MV ‘Knights of Vartan’ Honor High School Graduates

MV ‘Knights of Vartan’ Honor High School Graduates

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass.—Class officers, athletes, honor students, musicians, and community volunteers.

This year’s crop of high school graduates in Merrimack Valley (MV) certainly made the Armenian community quite proud of its achievements throughout local schools.

As tradition has it, the Arakadz Lodge, Knights of Vartan, paid tribute to these fine students during a recognition night June 21 held at St. Gregory Armenian Church.

Arakadz Lodge, Merrimack Valley Knights of Vartan, honored its area high school graduates June 21 at St. Gregory Church, North Andover. (L-R) Rev. Fr. Stephan Baljian, lodge chaplain and pastor; Denis Hamboyan, commander; Charlie Sirmaian; Allie Sirmaian; Michelle Ryan; Rob Couyoumjian; Kristina Bebirian; Ben Balian; Charles Kochakian, master of ceremonies; and Tom Vartabedian, featured speaker. Missing from photo is Ani Minasian.

In all, seven graduates were singled out for exemplary service. Each was presented with an historic Armenian coin marking the Genocide Centennial, along with other tokens of appreciation.

A biographical sketch was presented on each honoree by Charles Kochakian prior to the presentation. Students were joined by their parents and families, laden with pride.

“Our students are the leaders of tomorrow,” said Denis Hamboyan, commander. “They have brought honor and esteem to our communities and we join in their attributes. It’s a tradition we have maintained down through the years and its impact has been marked. We commend them all as they climb the ladder of success.”

The students:

Alexandra Sirmaian: Salem (N.H.) High School; varsity field hockey; basketball; 2-year captain; member of Best Buddies, a club that did activities with disabled children; will attend University of New Hampshire; daughter of Stacy and Steven Sirmaian.

Michelle (Mouradjian) Ryan: Chelmsford High School; Student Government; National Honor Society; Thomas Jefferson Forum; soccer; will attend University of New Hampshire as a nursing major; daughter of Scott and Cheryl Ryan.

Ani Minasian: Andover High School; Interact Club; Recycling Club; Body Positive Club; cross country and track teams; will attend St. Anselm’s College after spending the summer as a counselor at Camp Haiastan; daughter of Greg and Carol Minasian.

Robert Couyoumjian: North Andover High School; varsity basketball and track; will attend Fordham University; son of Myles and Robin Couyoumjian.

Kristina Bebirian: Pelham (N.H.) High School; Yearbook staff; volunteer for various school events; will attend Rivier College as a public health major, hoping to make a difference with health conditions in various communities; daughter of Michael and Elaine Bebirian.

Benjamin Balian: Westford Academy; varsity soccer captain; Business Club; National Honor Society; youth basketball coach; Sunday School teacher; ACYOA chairman; camp counselor; son of John and Kristin Balian.

Charlie Rachel Sirmaian: Portsmouth, (N.H.) High School; concert choir; National Honor Society; Madrigal Singers; theater (4 shows a year for 4 years); will attend Emerson College as a business major, leaning toward creative enterprises; daughter of Ilysse and Kory Sirmaian.

Prayers were offered by Rev. Fr. Stephan Baljian, chaplain and pastor.

Other activities inculcated by the Arakadz Lodge over its six decades of service include: library and movie programs, teaching genocide in public schools, cultural programs, monthly dinners, along with a host of charitable endeavors both inside and outside the Armenian community.

Source: Armenian Weekly Mid-West