St. Mary's Richard Tufenkian Preschool


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School History

In 1975, St. Mary's Church Board and a group of concerned community members established the first Armenian day school in Glendale, CA. From its inception, the main goal of St. Mary's Armenian Preschool was to provide an appropriate early childhood program, with a strong emphasis on Armenian heritage and culture.

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.

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