AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School is immensely fortunate to have a devoted and attentive Board of Trustees, particularly during this extraordinary period in our collective history. Thanks to their continued dedication and leadership, our school is well-positioned for continued success and growth. As we celebrate our 45th anniversary, we are excited for the future of AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School. We would like to take this opportunity to share with you the Board’s role and the profound and long-lasting impact our Trustees continue to have on our school.
The Board is responsible for guiding AGBU MDS’s long-term strategic direction. This includes overseeing the school’s financial operations, balancing the budget, making operational spending decisions, and awarding financial help to families who have completed the application process. Additionally, the Board is responsible for safeguarding the growth of capital investments and endowments, as well as engaging effectively in fundraising through a leadership role.
The Board of Trustees is accountable to the AGBU Central Board and on behalf of the AGBU MDS Community Stakeholders. The Board upholds and safeguards AGBU MDS’s vision and mission, is responsible for ensuring the mission’s continued relevance to the School community and monitors the School’s progress in achieving its mission. As such, the Board of Trustees extends their full support to the school administration, faculty , and staff in their daily activities. Each Trustee actively promotes AGBU MDS, participates in school functions as active members of the community, and engages with the school community in town hall formats to share school developments and provide a transparent financial snapshot. Finally, the Board acknowledges financial and strategic accountability for the School’s future.
The AGBU MDS Board of Trustees is generally composed of 7 to 13 members. Currently, the Board consists of eleven members (eight men and three women) including current parents, alumni, and parents of alumni. Trustees serve two-year terms and are eligible for reappointment for a maximum of two (2) consecutive terms, for a total of four (4) years of service on the Board. The terms of one-third of the trustees are scheduled to expire each year.
The Board of Trustees continues to be self-governing. As such, appointees to the board are made by recommendation of current board members. New appointees are usually nominated in response to a professional need within the board. All recommendations must be ratified by the AGBU Central Board.
We are confident that the Trustees’ diverse professional backgrounds - ranging from finance, to law, to science, to activism, to academia - is the key to our success. The membership of the Board reflects the strategic experience, capital, and knowledge necessary to accomplish the Mission, SLOs, and strategic objectives of AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School.
The Board of Trustees meets monthly with the Principal and lead administrators of the school to provide direction and support to the faculty. The Principal and lead administration report to the Board of Trustees as whole. As such, the Board is responsible for hiring, setting compensation for, and evaluating the Principal and lead administration. The Board may also approve policies that pertain to faculty appointments, evaluations, dismissals, and personnel, but is not involved in the School’s day-to-day operations.
The Board is responsible for developing AGBU MDS’s strategic plan with short-term and long-term goals. This includes overseeing the school’s finances, developing the annual budget, making operational spending decisions, authorizing new construction and major renovation projects, appointing and maintaining Board Committees, and awarding financial assistance to families who have completed the application process. Additionally, the Board is responsible for providing sufficient financial resources and protecting the development of capital investments and endowments.
Kevork Zoryan is a Managing Director of Morgan Stanley. He is Head of US Asset Management for Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing’s (MSREI) various private equity real estate funds. He is responsible for the sourcing, execution and asset management of real estate investments. Prior to his current role, Kevork was Co-Head of US Acquisitions and Head of West Coast for MSREI. He joined Morgan Stanley in 1997. Kevork received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS from the University of Southern California. Kevork is a former student of St Peter AGBU Armenian School (the predecessor to AGBU MDS). Kevork and his wife Liz are parents of current student Michael (’28), as well as Jacqueline and Andrew, both of whom previously attended AGBU MDS.
Serge Sinanian - Alumni - Class of 1995
Serge Sinanian (Class of 1995) is the Executive Vice-President/General Counsel of Sinanian Development, Inc., a construction and real estate development firm. Prior to joining Sinanian Development in 2011, Serge was a construction litigation associate for 8 years. He is a graduate of Loyola Law School and has a bachelor’s degree from UCLA. Serge served on the Sports Committee from 2016-2017. Serge and his wife Suzy are parents to AGBU MDS students Shant ('23), Marc ('24) and Alex ('29).
Hratch Tavidian is Executive Director of Finance at Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. He is responsible for overseeing real estate transactions for the Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, San Diego and Los Angeles markets. Prior to his current role, Hratch was Senior Vice President of Accounting at Douglas Emmett, Inc., Senior Vice President and Controller at Ryland Homes and in the assurance practice at Ernst & Young. Hratch received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from California State University, Northridge and is a licensed CPA. Hratch is married to Mary, and their children Alexander (’21), Grace, and George have been students at AGBU MDS.
Dr. Vatche Agopian - Alumni - Class of 1994
Dr. Vatche Agopian (Class of 1994) is an Associate Professor of Surgery and Director of the Dumont-UCLA Liver Cancer at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He has an active clinical practice in liver transplantation and hepatobiliary surgery. He also serves as the Director of the Core Surgery Training Program and Associate Director of the General Surgery Training Program in the Division of General Surgery at UCLA. Dr. Agopian received his undergraduate education at UCLA, graduating summa cum laude with a double major in Physiological Sciences and Philosophy, and subsequently received his medical degree from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 2003. Dr. Agopian is married to his loving wife Ani Grigorian, also an AGBU Class of 1994 alumnus, and they are proud parents of Derek (’28) and Marc (’31), both of whom are students at AGBU MDS.
