Thursday, March 26, 2009

Work On BHS Field Begins

The other day they held the groundbreaking ceremonies on the Burbank High field with Principal Bruce Osgood kissing the new artifical turf that will be installed.

Burbank High School

The Athletic Field Renovation Project will include the following:
Athletic field modernized by installing artificial turf, “Field Turf,” for football, soccer, long jump, triple jump, shot put and discus events.

Track will be an all-weather track with “California Track and Engineering – Rekortans”.

Due to space constraints, the track will be modified to include 7 lanes around the oval and 8 lanes on the straight away on the Glenoaks side.

Installation of four new field lights and fencing.

New field irrigation system and booster pump utilizing recycled water.

New storm drainage system will be installed with a filtration system.

New men’s and women’s restroom facility accessible by the public during non-school

The current football scoreboard from Memorial Stadium will be relocated to BHS.

Donor walls to be constructed in the quad area behind the new restroom building.

Bids will open on March 2, 2009 and presented to the Board of Education on March 5,2009. The field renovation at Burbank High School will begin in March 2009, and expected to be complete in September 2009. The estimated cost of this project is $4,093,229.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Burbank To Hold Softball Alumni Game

The Burbank High softball program will be holding its annual alumni game at 7 p.m. April 4 at McCambridge Park. The Bulldogs are looking for former softball players who would like to take part in the contest against the Burbank varsity squad.

Along with the game, Outback Steakhouse will be serving food for $10 a plate. For more information, call Burbank Coach Nicole Drabecki at (818) 558-4700, ext. 55902.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fight At Burbank High! 6 Arested!

Published: Saturday, March 21, 2009, Burbank Leader

Six Burbank High School students were arrested last week in connection with starting a fight that involved more than 200 teens in the campus’ quad area, police said. The fight broke out at 12:44 p.m. March 13 on the campus between Latino and white students against Armenian students, Burbank Police Sgt. Robert Quesada said. A student pushed a school administrator to the ground during the fight and the administrator was taken to Providence St. Joseph’s Medical Center, where she was treated for cervical and shoulder strain, he said. When police went to the school, they saw students yelling and screaming at each other, but they were not fighting, Quesada said. Police got the students to calm down and some students involved in the fight were taken to the school’s administrative office, he said. Six students, whose names were not released because they are minors, were arrested in connection with fighting on school grounds. One of the six students was also arrested on suspicion of assaulting the school administrator, Quesada said. They were cited and released to their parents, he said.

Also from Burbank Leader was this:

The Burbank Unified School District Board of Education heard clarifying comments from administrators about a fight at Burbank High School that drew several police units to the site. The fight was not racially motivated and did not escalate into a " riot," as had been rumored among the community, administrators said.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Burbank Show Choirs Bring Home Honors

Burbank High School Vocal Music Assn. sent its advanced women's show choir, Impressions, and advanced mixed show choir, In Sync, to compete from Feb 26 to March 1 in the 21st annual show choir competition at Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis.

Led by choir director Brett Carroll and his assistant director Donna Dandino, Impressions won second runner up in the advanced unisex choir division, and In Sync won the Grand Championship, including best vocal and best visuals, in the advanced mixed choir divisions.

Impressions includes 43 ladies, and In Sync is compromised of 26 boys and 25 girls ranging in grades nine through 12.

In late October and November, In Sync was approached to perform in the pilot episode of the Fox Network television show "Glee." It will be broadcast on May 19.

BHS Class of 1969 40th Reunion

The Burbank High Class of 1969 is having their 40th reunion on May 2, 2009 at the Sheraton Universal Hotel. For more information call 661 259-5999 or visit

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

BHS 1959 50th Reunion

The Burbank High School Class of 1959 is having their 50th Reunion the weekend of May 1, 2009, including a dinner/dance, golf tournament, School & Museum tours. For more information, contact Linda Durkee Johnson at or (818) 843-8281.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Former BHS Football Player is Disney Hero!

Former Burbank High School football player steps into the limelight as new Disney channel hero.

By Joyce Rudolph, Burbank Leader
Published:Friday, March 13, 2009

Kelly Blatz is living his dream of becoming an action hero, and landing the lead role on a new Disney station — Disney XD — makes it that much sweeter.

The 21-year-old Burbank native plays Charlie Landers in the new show “Aaron Stone.” Landers is a video game world champion whose expertise lands him a job as a secret agent. Now he must fight crime while learning to use all the nifty top-secret gadgets in between keeping up his school work and home life. So far, Blatz said, it’s a blast.“It’s every kid’s dream,” he said. “I pinch myself every day. It’s an unbelievable experience and opportunity. I’m really excited to be a part of this show.
”The role calls for his character to be agile, Blatz said, so he draws from his experience playing football at Burbank High School. His former principal at John Muir Middle School and Burbank High School, Bruce Osgood, remembers his athletic ability, commitment and fortitude.“He’s just a multitalented kid, athletically as well as in the performing arts,” Osgood said. “He had a lot of talent, but what impressed me most in the athletic arena is he had a tremendous work ethic and drive to succeed and even though he wasn’t the biggest guy out there, he played like the biggest guy.”Blatz also enjoys individual sports like snowboarding, surfing and skateboarding, he said.

