Zarminé Boghosian receives St. Sahag-St. Mesrob Medal of Honor

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Co Chairs of HMADS Board_CoCHairs of Event with Honoree-1

OAKLAND GARDENS, N.Y. — On Friday, October 24, under the auspices of Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, the Holy Martyrs Armenian Day School (HMADS) Board hosted a tribute banquet at the North Hempstead Country Club honoring the remarkable career and years of service of Zarminé Boghosian, intellectual, educator, community leader and longstanding principal of HMADS. On this occasion, Boghosian was awarded the St. Sahag-St. Mesrob Medal of Honor and Encyclical bestowed by the order of Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.

Present were Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), Ambassador Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, permanent representative of the Republic of Armenia to the United Nations, members of the clergy, benefactors, school board members, colleagues, former educators at HMADS, past and present parents, alumni and friends. Among the family members were the honoree’s 91-year-old mother, Diramayr Zabell Kalayjian, and eldest brother Fr. Vertanes Kalayjian.

The evening commenced as a tribute to Boghosian, led by HMADS alumna (’88) Natalie Gabrelian, Mistress of Ceremonies. Rev. Abraham Malkhasyan, pastor of the Armenian Church of the Holy Martyrs, delivered the opening prayer, followed by remarks and a toast from Nurhan Adarian and Arek Nisanyan, co-chairs of the tribute banquet committee, Elizabeth Keusey, member of the HMADS board and education committee, and Dr. Herand Markarian, playwright, director, actor and community leader. The evening included the performance of a moving rendition of Cilicia performed by HMADS alumna (’87) Hooshere Bezdikian Kaligian, as well as other poignant musical selections dedicated to educators performed by Anahid Boghossian, the school’s music instructor. HMADS alumna (’89) Seta Tavitian Megherian narrated a slideshow exhibiting many of the milestones in Boghosian’s career and personal life. Additional speakers, including son Ara Boghosian, added their own personal anecdotes illustrating Boghosian’s contributions to the school and community, each representing one of the many aspects of her full career and life.

In appreciation of her virtues, a silver plate engraved in Armenian with the HMADS logo was presented to her by School Board co-chairs Arpi Candan and Edouard Garabedian. The tributes culminated in the presentation of the St. Sahag-St. Mesrob Medal of Honor and Encyclical bestowed by the order of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, and awarded by Archbishop Barsamian. The Encyclical was read by Malkhasyan, after which Boghosian offered words of thanks to all present. The evening concluded with heartfelt remarks and a closing prayer delivered by Kalayjian, pastor emeritus of St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church.

A native of Aleppo, Syria, Boghosian relocated to the US in 1978, with her husband Missak and two sons, Ara and Garen. She began her teaching career in 1965-66 at the Guertassiratz Elementary School of Aleppo, upon her graduation from the AGBU Lazar Najarian Calouste Gulbenkian High School. Once in the US, Boghosian furthered her education and received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and administration. She has taught at various institutions and served the Armenian community in various capacities, including as a guest speaker and program coordinator for the Armenian Radio Hour of New Jersey. She has also served as a member of various cultural committees and an MC for special events.

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Boghosian served as the principal of HMADS for 14 years, from 1987 through 2001 following the leadership of the late Sara Dadourian and Mae Kazanjian. After five years of semi-retirement, she was invited to return and continue her role as HMADS principal, a position she has held until this day.

What began as the small Hye-Bardez Nursery School in 1967 has developed into an award-winning elementary school in the New York area with Boghosian at the helm. As principal, she has encouraged learning outside the classroom through the participation of guest speakers, instituted Heritage Week and the HMADS Science Fair, which have continued on to become HMADS traditions, to name only a few.

While there is no way to condense the honoree’s entire career and years of service into a few hours, the tribute was a true testament to the significant impact Zarminé Boghosian has made to the Armenian community and to the development of HMADS into the institution that it has become today.

— Nyieri Nazarian Vosbikian (HMADS Class of ’89)

 

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