Tag Archives: BHS

Burbank High Academic Decathlon Team Wins First Place At State Championship

The Burbank High Academic Decathlon Team won first place in their division at the California State Championships in Sacramento recently. The 2015-16 school year marks the sixth year in a row the BHS team has gone to the State Championships.

Burbank High School’s Academic Decathlon team for 2015-16 are Roy Kim, Harika Kottakota, Lisa Bok, Parthvi Kothari, Hiral Ashani, Dilfuza Ibragimova, Lucine Karapetian, Ethan Yang and Nihaar Kothari. The students are coached by BHS English teacher Val Beidelman.

Pictured L to R: Nihaar Kothari, Hiral Ashani, Dilfuza Ibragimova, Roy Kim, Lucine Karapetian, Harika Kottakota, Parthvi Kothari, Lisa Bok, Ethan Yang, and Coach Val Beidelman (not shown, BHS Volunteer Vincent Bolante) (Photo Courtesy Kimberley Clark)

Pictured L to R: Board of Education President Charlene Tabet, Nihaar Kothari, Hiral Ashani, Dilfuza Ibragimova, Roy Kim, Lucine Karapetian, Harika Kottakota, Parthvi Kothari, Lisa Bok, Ethan Yang, Coach Val Beidelman and Burbank High Principal Mike Bertram. Superintendent Matt Hill in back. (not shown, BHS Volunteer Vincent Bolante) (Photo Courtesy Kimberley Clark)

“Academic Decathlon, a nationwide program, does not study trivia,” commented Beidelman.

For the 2015-16 year, the teams across the nation were charged with investigating Modern Indian history broken into ten areas, thus the “Decathlon” of the title, she explained.

BHS’ team studied “India – based Economics, Science, Art, Music, Literature, throw in Math, Essay, Speech, an Interview and we have Academic Decathlon,” said Beidelman. “Each student on a team of nine, studies and competes in ten subject areas.”

“In keeping with the Burbank High School tradition, each year we wear garb that reflects what we have studied. This year we chose to be the national animal of India: Bengal Tigers.”

Teams receive the curriculum in May each year for the following year and begin studies right away. Team members meet and research all summer, and when school starts, students meet Monday through Friday after school and on Saturdays.

Decathletes spend ten months in preparation and attend multiple competitions. The highest scoring teams from each county are invited to the State Championships.

Burbank High Academic Decathlon members make a presentation at a recent BUSD Board of Education meeting. (Photo Courtesy Kimberley Clark.)

Burbank High Academic Decathlon members make a presentation at a recent BUSD Board of Education meeting. (Photo Courtesy Kimberley Clark.)

All students are eligible to participate in Academic Decathlon. Burbank High School has both a Varsity and a Junior Varsity team of nine students each.

Each team consists of nine competitors:  three students of “A”, three of “B” and three of “C” grade point averages.

“Students are selected to represent BHS based on in-house testing, multiple competitions throughout the year and a major competition in January,” said Beidelman. “Students often join as freshmen and stay in Academic Decathlon through their high school years.”

For the 2015 – 2016 season, the Burbank High Academic Decathlon team earned the highest total score for all ten subjects for first place and won the first place trophy in the Super Quiz event.

BHS broke some records this season, noted Beidelman.

“At county competition, seniors Roy Kim, Harika Kottakota and Lisa Bok broke 8000 points, so their names will be placed on the almost impossible-to-achieve 8000 Plaque in Coach Beidelman’s room. Only nineteen students at BHS have earned this honor,” she said.

For the first time in the 32–year history of BHS Academic Decathlon, a BHS student earned more than 9000 points.

Kottakota achieved a score of 9027 and the Honors Bronze Medal/Third Place Overall, in the State for total score in the ten subjects. Kottakota will also have a plaque dedicated to her distinguished score.

Yang earned the Varsity Bronze Medal/Third Place Overall in the State for his total score in the ten subjects.

