On Monday Evening, April 29th, the Masons of Burbank hosted their annual Public Schools Recognition Night at the Burbank Masonic Center (406 Irving Dr.) The event was hosted by the two presiding officers of the lodges; Billy Campbell, Master of Burbank # 406 and Karekin Karazian Master of Magnolia Park # 618. The Master of Ceremonies Duties were shared by Tommy Quiroz and Vartan Shakhgeldyan, Senior Deacons of their respective lodges.
The festivities were kicked off with a medley of songs by the Disney Elementary School Singers, Directed by Robin Kreisberg.
The program continued with a special recognition of three of Burbank’s finest local teachers, who were recommended by their principals and selected for their devotion to their profession and dedication to their students. Those recognized were Tiffany Kaloustian, Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School, Luci Bowers, Luther Burbank Middle School, and Jean Spero, Monteray High School.Each teacher was presented with an engraved plaque and a honorarium to commemorate the occasion. The music then continued with a performance by Luther Burbank Middle School Choir, directed by Anthony Redman.
Each of the Musical Directors were given a small honorarium to go towards their respective schools program. Also in attendance were Burbank Unified School District Members; Larry Applebaum, President, Dave Kemp, Vice President Ted Bunch, Member, Emilio Urioste, Director of Secondary Education, Kimberly Clark, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent and Public Information Officer.
The evening concluded with music provided by Burbank High School Jazz Band , conducted by Mike Stanley. After which all in attendance were treated to a barbecue supper prepared by Lodge Members.
Profiles of the honored teachers:
Jean has taught for Monterey High School for almost 30 years. She has taught science, creating labs and experiments on a shoestring budget. She also teaches computer education, which arose from her own interest in technology and teaching students real-life applications, and she teaches mathematics patiently, working with our students who have tremendous gaps in their basic math skills. Jean also serves as the school’s test coordinator, manages student ID photos, serves as the school’s site technology technician, and assists with a wide variety of student and teacher assignments and activities that require computer formatting. Jean Spero is a great asset to Monterey!
Tiffany Kaloustian is an excellent 5th grade Language Arts teacher with tests scores among the highest in the District, but she was nominated because of the extra time she dedicates to her students. Each year, Tiffany puts on a “hula show” with the theme that one person can make a difference. She gives up her lunch breaks to teach hula dances and skits to her students, culminating in a performance for parents. She lives this theme and has challenged her students to make a difference every day. Two of her students were inspired to raise money for the Make a Wish Foundation by selling lollipops. The entire school joined in and exceeded their goal by raising $5,000 to make wishes come true for two children who are terminally ill. Tiffany has instilled the qualities of compassion and activism in more than 100 fifth-graders at Roosevelt Elementary School.
Luci was unanimously nominated by her peers. As ASB Director, Luci is the consummate professional! She and her students are the heart and soul of Luther Burbank Middle School. Luci has revived school spirit and doubled the involvement of staff, students, and families in school activities. Luci has recruited the time and resources of multiple business partners. She always thinks outside the box and refuses to believe that something cannot be done. Luci’s teaching shows caring, compassion, and high expectations. She is a team with her students and she doesn’t succeed until they do. She has a loyal following of past students who continue to seek her advice and guidance. Luci is truly a team player. The Luther Burbank colors of green and gold flow through her veins!