He even trained in martial arts a couple of weeks before shooting began, he said, which got him ready for the fight scenes.“I do a lot of stunts,” he said. “Charlie does everything — BMX riding and skateboarding — I grew up doing those things.”But if the scene calls for a flip, they bring in the stunt double, he said.

When Blatz came in to audition, the show’s producers felt he was the perfect combination of an everyday guy but athletic and self-confident, said Adam Bonnett, senior vice president of original programming, Disney Channel. “He has that quality that boys can look up to,” Bonnett said. “He has the ability to play two people — someone who struggles with what goes on at high school, but is also a hero. ”Blatz also has a great knack for adding humor to the show, Bonnett said, which keeps it from being too dark for the younger kids watching in the afternoon.

The Disney XD channel has replaced the Toon Disney channel aimed at young children, which was very cartoon heavy, Bonnett said. The channel was created for boys ages 6 to 14 who don’t feel Disney Channel or Nickelodeon are a home for them, and for girls who like action too. “There wasn’t a network that gave this age range of boys a mix of cartoons and live action,” he said. But the shows offered on the channel are girl inclusive, he added, because girls like action also. And both boys and girls play video games. Blatz grew up playing video games with his younger brother, he said. The attraction, Blatz believes, is it’s a way to live one’s dreams.“Video games are so realistic,” he said. “Whether it’s a sports star or action star, kids can escape what’s going on in their lives. They can win over a princess and defeat bad guys. They live out their fantasies through playing video games.”

And getting the chance to be the lead actor for a show on a whole new network for Disney is a way to inspire boys and girls to set goals and go for them, he said. “That’s the message of the channel — to live out any dream you want — so it’s amazing to be able to help get the message across and be a role model through the show,” Blatz said.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Burbank & Burroughs 60th Reunion

Burbank High School and John Burroughs High School classes of 1949 are planning a combined 60th reunion. For more information, contact Ruth Ann "Nuttleman" Talley at (818) 845-2107 or email at

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

James Day II - BHS 1941 In Memoriam

James Francis Day II
Senior Photo
Burbank High School, Burbank, California

Lake Almanor basin resident James Francis Day II passed from this life peacefully, with his wife at his side at his residence in Chester, from a recently diagnosed heart condition on Wednesday morning, Feb. 11, 2009.Born 84 years ago in Chicago, Ill. to the late Leo and Marie (LaDue) Day on March 6, 1924, he and his family moved west when he was two to settle in Southern California.Jim was educated in Southern California where he graduated from Burbank High School as a member of the Class of 1941.Shortly following his graduation he was inducted in to the armed forces where Sgt. James Francis Day II served his country honorably as a member of the Army Air Corps in the Pacific Theater as an aircraft mechanic. He was awarded two bronze stars for his valor.Upon Jim's discharge he returned to school where he graduated from the University of Southern California with a BA in accounting. While attending college he met a pretty young coed named Mary L. Schwab and as their love for one another blossomed, they were united in matrimony on June 14, 1952, in Sherman Oaks. To this union one son and four daughters were born.As a CPA for over 23 years, Jim went to work for an accounting firm out of college before entering practice for himself in 1963. He retired due to health concerns in 1985.Jim and his wife purchased a home on the Lake Almanor Peninsula in 1983, later moving to Chester. Prior to residing in the Lake Almanor Basin, Jim and his wife had been longtime San Diego residents.Jim enjoyed working with wood as well as collecting stamps and coins.In passing Jim leaves his loving wife of over 56 years, Mary of Chester; son, James III of Chester; daughters, Mary Gronholt and husband John of Anacortes, Wash., Debra Day and husband Neil White of San Diego, and Teresa Miucci and husband Luigi of San Diego along with his grandchildren, Jennifer and Sean Gronholt and Kathleen Miucci.A Roman Catholic graveside blessing service, along with Military Honors, was held in the Chester District Cemetery Monday, Feb. 16.

