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Reynolds, Aghakhanian elected to lead Burbank Unified school board

Reynolds, Aghakhanian elected to lead Burbank Unified school board
Veteran school board member Roberta Reynolds was elected board president and Armond Aghakhanian was elected vice president on Thursday. (File Photos)

The Burbank Unified school board on Thursday elected veteran school board member Roberta Reynolds as its new president, a position she’s held previously.

School board members also elected Armond Aghakhanian to fill the vice president's post vacated by Reynolds, and board member Steve Frintner will replace him as the clerk.

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"The board president is no more or less than the other board members," Reynolds said.

Reynolds replaced outgoing president Steve Ferguson, who was emotional after leading his hometown school district. He will continue to serve as a board member.

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"I love working with you all. Everyone brings individual strengths that changes my involvement on the board," Ferguson said.

Members of the Burbank Teachers Assn. voiced their concerns last month about the district's perceived "disrespect" regarding contract negotiations.

Nicole Drabecki, a physical education teacher at Jefferson and Edison elementary schools, said before the reorganization meeting Thursday that she hopes the board will approve a 5% salary increase retroactive to July 1, 2017, and continue to raise the district's contribution to teachers' healthcare costs.

On April 6, the district offered a 1% retroactive raise to July 1, 2017, and a 1% off-schedule bonus guarantee, with the potential of two additional 1% raises in the future should the district receive more money from the state and if a city parcel-tax proposal passes at the polls.

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"We truly need on-schedule raises," Drabecki said. "The one-time bonuses do not help teachers in the long run, nor do they help retain and recruit new teachers to our district."

Daniel Langhorne is a contributor to Times Community News.

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