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Sahag-Mesrob Armenian Christian School
I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
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History


           In 1976, an architect from Lebanon, Mr. Mike Youssefian, left Lebanon and moved to Pasadena with his wife and four children to escape the Civil War. The Armenian cultural life in Pasadena was very inspiring, however, one thing was missing - an Armenian day school, where the children of Armenian families could attend. There were some efforts to start an Armenian school in the past, but those attempts did not materialize. Despite financial shortcomings, Mr. Youssefian felt the inner urge to open an Armenian educational institution. The $10,000 he had in his savings account constituted as the starting seed. Mr. Youssefian approached a Christian business man, Mr. Steve Lazarian, for additional financial assistance. Mr. Lazarian contributed $5,000 and encouraged Mr. Youssefian's quest of opening an Armenian Christian School.
           
           Mr. Youssefian also approached several concerned individuals from various Christian organizations and churches to ask for their assistance in forming the Board of Directors for the new school. In addition, they appointed Mr. Peniamin Aroyan to serve as the school's first principal and gave him the responsibility of hiring the necessary teachers for the school's Kindergarten to 3rd grade students.

           ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The first Board meeting took place on January 20, 1980 in Mr. Lazarian's office and the following officers were elected: Chairman, Mr. Mike Youssefian; Vice Chairmen, Mr. John Jemelian and Mr. Andy Afsharian ; Secretary, Dr. Kegham Tashjian; Treasurer, Mr. Abraham Haleblian; and additional Board Members Rev. Vahram Tourian, Miss Ruth Ajemian (Tourian), and Aram Garabedian.

           Since the mission of the school was to provide a Christ centered education within an Armenian heritage, the Board and Principal consulted with Armenian poet Mr. Jaques Hagopian. The suggested name for the school was Sahag-Mesrob after Catholicos Sahag Bartev and Mesrob Mashdotz, the founders of the Armenian alphabet.

           In September 1980, Sahag-Mesrob Armenian Christian School opened its doors to 80 students in the basement of the Bressee Nazerence Church in Pasadena. In 1983, a Christian individual, Mr. John Sheen, donated $550,000 to purchase a 1.5-acre property on Maiden Lane in Altadena. The school's first banquet took place at the Pasadena Hilton, where Governor George Deukmejian gave an inspiring message. Additional donations from dedicated families helped build a chapel and nine classrooms on the Maiden Lane property in 1987.
  
         40 years later, Sahag-Mesrob Armenian Christian School continues to fulfill its purpose. Currently, it holds a dual accreditation from WASC and ACSI as it continues offering top quality Christian education embedded in our rich Armenian culture. Our history is full of triumphs, disappointments, generosity, hard work, but most importantly faith. We are certain that God will continue blessing our humble school as we continue focusing on our vision and mission for many more years to come.



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