“The entire Burbank Unified School district is extremely proud of our Academic Decathlon scholars,” commented Burbank Unified Superintendent Matt Hill.

“It takes a team to accomplish great work. All nine members of the team distinguished themselves in individual and team events bringing home a grand total of 37 gold, silver and bronze medals as well as top-10 rankings in all subject areas,” said Beidelman.


Two Burbank Unified Seniors Vie For National Merit Scholarships

Two Burbank Unified students, Burroughs High School senior Brennan Flynn and Burbank High School senior Candace Kim, have been selected as semi-finalists in the National Merit Scholarship annual competition. Flynn and Kim’s PSAT scores are amongst the highest in the state of California and the nation.

Out of the 1.4 million juniors who took the test during the 2013-14 school year, about 16,000 students nationwide scored high enough to enter the scholarship competition’s semi-final round. Both Flynn and Kim will have the opportunity to advance to the final round of competition and vie for 7,600 scholarships worth $33 million.

Burroughs High School counselor Sheila Masters and Principal John Paramo announce senior Brennan Flynn's (center) selection for National Merit Scholarship semifinalist. (Photo Courtesy John Burroughs High School)

Burroughs High School counselor Sheila Masters and Principal John Paramo announce senior Brennan Flynn’s (center) selection for National Merit Scholarship semifinalist. (Photo Courtesy John Burroughs High School)

To move on as finalists, students must continue to meet competition requirements and take the SAT, earning a score that confirms their initial PSAT high score. They also must submit an application with the endorsement of their school principal and an essay.

Burbank High School's Candace Kim is a semi-finalist for the National Merit Scholarship awards. (Photo Courtesy of Burbank High School)

Burbank High School’s Candace Kim is a semi-finalist for the National Merit Scholarship awards. (Photo Courtesy of Burbank High School)

“Burbank High School is proud of Candace and her high achieving status on the national level,” said BHS Assistant Principal of Guidance, Jacquie Day. “We join with students, faculty and staff in congratulating her and wishing her well in the next phase of the competition. We can’t wait to see where Candace will leave her paw print! It’s great to be a bulldog!”

“Brennan is one of 2,108 high school students in California that are considered semi-finalists, which is quite an academic feat!” commented Kimberley Clark, Public Information Officer for BUSD. “Congratulations to Brennan, his family and the JBHS staff.”

Of the 1.4 million students taking the PSAT, which tests critical reading, mathematics and writing skills, approximately 50,000 receive top scores. Two-thirds of those are recognized as Commended Students, who may be eligible for other scholarships. The top one-third, or about 16,000 students, are notified of their semi-finalist status in September every year. Most of those semi-finalists meet the criteria to go on to compete as finalists.

Scholarship winners will be announced in the spring of 2015, from a pool of about 15,000 finalists, according to the non-profit National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

BHS Pennies For Patients Aims To Raise Top Funds For Leukemia Society

Students at Burbank High are waiting to hear if they raised the most Pennies for Patients in the national fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

District schools, from elementary to high school, conduct fundraisers for the society’s Los Angeles chapter. In 2013, Burbank High earned the most money of all high schools. The school will find out if it won again in May.

Over three weeks during the school year, all classrooms are encouraged to raise funds for the project, said Wendy Miller, senior English teacher, activities director and Associated Student Body adviser at Burbank High. She is also a 1992 graduate of the school. She brought the program to Burbank High when she started teaching there in 2000 and over 14 years the school has raised more than $77,000.

This year the school raised more than $6,700. The room that raised the most money, $1,342.71, was Trevor Marca’s freshman English honors class with only 23 students. Their reward was a lunch catered by Olive Garden.

Each year, the society chooses an Honored Hero to represent children in recovery for whom these funds are raised. This year a 9-year-old boy named Stevie was selected. He is in remission from Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia.

“The Honored Heroes come visit the school so the high school students can see that their pennies do make a difference,” Miller said.

