With the school year winding down and graduation on the horizon, the Burbank Unified School Board members met Thursday night at City Hall and a number of important topics were handled.
The Board recognized and handed out commendatory resolutions to two people and they are the highest honor the board can bestow to an individual.
They included Lori Little, PTA Council President and Diana Abasta, President of the Teachers Association.
Little has been a strong leader who fought for all students, including LBGTQ+ students at the state convention, which was historic.
Little, who was also on call during the COVID-19 epidemic, was labeled “an advocate for education funding,” and that “she’s a giver, giver, giver and is a tireless worker” by board member Charlene Tabot.
Little is omnipresent at every Burroughs High girls’ basketball game and softball game.
Little, who was there with her husband Brian, and two daughters, Jennifer, who played softball at Burroughs High and later in college and Rachel, who played softball for the Bears and will graduate this month and will attend New York’s Utica University, where she will play on the women’s softball team.
Little, who is ending her 14-year tenure as a parent/advocate, was also praised by member Dr. Armond Aghakhanian.
“I want to thank her for all the sacrifices she made as a parent and as a mother,” he said.
Dr. Emily Weisberg, the vice president, also praised Little. “I wish I could have worked with you longer than I did,” she said.
Abasta has dedicated forty-plus years as a teacher in the district including thirty years as an English teacher at Burbank High.
Kenny Knoop was introduced as the next principal at Burroughs after being principal at Dolores Huerta Middle School.
“We are lucky to have you. Mistakes are going to happen, but we are all here for you,” board president Steve Ferguson said.
Aghakhanian pointed out two things about Knoop that have always impressed him. They are “his handshake and all his positive energy,” he said.
Muir principal Dr. Greg Miller introduced new assistant principal Corey Howard.
“The students are excited about Muir’s new projects,” Aghakhanian said after the introduction of Howard, whose mother Cathy Howard is retiring after forty years as an educator in the BUSD.
Weisberg issued her support: “We’re here to support you anyway we can,” she said.
Ferguson noted: “We need leaders to be problem solvers,” he said.
The full board adopted that June be Pride Month and that May 22 be Harvey Milk Day.
The Muir chess team kindergarten through sixth grade and kindergarten through eighth grade was recognized after becoming state champions.
So good are these chess teams that they beat club teams which are the equivalent of an All-Star travel team, which picks the best of the best as members.
The 2022-2023 National Merit Scholar Finalists from Burroughs and Burbank were also recognized by the board.
Additionally, Sharon Cuseo, assistant superintendent of instructional services introduced Sandra Macias, culinary arts instructor, who spoke about the students who placed and participated in the SkillsUSA Regional and state championship.
One student spoke about her time and experience in the competition, saying that while it was fun and exciting, it was also nerve wracking being under a time constraint.
Ultimately, she was able to prepare a full chicken dinner in a specified time, and it was important she stayed the course and did what was necessary in order to master the art.