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Nazar Altun, Esq.
Chairman

Nazar Altun is the Chairman of the Board of the Hovnanian School and has served as a trustee since 2010.  Mr. Altun, an attorney, is General Counsel of Princeton Holdings LLC, a real estate investment company based in Manhattan where he works on structuring and overseeing the legal aspects of all of Princeton’s transactions.  Prior to joining Princeton, Mr. Altun was an associate at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP.  Mr. Altun’s practice focused on litigation arising from highly complex commercial real estate transactions.  He has advised clients in over $6 billion worth of real estate transactions. Mr. Altun also has experience  in defending securities, fraud investigations, and civil action by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. He and his wife Doreen are proud parents to Aren and Daron, who are both students at Hovnanian School.

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Karen Nargizian
Vice-Chairman

Karen Nargizian is a long-time supporter of Hovnanian School.  Serving on the Board of Trustees since 1996, she has also chaired the 20th anniversary of the school in 1996 among serving on numerous committees throughout the years.  Earning her degree in Fashion Merchandising from the University of Bridgeport, Mrs. Nargizian spent a short period working in the fashion industry before joining Toufayan Bakeries, Inc., her family’s business.  There she is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing, a position she has served for the past 25 years. 

Mrs. Nargizian has also served on the Parish Council at St. Leons Armenian Church  as well as the  Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) chair at Hovnanian School for several years while her children attended the school. Currently she is the President of one of her son’s crew team at Bergen Catholic High School.  Other committees that Mrs. Nargizian is a part of are the 110th Anniversary of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) and the school’s 40th Anniversary committee. Karen lives in Franklin Lakes, NJ with her husband Steven and three boys Alex, Gregory, and Michael all of whom are Hovnanian School Graduates.

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Vicken Arslanian
Treasurer

A board member since 2012, Vicken Arslanian was born in Beirut, Lebanon and raised in Kuwait until 1981 when he immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of nine.

Mr. Arslanian studied architecture at the Cooper Union School of Architecture, one of the most selective institutions in the world for arts and science.  After graduating with the “Mathew Del Gaudio Award for Excellence in Total Design”,  he went on to work for Francois DeMenil Architects and designed retail environments for luxury brands around the world.

In 1998, Mr. Arslanian  left architecture to enter the family business of Perfume Distribution.  Today, his various companies represent the most exclusive brands in the perfume and cosmetics industry. Within his industry, Mr. Arslanian is attributed for introducing the concept of “artisanal” perfumes in the United States. With offices in the United States and Kuwait, his companies employ over 400 people and distribute to over 100 brands.
Vicken is married to Rosette Der Khorenian, who is an award-winning architect, that he met at  Cooper Union School of Architecture. They have two daughters, Colette and Olivia, who attended  Hovnanian School in their early childhood.

Mr. & Mrs. Arslanian’s philanthropic efforts are centered around children’s needs and religious institutions. The organizations they support are based in the United States, Middle East and Armenia.  In 2010 the Arslanian’s founded the Red Rock Foundation which is a charitable organization intended on continuing their effort to benefit future generations.

Mr. Arslanian is an advisor to the executive committee and focuses his efforts on enhancing the marketing of  Hovnanian School.

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Karolin Cakirdas
1994, Secretary

Haig Gulian
2006, Alumni Representative

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Ara Zadourian
Advisor

Ara Zadourian is the CEO of Armco Compressor Products Corporation in North Bergen, NJ. 

Mr. Zadourian was born in Teaneck, NJ in 1970. He graduated in 1993 from Northeastern University, in Boston, Massachusetts, majoring in Mechanical Engineering, with a minor in Industrial Engineering.  Shortly after completing his education, he took over Armco Compressor, and over the past 20 years, has transformed the company into a global leader in the manufacturing of all types of reciprocating compressor and engine spares, related to the oil and gas industry.

Mr. Zadourian has served on the Board of Trustees for over 5 years. His love and dedication for the school started shortly after his daughter, Patille, started attending ELC at Hovnanian School.  Mr. Zadourian believes that immersing students in a culturally relevant atmosphere, with a meticulous education program, is the key to happy and successful children hence  his commitment to helping Hovnanian School excel on all levels - educationally, culturally and socially.

His wife Eileen has been an active member of the PTO and is in her 7th year of service to the school.  Additionally Mrs. Zadourian, an accomplished artist, is one of the Chairs for the highly successful Art in Fall event.  Their daughter, Patille, is currently a student at the school.

 

Berta Zakian
1992, Advisor

Shakeh Tashjian
Principal

Mrs. Shakeh Tashjian, Hovnanian School’s Principal,  has a wide breadth of experience within her academic and professional background.   She has earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry and Math from John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland where she hails from.  Her two Masters degrees are from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C:  a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and School Administration and a Master of Education in Secondary Education in Chemistry. 

Among her professional and leadership experiences are teaching high levels of math at Dwight-Englewood School, teaching at the NJ SEEDS Program, Scholars Academy Saturdays, Math and Science teacher at Hovnanian School and serving as Dean of the NJ SEEDS Program Summer Challenge in Newark, NJ from 2003-2008.  Mrs. Tashjian was also responsible for developing new curriculum and acquiring new textbooks in the classroom as well as coaching math teams that included a trip to the national competition.  

Mrs. Tashjian’s most recent position culminated in her remarkable body of work as a teacher in the Math Department and Director of Summer Connections and Youth Enrichment Programs at Dwight-Englewood School in Englewood, NJ from 2008-August 2015.  Under her steadfast leadership, Mrs. Tashjian grew the Summer Connections Program to over 1,000 students from four continents ranging from ages 3 to 18.  Furthermore, Mrs. Tashjian elevated the School’s visibility with prospective students and other audiences in the community and has implemented and managed the highly successful program offering over 300 courses and programs.  

Accepting the position of Principal at Hovnanian School was the natural step and a homecoming for Mrs. Tashjian as she comes full circle to where she began her teaching career nearly 20 years ago.  Her father-in-law was one of the founders of the school, her husband, Shant Tashjian one of the first graduates.  Now, their son, continuing on in this traditional vein, is also a student at the school.  

When asked why she has chosen to return to Hovnanian School Mrs. Tashjian replied, “I wanted to fuse my passion for teaching and learning with my love of my heritage.  This was the ideal position.”   

Mrs. Tashjian’s vision for the future of Hovnanian School “is to create an environment that nurtures creativity and empowerment…and…to model the values I hold dearly including honesty, integrity, perseverance, respect, awareness, and mindfulness.” Mrs. Tashjian, an active community member, lives in New Milford with her family.  

 

Trustees

Tenya Atakhanian*
Garbis Baydar, MD
Sonya Bekarian
Kristine Casali
Jeremy Cutler
Robert Garipian

Hasmig Hovnanian (expired)
Vahakn Hovnanian (expired)
Hratch Kaprielian
Kirk Kazazian
Gregory Kinoian, Esq.
Silva Mesrobian **

Joan Rivitz, Ph.D.
Ani Shabazian
Gregory T. Simonian, MD
Levon Temiz
Avak Uzatmaciyan
Nyieri Vosbikian*
Timothy White

*PTO Liaison/**Faculty Liaison

All questions and comments to the Board of Trustees should be addressed to trustees@hovnanianschools.org.