A few of the students who raised the most money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society are (from left): Rebekah Maynes, teacher Trevor Marca,  Sumani Ojo, Amanda Camacho, Mary Tebbe, Natalie Seremi, Shauna Hosepo and Leonard Wee. (Photo by Joyce Rudolph)

A few of the students who raised the most money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society are (from left): Rebekah Maynes, teacher Trevor Marca, Sumani Ojo, Amanda Camacho, Mary Tebbe, Natalie Seremi, Shauna Hosepo and Leonard Wee. (Photo by Joyce Rudolph)

Ninth-grader Amanda Camacho, 13, was the top collector of donations in her class.

“It feels really good to help a specific cause,” she said, adding that employees from her mother’s work donated money.

Second place top donation getter was Mary Tebbe, 14, also a ninth-grader, who collected money from family.

Marca’s fourth period classes have been the top fundraisers five out of the 10 years he has been teaching at Burbank High School.

There are so many causes for which the school raises funds, Marca focuses on one.

“This is one that I think is a really good cause and it’s fun to get the kids excited an it has a nice reward as well,” he said. “I’ve had a handful of students who have had leukemia and they have all survived so it’s hit close to home for me and Burbank High.”

It teaches the students about philanthropy and the importance of giving back to the community, he added. In the end, it’s not about getting lunch from Olive Garden, which is a nice bonus, but it’s about the charity. Plus, it’s fun to get competitive with the other classes.

“One year the classroom wanted to forgo the Olive Garden party and put that money toward the charity, but the society wouldn’t allow that,” said Marca, who graduated from Burbank High in 1996.

Even though there were only 23 students in the winning class, they got their parents and the community involved and Camacho’s mother got her entire office involved.

“Every year there are a few students who rack it up and the others chip in and do what they can do. But the key to charity is giving what you can and what you are comfortable with, so you don’t give anything you will regret later,” Marca said.

Muir Fundraiser Makes ‘Em Laugh And Garners Close To $20,000

Burbank turned out in full force Saturday evening, February 22, in support of John Muir Middle School’s auditorium fundraiser The Really Big Show. Nearly $20,000 was raised from ticket sales, auction items, concessions and donations, according to the John Muir Booster Association.

Business and community partners joined parents, students, teachers and administration of the Burbank Unified School District for a pre-concert reception, silent auction and a night of entertainment.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The evening was emceed by four past and present Principals of Muir: Bruce Osgood, Dan Hacking, John Paramo and Dr. Greg Miller, the current head of the school. The four gentleman had the packed house rolling in the aisles with their rendition of Lady Gaga’s “Applause,” complete with dance moves and feather boas.

It was a great night for everyone involved and a great start to our campaign to modernize our 60-year old auditorium,” commented Miller. “The Muir and Burbank High student performers were amazing, and our faculty band, the Muir Mortals, were incredible, particularly ‘Ode to the Aud’ which they wrote especially for the evening.”

“It was great fun to work with former principals Bruce Osgood, Dan Hacking, and John Paramo, who helped out because they love Muir.” 

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Several of Burbank High School’s arts and music programs were well represented, including the VMA Sirens, Third Street Jazz Combo, “Unleashed” Dance, IMA String Quartet, Play Production and Gentleman’s Octet.

In the second act, Muir’s own Drama, Choir and Band programs worked together to present an original musical production about the beloved auditorium and its need for repair.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Arts For All Foundation has provided over $5000 to the Muir auditorium project during the past year. The Muir auditorium has been basically untouched for over sixty years, with only a few minor adjustments made. While some Measure S Bond money is available to upgrade air conditioning and related bond-measure items, the bulk of the renovation falls on the school to provide.

“It was great to see our community come out and support Muir and we are so grateful for everyone’s contribution to a very successful night,” added Miller.

The Auditorium Task Force has been working to raise $100,000 to cover costs of needed upgrades for lighting, sound, seating and more for the 674-seat space the school calls “Our Living Room.” The Really Big Show came about as a way to kick off the campaign, bring the community together and have some fun while doing so.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“The night also kicked off our matching challenge grant from Warner Brothers,” Miller said.

