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Valedictorian equation doesn’t quite add up I...

Valedictorian equation doesn’t quite add up

I read with great interest your article about Burbank High School

graduate Richard Huh.

I strongly support Richard’s efforts to expose the inherent


unfairness in the unknown, but obviously flawed, process by which a

“chosen few” administrators in the Burbank Unified School District

pick the valedictorian. I spoke with Dr. Alexis Sheehy, the assistant

superintendent, at length after seeing that my daughter was not on


the “list of potential valedictorians.”

My daughter had a 4.75 GPA and was ranked fifth in the class

before adding to her transcript two college courses she took at Cal

State Los Angeles last summer. The district refuses to weigh those

classes like they do advanced-placement classes, even though they are

the same level as AP classes, and even though the colleges do give

weight to college classes taken during high school, whether the

district will admit that or not. Thus, her grade-point average and


rank were lowered, which, we believe, knocked her out of the running

for valedictorian.

Even the principal, Leslee De Roos, was not privy to the equation

used to come up with the list or the choice of valedictorian when I

asked her about it earlier in the year after seeing the changes in my

daughter’s transcript. How can students strive for something as

important as valedictorian (and believe me, it is very important to

this particular group of students) if they don’t even know what to do


to qualify? For Ms. Quayle to say the process is fair is

disingenuous. Her defensive attitude is typical of most of the

administration and office personnel at Burbank High School, with the

exception of a very few people, like former principal Leslee De Roos

for one.

My daughter, like Richard, received the Regent’s and Chancellor’s

Scholarship from UC Berkeley -- their highest merit award -- and will

enter college with Richard in August. I have absolutely no doubt that

they will both go on to be great successes. But please continue to

try to help shed some light on and expose the cabal at Burbank who

perform their arcane formulations in secret, refuse to discuss what

the valedictorian criteria are, and arbitrarily limit their list of

“potentials” to 10 students, leaving other, fully qualified students

dissatisfied, dejected, disappointed and confused.

Leslie H. Strunk


After they approved it, they didn’t approve it

After the good citizens of Burbank approved a 2% increase in the

transient-parking tax, City Council -- in all of its wisdom -- did

not approve it. Didn’t they put it on the ballot? What kind of logic

was that?

An easy $300,000 was denied to the city’s general fund by a

diffident City Council. These opportunities didn’t come by too often.

I think the Republican problem of being implacable against new

state taxes at the state level is contagious. It’s spread to the city

of Burbank in regard to the parking tax increase. Any tax can be

temporary. Let’s have some foresight and use what tools we have


When the council changes its mind and enacts at least a temporary

parking tax, why don’t they contact the Republicans in the state

legislature and show them the efficacy of that move?

Wesley Greene