Superintendent Vivian Ekchian visits Clark


Lena Kortoshian

From left to right, Eric Kursinksi, Nagashreya Guntireddy, Ani Sahakian, and Superintendent Vivian Ekchian pose in Kursinki’s relaxing area called the “Mindfulness Corner.”

Superintendent Dr. Vivian Ekchian visited Clark on Nov. 12 for the first time as superintendent of GUSD. Ekchian has only held this position since this summer, but she has had over 30 years of experience as an educator in different school districts, most prominently as the deputy superintendent of LAUSD.

Clark was well-received by Dr. Ekchian, who expressed her appreciation of the school’s scholarship. “The students at Clark Magnet are amazing,” Ekchian said. “The academic rigor is second to none. I feel the students have to compete to come here because they actually had to learn about the school, they had to submit an application, and they are focused on learning and that makes it a very special environment for all of our kids.” 

Ekchian’s vision for Clark include introducing new curriculum and reinforcing college readiness in students. She addressed the topic of language classes in GUSD. “In Glendale, in particular, I think we have additional choices. We have 51 languages spoken in our homes, so we look at it from the perspective of the heritage of the students but also languages that students want to explore because they’re interested,” Ekchian said.

“I think we are and incredibly successful school district but we can never be complacent, so I would love to have every child in our school district at least be literate in two languages,” Ekchian said. “And of course I want every child to be college, career, and life-ready no matter what school they attend in Glendale.”

Principal Lena Kortoshian guided Dr. Ekchian on a tour of Clark, entering several classrooms to observe students learning. “She was very impressed about how students were engaged in the teaching and learning that was going on at Clark,” Kortoshian said. “She congratulated us for winning Newsweek being number 707 out of 5000,” Kortoshian added, referring to Clark’s placement in Newsweek‘s rankings of the best STEM high schools in the nation. 

Sophomore Daniel Legita was doing presentations in his history class when Kortoshian and Dr. Ekchian walked in. “The atmosphere in the room completely changed.” Legita said. “It’s really cool to see how GUSD reaches out to each individual school and how someone so big could be within this small community,”

Junior Nvard Konanyan recalls the moment the superintendent entered her math class with the principal. “She seemed very interested in what the students were doing, and she had a fun conversation with Mr. [Geoff] Woods because he greeted her in Armenian which seemed to be a pleasant surprise for her,” Konanyan said.