Tag Archives: Burbank High School

Burbank High Academy Of Finance Students Learn Valuable Skills

Members of the Burbank High Academy of Finance spoke about personal experiences and achievements to the Burbank Unified Board of Education on Thursday, September 18. Although introduced by Sharon Cuseo, BUSD Director of Instruction and Accountability, the students gave the power point presentation and talked at length about the national program.

Burbank High School senior Jackie Nazarian found that working with Excel, learning how to invest in stocks and creating a personal job portfolio the most valuable skills she learned in the program.

The core of the Burbank High School Academy of Finance are the classes taken during the last two years of school. Business ethics and financial planning are studied as a junior. Basic accounting and a course in Economics, along with government, are taken as a senior.

Burbank High School's Academy of Finance gave a presentation to the BUSD Board of Education at City Hall on September 18. Front row, left to right: Marine Shirinian, Angela Kim, Angel Iwuoma, Ahdenae Khodaverdian. Back row, left to right: Jackie Nazarian, Vahe Aghajanyan, Chandler Robbins, Chauncey Behnam (Photo Courtesy of Alyson Edge)

Burbank High School’s Academy of Finance gave a presentation to the BUSD Board of Education at City Hall on September 18. Front row, left to right: Marine Shirinian, Angela Kim, Angel Iwuoma, Ahdenae Khodaverdian. Back row, left to right: Jackie Nazarian, Vahe Aghajanyan, Chandler Robbins, Chauncey Behnam (Photo Courtesy of Alyson Edge)

The Academy of Finance program also includes field trips, guest speakers from leaders in local business, government and finance, career preparation and a required 150 hours paid internship, typically completed during the summer between junior and senior year.

Senior Chandler Robbins completed his internship this past summer with Toluca Lake-based home loan bank Augusta Financial. In addition to learning proper workplace etiquette and office skills, he also “learned the ins and outs of the loan business.”

“I learned that becoming a loan officer was not for me,” he said, “but more importantly, I learned something about myself and my future.”

The Academy of Finance has been in place at BHS since 1992 and over 2000 students have graduated from the program with a certificate in Financial Studies. The Academy averages 150 students yearly and is taught by Alyson Edge and Patricia Garfield.

The academic, finance and technology based program also prepares students for job interviews, including instruction in and application of proper business dress, interview preparation, resume building and public speaking.

“It really is great teaching that allows these kinds of programs to flourish and develop in our district,” commented Sharon Cuseo, BUSD Director of Instruction and Accountability.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for kids to get business experience,” Board of Education member Larry Applebaum told the Academy of Finance students. “Whatever you learn here is going to help you.”

“Alyson and I feel so privileged to continue to be a part of this amazing program,” Garfield said. “We believe that teens should not only be empowered to make financial-related decisions once they leave home, but be able to start making better financial choices almost immediately.”

“Whenever either of us talks about what we teach – whether with family, friends, acquaintances or strangers – we are always met with a similar response,” Garfield added. “It goes something like this:  ‘I wish they had those classes at my kid’s school. Heck, I need those classes. Our country needs those classes.’”

 

Burbank Succumbs to Canyon in 35-21 Loss

Burbank's Brandon Alba scores with a throng of sportswriters watching (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

Burbank’s Brandon Alba scores with a throng of sportswriters watching (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

By Dick Dornan
myBurbank Sports Editor

The next chapter of Burbank football has officially begun.

With senior James Williams sidelined for the rest of the season because of a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee, the Burbank High football team took to the field for the first time since 2011 without the services of its superstar tailback.

The Bulldogs battled all evening long but shortcomings on both sides of the ball during the third and early fourth quarter proved to be the difference as Canyon pulled away and defeated Burbank, 35-21, Friday night at Harry Welch Field.

Tony Toledo rushed for 73 yards on 15 carries (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

Tony Toledo rushed for 73 yards on 15 carries (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

“I thought our kids fought hard. We battled. We represented Burbank to the fullest. I’m proud of them,” Burbank coach Richard Broussard said. “We have a long season ahead of us. We have things that we need to clean up. We just didn’t make enough plays. We made some plays just not enough. We have some things to work on but we had heart tonight.”

Williams’ high school career was ended prematurely when he suffered the injury on the opening kickoff against Bell Gardens two weeks ago. He finished his sparkling two-year run as the area’s best running back with 2,612 yards which ranks him second all-time at BHS just 466 yards behind Ulises Ochoa.

Williams, who has committed to Washington State University, scored 40 career touchdowns slicing and dicing his way through defenses.

With Williams now a spectator on the sideline yelling and cheering his teammates on, the Bulldogs will have to collectively rely on each other to have a productive and positive season.

When asked if the shock of losing Williams had an effect on the game, Broussard vehemently said no.

Burbank gave Canyon all it could handle for most of the game (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

Burbank gave Canyon all it could handle for most of the game (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

“Heck no. We were the most hyped we’ve ever been. Our guys were excited about this game,” he said. “I’m sure people were shocked how well we played against this team. We have some tough little scrappy kids from Burbank.”

The first half was well played as both teams exchanged touchdowns to enter halftime tied at 14 apiece.

Canyon (2-2) began the scoring with a 53-yard catch and run to the house on the third play of the game.

