Teachers

Lara Maria Atachian

Teacher/Teacher Assistant

Subject:  Art

Grade:  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 care draw with a but of instruction.

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Tania 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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Karinae Babakhani

Teacher
Subject:  English, Social Studies, Math, Science, Religion
Grade:  5th Homeroom, K Religion
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 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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Mayda Baboomian

Armenian/Armenian History Department Chair; Teacher

Subject:  Armenian, Armenian History

Grades: 5th-8th

Joined Merdinian in 2005

 

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Carmen Bezerdjian

Teacher

Subject:  English, Social Studies, Math, Science, Religion

Grade:  3rd Yellow Homeroom

Joined Merdinian in 2018

 

-Bachelor of Arts in teaching English Language and Literature.
-Single Subject teaching Credential (UCSD)
-15 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 provide 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/Assistant Teacher

Subject:  Music

Grade:  PreK-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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Lena Ekmekjian

Religion Department Chair; Teacher
Subject:  Armenian, Armenian History, Religion
Grade:  K-2nd; 6th-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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Allison Hammond

Math/Science Department Chair; Teacher
Subject:  Math, Science
Grade: 6th-8th
Joined Merdinian in 2015

 

 


Zorik Isajane

Teacher
Subject:  Physical Education
Grade:  1st-8th
Joined Merdinian in 2016

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Sona Kassardjian

English/Social Studies Department Chair, Teacher
Subject:  English, Social Studies
Grade:  7th-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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Margarit Meghroyan

Teacher
Subject:  Armenian, Armenian History
Grade:  K-4th

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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Sossy Nakkashian

Assistant Teacher/Teacher

Subject:  PE

Grade:  K-2nd

Joined Merdinian in 2015

 

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Naira Nalbandyan

Teacher

Subject:  English, Social Studies, Math, Science, Religion

Grade:  2nd Homeroom; 1st & 2nd Religion

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, 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.  My older daughter is a student at Merdinian pre-school. I like to spend all my free time with my family.

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Armine Nalbantian

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

Joined Merdinian in 2013

 

 


Mariam Petrosyan

Assistant Teacher/ Teacher

Subject:  Armenian History

Grade:  K-2nd

Joined Merdinian in 2013

 

 

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Lusine Safaryan

Teacher

Subject:  English, Social Studies, Math, English, Science, Art

Grade:  Kindergarten Yellow Homeroom & Art, Kindergarten Red Science & Art

Joined Merdinian in 2016

  • 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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Fredrick 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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Aline Shirajian

Teacher

Subject:   Armenian, Armenian History, Armenian as a Second Language

Grade:  3rd-6th, 8th

Joined Merdinian in 1997

 

 

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Ani Virgili

Teacher
Subject:  English, Social Studies, Math, Science, 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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Nora Avakian

Assistant Teacher

Grade:  Preschool I

Joined Merdinian in 2016

 

I received my Certificate in Early Childhood Education from Mashdots College. I joined Merdinian as a parent in 2013 and proudly became a preschool teacher in 2016.

I have always had a passion working with kids and joining Merdinian has inspired me to receive my AA in Child Development. I’m a dedicated teacher because I believe the foundation for knowledge for every student starts in preschool.

Outside of school I’m a devoted mother of 2 and both of my kids happily attend Merdinian School. I love and enjoy spending my free time with my family.

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Suzy Bardakjian

Preschool Teacher

Grade:   PreK II Red Homeroom, PreK II Red & Blue Armenian

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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Armine Kiramichyan

Teacher

Grade:  PreK II Blue Homeroom; PreK II English

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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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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Marine Petrosyan

Teacher

Grade:  PreK II Yellow Homeroom, PreK II Yellow Armenian

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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Arpi Tamamian

Teacher

Grade:  PreK I Yellow 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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