Teachers

unknownLara Maria Atachian

Teacher
Subject:  Art
Grade:  Kindergarten-8th

 

 

Joined Merdinian in 2017

I am an artist and art teacher. I taught for eight years and took a break from teaching when my daughter was born. At that point I went back to school to advance my career. I have taught in two prominent art studios in Los Angeles. One was Art Works in Hollywood and one was Mission Renaissance at a few locations. I also taught art for two after school programs, which gave me great experience in teaching in may different public schools across the Los Angeles area. I also gave private sessions to a few devoted students for a few years. I have curated one art exhibition and helped curate four other art exhibitions. My personal art has been in about a dozen shows across Los Angeles. I love art and I love to teach art.  I truly have a passion for teaching fine arts. I love watching the self-confidence in children blossom when they accomplish something that they thought was impossible. I try to give children tools to help them facilitate their creative side in a nurturing and positive atmosphere. In my opinion anyone care draw with a but of instruction.

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unknownTania Avakian

Teacher
Subject:  English, Social Studies, Math, Science, Religion
Grade:  4th Homeroom, 5th Religion

 

 

Joined Merdinian in 2017

I attended Cal. State L.A. for my Bachelor’s in Liberal Studies, minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. I also graduated with my Master’s Degree from University of Phoenix, located in Pasadena. In addition, I attended Laguna Tech College and received my certificate in Preschool Administration & Management.

This will be my eighth year of teaching Elementary, and every year I become more passionate and dedicated to my students; the love of teaching will never grow old!

“I want the students to say these things when they leave me: I am a worthwhile person; I deserve a place on this earth; I am successful; I am ready for whatever the world throws at me- today or tomorrow.” –Roberta Ford

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unknownKarinae Babakhani

Teacher
Subject:  English, Social Studies, Math, Science, Religion
Grade:  5th Homeroom, Kindergarten Religion
  • Bachelors of Arts, Sociology, UCSB
  • Masters in Education, Chapman University
  • Multiple Subject Teaching Credential

I believe each student is unique and speck in their own way bringing great enthusiasm and excitement to a classroom. As a teacher my job is to encourage a passion for learning and to provide an environment in which great levels of knowledge can be attained.

As Benjamin Franklin quoted: “Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve and I learn.”

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MaydaBMayda Baboomian

Teacher
Subject:  Armenian, Armenian History
Grades: 4th, 6th-8th

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AliceDAlice Derkevorkian

Teacher/Assistant Teacher
Subject:  Music
Grade:  Preschool-8th

 

 

 

Joined Merdinian in 2014

Pianist, accompanist, music teacher

Education:

  • Bachelors Degree 1997 La Chaux-de-Fonds Conservatory of music/Switzerland
  • Konzert Diplom 2000 Hochschule fur music Basel/Switzerland
  • Artist Diploma 2005 Glenn Gould school  of the Royal Conservatory of music Toronto/Canada

Work experience in education as Music Teacher:

  • Mkhitarist Fathers’ Armenian school, 2007-2011
  • Lark Music Society, 2007-2008
  • C & E Merdinian Armenian Evangelical School, 2014 until present

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lenaprofilepictureLena Ekmekjian

Religion Department Chair; Teacher
Subject:  Armenian, Armenian History, Religion
Grade:  K, 1st, 6th, 7th, & 8th

 

 

 

Joined Merdinian in 2012

  • BA in Christian Education (Major), Armenian Studies (Minor) & Teaching Credential, Haigazian University and Near East School of Theology (NEST), Beirut, Lebanon. 1995
  • Junior Youth Director, Armenian Evangelical Churches, Lebanon, 1995-1997
  • Teacher, Shamlian-Tatikian Armenian Evangelical Secondary School, Beirut, Lebanon, 1995-1997
  • Teacher, Armenian Evangelical Martyrs’ School, Kessab, Syria, 1997-2002
  • Certificate of Training, Haggai Institute for Christian Leadership, Dubai, UAE,  2007
  • California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential – Equivalency for credential outside of the United States, 2012
  • “Pokrig Serdigner” TV program presenter, International Christian Family Network (ICFN)
  • “Children, Let us Sing for Jesus” Audio-Visual DVD, Director (Christian & Patriotic group songs), 2009
  • Board of Directors (member at large), Armenian Evangelical Union of North America (AEUNA) since 2012

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AlisonHAllison Hammond

Math/Science Department Chair; Teacher
Subject:  Math, Science
Grade: 6th-8th

 

 

 

Joined Merdinian in 2015

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NinelINinel Iranosian

Teacher
Subject:  English, Social Studies, Math, Science, Religion
Grade:  2nd Homeroom; 1st Religion

 

 

 

Joined Merdinian in 2014


ZorikIZorik Isajane

Teacher
Subject:  Physical Education
Grade:  1st-8th

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FIspendjianAshkhenAshkhen Ispendjian

