Update from Merdinian’s Safe Reopening Taskforce

Dear Merdinian Family,

A few weeks ago, the Merdinian Board of Directors established the Safe Reopening Taskforce to study, analyze, and recommend the next steps for safely reopening Merdinian. The Taskforce is made up of members of the board and includes representatives from the administration and parents.

After several meetings and a review of the results of a survey that was sent out to parents, teachers, and prospective families, the Safe Reopening Taskforce recommended to the Merdinian Board of Directors to safely reopen the school in Fall 2020 academic year. The Taskforce also made the recommendation to cancel summer programs this year. We want to thank you for taking the time and participating in the survey. The feedback you provided was essential in our decision-making process.

While our current plan is to resume in-person instruction in August, this decision was made in consideration of the facts as we know them today and may evolve with changing public health orders and guidance that will be in place at the start of the school year.

In the coming weeks and months, the Taskforce will continue to research, strategize, and seek industry guidance to develop a detailed plan to reopen Merdinian by prioritizing the health and safety of the Merdinian community and its commitment to the student and teacher school experience, while appropriately mitigating the risks presented by COVID-19.

The Merdinian safe reopening plan will follow all Los Angeles County Department of Public Health guidelines to ensure the well being of our entire community.

Thank you for your support, patience, and commitment to Merdinian. We look forward to seeing you on campus in the Fall!

C&E Merdinian Armenian Evangelical School Board of Directors

Merdinian School at United Armenian Congregational Church, Los Angeles, Sunday, October 27, 2019.

Merdinian was UACC’s Mission of the Month for October.

Our dynamic Principal Lina Arslanian had a powerful presentation about the School and its mission — the only Armenian Evangelical School in the United States, established in 1982 by the Armenian Missionary Association of America, Armenian Evangelical Union of North America and UACC with the support of the other local Armenian Evangelical Churches. After the Principal’s presentation a short video was presented about the School followed by two recitations by Peter and Sarah who are members of UACC and current students of Merdinian School.

Thank you Rev. Ron and UACC for your continued support and for giving us this opportunity to present and share with all of you.

Watch the video of our presentation at UACC.

Our Athletic Director and Head Coach, Zorik Isajane Named Armenia’s U16 Boys Basketball Head Coach

On September 19, 2019, the Basketball Federation of Armenia announced Zorik Isajane as the new head coach of Armenia’s U16 boys basketball team to compete in FIBA Europe in July 2020. Since 2015, Isajane has served as the athletic director and head coach of the Merdinian Armenian Evangelical School in Sherman Oaks, California. Previously, he served in the same capacity at the Tekeyan Arshag Dickranian School in Hollywood.  He was the head coach of Raffi in Iran from 2007-2009. After relocating to Los Angeles from Tehran, Isajane was an assistant coach at Glendale College from 2011-2015.

Isajane competed throughout FIBA Asia as a member of the Iranian national basketball team and also played professional basketball in Iran. His playing career included leading Tehran to a silver medal in men’s basketball at the first Pan Armenian Games in Yerevan, Armenia in 1999. Isajane also served as the top assistant coach of the gold medal winning Los Angeles men’s (2011) and women’s (2015) basketball teams in the Pan Armenian Games.

Joining Isajane on the staff are Sevag Ketenjian of Lebanon and Sargis Stepanyan of Armenia. The team will be comprised of players from Armenia and the diaspora born in the year 2004 or later. FIBA Europe will announce the site of the upcoming tournament in Europe in the next few months.

Article from Mirror-Spectator

C&M Merdinian Armenian Evangelical School Opens its Doors for the 2019-20 Academic Year

By Louisa Janbazian

It’s another new School Year. Teachers, students, and parents, after a two-month break, have enthusiastically returned to their daily lives and challenges at Merdinian School. For the 38th year, by the grace of God, the School opened its doors to Armenian children and embraced them with the promise of a safe environment, where the students will grow up and develop in spirit and mind.

On Wednesday, August 21, 2019 at 8:00 am, Merdinian School welcomed 36 full time faculty members and 230 students, who were ready to start the new academic year with renewed energy, goals, and opportunities. As the “First Bell” rang, students, faculty, parents, and Board members gathered at the Aram and Anahis D. Boolghoorjian Hall for the Opening Ceremony of the current school year. The program started with National anthems led by music teacher Alice Der Kevorkian, followed by the recitation of Psalm 121 by three 6th grade students led by Religion Department Chair Lena Ekmekjian.

