Tag Archives: awards

Burbank Honors Public Servants in Community Service Awards

Boy Scout Troop 210 of Burbank. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

On Wednesday, August 30th, Burbank honored our own hometown heroes with a Community Service Awards ceremony at the Elks Lodge. The awards event was two years in the making, and honorees were made up of the 2015 and 2016 years. The event was organized by the  Burbank’s Elks Lodge 1497, and with little help from Burbank’s very own Boy Scouts Troop 201.

The awards proved to be a good reminder Burbank’s city leaders are some of the best in the country. That same reminder is more important now after the La Tuna fire, which you can read more about here. Now, without further ado, let’s go over the list of award recipients!

 Teachers of the Year

Center Jan Hacker. ( Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

For the 2015 year, Sara Line was given the Teach of the Year award for an outstanding job in promoting achievement and success to our young students here in Burbank.

As for the 2016 year, Jan Hacker of John Burroughs High School was awarded Teacher of the Year. As for what this award means to her, Hacker had this to say:

It’s really been an honor to be included with the other individuals that were here tonight, mostly because it’s very representative of the kind of town Burbank is all about. The people that I’ve met here tonight are all parents, students, and grandparents. That’s what it’s all about: Everybody being a part of the same thing. Tonight really made me feel like that. With officers, firefighters, city workers – to be included in that crowd, and to be representative of what Burbank is all about, it’s a huge honor for me.

Police Officers of the Year

Officers of the year were awarded to incredible public servants who have gone above and beyond to ensure they’re the best they can be for the city of Burbank. The following officers were awarded for the 2016 year:

Officer Cindy Guillen

Sergeant Joshua Kendrick 

Sergeant Adam Baumgarten

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Sergeant Mark Stohl


After the awards ceremony, I was able to catch up with Officer Cindy Guillen to ask her what this award meant to her:

This award is very special to me. One, because there was a lot of hard work that we put in. My partner and I were one unit, working together and working for the community. We did everything we possibly could to not only make the community better, but to mend the gap between the police department and the community. The work we did is appreciated through this award and we’re very grateful to be honored.

City Employees of the Year

For the 2015 year, Bradley (Brad) Recker was awarded for his unrelenting passion to make Burbank better.

For the 2016 year, Bill Parrish was awarded for his outstanding service to the community.

Firefighters of the Year

Captain Daryl Isozaki. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Firefighters of the year are chosen by other firefighters. By voting for an individual, firefighters are essentially choosing the best representation of the entire department.

Captain Daryl Isozaki was awarded Firefighter of the Year for 2015. Isozaki has been a part of the the Burbank Fire Department for 31 years. After the ceremony, I caught up with Captain Isozaki to get his take on his award:

It’s a privilege. I’m on the tail end of my career right now, and I’m going to retire this year. I’ve seen a lot of things change over the years and the one thing that doesn’t change for the Fire Department is their quality and talented people that we have. It’s a privilege for me to be able to mentor some of our young firefighters and help them out in their career. This is a good expression of the department expressing years of service and some of the contributions we’ve made.

As for the first thing he’s going to do after retiring, Captain Isozaki simply plans on going fishing.

Engineer Andrew Chest. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Engineer Andrew Chest was awarded Firefighter of the Year for 2016. On the award, Chest had this to say:

It’s an appreciation of the hard work, it’s an appreciation of the department for me, and I hold it with high regards. It is indeed an honor to be here tonight. It’s pretty prideful to receive this award. It’s who your peers think who deserves the award, that’s what’s honorable about this.

If you’d like to see more of the ceremony, take a look at the pictures below!

PTA Honors Outstanding Volunteers And Organizations

Some of the hardest working people in the community, who volunteer their time, talents, and resources for the benefit of children, were honored when the Burbank Council Parent Teacher Association (PTA) held its 63rd Annual Honorary Service Awards dinner.

Photo By Ross A. Benson

Photo By Ross A. Benson

Honorees were selected by the Burbank Council PTA and of the 16 PTA or PTSA units at each of Burbank’s public schools.   The Council recognized two recipients of Honorary Service Awards, The Burbank Town Center and Kathy Yaeger.  The Burbank Town Center was selected based on their “My School Is Cool Program,” which has contributed in excess of $150,000 to our school over the past five years.   Yaeger, who is the Senior Administrative Secretary for the Burbank Unified School District’s Facilities Services, received the HAS for her work above and beyond her job in helping volunteers  groups in the district.

Honorary Service Award recipients by school are:

Walt Disney Elementary:  Robyn Kreisberg, William Thompson, and Maria Gonzalez.

Thomas Edison Elementary:   Lisa Bethel, Melissa Lopez, and Sandy DeAmicis.

Ralph Waldo Emerson Elementary:   Karen Mansoorian, Jennifer Skurnik, and Amy Toczek,

Bret Harte Elementary:   Julie Thomas, Mageara Cameron-Spell, Ann Ouellette, and Steve Jacobson.