George Rankin 1929 - 2009

George Rankin BHS 1948

George Rankin, 79, life service March 7
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
The Hillsboro Argus-Oregon

VERNONIA - George W. Rankin, 79, Vernonia, died Feb. 13, 2009, at his home.
A life celebration will be 2 p.m. Saturday, March 7, at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1350 E. Knott St., Vernonia.
Mr. Rankin was born Aug. 13, 1929, in Blackwell, Okla., a son of William P. and Pansy Rankin. He grew up in Blackwell. When he was 12 his family moved to Los Angeles and he graduated from Burbank High School in 1948.
He married Juanita Ann O'Conner, Dec. 10, 1952, in Seattle. He lived in Seattle until 2005.
He was a cabinet builder and worked as a master carpenter building cabinets for homes in the Seattle area. After he retired, he worked for the Sunset Bowling Alley in Ballard, Wash.
He moved to Vernonia in 2005 to be near his daughter and, an avid bowler, enjoyed spending his free time at the bowling alley.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Juanita, in 2002; his son, Douglas E. Rankin, in 2008; and by six brothers and two sisters.
Survivors include his daughter and son-in-law, Cindy and David Naillon; a brother, Bob Rankin; and two grandsons and four great-grandchildren.
Remembrances: American Cancer Society, 0330 SW Curry St., Portland, OR 97201.
Arrangements: Tualatin Valley Funeral Alternatives, Hillsboro.

Doris Roten Carter Passes Away

Doris Roten Carter
BHS 1943

Doris Roten Carter, 83, passed away on February 24th, 2009 after a brief illness with her family by her bedside. Her husband of 56 years, Jim Carter, predeceased her by ten years.
Doris was born in Fort Collins, Colorado, and moved with her family to Los Angeles when she was two years old. Five years later they moved to Burbank where she attended schools. It was at Burbank High School where she met Jim and they were married after graduation. They established their home in Burbank where their three children were born. Jim and Doris Carter were involved in many business and real estate ventures in Burbank during their lifetimes.
She leaves her children; son and daughter-in-law, Doug and Joan Carter of Burbank, two daughters, Candy Bartholomew of Bozeman, Montana, and Connie Mangas of Belgrade, Montana. She also leaves 5 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren, two sisters, Mary Bogard and Roberta Moody and a brother, Allen Roten, and her best friend Paul Briggs. Services are pending.

Richard F. Wilkinson 1931-2009

Dick Wilkinson BHS 1950

Richard F. "Dick" Wilkinson
July 22, 1931 – February 14, 2009
Richard F. "Dick" Wilkinson passed away peacefully on February 14th at Silverado Senior Living in San Juan Capistrano surrounded by family.
A Burbank resident for 63 years, he attended St. Robert Bellarmine Elementary School, John Muir Jr. High and Burbank High School graduating with the Class of 1950. Dick was a member of the 1st Pacific Drum and Bugle Corps during the Korean War and was honorable discharged from the Marines. He owned his own business, R.F. Wilkinson’s Furniture Finishing in West Hollywood for 41 years. Dick retired to Laguna Beach in 1994.
Predeceased by his wife of 49 years, Marion, he is survived by his children (and spouse) Susan Miller (Mark), Judy Dvoracek (Joe) and Tom Wilkinson (Mona); 8 grandchildren; 2 step-granddaughters and his sister, Moria Hansen. Donations may be made in Richard’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Dr. Robert Leland Passes away

Former Burbank High Principal Dr. Robert Leland

When Bob Leland retired as the principal of Burbank High School, he continued his lifelong dedication to youth by acting as a child advocate in the courts. No one who knew Dr. Leland was surprised.Few people worked harder at their jobs than Bob Leland. He presided over Burbank High School and its then new continuation school throughout the 1960s. He watched his staff form a chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, his students become fans of the Beatles, an ever-increasing list of Burbank graduates fall in Vietnam, and the kids of Burbank reject small town conservatism to become flower children. Somehow through his sincerity and sense of fair play, Bob Leland kept his school afloat. Dr. Leland died on the 22nd of December 2008. He was proceeded in death by his wife Pearl Leland, retired professor of nursing from Los Angeles Valley College. Bob was a good man.
Obit from the Desert Sun
Robert Deyo Leland was born June 30, 1919 in Albion, Mich. He served in the Army's horse mounted 7th Calvary. He also trained at Camp Young in the Southern California desert with General George Patton. He was in the service from 1941 to 1945 and was injured in battle in the Pacific. While stationed in San Luis Obispo at Camp Roberts in 1942, he met Pearl Macomber and married her two months later. They were married for 65 years until Pearl's death. They had three children, Scott Leland, Barbara Bradham and Linda Edgar; five grandchildren, Rena, Kristin, Erin, Shannon and Wesley and five great grandchildren, Tait, Tomas, Katherine, John and Kai. After his life changing experience during the war, he saw that the future of our country would depend on Education. He devoted his working life to the education of young people. He started his career as a Teacher with the Burbank Unified School District and retired in 1981 as the Principal of Burbank High School. He earned his BA and Masters degrees at UCLA and his PHD at USC. He was Burbank Young Man of the Year and was very involved with the YMCA. He was president of the Burbank Rotary. He was foreman of the Los Angeles Grand Jury, 1988-1989. He loved the ocean and they purchased a home in San Clemente, Calif. They moved to Palm Desert in 1992. He volunteered at the College of the Desert Library and the Coachella Valley Historical Society. He died at the age of 89, Dec. 22, 2008 from the complications of Parkinson's disease with loving family all around him. He loved life and would not let anything get in the way of living life large. His outlook on life was positive, progressive, happy and full of interest in others and the whole world around him. A celebration of his life will be held on Sat., Feb. 28, 2009 in Palm Desert.

