Houry Boyamian, M.Ed. Principal

Mrs. Boyamian has been the principal of St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School since1988. She has served the school with determination, bringing a sense of identity coupled with a dedication to the best education possible. Under her administration, in 2003 St. Stephen’s became the first Armenian day school in New England to be fully accredited by the Association of Independent Schools in New England. In 2011, she has introduced the STEM Initiative, putting a special emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. She has also played an important role in the realization of the expansion projects of the school.Mrs. Boyamian is fluent in four languages, Armenian, English, French and Arabic. She is a graduate of Nishan Palanjian Jemaran/Academy. She holds a French Baccalaureate in Literature and Philosophy from College Protestant Francais, a BS Degree in Pharmacy from St. Joseph University and a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts. For her dedication to the mission of the school and for her leadership role in the community, she has received in 2005 the Mesrob Mashdots medal from the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia and in 2008 the Queen Zabel medal from the Armenian Prelacy, as well as a Proclamation from the Massachusetts House of Representatives.


Nora Hackett, B.S., Asst. Treasurer

Nora Hackett has been part of the St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School family from the day it opened its doors. Her father, Yervant Krafian, was one of the founding members of the school. She has held roles at St. Stephen’s school from the beginning starting as a volunteer, a parent, a PTO Chair, an alumni parent and she has been working in her role as Assistant Treasurer for over 17 years. She graduated from Bentley College (now Bentley University) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. She worked at Bentley College for 10 years, first in the Public Relations Office and then as Assistant to the Vice President of Institutional Advancement. She then moved on to work in the Capital Campaign department as Computer Manager at Massachusetts General Hospital for 5 years. Once the campaign was completed, she took a position as the Computer Manager at the French Library in Boston of which she worked for another 5 years until the birth of her youngest child. All three of Nora’s children, David Ara, Mari & Ani are alumnus of St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School.


Arlet Ashjian, Admin. Assistant

Arlet Ashjian has been the Administrative Assistant at St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School for the past 12 years, continuously supporting the principal and teachers. Prior to SSAES, she held administrative and accounting positions in Macys, National Medical Care/Fresenius and as a Crew Leader Supervisor for the U.S. Census Bureau. Arlet is one of the co-founders of Sayat Nova Dance Company of Boston whose main objective is to perform to all Armenians and non Armenians around the world and promote and preserve the Armenian Culture through the beautiful art of dance. She and her husband Apo also founded Abaka Dance Academy in Watertown, where many of the school’s students attend beginning at an early age to learn about our culture. Arlet is passionate about children and is happy to be surrounded by them on daily basis. She believes that Armenian education and culture is an extremely valuable gift that every Armenian family should instill in their child’s life. Arlet and Apo have three children Alina, Garineh and Vrej. Arlet loves spending time with her family and friends and enjoys the beach, music and reading on her off time.


Ardemis Megerdichian, Grades 1-5 Armenian Teacher

Ardemis was born in Aleppo, Syria. She attended Aleppo's Zavarian School, Karen Jeppe High School, and Yerevan State University's Faculty of Philology. Sometimes she says jokingly, "I've been going to school from 3 years old till now", because after graduating she immediately started teaching at Aleppo's National Gulbenkian School, then at Aleppo's Sahagian School, after which she taught at Calousdian High School of Cairo, Egypt. Since 1999, she holds a teaching position at Boston's St. Stephen's Armenian Elementary School, as an Armenian language and history teacher. Teaching the young generation of students is not just a job for Ardemis, it is her life's mission. Ardemis has been commended by the Armenian Diasporan minister, in honor of her dedication to her Armenian school teaching.


Alik Arzoumanian, K Armenian teacher

Alik Arzoumanian is a children’s book illustrator and author who was the SSAES Art Teacher from 2002 to 2009 and the Preschool after school Art Teacher since 2014. She holds a BFA in Illustration from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and a Master in Science in Irrigation Engineering from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband and two children.

Michele Arthur,


Michele Arthur, M.Ed., Computer teacher and Grades 1 and 3 Teacher’s Assistant

Michelle was born, raised and still resides in South Boston. She and her husband Jay have three children Julie, Lynne and Gregory. She holds a B.S in Finance from Bentley University and worked as an accountant before having her children. In 2000, she earned her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Lesley University and is certified to teach Pre-School through Grade 6. Michele has taught Kindergarten, Pre-Kindergarten and 2nd grade at St. Brigid’s School in South Boston, as well as working in the Boston Public Schools as a reading intervention teacher and a Kindergarten and Grade 1 paraprofessional. Before coming to St. Stephen’s in 2013, she was the computer/technology teacher for grades K-8 at St. John the Evangelist School in Canton for 3 years and the Pre-K teacher for 1 year.



