St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School (SSAES) held a grand opening ceremony for its recently completed building project, located at 46 Elton Ave., on Sunday, October 14.

The event, which marked the completion of the largest building project supporting the Greater-Boston Armenian community in the last 20 years, provided an opportunity for the school board and administration to thank all the volunteers, partners and donors who gave their time and financial support to realize the project.

The newly-expanded nursery school building includes the addition of a new, 6,000-square-foot, two-story structure encompassing new classrooms, a learning center as well as indoor and outdoor recreation areas.

The project was funded solely by donations, which allowed the school to cover the cost of the project without the need to use its endowment fund or incur any debt. The primary donors, Noubar and Anna Afeyan, the Mirak Family, the Bilezikian Family and Aurelian and Anahid Mardiros, were all recognized with certificates of merit from the Prelacy of the Armenian Church of America. Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan,

Prelate, handed out the certificates. Noubar Afeyan, for whose family the new building is named and who has been a longstanding supporter of the school, took the opportunity to commend the achievements of the school and highlight the importance of supporting Armenian education in the diaspora.

The financial generosity of the community was coupled with the support of volunteers, including Ara Krafian, CEO of the design and engineering firm SMMA, who designed the new building and oversaw the abbreviated construction process. His father, Yervant Krafian, was one of the founding members of the school 28 years ago.

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As Houry Boyamian, the principal of SSAES, noted at the event, “The expansion of our facilities is a commendable accomplishment and a testament to what we can achieve when we come together with one purpose — but the real accomplishment is the learning that will take place inside the walls of this building, and for that I thank our teachers and students.”

She added, “During our fundraising efforts it became very clear to us that our community viewed St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School as a vital institution that not only provides an excellent education, but one that is essential in the preservation of our culture and heritage. We had a vision and you helped us make it a reality. This beautiful new addition, that you see, not only solved our space issue, but it also created new possibilities for our school. With it, we have been able to continue offering small class sizes, imperative for an effective learning experience, as well as introduce enhancements to our curriculum such as the Science Technology Engineering and Math program (STEM Initiative), launched this year that will arm our students with the tools they need to be successful in this technologically driven world.”

St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School was founded in 1984. It is the only Armenian day school to be fully accredited by the Association of Independent Schools in New England (AISNE), the accrediting body for independent elementary schools. AISNE has commended the school for “creating an environment where all the students love to read and appear committed to academic excellence” and for recruiting a dedicated staff. To learn more about SSAES, visit

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