Diane Berger, Former Bret Harte Principal

By On January 15, 2015

UPDATED 1/18 –

Memorial Service Information for Diane Berger

The memorial service for Diane Berger will be held on Saturday, January 24, at 1:30 p.m. at Burbank First United Methodist Church, 700 N. Glenoaks Boulevard, with the reception to follow at the church. Diane’s husband, Robert Berger; her son Bob Berger; and her daughter Laura would appreciate donations to Bret Harte’s Outdoor Science School in lieu of flowers.

Burbank Unified School District Reports the passing of Diane Berger:

Diane Berger (Facebook)

Diane Berger (Facebook)

The Superintendent’s Office has learned the sad news of the passing of long-time District employee Diane Berger. Ms. Berger retired in June of 2008, after a distinguished career as an educator in Burbank and after serving as principal of Bret Harte Elementary School for 16 years. She began her teaching career in Burbank at Luther Burbank Middle School in 1969. She quickly established herself as an outstanding English teacher and a leader at Luther. She became one of the first mentor teachers selected in Burbank, and she shared her expertise with many new teachers, who benefited from her knowledge and experience.  In 1981, she moved to Burbank High School. She not only gained a reputation as an outstanding teacher; she also continued to be a leader in the District’s mentor program. She expanded on this experience, becoming an adjunct professor at Cal State Dominguez Hills and a supervisor of student teachers. During her tenure as the principal of Bret Harte, Ms. Berger become known for her willingness to share successful ideas with colleagues and she became a leader among principals.

Among her many accomplishments was her role as head of the committee to design the elementary standards-based report card. She has constantly provided support to new principals, just as she mentored new teachers.

Ms. Berger worked closely with all members of the Bret Harte community to make it an outstanding school. Besides focusing on rigorous instruction for all students in core academic subjects, she was a champion for the arts. With her support and encouragement, teachers at Harte were able to obtain extensive training in arts instruction through the Getty Center, Los Angeles County Music Center, Los Angeles county Museum of Art, and other institutions. She hired arts specialists to fill in the instructional gap when District arts funding had been cut. Very few educational leaders leave a legacy as rich as the one that Diane Berger left. Her dedication to the profession and her love of children have inspired others to become outstanding educators. She will be remembered as a tireless educator and an advocate for the families in the District.

She is survived by her son, Bob Berger, a teacher at Emerson Elementary School and her daughter, Laura Marsh. Information on memorial services will be forthcoming. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this difficult time.