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Burbank Unified names insider as new head of schools

Assistant Supt. Jan Britz will permanently replace Stan Carrizosa, who took a college job in Visalia.

May 26, 2012|By Megan O'Neil, megan.oneil@latimes.com
  • Jan Britz, the new superintendent of Burbank Unified Public Schools,at Burbank High School's graduation at the Starlight Bowl.
Jan Britz, the new superintendent of Burbank Unified… (Tim Berger / Staff…)

After airing plans to name an interim replacement for outgoing Supt. Stan Carrizosa, the Burbank Unified school board went one step further Friday and announced Assistant Supt. of Instructional Services Jan Britz as the new permanent head of schools.

Board President Debbie Kukta and Vice President Larry Applebaum confirmed the decision just minutes before taking the stage at the Starlight Bowl for the Burbank High School commencement. It came after eight hours of meetings on three separate days, and conferences with multiple district staff members, they said.

“Having a candidate with a tremendous amount of institutional knowledge really is going to make a difference as we move forward with some really tough decisions over the next year or two with the budget being what it is,” Applebaum said. “It is going to be helpful to have somebody who really knows the landscape.”

Britz said she is looking forward to stepping into the superintendent role.

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“I am very excited, and I am very pleased the board has confidence in me,” Britz said. “I am excited to work with our community and really move forward.”

Carrizosa announced on May 3 that he was a finalist for the president position at College of the Sequoias in Visalia. Two weeks later he accepted the job and confirmed his departure after two years at the head of Burbank Unified.

The outgoing superintendent was a steadying force in the district, and 2011-12 proved a momentum builder. In August, Burbank Unified schools uniformly topped the 800-point mark on the state Academic Performance Index. Last month, Luther Burbank Middle School teacher Rebecca Mieliwocki was named National Teacher of the Year and was received by President Obama at the White House, setting off a citywide celebration.

In Britz, school board members said, they see a leader who can keep the energy level high.

“I think she brings stability to the district, and her vision is to continue the momentum that Mr. Carrizosa has started,” Kukta said.

When Britz started with Burbank Unified in 2006, her responsibilities included testing and secondary schools.

“She will do very well,” Applebaum said. “She has done a lot of work in this district and has proven to be a jack of all trades.”

Since then, her responsibilities fluctuated to include elementary education, human resources, child care development and student services.

“She has willingly stepped into a lot of roles, not necessarily her preferred work areas, and has shown that she is willing to be a quick learner, willing to work collaboratively with people and is capable of managing and improving all that she touches,” Applebaum said.

The terms of the incoming superintendent’s contract are under negotiation and are expected to be finalized by late June, Applebaum said.

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