Catherine Izzo, Reading Specialist



Diane Chiappinelli, K teacher

Diane Chiappinelli holds a BA in English Language Arts from Boston University. She also received her M.Ed. in Early Childhood and Creative Arts from Lesley University. She completed an internship at the Newton Public Schools and her Student Teaching at Lexington Public Schools in first grade and kindergarten. Diane also worked for two years at the Watertown Public Schools as a Kindergarten Assistant teacher. She has lived in Watertown for 13 years. Diane is very excited to be starting her third year teaching kindergarten at St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School! She enjoys reading, long walks, spending time with family and cooking.

Patti Murphy


Patti Murphy, Curriculum and Professional Development Coordinator

Patti Murphy received her J.D. degree from Suffolk University Law School and her B.A. in English Literature from Tufts University. Patti has taught writing, visual art and Latin and was an independent school administrator for several years. She is the mother of three daughters, and has also practiced law and arbitration and is the author and illustrator of two children’s books.


Emily Gutermann, Gr. 1 Teacher

Ms. Gutermann has received her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Lesley University and her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Trinity College in Hartford, CT. She has been an Associate Teacher at BB&N School, in Grades 1 and 3, in 2015-2016 and has worked as an Assistant Teacher at Kingsley Montessori School in Boston, in 2016-2017.

Erica Lauria


Erica Lauria, Gr. 2 Teacher

 Erica Lauria grew up and still resides in Arlington, Massachusetts. In 2015 she graduated Boston College with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, Math/Computer Science, and a minor in Middle School Math. Recently in 2016, she completed her Master’s degree in Special Education, specializing in Moderate Disabilities for grades PreK-8. This is her second year as the 2nd grade teacher at Saint Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School. Prior to joining St. Stephen’s, she worked at Mason Rice Elementary School in Newton, MA. At Mason Rice, Erica student taught 5th grade in the fall of 2014 and was then hired as a substitute teacher for all elementary grade levels. The 2015-2016 academic school year, Erica continued to work at Mason Rice as a 3rd grade special education aide. In her spare time Erica teaches figure skating at The Learn to Figure Skate Club in Stoneham and is a member of the Colonial Adult Synchronized Skating Team in Acton.



Elaine Joyce, Grades 3 and 5 Teacher’s Assistant

 Elaine is originally from Quincy and currently resides in South Boston. She has two sons. Brian is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Notre Dame and David is a Spanish teacher at Boston College High School. Elaine holds a B.A. in English and Speech Communication from Boston College. She worked as a marketing manager for 17 years at National Fire Protection Association. After taking time to stay home with her boys, Elaine earned her Masters Degree in Elementary Education from Curry College. She taught Sixth Grade and Middle School English Language Arts at St. Peter Academy in South Boston. Most recently, she worked as an ELA Tutor at the Chapman Middle School in Weymouth. Outside of school, Elaine enjoys cooking, reading and walking by the beach.


Mireille O'Connor


Mireille O'Connor (M.Ed.) Gr. 5 Teacher

Mireille (pronounced Mir-ay) O'Connor is a lifelong resident of Watertown. She attended the Hosmer Elementary School, Watertown Middle School, and Watertown High School. She attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst from 2011 to 2015, receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with a minor in Elementary Education. During her junior year, she studied abroad in Lyon, France for one semester, helping her become intermediate in the French language. Mireille completed her Master in Education in May 2016 as part of the Collaborative Teacher Education Program at UMass Amherst. This is her second year at St. Stephen's and is enjoying every second! In her free time, Mireille enjoys going to the beach, traveling, being with family, and walking her dog, Minnie.  


Kathryn Cassesse


Kathryn Cassesse Gr. 3 Teacher

Katie Cassesse is the 4th grade teacher at St. Stephens. She grew up in Guilford, Connecticut, and earned her undergrad at Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont. Afterwards, she received her masters in elementary education from the University of Bridgeport in Ct. Before starting at SSAES, Katie worked at public schools in North Branford, Ct and Winchester, Ma. Outside of school, her hobbies include cooking, hiking, and reading. 




Kiely Goss Gr. 5 Teacher



Maro Arakelian - BA, N-5 Music Teacher

Maro is the instructor of early childhood music programs (“Tap & Clap” and “Mayrig & Me”) and serves as the Music Teacher for K-5 students at SSAES. She received her musical education at Komitas State Conservatory in Yerevan, Armenia, majoring in piano performance. Maro has 15 years of private piano instruction experience and has taught Armenian music history courses at the Adult Education Program of the Armenian Prelacy in Tehran, Iran. She holds a BA degree in Graphic Arts from the University of Tehran as well as a post-graduate certificate in graphic design with emphasis on Armenian Ornaments from the Yerevan Institute of Fine Arts. She completed a certificate program in pedagogy at Longy School of Music / Bard College in Cambridge, MA and is a certified Kindermusik (early childhood music education) instructor.



Kelly Marini, Gr. 1 T-Assistant



Richard Samaria M.Ed., K-5 Physical Education Teacher



Zareh Zarifian, Traffic Monitor