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Lina Arslanian
  • Joined Merdinian in 1998 as a parent and a Science/Math teacher
  • BS in Biology-Chemistry, American University of Beirut, 1979
  • MEd in Curriculum & Instruction, American Intercontinental University, 2011
  • Research Assistant, American University of Beirut, 1979-1984
  • Science/Math Teacher, Manoogian-Demirdjian School, 1984-1995
  • Science/Math Teacher, Merdinian School, 1998-2012
  • Curriculum Coordinator, Merdinian School, 2007-2011
  • Principal since 2011
My goal is to assist students attain quality education in an inviting learning environment where they are challenged to think critically and communicate their thoughts articulately.

“Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.” ( Chinese Proverb)

Helena Tokatlian
Administrative Assistant.
  • Joined Merdinian in 2010
  • BS Degree in Business Administration with a Concentration in Finance, CSUN, 2000
  • Associate Teacher Certificate for Private Preschool, Los Angeles Valley College, 2009

I started as a Merdinian parent in 2007.  My passion for educating children drew me to a teaching career and I joined the school as a teacher assistant.  I currently hold an administrative position at Merdinian and bring over 10 years of financial and human resource experience. 

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world." - Albert Einstein

Nora Avakian
Assistant Teacher.
Grade(s) PreK I Y & B

Mayda Baboomian
Teaches Armenian and Armenian History
Grade(s) 4th, 6th, 7th, & 8th

Suzy Bardakjian
Teaches PreK II Red Homeroom; PreK II Armenian
Grade(s) PreK II
  • Joined Merdinian in 1983
  • AA with a focus in Child Development
  • Over 30 years of teaching experience
I emigrated from Lebanon to the United States in my teenage years. I am happily married and a mother of two Merdinian alumni. I also enjoy cooking, baking, needlework, and nature.

There are pre-schools everywhere, but Merdinian is unique—it is an Armenian Evangelical school. I love teaching chapel in the mornings and instilling Christian truths and values in the children. 

Sandra Bessos
Business Manager.

*Joined Merdinian In January, 2014

* BA in Education, Haigazian University, Beirut, Lebanon, 1985

* Certification in Taxation, UCLA extension program, December 2015

* Worked as a Bookkeeper for the past 25 years

It has been a pleasure joining the Merdinian Family where I feel very much at home having been raised in the same Evangelical community and sharing similar values.

Aline Bezdikian-Shirajian
Teaches 3rd Homeroom; 7th Social Studies
Grade(s) 3rd & 7th

Nora Chitilian Kalachian
School Counselor.

Alice Derkevorkian
Music Department Chair;Teacher/Assistant Teacher.
Teaches Music
Grade(s) Preschool-8th
* Joined Merdinian in 2014

Hasmik Douzjian
Office Assistant.

*  Joined Merdinian in 2013

*  AA Degree in Accountng

Lena Ekmekjian
Religion Department Chair; Teacher.
Teaches Armenian and Armenian History; Religion
Grade(s) K, 2nd, 6th, 7th, & 8th

* Joined Merdinian in 2012

*  BA in Christian Education (Major), Armenian Studies (Minor) & Teaching Credential, Haigazian University (HU) and Near East School of Theology (NEST), Beirut, Lebanon. 1995

*  Junior Youth Director, Armenian Evangelical Churches, Lebanon, 1995-1997

*  Teacher, Shamlian-Tatikian Armenian Evangelical Secondary School, Beirut, Lebanon, 1995-1997

*  Teacher, Armenian Evangelical Martyrs’ School, Kessab, Syria, 1997-2002

*  Certificate of Training, Haggai Institute for Christian Leadership, Dubai, UAE,  2007

*  California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential – Equivalency for credential outside of the United States, 2012

*  “Pokrig Serdigner” TV program presenter, International Christian Family Network (ICFN)

*  “Children, Let us Sing for Jesus” Audio-Visual DVD, Director (Christian & Patriotic group songs), 2009

*  Board of Directors (member at large), Armenian Evangelical Union of North America (AEUNA) since 2012

Allison Hammond
Math/Science Department Chair; Teacher.
Teaches Math and Science
Grade(s) 5th-8th
* Joined Merdinian in 2015

