Letter to John Burroughs High School Community From Principal Kenny Knoop

Principal and BUSD Superintendent address issue regarding the school's basketball coach.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Dear John Burroughs High School community,

I am writing to address the unfortunate misinformation about the changes in Burroughs Boys Basketball Program with one clear objective:  I wish to officially state that Coach Vicky Oganyan had no part in the District’s decision that lead to the recent removal of our Boys Basketball Coach. 

John Burroughs Administration went to Coach Oganyan asking for her support for the boys program during this difficult situation. To be clear, this help with a transition is the only aspect in which Coach Oganyan participated. To be clear, this help with the transition was enlisted solely as part of supporting the boys during this difficult and emotional time.  On many previous occasions, Coach Oganyan has gone out of her way to help, support, and mentor the boys program.

In the past few days, Coach Oganyan and the Girls Basketball Program, which includes our student athletes, have faced some inapproriate words, actions and threats from members of our own school community. For no good reason, Coach Oganyan’s character has been vilified.  This attack against her character and reputation is not only extremely inappropriate but equally unwarranted. I am emailing today in the hopes to insulate Coach Oganyan and the Girls Basketball Program from any further conversation related to the Boys Basketball program here at John Burroughs.  

As a coach, a teacher and a leader at John Burroughs, Vicky Oganyan has always been a person that exudes high morals and integrity. Her dedication to her teams and her commitment to excellence are truly inspiring. Since the day I met Coach Oganyan, she has been a role model for her players and her colleagues.  Her leadership has helped her teams grow both on and off the court. I have always found Coach Oganyan to be a loyal, respectful, and a caring employee who is willing to step in and help out in any situation. Coach Oganyan’s character and her values make her a great teacher, coach and I believe that she will continue to inspire and motivate her teams to achieve great things.

As part of a JBHS and BUSD joint statement, Superintendent Dr. Paramo has added the following statement;

“I have had the privilege of working with Ms. Oganyan for almost two decades. In fact, I directly supervised her for the ten years I was at John Burroughs High School. She is an amazing teacher and an excellent coach. Ms. Oganyan’s integrity and professionalism in the Burbank Unified School District are not in question. The messages on social media regarding Ms. Oganyan are unfounded. The attacks on her character are egregious and unacceptable. She has nothing to do with the termination of Coach Pope, and any statements to the contrary are false. The decision to let go of a staff member is an administrative decision. The problem with such false narratives is that they have unintended consequences. While I understand the grief associated with the removal of Coach Pope, targeting Ms. Oganyan and the girls’ basketball team is not ok” – Dr. Paramo.

Kenny Knoop, M.Ed.


John Burroughs High School