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Former Monterey High School principal Joe Dilibert passes away

Joe Dilibert, who died May 30, spent 32 years with Burbank Unified, serving as a junior high school
Joe Dilibert, who died May 30, spent 32 years with Burbank Unified, serving as a junior high school teacher, counselor and assistant principal. He finished his career as the principal of Monterey High School.
(Courtesy of John Dilibert)

Longtime Burbank Unified School District employee Joseph Dilibert died on May 30 after an illness. He was 89 years old.

Dilibert spent his entire career with Burbank Unified, starting in 1956, working as a teacher, counselor and an assistant principal, according to his family.

He finished his teaching career at Monterey High School as its principal. While there, Dilibert developed an infant-room program to allow students to drop off their children while attending classes.

The school recently renamed its nursing room as the Joe Dilibert Infant Room.


Dilibert was born on Nov. 17, 1928, in Chicago. He and his family eventually moved to Southern California and settled in Eagle Rock in 1947.

He attended USC until he joined the Navy in 1951 during the Korean War. During his four-year naval career, he was stationed in Adak, Alaska, and kept his colleagues entertained as the disc jockey of the base’s radio station.

In 1955, Dilibert moved back to Eagle Rock and married Catherine Frances Dougherty and had five children. He finished his education at USC and graduated in 1956.

When he was not teaching, Dilibert volunteered and helped wherever he could. He was a member of the choir at St. Francis Xavier Church, involved in his sons’ Little League teams and helped with his daughter’s Camp Fire Girls events.


Dilibert’s wife Catherine became ill in 1975 and died in February 1976. In 1979, he married Elizabeth Hawkins.

He retired from Burbank Unified in 1988 and he and his wife moved to Somis, an unincorporated community in Ventura County, north of Camarillo.

Besides his wife, Dilibert is survived by his children Frank Di Liberto, Tom Di Liberto, Patrica Banuilos, John Dilibert and Christine Taylor as well as by seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Twitter: @acocarpio