BOSTON, Mass.—Houry Boyamian, longtime former principal of St. Stephen’s Elementary School in Watertown, Massachusetts, will be honored with the ANCA Eastern Region’s inaugural Excellence in Education Award at the ANCA Eastern Region Endowment Fund’s 17th Annual Gala, to be held on Saturday, October 7, 2023, at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge. Boyamian will be joined by other award recipients, including Dr. Michael Rubin, who will receive the inaugural Advocacy Award, and other deserving activists and leaders who will receive the ANCA Eastern Region Vahan Cardashian Awards and Freedom Awards.
Boyamian, who has a French baccalaureate in literature and philosophy from the College Protestant Francais, also holds a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from St. Joseph University and a master’s in education from the University of Massachusetts. She is also a graduate of Nishan Palandjian Djemaran and is fluent in Armenian, English, French and Arabic.
During her 35-year tenure as the founding principal of St. Stephen’s Elementary School, she launched various initiatives to properly modernize and equip the school with state-of-the-art technology. She fundraised for several expansion projects for the school, including the construction of a preschool building in 1998, a new kindergarten building in 2012, a teacher retention program in 2018, and a new student financial aid program in 2019. Boyamian also introduced new extracurricular activities for students, including chess, art, science, music, robotics and sports, along with a STEM initiative launched in 2011. Under her tutelage, St. Stephen’s became the first Armenian-American day school in New England to be accredited by the Association of Independent Schools in 2003.
As a descendant of an Armenian Genocide survivor, Boyamian has volunteered her time in various development workshops for genocide education, presenting her family history to teach about the Genocide. She also commissioned an English translation of her father Karnig Panian’s memoir of childhood and orphanhood, titled Goodbye, Antoura, published by the Stanford University Press on April 24, 2015. The book has been translated into French, Turkish and Russian and is widely studied by both professors and students in U.S. universities, offering an emotional and lesser-known part of the Armenian Genocide to the world.
“Witnessing the positive changes that the school has undergone throughout the years is largely due to Principal Boyamian’s efforts. Her work speaks for itself as we witness the success of the school, now entering its 39th year with more than 190 students. Her dedication to education and culture also extends beyond the walls of St. Stephen’s, as she is also a champion for Armenian Genocide education,” said Tsoler Avedissian, 17th annual gala committee member and former student of Boyamian.
For Boyamian, her biggest sense of achievement and fulfillment arises from her students – many graduates are active in the New England community in various capacities, serving several Armenian organizations, and have gone on to attend top colleges and universities, becoming successful leaders in their respective fields.
In recognition of her achievements, Boyamian has received the Mesrob Mashdots medal from the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia in 2005 and the Queen Zabel medal from the Armenian Prelacy in New York City, as well as a proclamation from the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 2008. In 2018, she also received a certificate of honor from the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia.
“This recognition is a testament to her unwavering dedication, visionary leadership and profound impact on shaping the lives of countless Armenian students, including mine. Her commitment to fostering a nurturing and enriching learning environment has left an indelible mark on all of us who had the privilege of being under her guidance. This award not only acknowledges her exceptional contributions but also serves as an inspiration to us all, reaffirming the lasting influence of her legacy in the realm of education in the greater Boston Armenian community,” concluded Avedissian.
Tickets for the gala, which include a cocktail reception, silent auction and seated dinner can be purchased at www.givergy.us/ancaer. For more information about this year’s gala, visit our website or contact [email protected].