Teacher
Subject: Armenian as a Second Language
Grade:  3rd-8th

 

 

 

Joined Merdinian in 1983

  • Education/Language Teaching Methods, French Institute of Education, Beirut, 2 years
  • Oriental Studies, specializing in Armenian Language, Literature, and History, Saint Joseph University of Beirut, 4 years
  • Armenian Language Elementary Teacher, Aramian Armenian School, 1957-1965
  • Principal, Armenian Karaguezian School, 1970-1982
I have been a proud member of the Merdinian family for over 30 years.  I am the Armenian Language and History teacher, Mrs. Ashkhen Ispendjian, or better known as “Digin Ashkhen.”
I was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon form Armenian Genocide survivor parents.  They both believed in education and through hardship did everything possible to lead their children to become educators (4 out of 5).
During my last High School, I was told by my teacher-principal that I would become a teacher.  I was awarded a 4-year full scholarship for college education. And in return I had to teach in an Armenian school for 4 years.  Back then, I did not imagine I would teach for 50 years  and I never thought I would love my job.  But, I did.  It became my joy, my pride, my challenge in life, or more importantly my life.
I believe in what I do:
 -Give back all I have learned to my students
 -Teach Armenian kids their language
 -Make them proud of their ethnic identity and cultural heritage

FKassardjianSonaSona Kassardjian

English/Social Studies Department Chair, Teacher.
Subject:  English, Social Studies
Grade:  6th-8th

 

 

 

Joined Merdinian in 2004

  • BA in Liberal Studies and Single Subject Credentials, CSUN, 1998
  • MA in English Literature, CSUN, 2003
  • Elementary and Junior High School teacher, LILA, 1997-2001
  • I have lived in Los Angeles almost all my life. I am very fortunate to have a very loving family and supportive friends around me constantly. I believe the family unit is the most important and primary learning ground in a child.
I have always been interested in teaching and had the desire to become a teacher even as a child.

My love of literature, particularly the Enlightenment Age, is the reason why I chose to concentrate my Masters in English Literature. In addition, my passion for the modernization of parent-child relationships in 18th century led me to my masters’ thesis using Jane Austen’s novels. Jane Austen is the most venerated novelist of our time.

As unusual as it may sound, for me, teaching is inherent. People have always said that I have chosen one of the toughest fields. I believe this field is where I feel most productive and beneficial. It feels absolutely right, and it is absolutely right for me!

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FMeghroyanMargaritMargarit Meghroyan

Teacher
Subject:  Armenian, Armenian History
Grade:  2nd-5th

 

 

 

Joined Merdinian in 2007

  • MA in Philology, Yerevan State University, Armenia, 1979
  • 9 years of teaching in Armenia
  • Supervisor, Academy of Science of Republic of Armenia
  • Editor, TV station in Armenia
  • Friday and Saturday Armenian schools, 2000-present
  • Hovsepian Armenian School, 2002-2006
I was born in the capital of Armenia, Yerevan.  I got married in 1975 and have one son.  I still do not have grandchildren; hopefully God will provide us with that wish.  My family and I moved to America in 1995.  Since 2000 I have worked at several Armenian day and Saturday schools.

My love of children makes my job more worthwhile.  My approach to teaching is friendly and relaxed which makes my rapport with students, parents, and colleagues more agreeable.

A mistake is only a mistake if you don’t learn from it; if you do, it’s called “experience.”

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SossyNSossy Nakkashian

Assistant Teacher
Grade:  K-1st

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unknownNaira Nalbandyan

Teacher
Subject:  English, Social Studies, Math, Science
Grade:  2nd Yellow Homeroom

 

Joined Merdinian in 2017

My name is Naira Nalbandyan, I am the second grade teacher for the 2017-18 school year. This is my first year at C&E Merdinian Armenian Evangelical School. Giving back to my community has always been a top priority. Teaching has been and will always remain my true passion.

I have a Master’s Degree in Human Development and a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies. I have taught in the Los Angeles Unified School District for about 6 years before joining Merdinian. I have also been an advisor for a non-profit organization, Aspire program through LOS Angeles Universal Preschool.

I feel very lucky to be part of the Merdinian family. This is truly where I want to be! I am looking forward for an excellent year, full of achievements and satisfaction.

Outside of school I am a wife and mother of two beautiful little girls, a 4-year old who is a student at Merdinian pre-school and a 1-year old baby. I like to spend all my free time with my family.