Burbank (2-1) tied it a seven when senior quarterback Ryan Meredith snuck in from one yard out with 3:12 left in the first quarter.

Early in the second period, the Bulldogs took advantage of a Canyon penalty on fourth down (illegal participation) and kept its drive going when Brandon Alba scored on a fly sweep from four yards. A 32-yard pass from Meredith to Dorian Houshoulder sparked the drive.

Burbank maintained a 14-7 lead until Canyon’s Myron McAfee burst through the Bulldogs defense en route to a 77 yard touchdown run that sent the teams into the locker room deadlocked at 14.

The Bulldogs went into a funk for the next quarter-and-a-half with penalties, poor tackling and an inept offense that allowed Canyon to take a commanding 35-14 lead with 6:29 left in the game.

Ryan Meredith scrambles as he looks for a receiver down field (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

Ryan Meredith scrambles as he looks for a receiver down field (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

Reality had set in that Williams was no longer on the field to make the big play. For the first time in the game, Bulldog players appeared lost and in need of a spark.

“We’re so used to making big plays that we were getting complacent because 21 (Williams) wasn’t out there to hit the home run,” Broussard said. “Ryan had to grind this thing out. We will take what they give us and move the ball.”

Meredith, who completed 18 of 27 for 174 yards, was his own worst enemy in the third quarter throwing an interception and multiple incompletions while visibly getting down on himself.

“Ryan is his own worst critic. He’s hard on himself,” Broussard said. “But he was slinging it on that last drive.”

And sling it he did completing seven of eight passes for 91 yards on Burbank’s final drive which culminated when Tony Toledo scored from a yard out to make it 35-21 with 2:31 remaining in the contest.

Toledo rushed for 73 yards on 15 carries. Houshoulder caught six passes for 101 yards. But there was no escaping the fact that Williams’ absence, now permanent, had an effect on the team emotionally and physically.

“We definitely wanted to go out and play hard for James because he’s my brother,” Houshoulder said. “I’ve been playing with him since freshman year. I love him to death. I want to show him that we can still ball out.”

“We have a lot to play for this season,” Toledo added. “James was our best player but we have to all step up now. We’re going to miss him but it’s up to us now to make it happen. We just have to play hard all game and we can do it.”

Burbank plays at Pasadena (1-2) next Friday in its Pacific League opener at 7 p.m.

Burbank Girls Volleyball Looks to Regain League Title

By Rick Assad
Special to MyBurbank

Kyle Roach isn’t about to rock the boat, especially after what the Burbank High girls’ volleyball team accomplished last season.

Under Sarah Brown, the Bulldogs placed second in the Pacific League behind Arcadia with an 11-3 record, finished 15-8 overall, and advanced to the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division 2-A playoffs.

“I admire what [Coach] Sarah has done,” said Roach, the first-year Burbank coach who inherits nine seniors. ”I’m going to try and build on what she’s already done, and add my own style.”

Roach said the Apaches are a slight favorite, but Burbank, Burroughs and Crescenta Valley aren’t too far behind.

Photo by Ross A. Benson

Photo by Ross A. Benson

“I think we have a real chance to win the league,” Roach said. ”We had a great summer. We won the Burbank [High] Summer League, the Van Nuys [High] Summer League, and tied for first with Valencia in the Pierce [Junior College] League.”

Burbank’s season begins at home versus Golden Valley on September 11, while league action commences at Muir on September 18.

“We do have our whole starting lineup back and they work really well together,” Roach said. ”They’re on the same page every play and they work as a team. We have a lot of senior leadership and many have playing experience.”

One of the leaders is senior setter Sara Treadway, a three-year varsity starter. Treadway, a tri-captain, is the school’s all-time leader in assists for a season with 600 and career with 925.

“Sara’s a great kid and a hard worker,” Roach said. ”She’s definitely one of our floor leaders.”

Senior middle blocker Allison Tiegs is Burbank’s tallest player at 5-foot-11, and will be asked to deliver this season.

“Allison led the team with 222 kills, which is a school record,” said Roach of Tiegs, who was also selected first-team all-league.

Senior libero Lily Winn will be counted upon heavily if the Bulldogs are to challenge for the league title.

“She’s a captain and set the school record with 317 digs,” Roach said. “Lily plays on the softball team and is very athletic. She needs to be on the court for us.”

Another captain, senior outside hitter Rose Cowart stands 5-foot-7, which isn’t especially tall, and is a three-year varsity player.

“Rose is under-sized for the position she plays, but is still effective,” Roach said. “She’s very athletic which also helps her.”

BHS volleyball2

Photo by Ross A. Benson

This will be senior outside hitter Denise Daniel’s third season on the varsity, and if everything falls into place, it could be her most productive.

“Denise has a high volleyball IQ, and she’s played club,” Roach said. ”She’s one of our main hitters and was third last year with 144 kills.”

In Burbank’s defensive scheme, senior middle blocker Nicole Mailhot is essential. “She’s our best blocker,” Roach said, ”and one of our hardest workers at the net. Her blocks start the defense.”

When it comes to knowing the nuances of volleyball, senior outside hitter Ashlyn Edwards is at the top of the list.

“She has a very high volleyball IQ and is one of the best all-around players on the team,” Roach said. ”You can put her in any position on the floor and she’s going to do well.”