Rev. Serop Megerditchian, Merdinian School Board member and Senior Pastor of the Armenian Cilicia Evangelical Church of Pasadena, CA addressed the students, parents, and the teachers with the Bible verse “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52), and emphasized that “Merdinian’s students are called upon to develop and grow not only physically, but also in academics, education, wisdom as well as Christian and Armenian heritage. As such, when they successfully complete their schooling, they will be able to find favor from God and from men.”

Board Vice Chair Rita Meneshian addressed the students, faculty, and parents on behalf of the School Board, and thanked the parents for entrusting their children’s education to Merdinian School.

In her remarks, School Principal Lina Arslanian gladly announced the increase in student numbers and made a quick overview of the summer camp activities as well as current and new programs to be implemented in the coming school year, such as the revamping of the technology curriculum and the new Technology Lab equipped with new computers, 3D printers (which were gifts from departing 8th grade students), a Robotics table, and Chromebooks to be used by the 5th-8th grade students in their classrooms and at home.

After introducing the teaching staff and their responsibilities for the 2019-20 academic year, Mrs. Arslanian concluded her remarks and said “We continue to find new ways to live our mission, educate our students, and pursue excellence. Together we are transforming teaching and learning.”

The Opening Ceremony ended with the singing of the Lord’s Prayer “Hayr Mehr” and Benediction offered by Rev. Megerditchian.

The Merdinian Preschool held its Opening Ceremony on Monday, August 19, 2019. Mrs. Arslanian welcomed the students and expressed her enthusiasm over the expansion of the Preschool to accommodate 74 preschool students. She thanked the Preschool Director Marijan Kevorkian for her input and valuable leadership and wished the preschool faculty the best for a productive and successful year. Mrs. Kevorkian, in her turn, welcomed all parents assuring them that their children at Merdinian Preshool will enjoy loving care in a nurturing environment. The parents then visited the classrooms for an orientation session with their children’s teachers.

Established in 1982 by the Armenian Missionary Association of America and the Armenian Evangelical Union of North America, Merdinian School, located in Sherman Oaks, CA, is the only Armenian Evangelical School in the United States. The School offers a broad-based curriculum that fosters academic excellence, high moral values, and spiritual enrichment in the Armenian Evangelical tradition. Merdinian strives to create a safe and nurturing environment where every student receives personal attention to become a successful and responsible individual. For more information, you may contact the School directly at 818.907.8149.

Merdinian School Announces Expansion of Preschool

In an effort to address a long student waiting list, C & E Merdinian Armenian Evangelical School has expanded its preschool capacity once more, five years after the initial increase in 2014 from 36 to 57 students. We are pleased to announce that currently, the school will be able to accommodate 74 preschool students. A new classroom has been opened to accommodate the additional students.

Our preschool is licensed by the State of California to serve the needs of children ages 3 to 5 years. The objective of the preschool program is to provide an age and developmentally appropriate curriculum combined with Christian, Armenian, and American education to enhance the growth of the child as an individual. Creative activities are incorporated daily to teach children skills needed to move to the next developmental stage. Experimentation, exploration, and discovery are encouraged. Our experienced teachers help children learn in a caring, warm, loving, and nurturing environment.

God has blessed our efforts with a thriving Merdinian School and a highly qualified and dedicated faculty, staff, and Board of Directors. We pray for God’s continued blessings and our community’s ongoing full support.

Established in 1982, Merdinian is the only Armenian Evangelical School in the United States. The school offers a broad-based curriculum that fosters academic excellence, high moral values, and spiritual enrichment in the Armenian Evangelical tradition. Merdinian strives to create a safe and nurturing environment where every student receives personal attention to become a successful and responsible individual.

Article from Asbarez

Dr. Daniel and Juliette Abdulian Honored at Merdinian 37th Annual Banquet

By Joyce Abdulian

The joyous atmosphere at the Phoenicia Banquet Hall on Sunday evening, April 28, 2019  felt  like a family reunion within a Celebratory Banquet. The evening was planned by the Merdinian School Women’s Auxiliary, and Co-Chaired by Ani Hanessian and Louisa Janbazian. 

