"The state has softened things up," Kemp said of physical-education standards in schools. "It's like a feel-good experience rather than being a really rigorous experience."
Physical-education classes in the Burbank district were expanded into the elementary schools two years ago, making the class mandatory for fourth- and fifth-grade students.
Kemp was at the forefront of this change and plans on working to extend the class to third-grade students and hopes to make the physical education experience focus on ability rather than just participation, he said.
"[He] cared about the kids and their best interests all the time," Burbank High School Athletic Director Fred Cook said. "[He] was always here when someone need him. He coached many sports when there was a need for him, when we didn't have anyone."
Cook was hired by Kemp and has known him for 19 years.
"He's done a good job," Cook said. "He's behind us getting the fields passed and he's always willing to listen to make things better for Burbank Unified."
Kemp is also concerned about the money situation at the district, citing poor funding on the part of the state for most of the district's fiscal woes, including the current struggle over faculty raises.
"I think employee relations is big," Kemp said. "Employees need to be compensated. The people that are most important in children's lives are teachers and they are paid the least. Something is just wrong with that picture."
Subsidies and donations from the city, surrounding businesses and PTA organizations have been invaluable the district's battle with under funding, he said, and hoped that parents in particular would stay heavily involved with their children's education.
"There's no easy way," he said. "Everybody has to really keep their nose to the grindstone and make due with what we have now and continue to seek better solutions."