“Thanks to their generosity, they will match dollar for dollar every donation that comes in during the next 60 days,” he explained. “The challenge is that we only get the $10,000 if the whole amount is raised, so we are still looking for donations large and small to help with this project.”

The John Muir Booster Association is collecting all donations towards the auditorium modernization. Donations to the project can be made directly on the school’s auditorium project page or by contacting Principal Miller at 818-558-5320.

The school is also conducting a tile design campaign to raise funds and more information can be found on the same web page.

JohnMuirBoosterAssociation@hotmail.com.calling the school at

Burroughs & BHS Lower Class Size For Spring, Burroughs Adds Teacher

Burroughs and Burbank High Schools are adding more classes to reduce the teacher to student ratio for the spring semester at both campuses. When students return to school on Monday, January 6, many will have new schedules and smaller classes for core subjects like English, Math, Science, Social Science and Phys. Ed.

The Burbank Unified School District has some money available to reduce class sizes from the state’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), according to Emilio Urioste, Director of Secondary Education for the district. The money will provide for a full-day English teacher for the spring semester at Burroughs.

“When we found this money was able to be used to reduce class size in grades 9-12, we met with the principals from BHS and Burroughs and asked them to put together a plan to lower class size in the areas most impacted,” commented Urioste.

Burbank High School administrators were able to consolidate some smaller classes and had some teachers offer to add a class to their teaching schedule and thus were able to open up additional sections in English, Social Studies and Phys. Ed. for the spring. Burroughs also was able to find teachers interested in adding a class to their teaching schedule and with the addition of a full-day teacher, who will be a substitute to start the semester, was able to add six English classes, plus three in Math and one in Science.

“With large high schools like BHS and Burroughs, it is not unusual to have schedule changes at each semester,” added Urioste. The additional class sections will be added throughout all grades at the high schools, reducing the teacher to student ratio in the most critical areas, as identified by the schools’ principals.

“Because of these new class additions, students will need to arrive at school no later than 7:30 in the morning on Monday, January the sixth, to pick up a new schedule in the quad, just like we do on the first day of school,” Burroughs Principal John Paramo stated on the high school’s website, as all 2700 Burroughs students will receive new schedules – some with changes and some without. “Zero period classes will not meet on Monday, January the sixth, to accommodate students picking up schedules.”

Vocal Music Assn.’s Carroll’s Corral Raises Funds For Burbank High

It was a rootin’-tootin’ time at Carroll’s Corral and Cookout over the weekend.

Burbank High School’s Vocal Music Assn. volunteers saddled up for a Western-themed fundraising dinner featuring singing and dancing by students in teacher Brett Carroll’s choir classes — thus the event’s name.

Members of the Burbank High VMA perform during Carroll's Coral Fundraiser. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Members of the Burbank High VMA perform during Carroll’s Coral Fundraiser. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The parents cooked up spicy chili — meat or vegetarian– and served it with cornbread smeared with honey butter and garden salad. Students bustled around taking food orders, delivering plates and bussing tables. The Impressions choir baked brownies and chocolate chip and sugar cookies for dessert.

For $5 a basket, friends and family could purchase fricles — deep-fried battered pickles — that could be dipped in a creamy sauce.

About 500 relatives and friends attended the Friday and Saturday night events held in the school’s outdoor lunch shelter, said Rima Shideler, who serves as co-president of the association with her husband, Ray.

Members of the Burbank High VMA perform during Carroll's Coral Fundraiser. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Members of the Burbank High VMA perform during Carroll’s Coral Fundraiser. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Students, who were dressed in jeans, plaid shirts, boots and white aprons, left the tables they were waiting on to sing Western songs on risers set up on one side of the shelter. The boys wore cowboy hats and the girls tied red bandanas around their heads. They had personalized their aprons with their names and painted designs.