Louisa Janbazian welcomed the full house by quoting former AMAA Vice President, Peter Kougasian, Esq at the 30th Annual  Merdinian banquet, “Why Merdinian?  What is the purpose of a Christian, Armenian education in this increasingly secular world….? Without the kind of education children receive at Merdinian School, how will our children come to see, that Christian faith is not just tradition, or superstition, or ethics, …but rather that Christian faith is so important, that for its sake, their Armenian forebears went to their death. We are here today, because we want a School where young minds are at least exposed to the idea that right and wrong really are sacred commandments…

Women’s Auxiliary/Banquet Co-Chair Louisa Janbazian Welcomes the guests.

Master of Ceremonies, The Honorable Alice Altoon, created a warm and informative atmosphere as she moved the program along; also sharing the family connections she has with her first cousin, honoree Dr. Daniel Abdulian.

After the singing of the American and Armenian National Anthems by soloists Arpy Aintablian and Raffi Kerbabian, the opening prayer was given by Rev. Hendrik Shanazarian, Associate Pastor of the United Armenian Congregational Church of Los Angeles. Dr. Nazareth Darakjian, AMAA Board President, congratulated the honorees for their many years of dedication to the Merdinian School and AMAA—both having served for years on the AMAA Board.

A full table of Abdulian/Atikian cousins, which included the honoree’s children, Dr. John, Richard, and daughter Diana, were all present to honor their Uncle Daniel and Juliette. Everyone enjoyed greeting the many relatives and friends present, making an evening full of warm exchanges. Juliette’s daughter, Tamara Jabour, of Nashville, Tennessee, was pleased to be at the event. Mr. Aram Boulgourjian, first Principal of Merdinian, as well as many teachers and parents were in attendance.

The booklet message from Dr. John and Linda Kay Abdulian and family is worthy of quoting. “In love and honor of Dr. Daniel and Juliette Abdulian for their long devotion and stewardship to Christian education and the Merdinian School.  They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”  

Dedicated Principal, Lina Arslanian congratulated the honorees for their years of devotion to the School. She also shared a poignant account of her appreciation of Dr. Daniel as her personal physician.

Principal Lina Arslanian


Five year old Zoey Atachian, Merdinian Preschool student, brought down the house as she sang the Armenian song Menk Chenk Tzeker Sourp Kirkeh (We don’t leave the Bible) accompanied by her grandmother, Esther Assilian. Enjoying the limelight, she continued impromptu reciting a Bible verse she had learned in school. Vahe Snapyan, a dignified 8th grade student gave an eloquent, emotional recitation of Zarmanali Hye (Amazing Armenian) by Poet Gevorg Emin. Soloists, Soprano Arpy Aintablian and Tenor Raffi Kerbabian, presented a meaningful musical program of Armenian songs, the last of which was Dr. Daniel’s favorite, “How Great Though Art.”

Elizabeth Agbabian
Elizabeth Agbabian

Mrs. Elizabeth Agbabian introduced the honorees, depicting how experiences in their youth formed their life’s actions of dedication and service.  She gave an interesting history of the honorees’ family lives in Kessab and Aleppo. She shared her personal and family friendship with both, presenting their life-long love and commitment to the C&E Merdinian Armenian Evangelical School and the AMAA. She also shared how the brothers, Drs. Daniel, Jack, and Misak were a trio of healing hands in the community. 

Merdinian Board of Directors Chairman, Dr. Vahe Nalbandian, presented the honorees with a gift and Lifetime Achievement Award—thanking them for their years of generousity, dedication, and service to the School. The honorees graciously accepted the honor bestowed upon them—Dr. Daniel in his usual dignified manner. Juliette expressed her appreciation by personally thanking everyone involved with the planning and execution of the evening. It was evident how much the evening meant to both of them. Well Done Good and Faithful Servants. 

Women’s Auxiliary Co-Chairs Ani Hanessian and Louisa Janbazian presented a $20,000 check to Dr. Nalbandian as the Auxiliary’s contribution to the School for scholarships and operations.

Photo 2
Women’s Auxiliary/Banquet Co-Chairs Ani Hanessian and Louisa Janbazian with Board Chairman Dr. Vahe Nalbandian and Principal Lina Arslanian

Dr. Nalbandian introduced Mrs. Azniv Ghazanian, a long-time parent of three Merdinian students—who will miss the school, now that her children have moved on. She lovingly spoke of her years with the PTO (Parent-Teacher Organization) and the life-long friendships forged. She shared how the Merdinian outstanding education within a Christian environment was of foremost importance to her and her family. Perhaps grandchildren will bring her back.  

