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Burbank High School

By Megan O'Neil and Jeff Tully, | March 9, 2012
A popular Burbank High School football player died at his home in Shadow Hills Tuesday night in what officials have ruled a suicide. The student was identified by Los Angeles County coroner's officials as 17-year-old Matthew Smyser. The official cause of death was released Thursday. Burbank Unified officials were notified of the death Wednesday morning by the Los Angeles Mayor's Crisis Response Team, Supt. Stan Carrizosa said. District grief counselors were immediately deployed to the school, where they remained all week.
March 8, 2012
A popular Burbank High School football player took his own life at his home in Shadow Hills Tuesday night, shocking his teammates and student body. The student was identified by Los Angeles County coroner's officials as 17-year-old Matthew Smyser. Officials on Thursday confirmed the cause of death as suicide following an autopsy. Burbank Unified officials were notified of the death Wednesday morning by the Los Angeles Mayor's Crisis Response Team, Supt. Stan Carrizosa said.
By Maria Hsin, | February 25, 2012
With balloons, marching bands and cheerleaders, Saturday's celebration at John Burroughs High School's Memorial Field in Burbank might have been mistaken for a homecoming game. But the celebration was for something much more important - the long-awaited dedication of the rebuilt athletic facility, a $12.2 million project that had been in planning stages for at least a decade. The new Memorial Field includes a football field, bleachers, lighting and a rubberized track and will be shared by Burbank and Bellarmine-Jefferson high schools for home football games.
By Stan Lynch, Special to the Burbank Leader | January 24, 2012
Former Burbank Water and Power employee turned firefighter has died. Services for Glen W. Duke, including brief memorials at Fire Station 14, were held last Friday. He was 89. Duke, who died Jan. 14, was born in Idaho in 1922 and had seven brothers and sisters. The family moved to Long Beach before settling in Burbank. He graduated from Burbank High School in 1940 and began working for Burbank's Public Service Department (now Burbank Water and Power) later that year as a meter reader.
By Megan O'Neil, | November 1, 2011
In Iran, Silvana Dermegerdichian was highly involved with her children's school, volunteering with the PTA and greeting everyone from the receptionists to the principal by name. But when the family immigrated to Southern California four years ago, she found herself linguistically and culturally isolated. Everything about their new Burbank schools seemed strange, from the coed classes to the dress code. “I couldn't communicate with the other parents or the teachers, it was really hard for me,” Dermegerdichian said.
By Megan O'Neil, | July 22, 2011
To the untrained eye, the options looked bleak. At the right were steep mountains sprinkled with cell phone towers and electrical lines. To the left a creeping marine layer blanketed the beaches. And even from the vantage of 4,500 feet, the landing strip was nowhere in sight. “The hardest part about flying - finding the airport,” the pilot said, prompting one of his two passengers to tightly grip her seat. But with aplomb that would have made Hudson River crash lander Sully Sullenberger proud, 16-year-old Nick Meyer adjusted the altitude of the Piper Warrior - imagine a Volkswagen Beetle with wings - radioed the tower and touched down at the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport as scheduled.
By Megan O'Neil; | June 17, 2011
In 2003, newly named Burbank High School Principal Bruce Osgood hired an assistant principal by the name of Hani Youssef. Eight years later, that same assistant principal is poised to take over for his boss and mentor, who announced his departure in March. Born in Egypt and raised in Los Angeles, the 39-year-old Youssef earned his bachelor’s degree from Cal State Northridge in 1995, and his master’s degree and administrative credential from Mount St. Mary’s College in 2000. He taught English at the middle school and high school levels, and served as an administrator in the Los Angeles Unified and the Conejo Unified school districts before landing at Burbank Unified in 2003.
By Megan O'Neil, | May 28, 2011
As the first measures of "Pomp and Circumstance" echoed throughout the Starlight Bowl on Friday, a large cheer erupted from the nearly 600 Burbank High School graduates waiting their turn to take to the stage. "It is about time," said Jeremy Labertew. "It has been a long time coming, 13 years of school and it is finally here. It is like the finale of my life in Burbank. " The 2011 graduates, sporting cap and gowns in Bulldog blue, and some with tassels and medals indicating special achievements, are among the most accomplished in recent memory, said Principal Bruce Osgood.
By Joyce Rudolph, | April 1, 2011
Greg Varon — who started a carpet business in his Burbank garage while in high school and later became a prominent local real estate developer — died March 23 in a Los Angeles hospital after a long battle with diabetes. He was 55. He had possessed an entrepreneurial spirit since his high school days, said his brother Bruce Varon, who owns a chiropractic business in Burbank. After he became injured and couldn’t compete in sports at Burbank High School any longer, Greg Varon created the Letterman’s Club to raise funds for the school’s sports programs and started selling hot dogs and sodas at sports events.
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