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 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, serves on Board committees, and engages with the school community in town hall formats to share school developments and provide a transparent financial snapshot. Finally, the Board is accountable for the financial planning and strategic direction of AGBU MDS.
The AGBU MDS Board of Trustees is generally composed of 7 to 13 members. Currently, the Board consists of nine members (six men and three women) including current parents, alumni, parents of alumni and community and educational leaders with relevant expertise. 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. Board members also serve on various Board Committees such as the Education Committee, Financing Committee, and other committees that are established for specific short-term and long-term purposes.
The Board of Trustees meets monthly with the Principals and lead administrators of the school to provide direction and support to the faculty. The Principals and lead administration report to the Board of Trustees as a whole. As such, the Board is responsible for hiring, setting compensation for, and evaluating the Head of School and Administrative Leadership. 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 and overseeing AGBU MDS’ strategic plan and its short-term and long-term goals. This includes establishing the School’s educational, operational, and financial plans, and setting annual and long term budgets. The Board is also responsible for hiring, assessing, and developing the administrative leadership. The Board reviews and approves the policies and protocols relating to the AGBU MDS stakeholder community. The Board is also responsible for safeguarding the schools financial resources, capital investments, and endowment.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ailine Vakian - Alumni - Class of 1992
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.
Comprised of board members, teachers, and AGBU leadership, and is tasked with working with the DRG search firm in assessing and interviewing candidates for the Head of School role.
Comprised of board members, representatives of the athletic department, and volunteers tasked with exploring potential permanent solutions for an athletic field for the school.
Comprised of board members, volunteer construction experts, and volunteer legal experts tasked with the planning and construction oversight of the planned Library / Admin - Collaborative Learning Center building project.
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