Meet Our Staff

Shoghik Jierian - Pre-K (Arev Class)
Shoghik was born in Baghdad, Iraq. In 1977 her family moved to Athens, Greece and they settled in Fresno in 1984. She attended Fresno City College and received an Associate of Arts degree in Child Development. She is currently taking courses to keep her current with the latest advancements in Early Childhood Education. She and her husband Ara have two sons, Vache and Sevag (both of whom are alumni of CKACS). Her granddaughter Clara is also attending CKACS. Shoghik is currently the Preschool Supervisor at CKACS.

Kristine Tarakjian - Pre-K Aide (Arev Class)
Kristine was born in Yerevan. She attended high school in Armenia as well as three years of Medical Nursing courses. She got married in 2004 and moved to the United States. She has two daughters, Mary and Lisa. She has been part of the CKACS family and faculty for eight years.

Talar Hovagimian (Pre-K)
Talar was born in Syria and moved to the United States with her parents and younger brother in 1990. As a family, they attend St. Paul Armenian Church. She has a 13-year-old son whom she loves very much. He is currently a student at Fresno Christian School. In her leisure times she enjoys reading, dining, meeting and conversing with new people she meets, traveling and spending time with her family. She has been teaching pre-school for the past 15 years. She graduated from CSU Fresno with a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies in 2004. In 2013, she received a Master’s Degree in Teaching and Curriculum from Fresno Pacific University.

Yevko Karoglanian (Pre-K)
You have been a familiar face on campus for many years, both in the classroom as well as running our after-school program. Where do you see our school headed?
I'm very excited about the changes we have seen this year and the things that seem to be ahead for our school. I'm praying for God to give our teachers, staff and Board of Education all the strength and the power to keep our school on the path we're on and bringing in even more and better changes.

Anahit Salmanyan (Kindergarten)
Anahit was born in Yerevan, Armenia and moved to the United States in 1991 with her parents and siblings. She was raised in Los Angeles and moved to Fresno with her family in 2005. She attended California State University, Fresno and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Speech Pathology in 2007. She is married to Armen and has three children, two sons and one daughter. Her kids also attend CKACS. In her leisure time Anahit likes attending church with her family, reading, traveling, and helping out at her family restaurant. Anahit has is currently working on her Masters Degree in Education. This is her second year at CKACS.

Haykuhi Hakobyan (Kindergarten Aide)
Haykuhi was born in the Republic of Armenia and moved to the United States with her family in 2010. She lives in Fresno with her husband and two daughters. Aside from teaching at the Charlie Keyan Armenian Community School, she also teaches at the St. Paul Armenian Apostolic Church’s Saturday school. Both her daughters Gayane and Mari go to Charlie Keyan Armenian Community School. In her free time Haykuhi enjoys baking, traveling and working with her children’s extra-curricular education. Haykuhi has been working at Charlie Keyan for 2.5 years, and volunteering at St. Paul’s Saturday School since 2010. She has a bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies, with a Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential in Elementary Education.

Andrea Wheeless (1st Grade)
Andrea graduated from Clovis High School, and from there went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Education/Reading and Language Arts from California State University, Fresno. She also holds a valid California Clear Teaching Credential with a supplemental authorization in English. She is married to Scott and has two sons, Brett and Jack.

What is the most important things you would like your students to accomplish?
I. Become Responsible (self-sufficient)
II. Realize they are capable
III. Think beyond the answers

Nataly Soghmonian Wairdian (2nd Grade)
Nataly was born in Syria and moved to America at the age of nine. She loves exploring and learning new things! She graduated from California State University, Fresno with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. However, her passion quickly turned towards educating children and CKACS gave her the opportunity to further her dream.
Favorite Quote:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

Kelsey Prince (3rd Grade)
Mrs. Prince was born and raised in Fresno and attended the Armenian Community School of Fresno (ACSF). She graduated high school at Fresno Christian and immediately started taking classes at Fresno City College. She is currently on track at National University to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential. She discovered her passion for education and seeing children succeed through volunteering in youth programs at church and mission projects. Mrs. Prince married her husband, Stephen Prince, in 2013. Mr. and Mrs. Prince should be considered for temporary residency at the most magical place on Earth since they visit Disneyland on their weekends off!

Donna Mahaffey (4th Grade)
I am an alumnus of Fresno State, where I obtained my teaching credential in 2001. After teaching in public schools for a few years, I decided to move to private school and was fortunate to become part of the Valley Crescent School staff for many year. I spearheaded the original WASC Accreditation while there and also lead the effort to renew the accreditation recently. In May, I had the opportunity to interview and get introduced to the Charlie Keyan Armenian Community School and I have been very impressed with the atmosphere and culture that is here.
With nearly two decades of teaching experience and as a credentialed teacher, I understand the importance of constantly learning and reading about evolving standards and models. I have had success using the GLAD model of teaching strategies, which emphasize the new Common Core Standards.

Can you share with us a quote that is meaningful to you in your teaching?

My favorite quote is by Bob Algozzine, "Teach so that when your students think of fun, joy, and learning, they think of you."