Coach Steps Aside

Ted Amorosi will not be returning next year as Football Coach.

FOOTBALL: Ted Amorosi, who led Burbank for two seasons, left the program after being told there would be no teaching position for him.
By Jeff Tully
Published: Burbank Leader, Friday, February 27, 2009

BURBANK HIGH — Ted Amorosi, the Burbank High head football coach who guided the team to its first postseason victory in 81 years, said Thursday that he has left the program. Amorosi, whose Bulldogs went 9-13 (6-8 in the Pacific League) during his two-year tenure, said he stepped down after being told by school administrators that the classes he taught at the school wouldn’t be offered to him next fall. “Basically, it was because of the budget and the whole economic downturn,” said Amorosi, whose team placed fourth in league last season after finishing sixth in 2007. “My teaching job wasn’t going to be there, and that was a big part of it It’s just a very sad situation. ”He teaches keyboarding — what used to be called typing — at the school.

Amorosi said he was informed about his situation at the school a week ago. He said he had to step aside not only to give himself an opportunity to seek out another job, but to give Burbank time as well to hire another head football coach. “I have already applied at a couple of places and I have my feelers out,” Amorosi said. “I have to get a job so I can support my family. That is the most important thing for me now, to provide for my family.

”It appears Amorosi will leave Burbank on good terms. School Principal Bruce Osgood said the coach did a fine job running the Bulldogs program.“He helped us build up the program,” Osgood said. “I know it’s tough for the kids because he did lot for them.“We wish Ted the best and we appreciate all that he’s done for the program.”Amorosi said one of the hardest things he had to do was break the news to his players that we wasn’t coming back. He added that he enjoyed his time at Burbank and he was hoping he was going to be able to be at the school for years to come.

“Before a week ago, everything looked great,” he said. “We have nine players coming back next year on offense and seven on defense. I had almost all of my coaches in place and everything. “My plan was to be here for a long time, and maybe spend the next 15 years coaching at Burbank High. But now that’s gone. The only word I can come up with is sad.

”Last season, Burbank (6-6) placed fourth in the Pacific League and pulled off a major upset in the first round of the Southeast Division playoffs, defeating No. 2 Santa Fe, 20-14. It was the Bulldogs first CIF win since 1927.The Bulldogs fell in the second round to West Covina, 49-28. The Bulldogs failed to make the postseason in 2007.

Amorosi came to Burbank after coaching at Glendale High, where he compiled a 3-17 record in a two-year stint. He resigned after the 2005 season in which Glendale went 2-8 and 1-4 in the Pacific League. Amorosi’s hiring at Burbank in May 2007 came nearly six weeks after the school rescinded an offer just hours after hiring Bill Coan to take over the Bulldogs program. After an exhaustive search process to find a coach, the school thought it had its man in Coan. Coan was introduced to the Burbank players as their new coach on March 23, 2007 , and even met with a group of booster club parents on campus. Only hours after embracing Coan as the new Bulldogs coach, the Burbank Unified School District and the school’s administration did an about-face. Something questionable in the coach’s background prompted the district to rescind the job offer. That decision was followed shortly by the official word that Coan would not be hired as the Burbank football coach.The decision was a surprise to many, who thought that Coan had already taken his place at Burbank. Coan’s initial hiring came just 55 days after the school fired coach Greg Sobiech. In his five years, Sobiech compiled a 22-30 record and his teams qualified for the CIF playoffs twice.

In Memoriam

Monte Smith BHS 1946 - passed away on November 6, 2008 in Burbank.

Charlotte Torrelli Wheaton BHS 1946 - passed away on December 3, 2008.

Dorothy Casper Maxham BHS 1933 - passed away in Bend, OR, No Details.

Mary Gonzales Pineda BHS 1944 - passed away on January 2, 2009.

Louise Santoyo Evans BHS 1941 - passed away January 17, 2009 in Torrance, CA.

Gordon Behrens BHS 1942 - passed away. No Details

Patty Elizabeth Dodson BHS 1968 - passed away of cancer on January 17, 2009 in Henderson, NV.