Fr. Sarkis Petoyan, seated, speaking at ceremony

Sera Aintablian Remembered at Hovsepian School


PASADENA, Calif. — Since Friday, January 20th would have marked St. Gregory A. & M. Hovsepian School alumna, Sera Aintablian’s 21st birthday, students, faculty, and Sera’s immediate family and friends gathered in the hallway of legacy to remember her bright spirit by dedicating an element on the school’s commemorative periodic table. Aintablian, then a student at the University of California, Los Angeles, died in a horrific car crash last March.

Plaque dedicated to Sera Aintablian

Fr. Sarkis Petoyan, the parish priest of St. Gregory the Illuminator Church, reminded the school community of Sera’s dedication to her faith. He read and elaborated on the departed scholar’s very own words engraved on her plaque: “Jesus did say that His followers should be the light of this world. Troubles and drawbacks have tested many of our faith; however, I have learned to entrust all my difficulties to God and to believe firmly in His power. He has better in store for all of us if we continuously follow His word. I’ve learned to live a Godly life, to LOVE everyone. Though I am IN the world, I have decided not to be OF the world.” Fr. Sarkis spoke directly to the middle school students and emphasized the importance of being the light. He reminded them to carry Sera’s spiritual torch.

Shahé Mankerian, the principal of Hovsepian School, reminisced the days when Sera was a student in middle school. He remembered her ever-present smile, even during hardships. He also directed everyone’s attention to the element Strontium (Sr), the actual element dedicated to Sera on the periodic table. “Strontium salts provide the red spark in fireworks,” said the principal. “The symbolism is clear. Sera was the brightest spark in the lives of the people who knew and loved her.”

Jenny Aintablian, mother, standing next to plaque

Jenny Aintablian, Sera’s mother, thanked the school community for supporting her during difficult times and expressed her gratitude for remembering Sera on her 21st birthday. She also gifted each student a bookmark with Sera’s photos and the quote from the element plaque. Finally, students and faculty celebrated Sera’s fruitful life with a luncheon.

In February, the Aintablian family will bestow two scholarships to two Hovsepian School students who embody similar spiritual, academic, and cultural attributes as Sera. Additionally, in March, students and faculty will plant a pomegranate tree in our school’s garden to immortalize Sera’s legacy at Hovsepian School.

The Hovsepian School administration and Aintablian family would like to thank all those who donated heartfelt contributions to keep Sera’s legacy alive at the Hovsepian School. The school community truly came together to make the luncheon, the plaque, and the pomegranate tree possible.

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