A sign of appreciation…
The first form of recognition received by the Chitjian’s would be their Right of Citizenship granted to them by Armenia
ANCA Announces The Zaruhy Sara CHitjian Armenian Genocide Education Award
The Armenian National Committee- Western Region announced earlier today that it will be naming one of its awards the Zaruhy “Sara” Chitjian Armenian Genocide Education Award in honor of Ms. Chitjian’s exemplary commitment to Armenian causes and dedication to preservation of the Armenian heritage and teaching of the Armenian Genocide.
Ms.Chitjian was the first educator to bring Armenian history and cultural awareness programs to Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) students over the past 40 years. She has been and continues to be closely tied to the Armenian community and is known for her generous philanthropy. The Zaruhy “Sara” Chitjian Armenian Genocide Education Award will be presented to outstanding educators of Armenian descent who have gone above and beyond to teach and preserve Armenian history, culture, and voices of victims and survivors of the Armenian Genocide.
This year, the recipients of the Zaruhy “Sara” Chitjian Armenian Genocide Education Award will be presented to educators, Ms. Houry Mandjikian from Toll Middle School and Mr. Sean Abajian from LAUSD at the ANCA-WR Armenian Genocide Education Luncheon on Saturday, February 25, 11AM at Dream Palace Banquet Hall in Glendale, CA.
“The education committee is extremely pleased to honor a lifelong, outstanding educator by naming this legacy award after her. Though Sara was the first Armenian educator in public schools to teach Armenian history and culture, she is since then followed by numerous outstanding Armenian educators who continue, with passion, to tell our story,” noted Alice Petrossian, ANCA-WR Education Committee Chair. “We are honored to celebrate two of those very talented educators, Houry Mandjikian and Sean Abajian. We look forward to celebrating many more Armenian educators with the Zaruhy ‘Sara’ Chitjian Armenian Genocide Education Award in the years to come,” added Petrossian.
Excellence in Armenian Genocide Education Award
Elen Asatryan (ANCA-WR), Sara Chitjian, Roxanne Makasdjian (GenEd)
A special award for exceptional work in teaching about the Armenian Genocide by Armenian-American teachers was named after Sara Chitjian. Chitjian was a Los Angeles public school teacher for 34 years. She created lessons on Armenian culture and history, organized a full-day teacher-training workshop, established an Armenian-American teachers association, led the effort to allow students an excused absence for Armenian Genocide commemoration day, and much more. She has continued to vigorously support Armenian history research and education.
Roxanne Makasdjian, Executive Director of The Genocide Education Project and a former student of Chitjian’s, introduced Chitjian at the luncheon and presented the first two Chitjian Awards to teachers Houri Mandjikian and Sean Abajian.
The Heritage Award
About The knights of Vartan
The Knights of Vartan (Vartanantz Asbedner) is an Armenian fraternal service organization established by twelve visionary men to encourage its members to assume leadership roles in cultural, educational, religious, and charitable organizations and activities on the local, national and international level for the betterment of the Armenian nation worldwide.
On May 27, 1916, a small group of Armenian community leaders in the United States knelt at an altar in a room at Bingham House in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and took the solemn oath of the Knights of Vartan, thus officially establishing the Brotherhood. The founding fathers included a bishop of the Armenian Apostolic Church (later Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia), five ministers of the Armenian Protestant Church, three professors, and three lay leaders of the Armenian community in America. Today there are 24 chapters of the Knights of Vartan and 23 chapters of the Daughters of Vartan throughout the United States and Canada.
The Knights of Vartan, Inc. was founded during the Armenian genocide and massacre of the religious and intellectual leaders of the Armenian people. After appeals to prominent political personalities in the United States, Germany and Russia, the realization dawned on the Founders that Armenians in America, and worldwide, not only lacked political and financial influence with the Great Powers (including the U.S.) to obtain political independence one day in historic Armenia, but in fact, were facing cultural and physical annihilation there. The primary aims of the organization were: to champion the Armenian cause, to alleviate the suffering of the Armenian people, to ensure the safety of displaced Armenians by interceding with the leaders of the Christian world, and to train leaders to serve the religious, cultural, educational, and charitable needs of the Armenian people.
More Awards & Acknowledgments
Women’s Empowerment Initiative at American University of Armenia