Community: Alumni group gets high marks for keeping grads connected

A group of high school grads have earned a 4.0 when it comes to connecting those who attended or taught at the crosstown rival schools.

I’m talking about the steering committee members of the Burbank Burroughs Alumni Assn. who organize quarterly mixers to honor past and present teachers and administrators while raising scholarships funds for graduating seniors.

Retirees Leon Frankamp and Bill Larson and current teachers Greg Everhart and Bonnie Burrow were recognized during the last mixer at the Veterans of Foreign Wars headquarters.

Joanne Lento Miller, alumni president, welcomed everyone and Connie Barron Trimble read the honorees resumes.

Frankamp began teaching in the Burbank Unified School District at Burroughs High School in 1963 and, after one year, he transferred to Burbank High School, where he remained until he retired in 1989.

He was a football and basketball coach and taught science, driver’s education and photography.

In their retirement, he and his wife, Ramona, volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. They have three daughters — Sue, Cindy and Kim.

Ramona Frankamp began with the school district as a substitute teacher and then became a full-time teacher at Roosevelt Elementary School, where she taught third grade for 21 years.

Leon Frankamp thanked his wife who kept him strong during his bout with cancer.

Everhart, who is also the Frankamps’ grandson, was born and raised in Burbank, attended Roosevelt Elementary and Luther Middle School and graduated from Burroughs High before earning his teaching degree at Cal State Northridge. He teaches math and algebra and is the golf coach at Burroughs.

Cheering him on at the mixer were his wife, Toi, and their 10-month-old son, Easton.

Larson started with the district in 1964. He taught for four years at Burbank High and transferred to the Anaheim School District for one year, then returned to the Burbank district and taught at Burroughs from 1970 to 1980.

He taught biology, Spanish and driver’s education and was a football coach. In 1981, he returned to Burbank High, where he worked as a counselor. In 1991, he moved to the district offices and taught adaptive physical education, among other jobs, serving in pupil services and special education. He retired in 2001.

Several former football players attended the mixer to greet their coaches, including Jim Flavin, Jeff Altman, Jerry Trotta, Bob Carter, Gary Marca and Larry O’Brien.

Burrow grew up in the Midwest and earned two bachelor’s degrees from Southern Illinois University. She taught in Illinois and then moved west, where she earned her master’s degree in social science at UC Irvine.

She worked as a photographer for the Burbank Daily Review and continued when the publication became the Burbank Leader. She was a substitute teacher for the Burbank district in the mid-1980s. She worked at the Adult School in 2008 and then took a long-term assignment as a substitute for photography teacher Tim Brehm. She later moved into the photography-teacher position full time when Brehm retired.

The alumni association’s next event will be a tailgate party in the school district’s parking lot prior to the Burbank/Burroughs homecoming football game on Nov. 3.

For more information, call (818) 846-8910.

Robert Baba, a retired dentist, celebrated his 100th birthday on Sept. 2. He grew up in the San Joaquin Valley and served as a medic in Italy during World War II.

After the war, with help from the GI Bill, he attended Loyola University Dental School in Chicago. He then lived in the La Mirada-Whittier area from 1957 to 2009.

Baba had a dental practice, specializing in children’s dentistry, from 1957 to 1992. He moved to Burbank in 2009 to live with his daughter, Ann Baba Newman.

His daughter, caregiver and other family members now take him to various senior activities in Burbank. He especially loves chair-exercise classes at Joslyn Adult Center and music activities at Don Tuttle Senior Center. He is also a regular diner at many local restaurants.

His daughter said she thinks the kindness and friendship he receives from Burbank residents and businesses help keep him happy and healthy.

JOYCE RUDOLPH can be reached at rudolphjoyce10@gmail.com.

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