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Taniel Varoujan Armenian School Begins 51st School Year with Presentation by Author M. N. Mekaelian By Contributor on November 8, 2017 in Mid-West
M. N. Mekaelian (Photo courtesy of Mikhail Mekaelian) CHICAGO—The 2017-2018 academic year of the Taniel Varoujan Armenian School—its 51st—officially began on Sept. 9 with a parent/teacher meet-and-greet and a presentation by school principal Talin Artinian and members of the school’s board of education, who play vital roles in the functioning of the school. Moreover, this year, a special guest speaker, author M. N. Mekaelian—an alumnus of Taniel Varoujan Armenian School—gave a series of presentations on Sept. 16 about his recently published novel: Choose to Rise; The Victory Within. For the student body, it was an inspiration; and for the teachers and staff, it was a testament that their labor had borne fruit. “Our school is extremely grateful that M. N. Mekaelian returned to the school as a role model and mentor,” the school said in a statement. During his presentation, he mentioned that being raised in the Armenian family and culture is what motivated him to research and write his book. For over 50 years, the Taniel Varoujan Armenian School has played a major role in the Chicago community by educating Armenian-American children in Armenian history, grammar, reading, writing, and conversation, helping to preserve Armenian language and culture. Students are also exposed to Armenian art, culinary tradition, music, religion, and poetry. Moreover, the children are encouraged to build strong and meaningful relationships with their peers, which often blossom into lifelong friendships. School enrollment is currently at 108 students, with 15 teachers and alumni assistants. It has graduated more than 400 students. The school has functioned under the auspices of the Armenian National Educational Committee (ANEC) of the Eastern Prelacy and the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) since 1967. The school board consists of the following dedicated individuals: Chairperson Arpik Solakian, Vice Chairperson Sylva Jerikian, Treasurer Nairi Krikorian, Assistant Treasurer Raffi Gulumian, Registrar Vartkes Panossian, Recording Secretary Hrach Alexanian, and Corresponding Secretary Kelly Ipjian. The honorary principal of the school is Mrs. Arpy Killian. Locally, the ARS “Zabelle” Chapter and the Armenian All Saints Apostolic Church Board of Trustees sponsor and support the school to provide today’s students, and the students of coming generations, the best Armenian education possible. “The commitment of stellar teachers, staff, and administrations over the years has been the pillar of strength for Taniel Varoujan Armenian School. They respect the soul of the Armenian nation—its language, history, religion, and culture. It is their commitment that has guided the education of the school’s students, producing young adults who speak, read, and write Armenian with fluency,” the school statement concluded.