Rima Shideler expects to raise more than last year’s $11,000 from the two-night event, which will go to defray the total budget — between $400,000 to $500,000 — to go to competitions this year. The budget covers such costs as paying for choreographers, band members, music arrangers, sound and lighting technicians and costumes.

“Our kids have three costumes for their competition set,” she said.

Proceeds from fundraisers also go to scholarships for students who cannot afford to participate in the program, she said.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Event named for BHS Choir director Brett Carroll. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Student groups performing in the Carroll’s Corral were Out of the Blue intermediate mixed choir, Impressions advanced women’s choir, In Sync advanced mixed choir, Sound Dogs men’s choir, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and a cappella groups the Sirens women’s choir and the Gentlemen’s Octet. Musical selections varied from the melancholy “Desperado” to the exuberant “Oklahoma.”

The theme was changed from Italian to Western, so the students had only three weeks to rehearse new material, Rima Shideler said.

“Kids rise to the ability that you allow them to rise to, so when you give them a challenge and you push them, they really do it,” she said. “And if they love it, which they do, they really do it! I think sometimes we underestimate our children by not wanting to put them in so many activities. But I think that when you give them a lot to do, they are bright, they’re young, they’re still like sponges, they can take on so much more than we can, and they just do it so well.”

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Custom apron displays the event’s humorous side. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Her son, Raymond, 17, a senior, sings with In Sync, Sound Dogs and the Gentlemen’s Octet.

His favorite part of the show is performing with the Gentlemen’s Octet, which allows the young men freedom to showcase their humor and personalities.

“It is always so fun to just be up there with eight guys. We mess around and have fun,” he said.

The a cappella group was one of the live auction prizes, and three people paid $450 each to have the group perform at their private parties. The funds will go to the association.

“We were all very happy about that,” Raymond said. “It was a big accomplishment for us. Our goal was to clear the $1,000 mark and we did. So we were all very excited.”

The fundraiser was a better opportunity to connect with the audience, Raymond said.

Members of the Burbank High VMA perform during Carroll's Coral Fundraiser. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Members of the Burbank High VMA perform during Carroll’s Coral Fundraiser. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“It’s so fun to walk through the audience and see parents of students who have already graduated that are still coming back to support us and kids who have graduated come back to support us and you see a lot of familiar faces interacting with the public like that,” he said. “But at the same time, you also meet a lot of new people that you will see at future events, and it’s beneficial because the audiences remember you and feel more of a connection to us.”

Raymond’s private vocal coach, Joyce Warman, attended the fundraiser with her four grandchildren ages 2 to 10. She coaches a lot of the students in the choirs at Burbank High and Burroughs.

“I just love that they have all these opportunities to perform as well as it teaches them self-discipline, time management and team building skills,” she said adding that it also allows the parents to share in a project with their kids through attending competitions and helping with fundraisers.

“I thought this was a fun fundraiser,” Warman said. “The two-year-old loved it. She clapped and danced. It was so entertaining. And I thought the moms did an amazing job with the food!”

While the musical training and education is wonderful, what is even more exciting is the life lessons these young people are learning through the program, said choir teacher Brett Carroll

“They are learning how to engage and interact with adults in appropriate and positive ways, how to serve others, and how to be a part of a team working towards a common goal,” he said.

“Studies have shown that most people’s number one fear is public speaking. If we can get our students to grow in confidence and learn to engage — then we can expect our students to have more productive and successful lives as adults. It’s exciting to be able to use music as a vehicle to prepare our students for success!”

The next fundraiser, which pulls in the most money to pay for the choral program, is the Night of Magic set for Nov. 9 at Pickwick Banquet Center. The cost is $80 per person and that includes dinner, silent and live auctions and musical performances by the students. To purchase tickets, contact Kristin@mediacitychurch.com.

