AGBU Press Office
55 East 59th Street
New York, NY 10022-1112
Phone: 212.319.6383, x118
Email: [email protected]
Thursday, October 1, 2009
AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School in Southern California Expands Its
Solar Energy Capabilities
Canoga Park, CA – "This is indeed a historic day," said His Eminence
Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian
Church of America (Western), in his remarks at the dedication ceremony
of the Solar Energy Project held at AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School on
Thursday, September 17, 2009.
The day’s program commenced with welcoming remarks by Levon Keshishian,
the school’s director of Business Operations, who spoke about the
institution’s commitment to innovation: "Our school has been a leader
and forerunner in many aspects of school operations, and it is rewarding
to see that many follow our lead. One such project is the solar
Keshishian mentioned that while California adopted regulations only
recently, increasing its Renewable Portfolio Standard to 33 percent by
2020 and Advancing California’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas
emissions and increasing the state’s renewable energy, the
Manoogian-Demirdjian School is producing almost 40% of its electricity
needs with the Solar Energy Project.
Keshishian invited California Assemblyman Paul Krekorian to address the
audience of high school seniors, teachers, administrators, board
members, members of the PTO, Booster Club members, and community
representatives. Assemblyman Krekorian is the first Chairperson of the
newly created Select Committee on Renewable Energy, which leads the
State Assembly’s goal of meeting at least 33% of California’s
electricity needs from renewable resources like the sun and the wind.
Krekorian praised the school’s decision to pursue the use of solar power
and congratulated the leadership for the bold step.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky took the podium and
congratulated the school in becoming a beacon of hope and leader in such
a useful project, benefiting the environment and becoming an example for
other entities to follow.
Los Angeles City Council Member Dennis Zine, who could not attend the
ceremony due to unexpected and urgent city business, was represented by
his deputy for special projects Jessica Forkish, who conveyed the
council member’s congratulations.
Archbishop Derderian congratulated all those involved in this worthwhile
project and offered his prayers for the continued success of the school.
Addressing the senior class, he exhorted them to learn from their
teachers and school leaders, especially in endeavors that impact the
future of our community, country and the world.
Sinan Sinanian, Chairman of the School Board of Trustees, thanked Mr.
and Mrs. Sevan Varteressian for conceiving the solar project idea and
implementing it as the general contractor. He commended them for their
professional workmanship and financial contribution of $125,000 towards
the completion of the project. He praised Sevan Varteressian for turning
the idea into reality. A short video presentation of the project
Sevan Varteressian, President of California Green Designs, and John
Hoffman, Account Executive, who are the main undertakers of this
project, took to the stage and went over the various stages and aspects
of the project. Varteressian expressed his joy, both as a parent of
children attending the school and as a professional in the field of
renewable energy, for AGBU to have made such a commitment. He then
thanked everyone who was part of the execution of the project at the
Manoogian-Demirdjian School, including the enthusiastic school staff.
John Hoffman spoke about the entire project and gave details to the
students about producing solar power. He said, "This system is a 180 kW
system which came on line in early 2007 and has thus far produced
352,000kWh of clean electricity which means…the school’s solar power
has already generated the electricity needs of a typical household for
32 years." Comparing it to coal, he explained, "We have saved 4,500
pounds of nitrous oxide or 1.5m pounds of carbon dioxide, saving 475
acres of trees."
Two students from the Class of 2010, Armen Haroutounian and Vatche
Youssefian, were invited on stage to speak about the school’s
environmental awareness and their goal to initiate a vigorous recycling
program at the school with the help of parent volunteers.
During the program, commendations and congratulatory mementos were
presented by the dignitaries. To conclude the program, a special wall
plaque constructed of a solar panel was unveiled.
Established in 1906, the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) is the
world’s largest non-profit Armenian organization. Headquartered in New
York City, AGBU () preserves and promotes the Armenian
identity and heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian
programs, annually touching the lives of some 400,000 Armenians on six