LITTLE ARMENIA—The first day of school is probably one of the most exciting days in any student’s life. Students cannot wait to return to school after a long summer; new students are excited and nervous about starting a new year in new surroundings; and the promises and potential of what the new year will have in store are infinite. These feelings of excitement were not only present at Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School, but very tangible across the campus. On Monday, August 20, 2012, students, parents, faculty and staff arrived to school with all the hopes and expectations the first day of school brings. They returned back to Pilibos, their home away from home, and immediately felt the changes and updates throughout the school.
The campus was cleaned and painted over the summer, including power washing of the concrete floors; new banners hung on the School walls; new colors adorned the front gates and across campus; addition of new SMARTBoards and projectors; each classroom received a new computer; the addition of new offices in the Student Services Center; old lockers were removed; new flooring in the hallways and some classrooms; new ceiling tiles, and so much more. But all of these changes were merely an example of the overall message of the 2012-2013 school year, the message of Excellence; the idea that good enough is never enough and there is always room to improve and make changes.
The day started off with Archpriest, Vicken Vassilian, leading everyone in a prayer offering his blessings for a productive and exemplary new school year and reciting the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate of the Western Prelacy. Student council president, Armen Safarian, followed the prayer and led the students in their American and Armenian pledges. Tamar Tufenkdjian then spoke about one of the important themes for this year, the 500 years of Armenian printing and the influence of these books on us as an Armenian race over the centuries. Her words were both poignant and encouraging to students, asking them to find and express their own voice. Maggie Sarkuni, co-chairman of the Board of Regents and Charles Loussararian also addressed everyone wishing them a successful school year and encouraging them to keep on track with their studies.
Principal Dr. Alina Dorian concluded the day with her address to the students, parents, and faculty. Her words as always were meaningful and to the point. Spirit. Pride. Progress. Impact. Excellence! These were the words she spoke of, the message she conveyed to all: The idea that every student, whether in Kindergarten or High School has the opportunity to be excellent every day at Pilibos, in their own way. She wanted to engrain this attitude into each students thinking. Sure enough by the end of the first school day, each student walked around campus with an elevated sense of pride and wanting to do their absolute best. A group of students approached the Principal and said, “Dr. Dorian we wanted to let you know that we decided that this year is our year! This is the year that we are going to be Excellent!”