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$1 Million Donation Is ‘Major Milestone’ for Armenian School

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Charlie Keyan Armenian School in Clovis has an enrollment of 170 students in grades kindergarten through 6. (GV Wire Composite/David Rodriguez)
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The Charlie Keyan Armenian School in Clovis is the beneficiary of a $1 million donation from the Elaine Hamparson Trust, school officials announced this week.

Hamparson was described in a news release as a “beloved educator” whose goal was to empower local organizations to have a significant impact in their communities.

“We are humbled and extremely appreciative that after evaluating our program, visiting our campus, and seeing our vision for the future of CKACS, the trustees of Elaine Hamparson’s estate have selected our school as the recipient of this generous donation,” Dr. Christopher Shamlian, chairman of the school’s Board of Education, said in a news release. “This donation will undoubtedly be the catalyst for our next stage of growth, and we are excited to see its effects in our Armenian community.”

The donation is a “major milestone” in the school’s drive to build a new state-of-the-art campus.

Half of the money will go to the school’s Legacy Endowment Fund, and the other half into the building fund, Shamlian told GV Wire.

Meanwhile, fundraising efforts are continuing with potential donors, he said.

Expansion Plans

Officials are currently working on the school’s master plan design with multiple variations, depending on the location of the expansion project, Shamlian said.

“Our campus expansion committee is in the process of vetting all possibilities of expansion, including but not limited to a new campus,” he said.

The 45-year-old school, located at 108 N. Villa Ave. in Clovis, now has an enrollment of 170 students in grades kindergarten through 6. It has experienced “tremendous” growth in the past five years, “and we anticipate outgrowing our current campus within three years,” Shamlian said.

In addition to the comprehensive, standards-based and accredited English language educational program, students learn to read, write, and speak in the Armenian language while learning about their heritage and culture.

Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email

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