New principal and assistant principal begin school year at R.D. White Elementary

For more than 25,950 students attending Glendale Unified, Monday marked the first day of the new school year.

For some parents, the day was filled with emotion as they dropped off children just starting kindergarten.

Parents Eugene and Margarita Vesselinov brought their 5-year-old daughter, Angelina, to R.D. White Elementary School to begin her educational experience.

PHOTOS: First day of school at R.D. White Elementary

"I'm going to cry," said Angelina's mother, her eyes filling with tears. "I hope she's as interested in going to school every day like she is … today."

Meanwhile, Diana Zograbyan was seeing off her 5-year-old son, Anthony George Sarkisyan — the oldest of her two boys— as he began his first day of kindergarten.

Dozens of parents carried bouquets of red or white roses and chrysanthemums for teachers. Zograbyan held a bouquet of sunflowers, still waiting to learn who her son's teacher would be.

"Overall, it's a bittersweet moment," she said.

Narek Kassabian began Monday as R.D. White's new principal, a position formerly held by Suzanne Risse, who is the new principal this year at Monte Vista Elementary.

Kassabian grew up in Glendale attending Horace Mann Elementary, Roosevelt Middle School and Glendale High School. For the past five years, she has served as an assistant principal for Toll and Roosevelt middle schools.

Now, as principal of R.D. White, she's instituted a theme to encourage students based on the famous quote by Walt Disney, "If you can dream it, you can do it."

"I'm excited about the opportunity to be here," Kassabian said. "There's just such a positive energy here."

R.D. White Assistant Principal Daniel Di Mundo began his first day at the school after serving as a teacher specialist for the past three years at Cerritos Elementary.

"This is the most welcoming school I've ever been a part of," he said. "It's got a unique sense of community. I should be nervous, but I'm having so much fun so far."

Elsewhere in Glendale schools, Linda Junge began her first school day as principal at Crescenta Valley High and Juanita Shahijanian took the helm at Muir Elementary. Also, Elena Heimerl stepped into her new position as principal of Columbus Elementary.


Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.


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