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armineArmine Nalbantian

Teacher

Subject:  English, Social Studies, Math, Science, Religion
Grade:  3rd Homeroom

 

 

 

Joined Merdinian in 2013

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MariamPMariam Petrosyan

Assistant Teacher/ Teacher
Subject:  Armenian History
Grade:  Kindergarten-2nd

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FredrickFredrick Sayadian

Teacher
Subject:  Computer, Science
Grade:  K-8th

 

 

 

Joined Merdinian in 2012

  • BA in Sociology with Pre-Med studies, Queens College CUNY
  • Has taken MA courses in Education and Special Education from Touro College
  • Has taken courses on Basic, Visual Basic, and C from Queens College
  • A+ certified from Cisco Academy and has taken some courses on Cisco Networking Courses
  • 6th – 8th Computer Teacher, Frank Sansivari I.S. 73 School NYCDE, 2005-2007
  • 6th – 12th Computer Teacher, AGBU MDS, 2007-2012
  • 12th Grade Business Math Teacher, AGBU MDS, 2011-2012
  • Lego Robotics Coach, AGBU MDS, 2010-2012

My philosophy is to make sure our future alumni are prepared for the future by being independent, not to back down on any challenges and obstacles they might face in their lives, and to be the people that make positive changes in our community.

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AlineBSAline Shirajian

Teacher
Subject:  Kindergarten Yellow Homeroom, Armenian as a Second language
Grade:  Kindergarten Yellow, 1st-2nd

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FVirgiliAniAni Virgili

Teacher
Subject:  1st Homeroom, Resource
Grade:  1st Homeroom, 3rd-5th

 

 

 

Joined Merdinian in 1998

  • Bachelor’s in Psychology, CSUN, 1997
  • Certification of Clearance, 2000
  • Additional courses towards Masters Program in Education
  • Lead teacher in multiple subjects, kindergarten to 8th grade
I have always had a passion for helping children. Growing-up I knew that my future career would involve adolescents. In 1997, I graduated California State, Northridge with Bachelor’s in Psychology, in hopes to become a child psychologist.  After working as a teacher at an Armenian school, I knew that educating Armenian children was what God had intended for me.

My philosophy in teaching is to keep things simple. I believe in creating and maintaining an environment, which allows and encourages children to discover, solve problems, and think independently. I develop activities and games to teach children skills in a way that makes learning pleasurable.

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unknownNora Avakian

Assistant Teacher
Grade:  Preschool I Yellow

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BardakjianSuzySuzy Bardakjian

Teacher
Subject:  Armenian
Grade:   PreK II Red Homeroom

 

 

 

Joined Merdinian in 1983

  • AA with a focus in Child Development
  • Over 30 years of teaching experience
  • I emigrated from Lebanon to the United States in my teenage years. I am happily married and a mother of two Merdinian alumni. I also enjoy cooking, baking, needlework, and nature.

There are pre-schools everywhere, but Merdinian is unique—it is an Armenian Evangelical school. I love teaching chapel in the mornings and instilling Christian truths and values in the children.

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ArmineKArmine Kiramichyan

Teacher
Subject:  English
Grade:  PreK II Red Homeroom

 

 

 

Joined Merdinian in 2015

  • BA in Child Development
  • 8 years of teaching experience

It is a privilege to watch a child grow from a seed into a flower.  Every child is unique and therefore, it s the teacher’s duty to improvise the proper approach to help the child succeed.  I believe in providing a supportive learning environment that is safe, creative, and open so that the child learns the important aspects of developing and fostering positive relationships with others.

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MahseredjianSossieSossie Mahseredjian

Teacher
Grade:  PreK I Red

 

 

 

Joined Merdinian in 2000 as a parent (my two children are alumni of Merdinian) and in 2005 as a teacher

  • Participated in Child Education courses
  • Preschool teacher, Karassoun Manoug Armenian school, Beirut, Lebanon, 1988-1993

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ―Ralph Waldo Emerson

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SNalbandyanAghavniAghavni Nalbandyan

Assistant Teacher
Grade:  PreK I Red

 

 

 

Joined Merdinian in 2007

• AA, Los Angeles Valley College
• Volunteered at Victory Boulevard Elementary School, 3 years

I have been in the United States since 2003. My passion is to understand children and desire to make a difference led me into furthering my studies in child development.
“Education is a social process. Education is growth. Education is, not a preparation for life; education is life itself.” –John Dewey

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PetrosyanMarineMarine Petrosyan

Teacher
Subject:  Armenian
Grade:  PreK II Yellow

 

 

 

Joined Merdinian in 2006

  • AA Degree in Child Development
  • 7 years as teacher assistant, Ferrahian School

In 1986 I moved to Los Angeles from Armenia. I am married and have 2 children.  I like working with children; that is why I chose this career.

” If you do not have expectations, no one can disappoint you.”

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LusineSLusine Safaryan

Teacher
Subject:  English
Grade:  Teaches PreK II Yellow

  • BA in Liberal Studies, CSUN
  • Multiple Subject Credentials, CSUN
  • Merdinian School Parent

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ―Benjamin Franklin

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ―Dr. Seuss

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ArpiTArpi Tamamian

Teacher
Grade:  PreK I Yellow

 

 

 

Joined Merdinian In 2015

  • AA in child Development, Glendale Community College
  • BA in Human Services, University of Phoenix
  • Preschool teacher since 2006

“Children must be taught how to think not what to think.”  ―Margaret Mead

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