Burbank Association Of School Administrators Honors Leaders

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Burbank Unified School District office. (Photo By Ross Benson)

The Burbank Association of School Administrators recognized three examples of strong leadership in the school community for 2020-21, BASA President and Principal of Luther Burbank Middle School Dr. Oscar Macias announced at the Board of Education meeting on Thursday, April 15.

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BASA recognized three exemplary members “for their significant contribution of service, leadership, performance and dedication.”

The first award for Committee Newsletter was given to Principal Molly Hwang and Walt Disney Elementary for their Positive Behavior and Intervention Supports Newsletter, Uplift.

“Disney’s social emotional newsletter titled Uplift was created around the school-wide philosophy and beliefs around what is best for their students,” explained Macias. “Disney Elementary believes that students’ social emotional well-being has as much impact as their academic achievement, and both need to be developed to have a solid foundation in which to grow.”

“This Uplift newsletter increases awareness about the importance of social-emotional well-being in students. The newsletter also increases parent and community engagement by providing parents with information on school-wide social emotional focuses, resources, definitions, and ideas for implementation of mindfulness activities.”

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Assistant Principal April Weaver of Monterey High School was recognized as Co-Administrator of the Year.

“April Weaver wears many hats as the Assistant Principal at Monterey High School. She’s not just the Assistant Principal. She is in charge of organizing testing, creating the master schedule, leading PBIS and having restorative discipline conversations with students, serving as LEA in IEP meetings… ” Macias said. “She’s also our academic counselor, creating graduation plans with students, discussing post-high school goals, scheduling student classes. She has already left a lasting impact in her first two years at Monterey.”

“She was the right leader at the right time for Monterey, and we can’t wait to see the continued fruits of her hard work and dedication,” commented Monterey Principal David Guyer. “She has a tireless passion for underrepresented students.”

Food Services Director Kathy Sessinghaus was chosen for the Charter Leadership Award.

“Kathy has consistently gone above and beyond when serving our most at-promise community with weekly nutrition, clear communication, and a kind heart,” Macias told the Board of Education. “Kathy embodies leadership with her strong communication, integrity, and positive attitude.”

BASA represents management employees in Burbank Unified, explained Macias, who has worked for Burbank Unified since 2000 as a teacher and assistant principal before becoming Luther’s principal. “It includes in its membership, certificated and classified supervisory employees. Also included are confidential employees, along with our senior district leadership members.”

As a chapter of the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), BASA advocates “for the development and support of inspired educational leaders who strive to meet the diverse needs of all our Burbank learners.”

BASA’s annual awards are chosen from a pool of nominees by members of the group’s awards committee.

“Our recent reopening efforts have taken lots of work behind the scenes. School sites, district departments, teachers, support staff members, parents, and our students have all had a hand in creating this moment that we have all been waiting for,” Macias also said. “I want to specifically give acknowledgement and praise to all our BASA members. Your dedication and hard work matters. ACSA has a catch phrase of ‘Leadership Matters.’ To all of BASA, I repeat that phrase so this community can hear it. Your leadership matters.”

“Again, a great big shout out to all our BASA members. You have all created conditions during this challenging school year to help all the members of our school district succeed. Your dedication to your leadership roles, to this district, and most importantly to the children of Burbank Unified is commendable.”