Lauren Brenn is a senior opposite hitter and extremely versatile. “Lauren’s also one of the best all-around players,” Roach said. ”She’s adds energy and hustle during practice.”

Senior libero Lucia Estrada does the little things that draws attention from the opposing bench. “Lucia is one of the best diggers and main defenders we have,” Roach said, ”and she gets notice from the other coach. She’s a great kid and a hard worker.”

Junior outside hitter Cailey Stevenson isn’t tall, but is an explosive jumper. “Cailey can jump really high and works hard,” said Roach of Stevenson, a member of the softball team.

Hailey Heath is a sophomore opposite hitter who played soccer for the Bulldogs, and is expected to have an impact over many seasons.

“Hailey’s another fine athlete and she’s going to be one of the leaders over the next couple of years,” Roach said.

Sophomore middle blocker Nicole Winters lacks playing time, but the future appears bright. “Nicole is a quick learner and everything that I’ve seen from her has been impressive,” Roach said.

Freshman Melissa Daniel is a backup setter. “She plays club and is learning everything that she can,” Roach said.

Burbank won the Pacific League title in 2012. Will 2014 be another championship year for the Lady Bulldogs? Only time will tell but Roach would love to make his first year at the helm a special one.

 

 

Burbank Football Preview: Keeping an Eye on the Prize

Burbank worked hard in the off-season to prepare for a long run this year (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank worked hard in the off-season to prepare for a long run this year (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

By Dick Dornan
myBurbank Sports Editor

Excitement abounds from the Burbank High School campus as the Bulldogs kick-off their football season tonight at 7 p.m. at Ayala High School. Expectations are high for Burbank as they attempt to take one step farther in their quest to win the school’s first-ever CIF championship.

First on the agenda is winning a Pacific League title and then the pursuit of a CIF crown begins.

Richard Broussard begins his first year as head coach (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Richard Broussard begins his first year as head coach (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“Expectations are high. This is a group of kids who gives what it takes to win,” First-year coach Richard Broussard said. “I don’t have any lower expectations because I’ve been here. I’ve been around all these kids and have seen them come up as freshmen.

“They are excited about the season and winning a league title. They need to get through all the steps required because it won’t be easy. They’ve accepted the challenge so far. They are ready to go.”

The Bulldogs, ranked No. 5 in the preseason Southeast division coaches poll, return plenty of offensive talent from a squad that went 10-3 (a school-record for wins) and reached the CIF semifinals, the farthest a Bulldog team has ever gone.

Back for one last hurrah is one of the area’s best running backs in senior James Williams. The Washington State-commit has had an illustrious career having rushed for a school record 2,912 rushing yards on 297 carries- a whopping 9.81 yards per carry in his two high school seasons. He ran for 1,443 yards in 2012 and 1,469 in 2013.

Ulises Ochoa currently has the single-season school record with 1,504 yards set in 2009. Count on Williams to surpass those numbers and own the record for himself.

James Williams has cemented himself as one of the best players ever in Burbank history (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

James Williams has cemented himself as one of the best players ever in Burbank history (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Williams scored a single-season school record 22 rushing touchdowns last year and has hit pay dirt 39 times overall running the ball.

When taking into account all-purpose yardage, Williams set the single-season school record in 2013 with 2,307 yards. He has lit up the scoreboard 46 times in his two seasons.

Against Crescenta Valley last year, Williams ran wild for 278 yards, the most ever in a game in Burbank history.

Along with Williams, the Bulldogs feature talented quarterback Ryan Meredith. A two-year starter, Meredith has thrown for 2,955 yards, 33 touchdowns and only three interceptions. Last year, Meredith tossed for 2,320 yards (second best mark ever in BHS history) while throwing 29 touchdowns and being intercepted a mere two times.

Ryan Meredith looks to lead the Bulldogs to the promised land (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Ryan Meredith looks to lead the Bulldogs to the promised land (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“Ryan is a totally different kid. We saw potential his sophomore year. Last year he did real well. Then he did a lot of work in the offseason,” Broussard said. “He’s ready to lead this team. His growth is going to be key offensively. We are going to put a lot more on his shoulders. He’s going to take our offense to new heights. It will be fun to see.”

After the heart-breaking semifinal loss to La Serna, the eventual CIF champion of the Southeast division, Meredith went right back to work with his personal trainer just two days later. His physical growth and mental maturity has been very evident in summer workouts.

“The game has slowed down a lot. I grew a lot from reads to coverages to little things,” said Meredith. “Coach Bru (Broussard) has really helped me.”

The senior signal-caller is prepared to lead the Bulldogs to greater heights than the school has ever seen.

“We need the preseason games to see where we are at but I feel that we are a team that could make a really good run. I like our chances,” Meredith said.

Other key offensive players include senior tailback Tony Toledo (584 yards, seven touchdowns in 2013), wide receiver Dorian Housholder (372 yards, three touchdowns) and senior left tackle Jordan Meza.

Burbank's defense will be the key to the season (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank’s defense will be the key to the season (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

If the Bulldogs are to win a league title or even capture the ultimate prize, the defense will be the difference. They are as green as the turf they practice on but as talented as anybody else in the league. Leading the defensive charge will be senior defensive end Kyle Alvarez.

“His growth is going to be huge because of how young our defense is. We are replacing seven or eight starters,” said Broussard. “We have some experience up front but everyone else is real green. He’s going to be important. He understands our system.”

