Business goes to head of class

Molly Shore

Brian Miller, senior vice president and general manager of the

Cartoon Network, still remembers a principal he had as a middle

school student.


“Mr. Peterson was always there for the students,” Miller said. “In

middle school, there were some tough kids, but he really handled the

kids in a good way.”

Memories of Mr. Peterson were on Miller’s mind when he spent


Thursday morning as guest principal at Robert Louis Stevenson

Elementary School, as part of the school district’s 11th annual

Principal for a Day program at all of its schools.

The Cartoon Network adopted the school and recently gave donated

$1,500 donation, which will be used to buy a computer, Principal

Paula Willebrands said.

“When it came time to volunteer for principal, it only made sense

to come to Stevenson,” Miller said.


In Heidi Lavitt’s fourth-grade class, Miller read to the students,

then answered their questions. Christian Andrew asked Miller if he

draws the network’s cartoons, but Miller said he doesn’t.

“I’m sort of like a principal of the studios,” he told Christian.

In Mitch Blank’s fifth-grade class, Miller was impressed with the

students’ roller coasters made from drinking straws and poster paper,

which took about two weeks to build. They were part of a science

project involving the study of kinetic energy.


When their chores were completed, guest principals, along with the

actual principals, school administrators and other invited guests,

attended a luncheon catered by the Walt Disney Co. at the Burbank

Board of Realtors.

At the luncheon, Miller told the audience his experience convinced

him that he wants to go back to elementary school.

“The kids were happy, and I got to give awards all day,” he said.

The Principal for a Day program allows participants to see how

Burbank schools deliver standards-based instruction.

Lisa Rawlins, chairwoman of the district’s Partnership Advisory

Council, said the program is geared to help businesses partner with