In the bustling hallways of Monterey High School, an alternative educational hub in Burbank’s Northwest district, an inspiring wave of gratitude recently unfurled, led by the positive and dedicated student leader, senior Sara Gregori.
Recognized as the Student of the Month by the Burbank Noon Rotary for November, Gregori spearheaded an extraordinary school-wide initiative, transforming simple Post-it notes into a powerful symbol of appreciation for those who have fought for our country.
The Burbank Noon Rotary Club has partnered with Burbank Unified School District since November 2003 to honor a special student each month, after the principals of the featured schools choose the recipients.
“As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of our Student of the Month award, it’s truly fitting that a student like Sarah Gregori is our honoree,” said Darrin Borders, the club’s president.
“Sara’s project not only highlights her leadership and compassion but also serves as a beacon of inspiration, showing that even the smallest gestures can create a significant impact. She embodies the very essence of what this award has stood for over the years,” he said.
The Burbank Noon Rotary Club awarded Gregori with a $100 gift certificate from Amazon and a certificate from the club during its weekly meeting on November 14 at the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Burbank.
Monterey High School Principal April Weaver said that choosing students for the award is one of her favorite parts of her job, though it’s a difficult task to pick just one.
“At Monterey, we focus on building strong, thoughtful young people who will be positive members of the community. I wanted to choose a student who could represent the great work our student body does. This year, there was no better candidate than Sara,” Weaver said.
Gregori’s willingness to put in long hours trying to make Monterey a great place for students made her an ideal candidate. Weaver continued: “She is a wonderful representation of the hard working, dedicated young people that make Burbank a great place to live.”
Gregori, who has consistently shown initiative in student government and campus life, conceived the flag idea during a Student Council meeting. Inspired by her grandfathers’ military service and a suggestion from Assistant Principal Edwin Taylor, a disabled veteran, she and the other student leaders rallied the entire student body—all 123 of them—to participate.
“I didn’t think it would be so big,” Gregori said. “It was the first time I made such a request for a school-wide activity and I was thrilled the Assistant Principal Taylor liked the idea so much.”
She embraced the opportunity to demonstrate that teenagers like her really do care about their community. “We don’t always get the chance to show it,” she said.
Principal Weaver was moved by the students’ heartfelt messages, countering the stereotype of disengaged youth that is so prevalent today. “Our students at Monterey are incredibly considerate,” she added.
Taylor had the honor of presenting the Post-it flag to the Burbank VFW Chapter on November 10, a gesture that accompanied a canned food drive to support veterans in need.