Alvarez had a team-high 63 tackles a year ago. Despite the inexperience of the team’s linebackers and secondary, Alvarez likes what he sees.

“I feel the hunger every day at practice. I can see it in our eyes. We really want it,” he said. “Hopefully we can go to big places. People shouldn’t underestimate us.”

Sophomore Andy Reyes (51 tackles, 6 1/2 sacks as a freshman) returns with tons of untapped potential at linebacker. Other contributors will be senior cornerback Nick Cantong, senior safety Chris Wong and senior defensive end Alex Gonzalez.

The Bulldogs’ junior varsity team went 10-0 last season and the freshman followed suit also going 10-0 averaging 50 points a game including posting seven shutouts. Along with Reyes, sophomores Jake Kelley, Danny Porras and Forrest Fajardo represent the future for the program.

Burbank begins the season on the road for its first four games. The Bulldogs will finally return home to Memorial Stadium on October 3 in their second Pacific League game against Crescenta Valley at 7 p.m.

“They haven’t been afraid to work. I challenged them to be hungry and stay humble and grind every day. They respond well to challenges,” Broussard said. “They want to win a championship. They had some teams beat them last year that really get under their skin. They don’t like that. They feel like they deserve to win.”

Time for the season to get started and for the Bulldogs to get out and E.A.T.T.

 

Burroughs Wins the 2013-14 “myBurbank CUP” Trophy

(L to R) Burroughs Athletic Director Jose Valle, Athletic Director Marty Garrison, Assistant Principal of Athletics Matt Chambers and Principal John Paramo hold up the coveted myBurbank CUP trophy  as champions of 2013-14 (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(L to R) Burroughs Athletic Director Jose Valle, Athletic Director Marty Garrison, Assistant Principal of Athletics Matt Chambers and Principal John Paramo hold up the coveted myBurbank CUP trophy as champions of 2013-14 (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

By Dick Dornan
myBurbank Sports Editor

Drum roll please….

Without further ado, it’s time to officially present the winner of the “myBurbank CUP” trophy presented by Trophy King and Gifts to John Burroughs High School.

By virtue of its 79-56 victory over Burbank High for the 2014-14 athletic calendar year, the Indians have won the inaugural “myBurbank CUP.”

“It is an honor for our school to win the ‘myBurbank CUP’ because it is the first time that our community has a competition that takes into account all team sports,” said Matt Chambers, Burroughs Assistant Principal of Athletics. “This trophy is not about an individual’s performance, but rather the efforts and success of all programs.”

Burroughs Principal John Paramo sits alongside the school's newest prize (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs Principal John Paramo sits alongside the school’s newest prize (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

For the very first time in the school’s athletic histories, a challenge was presented to each school’s athletic departments to compete and earn enough points to claim the newest trophy in town.

This coveted and stunning trophy will be annually recognized for “the spirit of cross-town competition and the pursuit of athletic excellence.”

The “myBurbank CUP” presented by Trophy King and Gifts will be presented in August of each year to the athletic department of either Burbank or Burroughs High School. The trophy will remain at the winning school to showcase to its community until the winner is decided the following year and so forth.

The winner between Burbank and Burroughs was determined by the accumulation of points based on head-to-head varsity competition and athletic achievement (league titles, playoff success, bonus points for season sweeps against each other) during the school year. This pertains only to team competition and not individual achievement.

During fall competition, Burbank ran out to an early and huge 35-12 lead by taking the head-to-head battles (13-7) and conquering in athletic excellence (22-5).

Burroughs vs. Burbank

Burroughs vs. Burbank

Burroughs responded with a strong winter by dominating Burbank, 26-6. This included a 7-3 advantage in head-to-head matchups and a 19-3 victory in athletic excellence.

The spring sports season arrived with Burbank holding a narrow 41-38 lead in the race for the “myBurbank CUP.” An anticipated close duel turned out to be a mere afterthought as JBHS poured it on with a decisive 18-4 win in head-to-head competition and a 23-11 advantage in athletic excellence as BHS struggled down the stretch.

Burroughs took the spring by a total of 41-15 which resulted in a surprisingly easy 79-56 win in cumulative points to take ownership of the first annual “myBurbank CUP.”

myBurbank Sports Editor Dick Dornan (rt) presents the trophy to Burroughs Principal John Paramo (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

myBurbank Sports Editor Dick Dornan (rt) presents the trophy to Burroughs Principal John Paramo (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“Any success that was earned during the 2013-14 athletic year can be attributed to the commitment of our players, dedication of our coaches, and support from our parents,” said Oscar Macias, Assistant Principal of Instruction at Burroughs and loyal supporter at many Indian sporting events.

Last week myBurbank Sports Editor Dick Dornan presented the “myBurbank CUP” trophy to Burroughs Principal John Paramo and the athletic administration (Matt Chambers, Athletic Directors Marty Garrison and Jose Valle).

Home Sweet Home for JBHS (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Home Sweet Home for JBHS (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

We would like to thank Burbank’s own Trophy King and Gifts located at 1509 W. Magnolia Blvd. They helped create and design this incredible trophy that will be kept each year at the winning high school. Please visit at http://burbanktrophies.com or call at (818) 848-3566.

