History of Armenian Evangelical Central High School

In 1922 Rev. Yenovk Hadidian founded a primary school in Adana Camp.  In the same year, a second school was founded in the nearby Isgenderoun Camp.  In 1924 the two schools were united to bear the name “The Armenian Evangelical School For Boys and Girls.”  It received its official license in 1925.


The school served the Armenian generation that had survived the Armenocide by offering them genuine Armenian Evangelical education.  Educators like Miss Jemileh Kardashian, Miss Rahel Yacoubian, and Mr. George Gaidzagian served the school prodigiously.


In 1932, in memory of his wife and daughter, Rev. Henry H. Riggs, a visionary humanitarian, made a generous donation that precipitated a new building that would serve as a church and classroom in the Ashrafieh area.


In 1938 and 1939 Mr. Hagop Boujikanian made the school a Junior High.


In 1943 Rev. Edward Tovmassian and Rev. Manasseh Shnorhokian were invited to act as principal and academic dean respectively.  In the following years, Miss Pepronia Merjanian and Mr. Kegham Mississian further enriched the academic experience.


Through unparalleled perseverance, the school witnessed a qualitative jump as it forged the secondary section as well for the school to be fully named “The Armenian Evangelical Central High “ as of the late forties.


In 1950 a crucial attestation was received from the American University of Beirut: upon the recommendation of the Principal, graduates of CHS would be admitted to the AUB without having to take the entrance exams.


In 1965 the Official Educational Program was implemented as well, and in 1969 the Kindergarten and Elementary buildings have completed the campus.


Despite the Lebanese Civil War and its devastating repercussions on all levels, CHS survived and blossomed: generations graduated, success crowned its undertakings, and the school’s 60th, 65th, 70th, and 80th anniversaries were celebrated with commemorative events.


A distinguished group of administrators guaranteed the educational ascent: Aram Boulghourjian(1975-1981), Artoun Hamalian(1981-1988), Sona Nashian (1988-1995), Sonia Sislian(1995-2007), and Maral Deyirmenjian(2007-present).



As of 1990, the CHS Alumni has been a continuous support.  For those young women and men the CHS is a source of inspiration, and they have been crystallizing this attachment through generous endowments.  Amongst them, of course, is the Principal, Mrs. Deyirmenjian.


Today is the Centenary of our beloved school: the past and present intertwine to show the path forward.  Decades of educational excellence fortified by Evangelical teachings and tolerance and Armenian Heritage still lie ahead.  And while our foremost reliance is upon God, we fully appreciate the invaluable support of AMAA, the school Alumni, the UAECNE, parents, and friends.  After all, the School Building was shaken to the roots by the Seaport Explosion of Aug. 4th, but here we stand, feet in the soil and minds and souls extending to Heaven.