Wednesday, 11 November 2015


Over the past fourteen years we have been privileged to have a teacher who has been the backbone of our academic achievement. Our Curriculum Coordinator, Mrs Vicky Dernee is the force that has guided the school and students towards higher achievements. We could not have asked for a better member of the school executive than her. Her support and dedication both inside and outside the classroom is a testament to her achievement. At the start of the year, the School Board nominated Mrs Dernee for the “Australian Scholarships Group National Excellence in Teaching Award”.

During the 25th Anniversary Concert we were happy to announce that from over 1,100 nominations Australia wide, Mrs Vicky Dernee had been named as one of 60 State and Territory recipients of the 2015 ASG National Excellence in Teaching Awards. In fact, she was one of the only 30 NSW award recipients and we hoped she would continue to be selected for the national awards final. Last week, as part of the World Teachers’ Day celebrations, Mrs Dernee was handed her award’s Trophy and Certificate.

On Thursday, 5 November Mrs Dernee received another letter of congratulations, informing her selection for the next  round of judging for a 2015 ASG National Excellence in Teaching Award. From the 60 teachers who received the National Excellence in Teaching State and Territory Awards this year, she was one of the 36 teachers with the highest scores and therefore has been advanced to the next level! To now be considered for one of 12 national awards, Mrs Dernee will need to complete a short essay on her teaching and provide a video interview. The scores from these two assessments will be added to her existing score to determine the 12 teachers to receive an ASG NEiTA National Award.

On behalf of the School Board, members of staff and the Alexander family, we congratulate and thank Mrs Dernee for her many years of service and dedicated work in teaching our children. We also wish her all the best in the final round of the national teaching award.

ASG’s National Excellence in Teaching Awards (NEiTA) Foundation was established in 1994 to honour exemplary teaching throughout Australia and New Zealand. For more than 20 years, these awards have provided communities with the opportunity to formally recognise and thank outstanding teachers and leaders. ASG is proud to continue its support for the teaching profession by acknowledging the valuable role inspirational teachers play in the development of our young people. Since its inception, ASG NEiTA has received more than 30,000 nominations from early childhood and school communities throughout Australia. More than 1000 teachers have received awards, and more than $125,000 has been awarded in professional development grants and prizes.


On Tuesday (3 November, 2015), we were honoured to have distinguished guests from Armenia. Master sculptor Varaztad Hambardzumyan and assistant Garik Hovhannisyan not only came to see the school but also joined with the students and staff in explaining and demonstrating the unique skill and art of crafting Armenian Khachkars.

Earlier this year, Willoughby City Council unanimously passed a motion recognising the Armenian Genocide and approved the development application to erect a cross stone or a ‘Khachkar’ Genocide Memorial, commemorating the Centenary year.

After having carved the Memorial Khachkar, our master sculptor had come to Sydney ahead of the official unveiling and dedication ceremony. This unique and intricate masterpiece is to be located at Beauchamp Park, Chatswood.


In October, our local Terrey Hills Library turned 50! This milestone deserves acknowledgement, when we consider the fact that the library is run by a dedicated team of volunteers, serving the community.

On Friday, 9th October the library welcomed Warringah Council’s caravan called ‘Marilyn’. Marilyn was parked outside the library so that preschool and primary school aged children could visit it and hear stories sitting inside.  Our Prep and Kindergarten students visited the caravan with Mrs Seta Keoshgerian, and had a wonderful time in hearing stories and exploring the library.

As part of the celebration, a colour-in competition was also organised by the library for pre-school and primary students. Our junior classes together with students from the local schools participated in the competition, by submitting their colourful entries. Congratulations to Sargis Hambardzumyan and Sara Demirjian for being selected winners of their age group and being awarded with book prizes.


Nearly two weeks after our 25th Anniversary Concert the messages of heartfelt congratulations continue to flood in, underpinning the quality of our concert and the school achievements. The congratulations are first and foremost directed at our magnificent school for continuing to provide high quality education to young members of our community. Education that has set the foundation for their future endeavours. We are blessed by their continued presence, contribution and service to their school and community, many years on from their graduation. It is this strong sense of belonging and community spirit that gives us the strength to move forward, ‘To Grow & Serve’.