The trophy features a base where each year Trophy King and Gifts will inscribe the winner of that year’s competition in either blue for Burbank or red for Burroughs.

On top of the base are beautiful acrylic pieces that feature the logos of both Burbank and Burroughs High School.

The top of the trophy features a magnificent silver cup that will stand out in the trophy case for the winning high school each year.

Wear your red or blue with school pride. Each athletic event now carries more meaning in the city than ever before. With that being said, best of luck to both schools this year as the battle for the “myBurbank CUP” resumes.

Here are the 2013-14 results sport by sport; contest by contest; season by season-

MyBurbank CUPMyBurbank CUP- continued

Burbank Students Attend Grammy Camp

Three Burbank high school students, who are also members of the same jazz trio, recently attended the selective Grammy Camp summer program to further their intensive music study.

Drummer and percussionist Kobi Abcede, a senior at Burroughs High School, attended the Grammy Camp in Minneapolis earlier in July. Band members Josh Turner and Evan Mehta attended the Los Angeles Grammy Camp session later in July.

(left to right) Evan Mehta, Kobi Abecede and Josh Turner have formed a high school jazz trio. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

(left to right) Evan Mehta, Kobi Abcede and Josh Turner have formed a high school jazz trio. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

“Grammy Camp was special from the other camps because it was the closest thing I ever felt to being a professional musician,” Abcede commented. “We got to work with other people, not just musicians, and we all collaborated to make something special.”

Bassist Turner, a junior at Burroughs, met Abcede, then a ninth-grader, when Turner was an eighth-grader in middle school jazz band. They joined forces with keyboardist and pianist Mehta, a junior at Burbank High School, after connecting with him at a Burbank-Burroughs combined jazz performance earlier this year.

(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

“Grammy Camp was an incredible experience yet again, it is incredible to be with other musicians and songwriters of a high caliber,” said Mehta, who attended the Los Angeles program for the second year in a row. “To play with world-class musicians and to be able to gain attention from people like the president of Capitol Records, the founder or Earth Wind and Fire, Justin Timberlake’s producer and major artists from around the planet every day is a priceless opportunity.”

In its tenth year, Grammy Camp holds one-week intensive workshops and sessions with music industry veterans and seasoned professional musicians in Minneapolis, Nashville, New York City and Los Angeles. The culmination of each week is the Launch Party, at which program participants jam onstage.

Students at Grammy Camp celebrate the program's culmination with a 'Launch Party.' ( Photo courtesy of The Recording Academy®/WireImage, photo by Mark Sullivan © 2014)

Students at Grammy Camp celebrate the program’s culmination with a ‘Launch Party.’ ( Photo courtesy of The Recording Academy®/WireImage, photo by Mark Sullivan © 2014)

Held at the El Rey Theatre, this year’s Launch Party for the L.A. program brought together the session’s 75 students who performed original material. Hosted by actress and singer Nikki Reed, the event was attended by Atom Factory’s Troy Carter, singer/songwriter Caitlyn Crosby and Roar Management’s Will Ward.

“I feel that my preparation and ability to seize opportunity allowed me to be selected out of thousands of applicants,” Mehta continued. “My advice to other young musicians would be to employ the same preparation and be ready to grind in order to become a full-fledged professional. It is NOT good enough to be just a great pianist, singer or dancer. You need to be able to do it all.”

Turner plays electric and upright bass and basically is self-taught. After joining middle school band in sixth grade, he continues to explore his love of music, playing in the Burroughs high school band and jamming with other local musicians like Abcede and Mehta.

“I am really influenced by Early funk like, Parliament Funkadelic, Brothers Johnson, Kool and the Gang, KC and the Sunshine Band and Chic,” he said. “I am also influenced by Ray Brown, Paul Chambers, and Jaco Pastorius.”

Josh Turner, Kobi Abcede and Evan Mehta run through a jazz standard. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Josh Turner, Kobi Abcede and Evan Mehta run through a jazz standard. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Mehta took formal piano lessons until age 12. Since that time, he says he’s been self-taught from books and recordings. He also plays in the Burbank High School band program.

“I ran a jazz trio my sophomore year that played at reputable clubs in LA, most notably Vitellos, Vibratos and LA Live,” Mehta continued. “Now, I am in the process of creating a fusion band with some college musicians, writing for film, producing and writing R&B/Hip Hop tracks, learning how to mix and master tracks and forming business connections with older industry professionals.”

“We play mostly Latin and straight-ahead jazz standards that I have rearranged or re-harmonized,” Mehta said about the as-yet-unnamed Burbank high school trio. “We also play fusion, neo-soul and funk. None of my groups work with a teacher, they are self-led; however we have been approached by very reputable mentors such as Gordon Goodwin, Russell Ferrante, Ron Jones, Pat Senatore and others.”

At a recent rehearsal in Burbank, the trio sounded well put-together, running through recognizable jazz standards. The group intends to play at local school functions and around the L.A. area in the coming year.

BUSD Offers Free Summer School Options For Burbank Students To Get Ahead

Burbank high school students have a lot of options to get ahead on required school courses this summer. Burbank Unified is testing out a pilot summer program for initial credit classes run by Options For Youth (OFY) charter school at the Burbank High School campus from July 1 through August 7.

The OFY Summer Program is free to Burbank Unified students. The charter school uses Average Daily Attendance funds to pay the teachers, staff and fees and provide textbooks and supplies.