Harout Diramerian - Alumni - Class of 1992
Harout Diramerian (Class of 1992) is the Chief Financial Officer of Hudson Pacific Properties (HPP), responsible for all finance, accounting, reporting, projections and capital markets activities. With more than 26 years of commercial real estate experience, he served previously as Chief Accounting Officer for HPP, Vice President of Finance at Thomas Properties Group, Inc., and a total of eight years in real estate practice groups at KPMG LLP, where he was a manager; Arthur Andersen LLP; and Nanas, Stern, Biers, Neinstein and Co. LLP. Harout is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business economics with an emphasis in accounting.
Alice Chakrian is a parent of AGBU MDS alumnus Michael (’07) and Rita (’12) and has passionately served the AGBU MDS community (Paradon Steering Committee 2002-2006; Vice-Chair, Chair, and Senior Advisor Parent-Teacher Organization, 2006-2012) before joining the school board in 2018. Her involvement in AGBU spans wide in special event leadership in the Western District over the years. Alice is also the founding organizer of several boards at the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church, namely the Archbishop Hovnan Derderian Scholarship Fund, the AGAPE Circle and the Junior Godfather Program. She has led initiatives and fundraisers across multiple other Armenian community organizations supporting Armenians in the Diaspora and in Armenia and Artsakh. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from the California State University, Los Angeles and is focused currently on functional nutrition continued education.
Tamar Karaguezian has her own private law practice and also works as senior counsel in the Gordon & Rees Scully and Mansukhani’s Employment practice group in the Los Angeles office. Tamar has an active employment litigation practice wherein she vigorously defends employers against claims of discrimination, retaliation, FMLA, wrongful termination, defamation and harassment. Tamar also defends a number of wage and hour class action matters throughout the state. Additionally, she counsels clients on employment related issues in an effort to reduce their related risk of additional litigation. Tamar has a BS in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of Southern California, and a JD from Loyola Law School. Tamar and her husband, Dr. Alain Karaguezian, are parents to AGBU MDS students Reya (‘27) and Alana (‘30)
Courtney Kassakhian is a long-time educator and school leader. For the majority of her career, she has worked at the high school level where she taught multiple subjects, coached athletics, and served in administrative roles, including admissions director and vice-principal. Most recently she served as the principal at private schools serving grades PreK-12. In 2021 Courtney moved out of the traditional school setting and founded Minerva Educational Consulting. Courtney received her Master's in School Administration from Loyola Marymount University, her teaching credential at Cal State LA, and a BA from the University of Southern California.
Dr. Vahag Keshishyan
Dr. Jack grew up in Glendale and became interested in chiropractic and physical therapy after a high school football injury to his low back. He graduated from Cleveland Chiropractic in 1996. Dr. Jack has a background in personal training and specializes in sports medicine, auto/work traumatic injuries, and injury prevention. He has experience in treating complicated cases such as disc injuries, postural dysfunction, TMJ disorder, many different orthopedic injuries, pre-natal and pediatric Chiropractic care. Dr. Keshishyan is currently practicing Chiropractic with his wife, Dr. Melina Keshishian, in Agoura Hills at Agoura Family Chiropractic. He has also been coaching the AGBU-MDS flag football team since 2012. Vahag’s children, Alexandra (‘22) and Daniel (’23), are students at AGBU MDS.
Vahe Markarian is an educator with 29 years of experience in both public and private school settings. He has served in various positions as a teacher, Categorical Programs Advisor, Director of Student Recruitment, Assistant Principal, Principal, Director of Operations at SMBCCS and as the Executive Director of a charter management organization overseeing 5 schools. Currently he is working with several private schools as a consultant on organizational management and administrative team building and coaching. Vahe has served on various school boards including Ararat Charter School as well as on the El Dorado Charter SELPA and LAUSD’s Special Education Charter Operated Programs. Vahe received his BA from Cal State Northridge and an MS in Education Leadership & Administration from Cal State Los Angeles. He completed his Tier I Administrative Credential at Cal State Los Angeles and his Tier II Credential from Point Loma University.
Dr. Harmik Soukiasian
Dr. Harmik J. Soukiasian, MD, FACS is currently Professor of Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Health System, the Tawil Family Endowed Chair in Thoracic Surgery as well as Chief of the Division of Thoracic Surgery and Vice Chairman of the Department of Surgery, in charge of clinical outreach. Dr. Soukiasian is also the Program Director of the Advanced Robotic Thoracic Surgery Fellowship at Cedars-Sinai. He received his medical degree from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC). Dr. Soukiasian completed his general surgery training at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, after which, he went on to training in Cardiothoracic (CT) Surgery at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Following completion of training in CT surgery, he went on to additional fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) followed by another fellowship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Soukiasian subsequently joined Cedars-Sinai as an attending faculty thoracic surgeon in the Division of Thoracic Surgery in 2008. Dr. Soukiasian has ushered in robotic thoracic surgery at Cedars-Sinai, performing the first robotic thoracic case at the institution and growing the practice to the point where they are now amongst the busiest robotic programs in the country. Harmik is married to Janine, and all three of their daughters Sevannah (’24), Anais (’27) and Loreni (’29) are students at AGBU MDS.
The Education Committee works with the senior administration to examine curriculum priorities, data-driven assessments of our students, and the implementation of the long-term strategic plan for the school. EdComm is composed of two Board members, one parent educator, and seven members of the AGBU MDS teaching staff.
The Health & Safety Committee formed shortly after the Covid-19 pandemic began in order to assist the Board in managing and implementing critical safety measures and policies to keep our community safe and healthy. The committee is comprised of various health and medical professionals from our AGBU MDS community who volunteer their time and expertise.
The Finance Committee assists the Board of Trustees in carrying out its fiscal and oversight obligations in the areas of financial management and reporting, capital expenditures, and budget planning.
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