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Principal's Message

Principal Dr. Sona Arakelyan

Dr. Sona ArakelyanI was born in Yerevan, Armenia, and moved to the United States with my parents and brother in December of 1992. My parents decided to move to United States because they wanted to provide their children with numerous opportunities. I began attending Glendale High School at the age of 17. It was the most difficult time for me because I knew very little English. I stayed up day and night reading the dictionary and studying. I graduated with honors in a year. I then earned a BA degree in English from USC, a Master’s Degree in Education, and a Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership also from USC.

My personal philosophy has evolved around my strong belief that educators have the power to make a difference and to touch the lives of students leading them to academic achievement and success. My goal has always been to educate effectively all students so that each will contribute to and benefit from our diverse society. I am committed to the belief that all children can and will learn when the entire school community is involved in and dedicated to their personal, social, and academic development.

I have been in GUSD for the past 12 years. I began at Toll Middle School where I served as an Assistant Principal for 3 years, at Roosevelt Middle School for a year, and at Wilson Middle School for 3 years. Prior to becoming an Assistant Principal, I taught English for 9 years, served as a Title I Coordinator for 2 years, a BTSA provider, a GATE Coordinator, and a supervising teacher in LAUSD.

I’m passionate about education, and as an educator, a professional, and a mother of a 19 year old and a 13 year old, I strongly believe that every child, every parent, and every staff member, must be treated with respect and care. Becoming a principal of Balboa 6 years ago was a new challenge and a journey that I was honored to take. Going into my sixth year as Balboa’s principal, I say with happiness in my heart that my staff, parents, and my community embraced me with open arms, supported me through challenging times, inspired and motivated me, and made me realize day after day how blessed I am to have the honor of being the leader of our school. We have celebrated together, we have overcome obstacles together, we have laughed, and we have cried, but through it all we have stayed united as one big family with one goal of providing the best education and the best environment for our Balboa’s little angels.

For better or worse, educators and parents measure their lives out in the milestones of their children. Whether it’s moving from 6th grade to 7th grade, or from middle school to high school, we live and relive these transitions alongside of our children, and it seems that time moves more quickly as a result. Sometimes, it goes so fast that we forget to really look at and rejoice in all that is happening around us. So in this spirit, I urge you to live life to the fullest, to love with all your heart, be happy, laugh, be kind, be caring, be positive, and appreciate those who love you genuinely and are by your side through thick or thin. Parents, cherish every moment with your children as they grow way too fast, and children, appreciate your parents and guardians as you’ll never find anyone else who will love you unconditionally and will be there for you through good and bad times.