Erin Watson (5th Grade)
I was born and raised in Long Island New York and I lived there until I was 18. At that time I packed up and moved to Hawaii for college where I studied elementary education and psychology. In December 2013 I moved back to New York to be near my family. In March 2014 I met my future husband Zachary at church. We were married just over a year later on May 23, 2015. In July 2017 my husband, our two chinchillas and I will be moving to Kingsburg to be near my husbands family.
Throughout my high school years I developed a love for working with children through tutoring and volunteering in elementary school classrooms. While living in Hawai'i I taught in a fifth grade classroom and loved every minute of it! Upon returning to New York I spent time teaching pre-school and tutoring older children with their homework. I am currently teaching both first grade and kindergarten but I look forward to returning to the upper grades this coming August at CKACS!

What would you say is your favorite aspect of teaching?

"My absolute favorite part of working with kids is seeing their confidence grow as they master new skills and overcome challenges. The joy that you see in their eyes when they finally feel like they can do it, is amazing."

Karla Duarte (6th Grade)
Karla was born in Santa Barbara. She graduated from CSU-Bakersfield and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies with a Single Subject Matter in Mathematics. She has passed the CBEST (California Basic Educational Skills Test) and is studying to take the CSET (California Subject Examination for Teachers). She has experience as a substitute and a tutor with Sullivan Learning System. She is knowledgeable about the cultural diversity that exists in today's education. She wants to build a strong teaching experience to best meet the needs of her students.

Funniest thing that’s happened in one of your classes:

“I was substitute teaching in class that the teacher left me a seating chart with student names and pictures. I introduced myself and we started class without saying anything about the seating chart. Later in the day when a student misbehaved in class, I called him out by his first name. The class enjoyed a good laugh and after a bit of embarrassment, the rest of class was on their best behavior.”

Margarit Dumanyan (Eastern Armenian)
Margarit was born in Yerevan, Armenia. In 1973 Margarit graduated from the Hakob Paronyan School #59. After graduating from high school she started working at her alma mater, at the same time continuing her education at Yerevan State University in the Chemistry Department. She graduated from the university with straight As and received a qualification of a researcher and teacher. In 1980 she began her career by teaching Chemistry, Biology, Armenian language and literature. Margarit married Hakob Idjyan and they were blessed with two children, Ani and Gevorg. In 1992 the family moved to the United States and settled in Fresno. Margarit attended Fresno City College where, in 2002, she completed an Associate of Science Degree in Mathematics. She started the St. Paul Armenian Church Saturday School and has been its principal for the past 21 years.

Maral Markarian (Western Armenian)
Maral was born in Syria, and then attended the Levon and Sophia Hagopian College in Beirut, Lebanon and received an Associate of Arts degree in Mathematics. She attended the Neshan Palanjian College and received a degree to teach Armenian language. She is married to Paul and they have two children, Razmik and Careen (both of whom are CKACS alumni).

Vartui Diarian (Art Teacher)
Vartui was born in Armenia and moved to the United States with her parents and sisters in 1992. In Armenia she graduated from the Armenian State Pedagogical University AF. KH. Abovyan in 1989 as a teacher of painting and drawing. Later she attended the Architectures House and got a certification in making tapestries called “Gobelin”. In 1993 she married Garo, a sargeant in the United Stated Army, and after he retired in 2001 they moved to Fresno. They have two teenage sons who are proud alumni of the Armenian school. She attended Los Angeles City College and Barton Community College in Fort Riley Kansas. Currently she is taking two courses in Graphic Design/Illustrator and Photoshop at the Clovis Community College in order to enhance her knowledge in Art.

Danny Mendoza (Instrumental Music)
Danny started playing musical instruments in 5th grade. At age 11 he was playing on various television shows, telethons. He attended CSUFresno and upon graduating he traveled and played in numerous bands in Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, Reno, etc. He also studied with master teachers at the Dick Grove School of Music and the Berkeley School of music in Boston Massachusetts. He now teaches private students and also at Patrick's School of Music. He is busy playing in many musical bands of all styles(jazz, hardrock, country, etc.)

Sossy Yemenjian Wairdian (Administrative Assistant / Bookkeeper)
She was born in Beirut Lebanon, moved to the United States in 1976 with her parents. Sossy attended Fresno City College and received an AA degree in Mechanical Drafting. Sossy has worked in Retail Management and HR for over 8 years. In 1997 she started working at ACSF (Armenian Community School of Fresno). Sossy is married to Vahe has two boys Asadour & Raffi who are alumni of ACSF. This is her 20th year at CKACS.

Personal Quote:
“ACSF/ CKACS has been my second home, can't imagine working at a better place seeing those happy faces every morning. Love my CKACS family.”

Viktoria Tsolokian (Choral Music)
Viktoria was born in the Republic of Georgia and moved to Mestamor Armenia when she was a toddler. She went to a Russian school in 1984 and after a year got accepted to a classical music school. After graduation she got accepted to Performing Arts College in 1992 and attended the Performing Arts College for 4 years. She officially completed all the courses and graduated in 1996. She worked 3 years as a piano teacher and accompanist from 1996-1999. She moved to the United States in1999 and got married in August and became self-employed from there on. She has 2 daughters and a husband.

Elaine Egetian (Kitchen Cook)
Elaine attended Fresno High School and Fresno City College. She married her husband Mark in 1973 at Holy Trinity Church. They have three sons, Brent, Bryan and Brandon.

Bryan Egetian (Custodian)
Bryan attended Fresno Adventist Academy. He is a United States Coast Guard Veteran. After the Coast Guard, he was in sales. He has a daughter Lilyana.