BUSD teachers, curriculum and textbooks are all employed for the OFY Summer Program.

TOSA Kenneth Knoop check a student's homework during class at Options For Youth's Summer Program at Burbank High.  (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

TOSA Kenneth Knoop checks a student’s work during class at Options For Youth’s Summer Program at Burbank High. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

“Our most popular class is Health/Careers,” commented Kenneth Knoop, Teacher On Special Assignment (TOSA) overseeing the summer program at BHS. “We have four classes of Health students and most are eighth graders going into ninth grade.”

The Options For Youth at BHS program also offers a Physical Education class. The free summer school has approximately 150 students enrolled in five classes.

“Most of the kids attending summer classes here are really motivated and are trying to get ahead and get those required classes out of the way,” Knoop added. “They’re really great kids… the super motivated kids who are willing to spend part of their summer in school.”

Burbank High School teacher Marcus Turner with students in Options For Youth's Summer Program at BHS.  (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Burbank High School Health teacher Marcus Turner with students in Options For Youth’s Summer Program at BHS. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

“The majority of the students in this summer program are in performing arts, like band or choir, and need to take a double block of classes during the school year to participate in some of those programs,” explained Emilio Urioste, Director II of Secondary Education.

Knoop, in addition to being a Phys Ed teacher at Jordan, also subs for administrators on leave in the district and is Assistant Football Coach at John Burroughs High School. As TOSA, he is acting as supervisor of the summer program, and right now, he is also the substitute teacher and the nurse.

“This is the first year run for this program and we are still working the kinks out, but it’s going very well,” he added.

Knoop acknowledged BHS Principal Michael Bertram and the school’s administrative staff are on site, along with custodial and cafeteria support.

“They’ve all been really great and very helpful,” he said.

Burroughs High School Health teacher Amy Lucas works with students at the Options For Youth Summer Program at Burbank High School. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Burroughs High School Health teacher Amy Lucas works with students at the Options For Youth Summer Program at Burbank High School. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

During the summer hours, students in the Phys Ed class exercise outside in the early hours of school, which begins at 7:40 a.m. For the rest of the day, until 1:00 p.m., the students complete in class writing assignments. Teachers take a few breaks, including one for lunch.

The students in the Health/Careers classes cover all the material studied during the school year in six weeks. One day of summer school is equivalent to one week of classes during the school year. Summer school runs four days per week. Absences are frowned upon and missing more than two days out of the summer session may result in being dropped from the program.

Grades for completed summer classes are transferred directly to the student’s transcript.

“Our offering of these programs through Options For Youth is in line with our superintendent’s emphasis on the need to be flexible and provide options for today’s students and their families,” Urioste added. “This vision of greater options and flexibility is what Dr. Jan Britz holds up for the administrators and reminds us to pursue.”

Teacher Marcus Turner's students think about Health/Careers.  (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Teacher Marcus Turner’s students think about Health/Careers. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

An online summer program via OFY is also available to BUSD high school students for both initial credit and credit recovery, with a referral by their counselor. The online program includes classes in social studies and English, among others, and students are required to attend the Options For Youth campus on Burbank Boulevard two hours per week, completing the rest of the class work online at home.

Burbank students may also take classes via Woodbury University’s Initial Credit Summer Program. Because of an agreement set up between Woodbury and BUSD Board of Education, courses taken at the Woodbury program can transfer directly to a student’s record.

The Options For Youth Summer Program seems poised for growth and may add additional classes and subjects next year.

myBurbank Honors Its Scholar-Athletes of the Year for 2013-14

Sidney Ortega of Burroughs and Burbank's Ethan Moskowitz (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Sidney Ortega of Burroughs and Burbank’s Ethan Moskowitz (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor

To excel in sports is a great achievement. To shine in sports and in academics is even a greater honor.

After four years of hard work and studious attention to academics and countless hours of sacrifice and commitment to their respective athletic teams, Sidney Ortega of John Burroughs and Ethan Moskowitz of Burbank High School earned their greatest reward- college acceptances to UCLA and Cal Poly Pomona, respectively.

Simply the best (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Simply the best (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Pursuing excellence in the classroom and in sports has gone hand-in-hand for the two recent graduates. They embodied the true essence of a ‘student-athlete’ playing multiple sports while maintaining tremendous grades.

Their success in both realms of life has earned them the distinction as the myBurbank “Scholar-Athletes of the Year.”

Ortega, 17, excelled on the basketball court and on the diamond in softball while Moskowitz thrived in cross country and in track. Their sports are vastly different yet each had one common goal in mind at the end of the day- be the best you can be at whatever you choose to do.

Ortega was a member of the 2014 Pacific League champion JBHS girls basketball team and earned all-league second-team honors. She led the Lady Indians with a 10.1 scoring average and knocked down a team-high 54 three-pointers as Burroughs completed an undefeated league season at 14-0.

In softball, the Indians had a strong season as well finishing in second with Ortega again receiving all-league second-team recognition. She batted .518 and led the team with 43 hits and 37 runs.

Sidney Ortega

Sidney Ortega

Ortega carried an astounding 4.55 cumulative GPA during her four splendid years.

Burroughs recognized her outstanding accomplishments by naming Ortega the 2014 Mike Torrez Memorial Athlete of the Year this past spring.

