BUSD Meeting: Julie Markussen, BHS Principal, Promoted to Director of Student Services

The roughly two-hour long meeting also highlighted a new class at Burroughs, titled African American Studies Project.

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(Photo By Ross Benson)

At the last Burbank Unified School Board meeting which took two hours and nine minutes, saw a few important items discussed on Thursday night at city hall.

Julie Markussen, the Burbank High principal after roughly two years, has been promoted to Director of Student Services for the district.

“It has been a joy and an honor to be principal at Burbank High,” she said. “I cherish this new chapter in my life.”

Steve Ferguson, a former BUSD president and now board member, said.

“It’s about your values and how you work,” he noted about Markussen.

Dr. Emily Weisberg, the BUSD president, chimed in on Markussen’s new job.

“It’s a gain for all of our kids,” she said.

Scott Hatch, a Burroughs High history teacher, spoke about a new and exciting class he’s teaching, highlighting Black History Month and its advanced placement African American Studies Project.

The class is an interdisciplinary course that examines the diversity of African American experiences through direct encounters with authentic and varied sources.

The purpose of the class is to take an interdisciplinary approach to diverse experiences of the African Diaspora and to push back against misconceptions of African and African Americans.

The class also aims to look at the Black experience through a series of lenses designed to draw connections to past and present events.

Additionally, Burroughs is pairing with Walt Disney Elementary to spotlight Black Americans following in the theme of Black History Month in 2024 and its African Americans and the Arts.

The Burroughs students created short presentations to share with the Disney students about artists, musicians, writers and actors. Disney students could then share what they learned by participating in a door decorating contest.

Three female students spoke about the incredible benefits to having taken this class, including Paris Tesfu, ASB president and one of the student representatives.

Dr. Armond Aghakhanian, the vice president, remarked.

“Education is the most powerful weapon,” he said to the students after hearing their excitement about having learned so much after taking the class.

Tesfu also addressed the five-member board. She spoke about celebrating Black Art in the quad area of the school and that the Bears girls’ basketball team advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division II A quarterfinals but lost to Santa Margarita 47-33.

Andranik Bilbulyan, who plays on the Burbank High boys’ water polo team, said there will be a pop show, a spirit week, Valentine grams and that the Bulldog baseball team will have a pancake breakfast on February 25.

Also, March 2024 was unanimously [5-0] proclaimed as Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.