The “Kessab” element was very apparent. Rev. Serop Megerditchian, Senior Pastor of Armenian Cilicia Evangelical Church of Pasadena, shared how he is a cousin with the late Anush Abdulian. His closing comments and prayer came with a comment directed to Dr. Daniel in their own beloved Kessab dialect.

The devotion to Merdinian, not only by our honorees Dr. Daniel and Juliette Abdulian, but by the entire community, keeps the legacy of the School’s founders Charlotte and Elise Merdinian vital. These two sisters planted the seed for countless children to reap the benefits of their benevolence—and pass it forward.

Established in 1982, Merdinian is the only Armenian Evangelical School in the United States. The School offers a broad-based curriculum that fosters academic excellence, high moral values, and spiritual enrichment in the Armenian Evangelical tradition. The School strives to create a safe and nurturing environment where every student receives personal attention to become a successful and responsible individual.

Administrative Office of Merdinian School Dedicated to the Late Dr. Misak Abdulian

Family and friends attending the dedication of the Administrative Offices plaque in honor of Dr. Misak Abdulian.
Ընտանիքի անդամներ եւ բարեկամներ Մերտինեան Վարժարանի Վարչական Գրասենեակի Տօքթ. Միսաք Ապտուլեանի անունով անուանակոչութեան արարողութեան ընթացքին։

Hourig Abdulian with the plaque dedicated to her husband, Dr. Misak Abdulian. Հուրիկ Ապտուլեան, իր ամուսնոյն՝ Տօքթ. Միսաք Ապտուլեանի յիշատակին զետեղուած նշանատախտակին դիմաց։

By Joyce Abdulian

On a clear, crisp morning on Saturday, March 9, the family of Dr. Misak Abdulian, along with his wife Hourig and family members, gathered at the C&E Merdinian Armenian Evangelical School, to unveil a plaque that was placed in front of the Administrative office of the School in his memory. Other Abdulian family members and friends were there to join in the honor, as was School Principal Lina Arslanian.

Dr. Misak, along with his brothers, Dr. Jack, Dr. Daniel and Dr. Hrair, were founding members of the Merdinian School. Dr. Misak actually discovered the property on which the School was built, and spent his life in support of it—both financially and physically, serving on the Board for many years.

Rev. Hendrik Shanazarian, Pastor at the United Armenian Congregational Church of Los Angeles, led the group in prayer. School Board Chairman, Dr. Vahe Nalbandian shared pleasant memories of the honoree. Mr. Harold DeMirjian, Board member and life-long supporter of the School, also spoke. Mrs. Juliette Abdulian, School Board and Women’s Auxiliary member, shared her thoughts.

Son, Dr. Michael Abdulian, spoke of how his father’s upbringing in Kessab, Syria, in an Armenian Evangelical family, formed his lifelong love of education and service. Dr. Abdulian’s two granddaughters, Alene and Alexia, spoke lovingly of their “Bebo” and were proud to carry his name. A reception followed at the Faculty Lounge, where family members and friends continued to share their memories of Dr. Misak and his love towards the School.

Established in 1982, Merdinian is the only Armenian Evangelical School in the United States. The School offers a broad-based curriculum that fosters academic excellence, high moral values, and spiritual enrichment in the Armenian Evangelical tradition. The School strives to create a safe and nurturing environment where every student receives personal attention to become a successful and responsible individual.

Standing in front of the Administrative Offices Plaque—The family of Dr. Misak Abdulian L-R: Mr. Leif and Mrs. Mari Olsen, Hourig Abdulian, Alene and Alexia Abdulian, Drs. Silvia and Michael Abdulian. Տօքթ. Միսաք Ապտուլեան նշանատախտակին դիմաց կայնած ընտանիքի անդամներ – Լէֆ Եւ Մարի Օլսըն՝ Հուրիկ Ապտուլեան, Ալին եւ Ալէքսիա Ապտուլեան, Տօքթորներ Սիլվիա եւ Մայքըլ Ապտուլեան։

Մերտինեան Վարժարանի Վարչական Գրասենեակը
Կ՚անուանուի Տօքթ. Միսաք Ապտուլեանի Անունով


