In just a few years, the school grew from eight students to
three hundred sixty. In 1979, because of this tremendous growth, the Church
and School Board moved the elementary school to a new location in La Canada.
The Preschool remained at its present campus.
In 1990, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph and Savey Tufenkian, a well-respected couple in the
Armenian community, made a generous donation of $250,000 in memory of
their son, who tragically passed away the previous year. In honor of its
benefactors and their beloved son, the Pre-school was renamed St. Mary's
Richard Tufenkian Armenian Preschool. In May 2004, Mr. and Mrs. Tufenkian
once again stepped forward and assisted the school by donating the property
adjacent to the school. This property, valued at $450,000, was used to
expand the existing parking lot. Mr. and Mrs. Tufenkian have kept
their sons legacy alive through their continued financial and moral support for the school.
As the school's guardians, they have provided guidance and assistance when the
need has arisen.
The Richard Tufenkian Preschool program is developmentally appropriate and
is designed to provide children with the skills essential for their later academic
success. As part of the developmental program, children are taught to respect
and learn about Armenian language, culture and heritage. St. Mary's Tufenkian
Preschool is licensed by the state of California and is accredited by the National
Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) since 1998.
Throughout the years, the continuous support and efforts of the Board of
Regents of Prelacy Armenian Schools, Tufenkian School Board, School's Parent
Support Committee and parents have made the School's progress possible.