Dear Titans and Parents,
Welcome to the 44th academic year at AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School! On behalf of our faculty and staff, we hope you had a relaxing, reflective, and rejuvenating summer. A few months ago, I had the honor of joining colleagues and members of the Classes of 2020 and 2021 in our annual trip to Armenia. There we met with Prime Minister Pashinyan, visited numerous ancient sites, and most importantly, we gave back. Our students continue to exemplify the power of service, putting others above themselves through internships and fundraisers that create impact and change. Such actions not only transform the lives of beneficiaries; more so, they elevate those who give so much to a place that can seem so distant.
When we first opened our doors in 1976, Armenia was a hard knock Soviet outpost. Today, it is a beacon of democratic, peaceful social transformation. Through it all, the global AGBU family has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Armenia and the values that have animated its intellectual, spiritual, and cultural evolution. AGBU continues to deepen its engagement and leadership in the “new Armenia” and across the diaspora. We encourage all of our community members to learn more about AGBU’s robust portfolio of programs, including internship opportunities around the world.
Back on our lush Canoga Park campus, we continued to offer dynamic programming to keep our youth engaged as temperatures climbed in the valley. Ms. Smith’s legendary summer reading club strengthened our youth’s love for reading. Meanwhile, Coach Alec ran a successful technology camp, improving student capacity to navigate the hardwares and softwares ubiquitous in the tech age. The Preschool Faculty offered a five-week summer fun-filled camp for our tiniest Titans and Coach Suren and his team of counselors gave our elementary students a summer filled with sports activities. Our coaches concurrently trained high school athletes for the forthcoming athletic seasons. At AGBU MDS, the Titan credo emphasizes discipline and teamwork. We have seen this not just on the fields of competition, but also in our halls and across our community. We also had another wonderful summer dance intensive for our middle and high school students taught by Mrs. Robson and Ms. Miller. The 2019-2020 school year marks the 10th anniversary of our DHS Dance Department. We are so excited for their annual show in March, which will feature some of our favorite dances from the past 10 years. The essence of art is expressing oneself and we immensely value our VPA department because the key to creativity is to find the kind of art education that will help foster young minds in innovative ways.
Thanks to a remarkable campus-wide cohesion, we came together to write, edit, compile, and submit our report for accreditation to the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), a leading academic body that monitors and evaluates academic institutions to ensure they meet the highest of quality standards. WASC officials visited campus, reviewed our report, and approved our school for another six-year accreditation valid until 2025. This milestone not only reflects the caliber of excellence we maintain, but also the spirit of teamwork that made it possible to generate such a thorough report that saw contributions from alumni, parents, board members, faculty, students, coaches, administrators, and extended community members. Our WASC report contains a strategic plan for the next five years, offering enhanced programming and opportunities that will usher AGBU MDS towards new heights. The strategic plan will serve as a roadmap for our institutional growth.
At AGBU MDS, we are the intersection of something special -- the meeting point of history and innovation, academic rigor and social cohesion, individual integrity and community consciousness, and pride for our diversity as Armenians in America. With each passing year, our students continue to realize their dreams, our educators grow as professionals, our families inspire programming on campus, and our community reaches new heights.
As we settle into the new school year, please be mindful of a variety of resources. Our website is a hub for academic, extracurricular, and community information along with links to our various social media platforms. Please explore (hint: one good place to start is our 2019-2020 academic calendar)! Next, in the name of improved safety best practices, we are continually refining our emergency drills (earthquake, fire, lockdown) to create opportunities for staff and students on campus to have more confidence in their preparedness and responses. A summary can be seen on our website’s Safety & Security page. We encourage all parents to attend parent-teacher conferences, back to school night, and many other school events, as they are a great way for us to continue working together and maintain a positive, healthy relationship. Announcements with dates and times for these gatherings will be emailed to you and posted to our website. What’s more, professional development remains a critical priority for supporting our talented and gifted faculty in refining and growing their skills during the summer and throughout the school year.
Please remember to check your email inboxes and our website for academic, event, and extracurricular announcements. Also, please don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and Facebook @agbumds for a daily look into life on campus. And if you ever have any questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me in our Main Office by telephone at 818-883-2428 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May the next chapter in the story of AGBU MDS we collectively scribe be rich with imagination, innovation, and excellence.
Welcome back, and welcome home!