Burbank Council PTA Recognizes Over 50 People Making A Difference In Schools

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Council PTA acknowledged many members of the public school community at the 64th annual Honorary Service Awards banquet held Wednesday, April 16. Fifty-six individuals and organizations were recognized for their efforts on behalf of children.

Board of Education members Dave Kemp, Roberta Reynolds, Charlene Tabet and Larry Applebaum attended the HSA banquet, along with BUSD Superintendent Dr. Jan Britz and BUSD Directors Emilio Urioste, Tom Kissinger and Sharon Cuseo. The event was put together and hosted by Brenda Burroughs from Burbank Council PTA.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)
(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“This is always one of my favorite evenings of the year because volunteer service is so important to PTA and it’s great to have a chance to give some recognition to the people and organizations who are out there everyday supporting our schools and the community,” commented Steve Fritner, Burbank Council PTA President. “None of the people honored at the banquet were doing this work for recognition or awards, they were doing it because they care about children, about the schools and about Burbank.”

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)
Steve Fritner and Brenda Burroughs flank Council honorees Annette Fiol and Barbara Miller. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“The evening was a great success. Brenda and her committee did a first class job putting the event together,” Fritner added. “Many of our past HSA honorees come to the banquet each year. It’s great to see them, it helps remind everyone that PTA has a long history of volunteering in the schools and the community.”

HSA awards are given out by unit, council and district PTAs to acknowledge outstanding community service to children and youth, explained Fritner.

“I was especially happy to present the Council Awards to Barbara Miller and Annette Fiol. These two ladies personify what volunteer service is,” he also said.

John Burroughs High School Brass Quintet and the JBHS Woodwind Ensemble entertained the attendees and members of Burbank Girl Scout Troup 11456 were also on hand to present the Flag Ceremony.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)
Roosevelt honorees (from left to right) Gema Sanchez, Jana Mattison, Linda Walmsley and Kelly McGowan. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Two people and one organization were awarded the Golden Oak Service Award, the most prestigious of the HSA awards. It is given to recognize significant contributions made toward the welfare of children and youth in a school or community. Linda Walmsley from Roosevelt Elementary and Georgine Archer from Muir Middle School were awarded the Golden Oak, while Washington Elementary recognized Nickelodeon Animation Studios.

“Linda Walmsley, our beloved Kindergarten teacher and advocate for our community, received the Golden Oak Award for her 43 plus years of service to our kids and community!” said Kathy Wills, who has taught Kindergarten at Roosevelt alongside Walmsley for 15 years.

“She was raised in Burbank and went through the school here. She has always been involved in the Burbank Schools and is so knowledgeable about Burbank politics and history,” added Wills. “She is a great Burbank resource and has quite a reputation.She has always jumped into efforts that improve the life of kids.”

“[Linda] has dedicated her days to the classrooms but her weekends and evenings she [has] worked hard to bring programs, services and funds to the all the youth of Burbank.”

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)
Nickelodeon Animation Studio honorees. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“The reason why our Parent Teacher Association awarded Nickelodeon with the Golden Oak is because of their continuous help and support at our school,” commented Aylin Ghookhassian, Washington PTA President.

“For over a decade, Nickelodeon’s artists come to our school and take part in the Chalk Day and surprise the kids with all of their cartoon character drawings all over the school play yard. Not a spot is left empty and after the kids come out they spend time teaching them and giving them few tips.”

“This year, they even committed to do more for our school and they send their artists into classrooms from K-5 to do drawing lessons,” Ghookhassian added. “The kids are loving it and the parents really appreciate it.”

Archer “does so much for our school community, from attending Muir PTA meetings, working in the school garden, organizing math field days, as well as endless noteworthy work with twenty years of work with the Girl Scouts and a fifty year member of Delta Gamma making a difference in the community,” stated the event program, describing Archer’s service to Muir.

“Whether it is a family in need, an abandoned pet or a dying plant, Georgine Archer will find a way to help. She calls it an investment in family. We call her an investment in our world. Thank you Georgine Archer for your tireless work for our school.”

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)
(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Honorary Service Award recipients for 2013-14:

Walt Disney Elementary

Shannon DiForte – Honorary Service Award

Dillon Ross – Honorary Service Award

Christina DiGiacomo – Honorary Service Award


Thomas Edison Elementary

Michael Spencer – Honorary Service Award

Jenny Geary – Honorary Service Award

Nalini Brigstocke – Honorary Service Award

Jennifer Tracy – Honorary Service Award

Michele Zepeda – Continuing Service Award


Ralph W. Emerson Elementary

Stephanie Lee – Honorary Service Award

Iberia and George Brogmus – Honorary Service Award

James Coomes – Honorary Service Award


Bret Harte Elementary

Sylvia Kelman – Honorary Service Award

Bernadette Reardon – Honorary Service Award

Robert Sanchez – Honorary Service Award


Thomas Jefferson Elementary

Stacy Eaton – Honorary Service Award

Nichole Moore – Honorary Service Award

Julie Barnhart – Honorary Service Award


William McKinley Elementary

Kathy Petzoldt – Honorary Service Award

Jamee Tingley – Honorary Service Award

Jenny Harris – Honorary Service Award


Joaquin Miller Elementary

Jennifer Bastian – Honorary Service Award

Christina Yang – Honorary Service Award

Debra Gaskin – Honorary Service Award


Providencia Elementary

Liz Pardo – Honorary Service Award

Natalie Porter – Honorary Service Award

Liz Watters – Honorary Service Award


Theodore Roosevelt Elementary

Jana Mattison – Honorary Service Award

Kelly McGowan – Honorary Service Award

Gema Sanchez – Continuing Service Award

Linda Walmsley – Golden Oak Service Award


Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary

Bernadette Galaviz – Honorary Service Award

Susan Gold – Honorary Service Award

Lisa Loomis – Honorary Service Award

Michelle Thornsberry – Honorary Service Award

Tina Rondinella – Outstanding Teacher Award

Karin Anderson – Outstanding Teacher Award


George Washington Elementary

Chandra Collins – Honorary Service Award

Arcy Covarrubias – Continuing Service Award

Susan Martin – Outstanding Teacher Award

Nickelodeon – Golden Oak Service Award


Luther Burbank Middle School

Black Sheep Squadron – Honorary Service Award

Vicki Thalheimer – Outstanding Teacher Award

Brian O’Rourke – Outstanding Administrator Award


David Starr Jordan Middle School

Jennifer Hughes – Honorary Service Award

Mike Graceffo – Continuing Service Award

Leonidas Tarca – Outstanding Administrator Award


John Muir Middle School

Michele Harris – Continuing Service Award

Georgine Archer – Golden Oak Service Award


Burbank High School

Tigran Khachikyan – Honorary Service Award

Augustine Garcia – Honorary Service Award

Kay Cee Mills – Outstanding Teacher Award


John Burroughs High School

John Paramo – Honorary Service Award

Yvonne Seta – Continuing Service Award


Burbank Council PTA Recipients

Barbara Miller – Continuing Service Award

Annette Fiol – Continuing Service Award