Շըրմըն Օգս, Քալիֆորնիա – Շաբաթ, Մարտ 9-ի առաւօտ, երջանկայիշատակ Տօքթ. Միսաք Ապտուլեանի ընտանիքը իր կնոջ՝ Հուրիկի եւ ընտանիքի անդամներուն հետ մէկտեղ հաւաքուեցան Շարլոթ եւ Էլիզ Մերտինեան Հայ Աւետարանական Վարժարանը՝ Վարչական Գրասենեակի պատին զետեղուած նշանատախտակի բացման արարողութեան՝ ի յիշատակ Տօքթ. Ապտուլեանի։ Ներկայ էին նաեւ Ապտուլեան ընտանիքի այլ անդամներ, բարեկամներ, Վարժարանի Հոգաբարձական Կազմի անդամներ, ինչպէս նաեւ դպրոցի տնօրէնուհի՝ Լինա Արսլանեան։

Տօքթ. Միսաքը, իր եղբայրներուն՝ Տօքթ. Ճէքի, Տօքթ. Դանիէլի եւ Տօքթ. Հրայրի հետ մէկտեղ եղած են Մերտինեան Վարժարանի հիմնադիրները։ Տօքթ. Միսաք գտած էր դպրոցի ներկայ տարածքը եւ երկար տարիներ ծառայած էր Վարժարանին՝ անոր նեցուկ կանգնելով նիւթապէս, ֆիզիքապէս եւ որպէս անդամ անոր Հոգաբարձական Կազմին։

Լոս Անճելոսի Հայ Միացեալ Աւետարանական Եկեղեցիի հովիւ՝ Վեր. Հենրիկ Շահնազարեան առաջնորդեց ներկաները աղօթքով։ Հոգաբարձական Կազմի Ատենապետ՝ Դոկտ. Վահէ Նալպանտեան պատմեց Տօքթ. Միսաքի կեանքէն հաճելի դրուագներ։ Խօսք առաւ նաեւ Հոգաբարձական Կազմի անդամ եւ դպրոցի երկար տարիներու նուիրեալ՝ Հէրըլտ Տէմիրճեան, յիշելով Տօքթ. Ապտուլեանի անսակարկ նուիրումը Վարժարանին։ Հոգաբարձական Կազմի, ինչպէս նաեւ Վարժարանի Տիկնանց Օժանդակ Մարմինի անդամ՝ Տիկին Ժուլիէթ Ապտուլեան անդրադարձաւ Տօքթ. Միսաքի թողած աւանդին։

Տօքթ. Միսաքի որդին՝ Տօքթ. Մայքըլ Ապտուլեան յիշեց իր հայրը, թէ ինչպէս ան հասակ առնելով եւ դաստիարակուելով Քէսապի Հայաբնակ գիւղին մէջ՝ Հայ Աւետարանական ընտանիքի յարկին տակ կերտած էր իր տարիներու սէրը եւ նուիրումը կրթութեան եւ ծառայութեան հանդէպ։ Տօքթ. Մայքըլի դուստրերը՝ Ալինը եւ Ալեքսիան, սիրով խօսեցան իրենց «Պէպո»յին մասին եւ թէ ինչպէս հպարտութեամբ կը կրեն իրենց մեծ հօր անունը։

Յետ բացման արարողութեան, հիւրասիրութիւն տեղի ունեցաւ ուսուցչակազմի սրահին մէջ, ուր ներկաները շարունակեցին իրար հետ կիսուիլ բարի յուշեր Տօքթ. Միսաքի կեանքէն՝ անդրադառնալով Դպրոցին հանդէպ ունեցած անոր սիրոյն եւ նուիրումին մասին։

Մերտինեանը հիմնադրուած է 1982-ին եւ միակ Հայ Աւետարանական Վարժարանն է Միացեալ Նահանգներուն մէջ։ Դպրոցը կ՚ընդգրկէ լայնածաւալ ծրագիր, որու նպատակն է ջամբել գերազանց կրթական ծրագիր, բարձր բարոյական արժէքներ եւ Հայ Քրիստոնէական դաստիարակութիւն։ Դպրոցը կը ձգտի ստեղծել անվտանգ եւ սնուցող միջավայր մը, ուր իւրաքանչիւր աշակերտ կը ստանայ անհատական ուշադրութիւն՝ դառնալու յաջող ու պատասխանատու անհատ։