Ortega fulfilled a dream come true when she was accepted into UCLA. From Luther Burbank to Burroughs and now to becoming a Bruin, Ortega has triumphed with flying colors.

“I didn’t plan on going to UCLA because I thought I wasn’t going to get in. But when I heard I did, I was doing backflips and cartwheels. I was so excited,” she said. “I get a good education and get to watch great sports there. It’s been a happy ending to a fairy tale.”

Moskowitz, 17, received the BHS cross country team’s ‘most inspirational runner’ award and was a second team all-league honoree as a senior. This past fall, the Bulldogs had a phenomenal season finishing second in league, placing ninth at the CIF Finals and sustaining a top-10 Division 1 ranking all season long.

In track, Burbank took second place in the Pacific League after another strong showing by the long distance squad in which Moskowitz played a pivotal role.

Moskowitz steadily progressed over four years into a reliable and consistent runner for Burbank. His best track times were 4:29 for the 1600 and 9:31 in the 3200. His top cross country marks were 15:37 at Mt. SAC and 15:09 at Arcadia Park.

Ethan Moskowitz

Ethan Moskowitz

Moskowitz’s efforts in school (an exceptional 4.25 cumulative GPA) and in sports resulted in Cal Poly Pomona accepting and welcoming him on to the cross country and track teams.

From John Muir to Burbank and now to becoming a Bronco, Moskowitz has deserved everything that has come his way.

“It’s very exciting. When I actually took a tour of the campus, I knew when I walked around that this would be the school I would go to. It’s a beautiful campus,” he said. “I’m going to major in business and it’s a great business school. And I’m going to be running on their cross country and track teams. I’m going to fit right in.”

As the two scholar-athletes begin the next chapter in their lives, they reflected upon what their high school experience meant to each of them.

“It was great playing two sports. The sports made a difference and getting good grades was important,” Ortega said. “I’m also glad I did it because it changed who I met. Some of those people are my closest friends. They made a big impact on me.”

“Burbank gave me so many great life lessons and experiences. I also made so many lifelong friends,” said Moskowitz. “I learned how to balance academics with athletics by just going home after practice and getting straight to work. I learned how to discipline myself how to get the work done. I wanted to make sure I took care of grades and do well in athletics.”

Both were also very appreciative of their coaches’ support and guidance through the years.

“My coaches (Vicky Oganyan and Doug Nicol) helped me get through adversity. If I was at a low point in sports, they would always help me keep pushing. I will take that through college,” Ortega said. “They were always helpful, encouraging and wanted me to do well. They pushed me to strive to do my best. Slacking wasn’t an option. Without them, I don’t think I would have been as successful as I am now.”

“They (Trevor Marca and Darin Wolf) pushed me and motivated me to be successful. They created an environment where the whole program helped each other with academics. The upperclassmen tutored me when I was a freshman and I tutored when I was a senior. We all helped each other. Being a runner for four years played a large part in that.”

 

Burroughs & Burbank Girls Summer Basketball Leagues Now in Action

Burroughs Girls Basketball (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs Girls Basketball (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

This summer will provide fans a lot of opportunities to see the future of Burroughs and Burbank girls basketball. Each school is hosting a varsity summer league on their respective campuses. Here are the schedules for the two programs:

Burroughs Varsity Summer League on Tuesdays-

JB_Summer_League_Varsity

 

Burbank Girls Basketball (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Girls Basketball (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Varsity Summer League on Wednesdays-

BHS_Varsity_Summer_League

Burbank Boys Summer Basketball League Tips-Off on Tuesday

BHS-Summer-Basketball-3

Summer basketball has arrived and the Burbank Bulldogs will be hosting their annual Boys Varsity Summer League every Tuesday and Thursday beginning this Tuesday, June 17, and lasting until Tuesday, July 22.

The host Bulldogs, under the leadership of Coach Jerry DeLaurie, will play this week on Tuesday at 6:45 p.m. vs. Notre Dame and on Thursday at 9:45 p.m. vs. Grant.

