Parish News, Schools


The Board of Directors of St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School (SSAES), New England’s only Armenian Elementary School, announced the appointment of Garine Palandjian as its new Head of School. 

Dr. Palandjian is an experienced educator with extensive experience in both the United States and Armenia. Her appointment, effective July 10, comes after a year-long comprehensive, worldwide search. A native of Rhode Island, Palandjian follows in the footsteps of Principal Houry Boyamian, M.Ed., who announced her retirement in the spring of 2022 after 35 years as principal. 

Palandjian currently serves as a postdoctoral fellow at the Arizona State University (ASU) Melikian Center and faculty associate at ASU Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. She completed her PhD at Arizona State University in Education Policy & Evaluation in 2022. 

“The search committee was particularly impressed by both Dr. Palandjian’s knowledge and innovative perspective to the field of education, as well as her passion for the Armenian community,” said Michael Guzelian, chair of the Board of Directors as well as the search committee. “We are excited to have her lead our school to the next level of success.” 

Prior to completing her PhD, she spent more than 15 years working as an educator in both the U.S. and Armenia. Her U.S. experiences include teaching Language Arts and Social Studies on the elementary level at both the Vahan & Anoush Chamlian and Rose & Alex Pilibos Armenian Schools in California. At the American University of Armenia, she established the Center for Student Success, which offered a variety of support services including counseling, disability support, and peer mentoring. 

“Building upon the incredible legacy of our retiring principal, Houry Boyamian, we are excited to see Dr. Palandjian elevate the school’s successes and lead it into the future,” said Archpriest Antranig Baljian, pastor, St. Stephen’s Armenian Apostolic Church of Greater Boston, sponsor of SSAES. 

In 2019-2020, Garine conducted her dissertation fieldwork on pedagogical practices of Armenian borders and identity in Yerevan, and the border villages of Shirak and Tavush, as well as one month in the Armenian community of Constantinople. The Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) Eurasia Special Interest Group recently honored her dissertation with a best dissertation award at the annual CIES conference in Washington, DC. 

“I am both honored and humbled by this once in a lifetime opportunity, to be able to serve the Armenian community and guide New England’s only Armenian elementary school to new heights,” said Palandjian. “I am looking forward to meeting our students and families, our dedicated teachers and staff, and the community.” 

His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate, on a phone call with Dr. Palandjian, congratulated her on her appointment and wished her the best success in her mission.