This initial stepping stone, yet vital service to the children of our community would not have been possible without the support of the Armenian General Benevolent Union. For over a quarter of a century the AGBU Central Board has been instrumental in maintaining this service, together with the support and dedicated efforts of the AGBU Sydney Chapter. Members of the School Board with their guidance and management have made sure the quality of service was not undermined, together with the school executive and members of staff. It is appropriate that we once again acknowledge their contribution and thank the Founding Members, our sponsors, the school families and the community for their support.
I would like to take this opportunity and also thank the following people for their contribution to the success of the concert. Special thank you to Serop Aslanian and Talar Kapterian for running the evening’s program. Thank you to Natalie Topouzian for delivering the Graduate’s speech and Natalie Urriola for speaking on behalf of the P&C Committee and as one of the first graduates. Also thank you to Zela Margosian-Gaspar and her ‘Mythra’ Ensemble for joining in the evening’s programme and accompanying the choir. Special thanks to the AGBU Tamzara Folk Dance Group, Sevag Keoshgerian for being the technician, and for the backstage assistants Aren Bedikian, George Keoshgerian, Michael Tateossian and Daniel Zorlu. Our appreciations also go to Vahe Keoshgerian for organising the delivery of the choir stands, the P&C Committee for providing sandwiches and special treats to all the performers. Mihran Kessikbashian for making the commemorative badges and help put together the commemorative bookmark. Last but not least, Tatiana Bedikian, Marine Anoushian and Ilda Zorlu for assisting the guests at the door. May God give all of you strength and good health to continue your valued contribution for the ultimate benefit of our children, our future. Finally, congratulations to all the students and staff for putting together a great performance.

Thank you to our parents, founding members, current and former Board and committee members, sponsors, supporters, family and friends for your support and dedication over the past 25 years. With your continued support we will continue to "Grow & Serve" for many years to come!

30th October, 2015
Manoug Demirjian

25th ANNIVERSARY CONCERT - A magnificent tribute to educational excellence!

Over the past week, I have had the pleasure of receiving numerous phone calls, emails and messages of congratulations and praise, from members of the community who could not find enough adjectives to describe our 25th Anniversary Concert.

Wonderful! Excellent! Fantastic! Magnificent! Amazing! Brilliant! Splendid!... were just some of the adjectives used to describe this unique concert. Most commented on the quality of the program that encapsulated them from start to finish. While we acknowledge the hard work and dedication of many to make this possible, I also accept the fact that we could not provide anything less in our tribute to what we all believe is the best educational institution in this country.

At this stage, I would like the photos and videos that are published in today’s Newsletter and on our website to do the talking. I will provide a detailed report next week when more of what was achieved has sunk in; including our special notes of appreciation towards everyone who made sure the day was a huge success.

23rd October 2015
Manoug Demirjian

ARMENIAN TEACHERS BLESSED - Feast of Holy Translators

The October commemoration of the ‘Holy Translators’ focuses on the creation of the Armenian alphabet and on the accomplishments of the Holy Translators. In modern times the entire month of October has been designated as a “Month of Culture.” Armenians throughout the Diaspora and Armenia mark this with events not only in remembrance of the past, but in celebration of modern-day scholars, theologians, writers, translators and in our parish, teachers of Armenian schools.
On Sunday, 11 October 2015 a special service and blessing took place at the Armenian Apostolic Church of Holy Resurrection on the ‘Feast of the Holy Translators’. With the invitation of His Grace Bishop Haigazoun Najarian, all teachers of our Armenian Schools were recognised for their valuable contribution toward instilling our cultural heritage and national identity through education in our future generations.
During the service, teachers received Holy Communion and were also witness to the Blessing of the Water with the ‘Muron of Victory’. The Primate had recently arrived from the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin bringing the blessed Holy Muron to our Diocese.
Following the Divine Liturgy a reception was held in the Edgarian hall in honour of our teachers.


On Tuesday (6 October, 2015)  the students visited the Life Education Van. The Life Education program utilises the latest technology and provides children with online resources and problem solving activities. The students participated in programs to build their awareness and understanding of the link between choices they make and their short and longer term consequences. They were taught to value their safety and health and that of others. They were given strategies so that they could develop attitudes that can prepare them to make safer and healthier choices. The students were also taught about how to identify strategies and build confidence and skills to help them to deal with peer and community pressure. Louise led each class through a wonderful variety of enjoyable activities helping the student develop the skills needed to make informed decisions.