Burbank Girls Volleyball in Search of Elusive League Title

By Dick Dornan
BurbankNBeyond Sports Editor

Onward and upward. The Burbank girls volleyball program took significant strides last year when the Bulldogs advanced to the second round of the California Interscholastic Federation playoffs for the first time in 36 years. A loss to Whitter Christian, the eventual CIF champion, prompted these lady Bulldogs to take the next step this season.

With nine lettermen returning including five starters, a shot at the league championship is at the forefront for Burbank Coach Sarah Brown. After finishing in third place a year ago with a 10-4 league record and 11-5 overall, Brown feels this year’s team has the makings to claim Burbank’s first league title since 1975.

Coach Sarah Brown

“I feel like since we finished last season as we did, the seniors are really pushing to win league,” said Brown, who begins her sixth year at BHS and is a 1994 alum. “This is the first time I have athletes who genuinely want to win league and are not just saying it. I want to have a winning tradition here.”

Brown has established the groundwork for a successful program. Attention to detail and an emphasis on fundamentals and team play have led to positive results not seen at Burbank in more than three decades.

“I want people to respect Burbank volleyball. Not just for our volleyball playing on the court but for the type of program that we are,” Brown said.  “I want the girls who come through Burbank High and play volleyball to have a good experience. I want them to learn how to play volleyball, to be competitive but also to become good people.”

The Bulldogs will be led by a trio of formidable players who form the nucleus of the squad. Seniors Stephanie Eskander, Stefanie Lin and Tyler Brooks each begin their third year on the varsity level.

Eskander was a first-team all-league selection from 2011. As one of the top middles in the league, Brown relies on Eskander to be the leader on and off the court.

“She is such a good leader,” Brown said. “Stephanie gets the job done on the court but after practice she is always motivating the girls as well.”

Lin and Brooks were named to the all-league second-team last season. Lin, a libero, and Brooks, the team’s setter, need to be consistent throughout the season for Burbank to have a shot to unseat Burroughs as Pacific League champions.

“We have to rely on Stefanie a lot to pass, to receive, to dig and to keep our rallies going,” Brown said. “Tyler is the quarterback out there. They are really good players.”

Seniors Jamie Gonzalez and Sharon Youn round out the returning starters. Brown describes Gonzalez, an opposite hitter, as the “silent killer” who takes care of business in a quiet manner and Youn, a middle, as a “force in the front row.”

Burbank had a good summer capturing second place in its own league and third at Crescenta Valley. A strong showing at the Gabrielino Tournament provided more confidence for BHS.

The Bulldogs open their season on September 5 at home against Golden Valley at 3:30 p.m. Pacific League action begins on September 13 at Muir.

Experience at the high school level is irreplaceable. Burbank has the experience and talent to go farther in the post-season than last year’s team did. But the number one goal is to win that elusive league title. And if they were to do that?

“I probably would cry,” said Brown, who has led Burbank to four consecutive postseason appearances. “I would be more excited for them because I know how much they want it. They were so excited last year to make it to the second round because they knew they were the first team to do it in such a long time. To win league for the seniors would mean so much.”






Sports Shorts

As the start of Pacific League play nears the two local softball teams continues to stake their claim as the team to beat. The Burbank softball team won its seventh straight game to improve to 7-1 on the season with a 4-2 win over Victor Valley on March 24.

BHS Softball won its seventh straight and claimed the Division II High Desert Softball Classic (Photo courtesy Nicole Drabecki)

