ANCA-WR Education Committee

Seven Distinguished Educators to be Honored at the Armenian Genocide Education Awards Luncheon 

The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region’s Education Committee announced that it will recognize seven educators from various public schools across the United States who have gone above and beyond in their instruction and education about the Armenian Genocide in public schools at the 6th Annual ANCA-WR Armenian Genocide Education Awards Luncheon held at Legacy Ballroom in Glendale, CA on March 25 at 11 am PST. 

“The Armenian Genocide Education Award Luncheon continuously reminds us of the important value that history has in our everyday lives. It allows the opportunity to acknowledge educators who have gone beyond the minimum requirements to provide opportunities for students to recognize the impacts of hate, intolerance, and violence. We truly appreciate the nomination of these outstanding educators by the Armenian and non-Armenian community and supporters, and look forward to honoring their unique contributions to transform ‘Never Again’ into a reality,” said Alice Petrossian, ANCA-Western Region Education Committee Chair.

The extraordinary educators who will be recognized at the 6th Annual ANCA-WR Armenian Genocide Education Awards Luncheon include the following elementary, middle school and high school educators from Los Angeles, Glendale, Salinas, and Burbank School districts:

Violet De Luna, Eleanor J. Toll Middle School, Glendale Unified School District (Armenian Genocide Education Award)

Mrs. DeLuna has been an educator for 27 years in the LAUSD and GUSD districts. Growing up in California among diverse communities led her to pursue her studies in Cultural Anthropology and Psychology at UC Santa Cruz, after which she traveled to Nepal and India before becoming a teacher at Toll Middle School where she teaches History and World Arts.

Celeste Lau, Valley View Elementary School, Glendale Unified School District (Armenian Genocide Education Award)

Celeste Lau is a dedicated and passionate educator whose professional career spans over thirty years teaching and counseling at the secondary and elementary levels. Ms. Lau has demonstrated leadership and human connection in school, community, and international settings including: advising several student organizations, being a founding member of Adelante Latinos, building a school in Guyana, and visiting and supporting students in Tanzania.

Manuel Lopez, Alisal High School, Salinas Union High School District (Armenian Genocide Education Award)

Manuel Lopez immigrated to the United States from Mexico in 1973 and became a migrant farmworker in California. Despite his family’s wishes, Mr. Lopez went to the East Coast to pursue a college education and received master’s degrees from Brown University and San Jose State University. He later returned to Salinas to teach at his alma mater, and has been teaching at Alisal High School in the Social Studies department for thirty-one years.  

Ana Quintanilla, Mountain View Elementary School, Los Angeles Unified School District (Armenian Genocide Education Award)

Ana Quintanilla is a kindergarten teacher with a 25-year career in education teaching at various Title 1 schools in LAUSD. In the fall of 2012, she was one of 32 teachers to begin implementing Transitional Kindergarten across the district.

Anita Kazaryan, Burbank High School, Burbank Unified School District (Zaruhy “Sara” Chitjian Armenian Heritage Award)

Anita Kazaryan has been teaching mathematics at Burbank High School for 18 years. She chose a career in education in order to fulfill her passion of contributing to the next generation. Ms. Kazaryan attended CSUN, receiving her bachelor’s degree and a teaching credential.  She is also the advisor for the Burbank HS Armenian Club established in 2006.

Talar Keoseyan, Sunland Elementary School, Los Angeles Unified School District (Zaruhy “Sara” Chitjian Armenian Heritage Award)

Talar Keoseyan is an educator and author who was born in Aleppo, Syria; raised in Philadelphia, PA; and resides in Los Angeles, CA. She is a teacher at Sunland Elementary School and has written children’s books to give voice to Armenian children. Her books include, “Mom and Dad, Why Do I Need To Know My Armenian Heritage?” and most recently, “Tigran’s Song”. Tigran’s Song is the true story of our hero soldier, Tigran Harutunyan, written in English, Armenian, and Russian.

Taline Satamian, Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, Glendale Unified School District (Zaruhy “Sara” Chitjian Armenian Heritage Award)

Taline Satamian is an educator at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School and author for various Armenian publications. Satamian has published op-eds in Armenian Weekly in support of Artsakh, recognition of the Armenian genocide, and against global racism. 

ANCA Western Region’s Education Committee had previously announced that Dr. Stephan Astourian of the University of California, Berkeleywill be receiving the prestigious Armenian Genocide Education Legacy Award, Dr. Khatchig Mouradian of Columbia University, New York City will be receiving the Richard G. Hovannisian Higher Educator Award, while the 2023 Ambassador Henry Morgenthau Sr. Courage Award will be awarded to the Emmy winning journalist Christina Pasccuci of Fox 11 News.  

The Armenian Genocide Education Awards Luncheon is open to all who want to show their appreciation and honor educators for their dedication to teaching about the Armenian Genocide

Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available online. Please reserve your tickets immediately as last year this event sold out early. 

For additional information about the Awards Luncheon, visit the ANCA-WR Education Committee website or call (818) 500-1918.

The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.