Teachers

Lara Maria Atachian

Teacher

Subject:  Art (1st -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 can draw with a bit of instruction.

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Karinae Babakhani

Teacher
Homeroom: 5th Grade
Subject:  English, Social Studies, Math, Science (5th Grade), Social Studies (6th Grade)
Joined Merdinian in 1998
  • Bachelors of Arts, Sociology, UCSB
  • Masters in Education, Chapman University
  • Multiple Subject Teaching Credential

I believe each student is unique and special 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 me and I learn.”

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Mayda Baboomian

Armenian Department Chair, and  Teacher

Homeroom: 7th Grade

Subject: Western  Armenian (5th-8th) Grades

Joined Merdinian in 2005 and 2016

  • BA in Armenian Studies at Hamazkayin Armenian Institute for Armenian studies  Beirut, Lebanon. 1979-1983
  • Teacher, Armenian at Armenian Evangelical Torossian School, Beirut, Lebanon, 1977-1986
  • Teacher, Armenian Mesrobian High School in Pico Rivera,1986-2004
  • Teacher, C & E Merdinian School, Sherman Oaks, 2005-2007
  • Teacher, Sahag-Mesrob Armenian Christian School, Pasadena, 2007-2016
  • 2016 joined Merdinian again

My dream of becoming a teacher began when I met my role model teacher, who inspired me to become a teacher like him. And as I graduated from high school my decision was made to enroll in college to study my favorite subject, Armenian Language and Literature.  This is where my journey began… 

During my teaching years,  my students have motivated me, taught me, molded me, embraced me, and have kept me going on for decades.  As much as I have taught them, they have taught me more.  I have grown immensely in my journey and continually do so.      

I aim to assist students to read, write, understand, and most importantly appreciate the aspects of the Armenian culture. 

I am a firm believer that good teachers never stop learning, never stop growing, and never stop searching for better ways to teach.  

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Carmen Bezerdjian

Teacher

Homeroom: 3rd Grade

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

Joined Merdinian in 2018

-Bachelor of Arts in teaching English Language and Literature.
-Single Subject Teaching Credential (UCSD)
-16 years of teaching experience in elementary, middle school, and high school.
I love spending time with children as they grow, learn, question, and discover the world around them. I am committed to ensuring each child feels successful and provides a safe and enthusiastic environment for their success.
“A teacher’s job is to take a bunch of live wires and see that they are well-grounded”

~D. Martin.

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Alice Derkevorkian

Teacher

Subject:  Music (1st – 8th Grades)

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 a Music Teacher:

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

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Lena Ekmekjian

Religion Department Chair, Character Building & Chapel Coordinator, and  Teacher
Subject: Western  Armenian (1st – 2nd Grades), Armenian History (5th Grade), and Religion (6th – 8th Grades)

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
  • Teacher, Armenian Evangelical College, Beirut, Lebanon, 1994
  • 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 songs), 2009
  • Board of Directors (member at large), Armenian Evangelical Union of North America (AEUNA) 2012-2016
  • Armenian Christian Heritage committee member, AEUNA since 2016

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Allison Hammond

Math/Science Department Chair; Teacher
Homeroom: 6th Grade
Subject:  Math (6th – 8th Grades), Science (6th – 7th Grades)
Joined Merdinian in 2015

Zorik Isajane

Athletic Director
Subject:  Physical Education (K -8th Grades)
Joined Merdinian in 2016

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Sona Kassardjian

English/Social Studies Department Chair, Teacher
Homeroom: 8th Grade
Subject:  English (6th -8th Grades), Social Studies (7th-8th Grades)

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 for 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 the 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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Margarit Meghroyan

Teacher
Subject:  Eastern Armenian (2nd- 5th Grades)

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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Naira Nalbandyan

Teacher

Homeroom: 2nd Grade

Subject:  English, Social Studies, Math, Science, Religion (2nd Grade)

Joined Merdinian in 2017

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, the 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 to an excellent year, full of achievements and satisfaction.

Outside of school, I am a wife and mother of two beautiful little girls who also attend Merdinian.  I like to spend all my free time with my family.

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Armine Nalbantian

Teacher
Homeroom: 4th
Subject:  English, Social Studies, Math, Science, Religion (4th and 5th Grades)

Joined Merdinian in 2013


Mariam Petrosyan

Teacher / Assistant Teacher

Subject:  Eastern Armenian (Kindergarten – 1st Grades), Armenian History (Kindergarten – 4th Grades), Religion (Kindergarten)

Joined Merdinian in 2013

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Fredrick Sayadian

Teacher
Subject:  Computer (Kindergarten – 8th Grades), Science (8th Grade)

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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Aline Shirajian

Teacher

Subject:  Western Armenian (3rd – 4th Grades and ASL), Armenian History (6th – 8th Grades)

Joined Merdinian in 1997

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Ani Virgili

Teacher
Homeroom: 1st Grade
Subject:  English, Social Studies, Math, Religion, and Science (1st Grade)

Joined Merdinian in 1998

  • Bachelor’s in Psychology, CSUN, 1997
  • Certification of Clearance, 2000
  • Additional courses towards the Master’s Program in Education
  • Lead teacher in multiple subjects for 1st 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 from 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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Sossie Mahseredjian

Teacher

Grade:  PreK I Red Homeroom

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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Mariana Manukyan

Assistant Teacher

Grade:  Preschool I

Joined Merdinian in 2019

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Marine Petrosyan

Teacher

Grade:  PreK II Homeroom

Joined Merdinian in 2006

  • AA Degree in Child Development
  • 7 years as a 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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Arpi Tamamian

Teacher

Grade:  PreK II Homeroom

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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Salpy Tejirian

Teacher

Grade:  PreK I Blue Homeroom

Joined Merdinian in 2018

I received my Certificate in Early Childhood Education from Mashdots College. I started at ABC School in 2016 and joined Merdinian in 2018 as one of the Preschool I teachers.

I chose this profession because I love children and want to make a difference in their lives as they start their educational journey.

I am a mother of twins, a daughter, and a son.  I love and enjoy spending my free time with them.

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