With the victory, Burbank claimed the 2012 Division 2 High Desert Softball Classic in Lancaster.
Freshman Caitlyn Brooks was named Division II Tournament MVP. She had six strikeouts in the championship game and is now (5-0) on the season.
Brooks is also hitting a team-high .522 on the season.
Nalani Hernandez, Katie Hooper and Laina Do were all named to the All-Tournament Team as well. Hernandez, Hooper, Brooks and junior Ashley Russo were all 2-for-3.
Hernandez is hitting .500 on the season with a team-high three homeruns.
In the semifinal game against Sultana, Russo picked up the win in the circle with five strikeouts.  Do was 2 for 3 with a run scored and Hooper was 1 for 2 with 2 runs scored with a double.
The Bulldogs fell to 2-4 on the season following a 11-4 loss to Capistrano Valley on March 24 in a game played at the University of Southern California as part of the Chet Brewer RBI Tournament.
Burbank won’t make excuses, but in all likelihood the Dogs were rusty following a two-week layoff caused by the school’s early spring break and the lack of nonleague tournaments available last week.  Although, they hardly showed it early jumping out to a 3-0 after their part of the second and scoring all four of their runs in the first three innings of play.
The Cougars (5-4) responded with two in their part of the second and then one in the third and three in the fourth to lead 6-4 after four innings of play. A five-run sixth inning broke open a close game.
Paul Frias and Harrison Hernandez each had two hits to lead Burbank offensively. Burbank will open league play against the Pasadena Bulldogs this afternoon, March 27. Although early, it is a crucial Pacific League contest for playoff positioning.

Burbank Hero Marc Cutter Remembered

Burbank has lost one of its beloved and revered heroes.

Richard Marc Cutter, a 1964 graduate of Burbank High School, died suddenly on December 5th in Fresno.  He was 65.  Marc was well known in Burbank, active in many community service organizations supporting veterans, charity organizations, and local community groups.

Honor Guard for Marc Cutter (Photo By John Savageau)

Marc was remembered on Sunday during a ceremony attended by family and friends at Burbank’s McCambridge Park War Memorial.

As an Army Lieutenant serving in Vietnam, Marc received numerous decorations for actions in combat, including the Silver Star, Bronze Star (with “V” device for valor and 2 Oak Leaf Clusters), Soldier’s Medal, Purple Heart (indicating Marc was wounded in combat), and the Air Medal.  A group of brothers from “A” Company of the 2nd Battalion, 60th Regiment, 9th Infantry Division at Tan Tru, Marc’s unit in Vietnam, traveled from all corners of the United States to participate in his memorial.

Marc’s involvement with veterans did not end upon return from Vietnam.  According to Mickey Depalo, lifetime friend of Marc’s, in addition to being active in the Burbank Veterans Commemorative Committee, Marc and his wife Karen also founded Hands Across the Battlefield, a project which collected and shipped more than 60 tons donated materials to men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Marc had a tremendously positive effect on everybody he encountered in his life” added DePalo.  “He came home (from Vietnam) and had a silent commitment to give back to his community, he exemplified what a Vietnam veteran is.”

Honor Guard Leader handing Flag to Karen Cutter (Photo By John Savageau)

Friends, family, and colleagues had a chance to say a few words in tribute about Marc.   All focusing on Marc’s sense of humor, good nature, and desire to give.

In the tradition honoring all American veterans who have died, Marc was provided a ceremony which included a military detail providing an American flag to his family.  With the sound of bagpipes playing Amazing Grace, taps from a lone bugler, the honors detail leader presented Karen Cutter the flag, with the solemn statement:

“This flag is presented on behalf of a grateful nation and the United States Army as a token of appreciation for your loved one’s honorable and faithful service.”

Donations may be made in Marc’s name to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund to build a new educational center near the Vietnam Wall, 2600 Virginia Ave., NW, Suite 104, Washington, DC 20037.

Burbank High School’s Choirs Brings Cheer to All

Burbank High School's Award Winning In Sync Choir entertains again tonight at 7 p.m. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

If last week’s lighting of the Burbank City Hall Christmas tree was exciting and put you into the Holiday Spirit, wait until tonight!  Trek on over to The Burbank High School  and watch the Award Winning Choirs perform in their Winter Concert.  They will fill the evening with cheer and really get you into the holiday mood. . The show starts at 7 p.m. in the Woofson Auditorium.   Tickets are $10-$20.

The conert is under the direction of award winning Choir Director Brett Carroll, assisted by Donna Dandino.

To order tickets on-line, go to the Burbank High VMA web site.