Schedule of games-

Tuesday, June 17
Team 1 Team 2 Location Gym Time
1 La Canada   vs. Paraclete Glendale High School Big 3:00
1 Glendale   vs. Paraclete Glendale High School Big 4:00
1 Harvard Westlake   vs. Valley Academy Burbank High School Big 5:45
1 Notre Dame   vs. Burbank Burbank High School Big 6:45
1 SOCES   vs. Chatsworth Burbank High School Big 7:45
1 Marshall   vs. Golden Valley Burbank High School Big 8:45
1 Crescenta Valley   vs. Grant Burbank High School Big 9:45
1 Campbell Hall   vs. North Hollywood Burbank High School Small 9:45
Thursday, June 19
Team 1 Team 2 Location Gym Time
2 Campbell Hall   vs. La Canada Glendale High School Big 3:00
2 Notre Dame   vs. Glendale Glendale High School Big 4:00
2 Harvard Westlake   vs. Knight Burbank High School Big 5:45
2 North Hollywood   vs. Golden Valley Burbank High School Big 6:45
2 Chatsworth   vs. Knight Burbank High School Big 7:45
2 Valley Academy   vs. Crescenta Valley Burbank High School Big 8:45
2 Burbank   vs. Grant Burbank High School Big 9:45
2 SOCES   vs. Marshall Burbank High School Small 9:45
Tuesday, June 24
Team 1 Team 2 Location Gym Time
3 La Canada   vs. Crescenta Valley Glendale High School Big 3:00
3 Marshall   vs. Glendale Glendale High School Big 4:00
3 SOCES   vs. Paraclete Burbank High School Big 5:45
3 Notre Dame   vs. Golden Valley Burbank High School Big 6:45
3 Valley Academy   vs. Paraclete Burbank High School Big 7:45
3 Harvard Westlake   vs. Chatsworth Burbank High School Big 8:45
3 Burbank   vs. North Hollywood Burbank High School Big 9:45
3 Campbell Hall   vs. Grant Burbank High School Small 9:45
Thursday, June 26
Team 1 Team 2 Location Gym Time
4 Marshall   vs. Campbell Hall Glendale High School Big 3:00
4 Glendale   vs. SOCES Glendale High School Big 4:00
4 Knight   vs. Burbank Burbank High School Big 5:45
4 Golden Valley   vs. Chatsworth Burbank High School Big 6:45
4 Knight   vs. North Hollywood Burbank High School Big 7:45
4 Harvard Westlake   vs. La Canada Burbank High School Big 8:45
4 Grant   vs. Valley Academy Burbank High School Big 9:45
4 Crescenta Valley   vs. Notre Dame Burbank High School Small 9:45
Tuesday, July 1
Team 1 Team 2 Location Gym Time
5 Crescenta Valley   vs. North Hollywood Glendale High School Big 3:00
5 Glendale   vs. Chatsworth Glendale High School Big 4:00
5 Grant   vs. Paraclete Burbank High School Big 5:45
5 Marshall   vs. Burbank Burbank High School Big 6:45
5 Paraclete   vs. Golden Valley Burbank High School Big 7:45
5 Harvard Westlake   vs. SOCES Burbank High School Big 8:45
5 La Canada   vs. Valley Academy Burbank High School Big 9:45
5 Campbell Hall   vs. Notre Dame Burbank High School Small 9:45
Tuesday, July 8
Team 1 Team 2 Location Gym Time
6 Notre Dame   vs. Grant Glendale High School Big 3:00
6 Campbell Hall   vs. Glendale Glendale High School Big 4:00
6 Chatsworth   vs. Paraclete Burbank High School Big 5:45
6 Burbank   vs. Golden Valley Burbank High School Big 6:45
6 Burbank White   vs. Paraclete Burbank High School Big 7:45
6 Harvard Westlake   vs. North Hollywood Burbank High School Big 8:45
6 La Canada   vs. Marshall Burbank High School Big 9:45
6 SOCES   vs. Valley Academy Burbank High School Small 9:45
Thursday, July 10
Team 1 Team 2 Location Gym Time
7 Notre Dame   vs. SOCES Glendale High School Big 3:00
7 North Hollywood   vs. Glendale Glendale High School Big 4:00
7 Harvard Westlake   vs. Knight Burbank High School Big 5:45
7 Golden Valley   vs. Grant Burbank High School Big 6:45
7 Knight   vs. Valley Academy Burbank High School Big 7:45
7 Chatsworth   vs. Marshall Burbank High School Big 8:45
7 Burbank   vs. La Canada Burbank High School Big 9:45
7 Burbank White   vs. Campbell Hall Burbank High School Small 9:45
Tuesday, July 15
Team 1 Team 2 Location Gym Time
8 Grant   vs. La Canada Glendale High School Big 3:00
8 Harvard Westlake   vs. Glendale Glendale High School Big 4:00
8 Paraclete   vs. Campbell Hall Burbank High School Big 5:45
8 Golden Valley   vs. SOCES Burbank High School Big 6:45
8 Paraclete   vs. Notre Dame Burbank High School Big 7:45
8 Valley Academy   vs. Marshall Burbank High School Big 8:45
8 Chatsworth   vs. Burbank Burbank High School Big 9:45
8 North Hollywood   vs. Burbank White Burbank High School Small 9:45
Thursday, July 17
Team 1 Team 2 Location Gym Time
9 Harvard Westlake   vs. Marshall Glendale High School Big 3:00
9 Glendale   vs. La Canada Glendale High School Big 4:00
9 Knight   vs. Notre Dame Burbank High School Big 5:45
9 North Hollywood   vs. Chatsworth Burbank High School Big 6:45
9 Knight   vs. Burbank Burbank High School Big 7:45
9 Valley Academy   vs. Campbell Hall Burbank High School Big 8:45
9 Grant   vs. SOCES Burbank High School Big 9:45
9 Golden Valley   vs. Burbank White Burbank High School Small 9:45
Tuesday, July 22
Team 1 Team 2 Location Gym Time
10 Chatsworth   vs. Campbell Hall Glendale High School Big 3:00
10 Golden Valley   vs. Glendale Glendale High School Big 4:00
10 Knight   vs. Valley Academy Burbank High School Big 5:45
10 North Hollywood   vs. La Canada Burbank High School Big 6:45
10 Knight   vs. Marshall Burbank High School Big 7:45
10 Harvard Westlake   vs. Grant Burbank High School Big 8:45
10 Burbank   vs. SOCES Burbank High School Big 9:45
10 Burbank White   vs. Notre Dame Burbank High School Small 9:45