Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America
138 East 39th Street
New York, NY 10016
Tel: 212-689-7810
Fax: 212-689-7168
e-mail: [email protected]
Contact: Iris Papazian

December 3, 2004

by Gilda B. Kupelian

"Thank you for being here," said one of the teachers in attendance at the
New England Educators' Seminar sponsored by the Armenian National Education
Committee (ANEC) in Providence, Rhode Island. "We sense that we are doing
something at least," she said.

"You are doing more than some thing, you are teaching the language of our
cultural heritage, you are forming Armenian identity and instilling pride in
the legacy entrusted to us. And that, my dear Armenian teacher, is no small
feat," was the validating response she deservedly received.

Hosted by the Mourad School, the ANEC Seminar attracted over thirty
educators from the New England area. Four experienced principals and two
members of the Armenian Relief Society joined the dedicated Armenian
teachers in this educational forum.

Noteworthy and most inspiring was the presence of the young teachers and the
assistant teachers who are Mourad School alumni: Alice Donabedian, Lucine
Kozinian, Siran Krikorian, Raffi Rachdouni, Natalia Sadaniantz and Armine

Following the opening prayer by Rev. Father Gomidas Baghsarian, pastor of
the Sts. Vartanantz Church in Providence, a summary of the pan-Diaspora
conferences recently organized by the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia in
Lebanon and the one organized by the Ministry of Education and Culture in
Dzaghgatsor, Armenia were presented by ANEC Executive Director, Gilda B.
Kupelian. This was an opportunity to learn about the challenges facing the
international Armenian communities of the Diaspora and to be apprised of
what the leadership policy and vision are in terms of Armenian education. Ms
Kupelian entertained questions and delivered her subsequent lecture on
teaching approaches for the non-Armenian speaker. The presentation included
a profile of the target students, scope and sequence and workable

An audio-visual presentation of new teaching resources brought from Lebanon,
Armenia and overseas concluded that segment of the agenda.

Nayiri Balanian, the ANEC chairperson, gave a lively presentation on
teaching Armenian language and culture, with well-prepared demonstrations of
proven techniques that enhance the learning process. Her experience as a day
school teacher provided the basis and premise of her presentation. Ms
Balanian offered creative ways such as the enactment and visual presentation
of cultural vignettes and memorization techniques that help the retention of
the most important dates in our history.

ANEC offered the participants books on illuminations and a collection of one
act plays and poems authored by Ms Balanian. The seminar concluded with a
lavish reception prepared by the Ladies Guild.