Ninel Iranosian
Teaches 2nd Homeroom; 6th Social Studies
Grade(s) 2nd & 6th
* Joined Merdinian in 2014

Zorik Isajane
Teaches PE
Grade(s) K-8th

Ashkhen Ispendjian
Armenian/Armenian History Department Chair.
Teaches ASL
  • Joined Merdinian in 1983
  • Education/Language Teaching Methods, French Institute of Education, Beirut, 2 years
  • Oriental Studies, specializing in Armenian Language, Literature, and History, Saint Joseph University of Beirut, 4 years
  • Armenian Language Elementary Teacher, Aramian Armenian School, 1957-1965
  • Principal, Armenian Karaguezian School, 1970-1982
I have been a proud member of the Merdinian family for over 30 years.  I am the Armenian Language and History teacher, Mrs. Ashkhen Ispendjian, or better known as “Digin Ashkhen.”
I was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon form Armenian Genocide survivor parents.  They both believed in education and through hardship did everything possible to lead their children to become educators (4 out of 5). 
During my last High School, I was told by my teacher-principal that I would become a teacher.  I was awarded a 4-year full scholarship for college education. And in return I had to teach in an Armenian school for 4 years.  Back then, I did not imagine I would teach for 50 years  and I never thought I would love my job.  But, I did.  It became my joy, my pride, my challenge in life, or more importantly my life.
I believe in what I do:
*  Give back all I have learned to my students
*  Teach Armenian kids their language
*  Make them proud of their ethnic identity and cultural heritage

Massis Karamian

Sona Kassardjian
English/Social Studies Department Chair, Teacher.
Teaches English; Social Studies
Grade(s) 5th, 7th, & 8th
  • Joined Merdinian in 2004
  • BA in Liberal Studies and Single Subject Credentials, CSUN, 1998
  • MA in English Literature, CSUN, 2003
  • Elementary and Junior High School teacher, LILA, 1997-2001
I have lived in Los Angeles almost all my life. I am very fortunate to have a very loving family and supportive friends around me constantly. I believe the family unit is the most important and primary learning ground in a child.
I have always been interested in teaching and had the desire to become a teacher even as a child.
My love of literature, particularly the Enlightenment Age, is the reason why I chose to concentrate my Masters in English Literature. In addition, my passion for the modernization of parent-child relationships in 18th century led me to my masters’ thesis using Jane Austen’s novels. Jane Austen is the most venerated novelist of our time.

As unusual as it may sound, for me, teaching is inherent. People have always said that I have chosen one of the toughest fields. I believe this field is where I feel most productive and beneficial. It feels absolutely right, and it is absolutely right for me!

Marijan Kevorkian
PreK Director/Teacher.
Teaches K R Homeroom
Grade(s) K Red
  •   Preschool Director
  •   Joined Merdinian in 2013
  •   AS in Child Development , Glendale Community College, 2004
  •   BS in Human Services, University of Phoenix, 2011
  •   MS in Education/Early Childhood Studies, Walden University, April 2014
  •   Permanent member of Alpha Gama Sigma Honor Society
  •   Permanent member of Golden Key International Honor Society
  •   Member of National Association for the Education of Young Children
Every child has been blessed by God with unique potential. As a Christian educator, I am dedicated to the development of the “whole” child, spiritually, intellectually, physically, emotionally and socially in an individually responsive and culturally sensitive manner. 
“No one has yet fully realized the wealth of empathy, kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should unlock that treasure.” By Emma Goldman

Armine Kiramichyan
Teaches PreK II Blue Homeroom, PreK II English
Grade(s) PreK II

* Joined Merdinian in 2015

* BA in Child Development

* 8 years of teaching experience

* It is a privilege to watch a child grow from a seed into a flower.  Every child is unique and therefore, it s the teacher's duty to improvise the proper approach to help the child succeed.  I believe in providing a supportive learning environment that is safe, creative, and open so that the child learns the important aspects of developing and fostering positive relationships with others.

Sossie Mahseredjian
Teaches PreK I Red Homeroom
Grade(s) PreK I Red
  • Joined Merdinian in 2000 as a parent (my two children are alumni of Merdinian) and in 2005 as a teacher
  • Participated in Child Education courses
  • Preschool teacher, Karassoun Manoug Armenian school, Beirut, Lebanon, 1988-1993

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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