Thomas Jefferson Elementary:   Larry Applebaum, Rosie Hatun, and Kelly Duenckel.

William McKinley Elementary:   Pamela Holcomb, Rob Outwater, and Taia Perry-Kretz.

Joaquin Miller Elementary:   Nabil Hourany and Amy Kamm.

Providencia Elementary:   Jennifer Culbertson, Bryan Sanchez, Sandi Shearer, and Lori Little.

Theodore Roosevelt Elementary:   Kimberly Boucher, Juli Mahoney, and Bonnie Staub.

Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary:   Tom Bakas, Kym Wheeler, Claire Torrey, Uma Narayanan, and Lori Durbin.

George Washington Elementary:   Dennis Roy, Carla Kida, and Jessica Darwich

David Starr Jordan Middle School:  Robin Hatch and Jamie Thomas.

Luther Burbank Middle School:   Marissa Allen-Cohen, Nancy Kim, and Sefanie Enokian.

Burbank High:   Doug Berry.

John Burroughs High:   Teresa Jung, Robert Jung, and Sherry Beamer.

Continuing Service Awards are given in special recognition of ongoing or longtime service to children and youth.

Continuing Service Award recipients are:

Walt Disney Elementary:   Diya Allison-Hettler.

Thomas Edison:   Brenda Burroughs and Stacey Wright.

Ralph Waldo Emerson Elementary:  Janet Harlan.

Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary:  Steven Booster Association and Zigta Lefebvre of Cartoon Network.

John Muir Middle School:  Lali Cola.

Golden Oak Award:

Trish Vosper, who has been a teacher for 32 year was presented the Golden Oak Service Award by the Emerson Elementary PTA.  It is the most prestigious PTA award, given to an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to the welfare of children in a school or community. She has been at Emerson the past 25 years, and is retiring this year.  She received the award for her priority to put children first.

Also recognized at the dinner were the individual unit presidents.  Along with Burbank Council President Barbara Miller, they are:   Diana Dobson, Disney; Stacey Wright, Edison; Amy Toczek, Emerson; Julie Thomas, Harte; Michele Higginbothma, Jefferson; Brenda Outwater, McKinley; Sandi Shearer, Providencia; Gema Sanchez, Roosevelt; Jennifer Jesperson, Stevenson; Alin Ghookhassian, Washington; Tammy Sparks, Lutgher; Karen Hohman-Almeida, Jordan; Sean Cyphers, Muir; Charlene Tabet, Burbank High; and Sherry Beamer, John Burroughs High.

Photos By Ross A. Benson

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Burbank Temporary Aid Center’s Top Award For Citizenship Dinner & Awards

Friday night the Burbank Temporary Aid Center (BTAC) held its 10th Annual Gala event, this year saluting a former Burbank Fire Chief and a local credit union for stellar records of community service and compassion.  Staff of the charitable agency that for 39 years has offered services and assistance to families, seniors, the homeless and virtually any Burbanker in need, said accounting for the event is not yet complete.  But initial figures indicate this year’s has been the most successful fundraiser thus far.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Receiving their awards are Philip Denlea of Logix Federal Credit Union, Barbara Howell BTAC Executive Director, and Chief Ray Krakowski retired. (Photo by Ross A. Benson


“We rely on this event to replenish our food pantry and our budget, and we deeply appreciate the support,” said Barbara Howell, BTAC’s Chief Executive Officer.  “The community has enthusiastically seconded our picks for the honorees to receive this year’s “Burbank’s Top Award for Citizenship.””

The 2013 honorees gathered at the Castaway Restaurant were recently-retired Burbank Fire Department Chief Ray Krakowski and Logix Federal Credit Union, formerly called Lockheed Federal Credit Union.

In addition to Krakowski’s 32 years of service for the city, beginning as a fire fighter, and ultimately serving as Interim City Manager, BTAC also cited his long record of service to the Boy Scouts, the Fire Chiefs Association and the National Forest Service.

The Logix Banking Team (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Jason Lee, left, Art Aguilar, Ernie Bolanos, Philip Denlea and Alethia Calagias represented Logix Federal Credit Union at Burbank Temporary Aid Center’s annual dinner on March 1 at the Castaway Restaurant. The financial institution was the recipient of Burbank’s Top Award for Citizenship along with Chief Ray Krakowski. retired.(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Logix F.C.U., founded in Burbank in 1937, was chosen for its long record of supporting a lengthy list of organizations including, but extending well beyond, BTAC.  A partial list includes Penny Lane Centers, For The Troops, Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center Foundation, Burbank Family Service Agency, and Leadership Burbank.

Logix was also cited for its “Volunteer Time Off” program, giving employees paid time off to volunteer for BTAC and others.  An especially popular activity for the volunteers has been working on BTAC’s annual “Santa’s Room” program, collecting and sorting toys, then helping client families “shop” Santa’s Room for Burbank’s neediest kids.