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Two Burbank school board seats open for election

Five challengers express a common goal toward improving education in area schools.

December 11, 2012|By Kelly Corrigan,
  • Larry Applebaum, 53, is a Burbank native and current president of the school board. He hopes to stay on the board to complete his goal of bringing technology to the district.
Larry Applebaum, 53, is a Burbank native and current president… (Courtesy of Larry…)

The five Burbank residents running for two open seats on the Burbank Unified school board already agree on two main goals: maintaining academic performance and incorporating more technology into the classroom.

Here’s a look at the five candidates running for the Burbank board of education.


David Dobson, 50, has lived in Burbank for 12 years and is running for the first time for a seat on the board.

A freelance video editor and father of two children in Burbank schools, Dobson has been involved in the parent-teacher association for 12 years and is current PTA president at Disney Elementary. He’s also treasurer for the PTA at Jordan Middle School.

His reason for running falls is in his drive to serve, he said, and one of his main priorities is the implementation of technology in every Burbank classroom. He said the benefit of working on the PTA has enabled him to learn how to work with parents, teachers and booster clubs to bring positive change to schools.


“I feel like I’m talking to a lot of groups of people, a lot of whom tell me they’re not being heard from the board,” he said. “There’s a host of challenges, and I believe in those challenges there’s an opportunity to start to make schools of the future, instead of hang on to what we’ve done the past few years.”


Charlene Tabet, 48, taught middle school students in art, math and language arts in the Montebello Unified School District for 10 years.

A Burbank High graduate, Tabet is recently retired and now manages rental properties.

Tabet’s three children have attended Burbank schools and, for a combined 17 years, she has been involved in the PTA, working her way up to president of the group at Thomas Jefferson elementary and John Muir middle schools.

“I love Burbank and that’s part of the reason why I’m running,” she said. “Burbank is my heart and soul and I’m an educator. This is my way of giving back to make sure Burbank stays as wonderful as it is.”


Larry Applebaum, 53, is a Burbank native and current president of the school board.

As a contractor working in residential remodeling, he has sat on the school board since 2005, when he was more concerned with bringing arts and music back to elementary schools. The argument for arts was the same one he presented in 2003 when he first ran for a seat on the board and lost.

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