Burbank School Board candidate and resident of three years Abby Pontzer Kamkar opens up about her passion for education in her myBurbank candidate profile. Pontzer Kamkar was previously a high school instructor and has dedicated nearly a decade to “working with school districts and education non-profits.” In addition, Pontzer Kamkar is a mother to two young children and enjoys Burbank parks, small businesses, schools and the local summery weather.
How long have you been a Burbank resident? What first brought you to the city?
We moved to Burbank from Los Feliz when I was pregnant with my second child in 2019. Previous to that, I had been taking classes at the Burbank Tennis Center and had noticed the beautiful parks, clean streets, and family-friendly atmosphere. I started what I thought would be a years-long campaign to convince my husband to move out of “the city,” but he was convinced on our first trip over the hill.
What do you enjoy most about Burbank?
There are so many things I love about Burbank! Obviously, our excellent schools are a big selling point for anyone who cares about children. One additional thing I often tell others when advocating for a move to Burbank is that we have amazing parks and flat sidewalks – something you take for granted before you are pushing a stroller or teaching a kid to ride a bike!
Where is your go-to place to have a good time in Burbank?
One of my favorite parts of the week is the Saturday morning coffee run at Fleet Feet Burbank. We meet at the store at 8:30 a.m., do a three to four mile run and end at the Starbucks on Verdugo and Olive. The group is fun and welcoming, and I’ve made some good friends and met lots of neighbors while getting a nice run in. When I’m not running, working, or momming, I’m enjoying the many wonderful independent coffee shops and cafes we have in Burbank – Romancing the Bean, Basecamp, The Palm, Ugly Mug, Café de Olla – we are so lucky to have such a vibrant small business community.
Tell us a little bit about your background leading up to your candidacy.
I’m a mom to a kindergartener and preschooler, but I’ve been involved in education much longer. I was a high school classroom teacher after college and then spent five years in business school and the private sector. I moved to Los Angeles in 2013 to work in public education and have spent the last nine years working with school districts and education nonprofits. I understand education from the local, regional, state, and federal level, and I know how to interpret and contextualize all the data surrounding our district.
What is a fun fact about yourself that you’d like to share?
I grew up in Minnesota, so I’m incredibly thankful for the weather here, even when it’s over 100 degrees. If it’s sunny out, I have to spend time outside or that Midwestern guilt gets me!
Note: Some answers have been edited for clarity. All answers are provided by candidates and do not denote verification on behalf of myBurbank.