Speakers at School Board Meeting Try and Make a Point

Dr. Thomas Crowther and softball coach Doug Nicol address the school board.

(Photo By Ross Benson)

Few people in Burbank have worn more educational hats than Dr. Thomas Crowther, the former Burbank High principal, Burbank vice principal, Burroughs vice principal, classroom teacher, and current Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment K-12, with one of the original charter organizations in Los Angeles.

At the most recent Burbank School Board Meeting at City Hall on Thursday evening, Crowther, who has also been a former principal at Toll Middle School in Glendale, was one of many five-minute speakers who addressed the board members.

Crowther, who has been a student and also a coach at Burroughs, spoke passionately about the need to increase the athletic budget, which has stood for more than two decades at $43,000.

It has been as high as $100,000 and $90,000 which is acceptable said Crowther, who along with his wife, have children attending Burbank schools.

Crowther also pointed out that the district has had difficulty on occasion to secure buses for away sports events.

Toward the end of the meeting, the board voted on 13 C, which reads: Approval of salary, modification to the employee contracts for the Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, and Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services.

In so many words, Crowther said that there’s money for this but not an increase for the athletic department.

When it came time for the board members to vote, it was a unanimous 4-0.

Dr. Emily Weisberg, the vice president, thanked Crowther for his time and his many emails and she can see that he loves the district and only wants the very best.

President Steve Ferguson also thanked Crowther for his passionate talk, and also said he would like to “compensate everyone” and that it’s important to “stay competitive with compensation.”

Longtime softball and basketball coach Doug Nicol was a five-minute speaker and noted that the Burroughs softball team needs a field on campus and not having an outfield fence is a shame.

Two current Burroughs softball players also spoke for five minutes and noted that the team sometimes feels like a poor stepchild to the other teams which all have their own playing field while they have to play at Olive Park and have been booted off when a youth team needs the site.

Three student representatives, Burbank’s Serineh Ter-Petrossyan, Burroughs’ Ever Huerta, and Monterey’s Katherine Fagnani, spoke on what’s happening at their respective campuses and the first two had glowing remarks about their sports teams.

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