Brian O'Rourke is glad to be back in the city after teaching for nine
years in the mostly agricultural area of Salinas.
O'Rourke served as an assistant principal in Salinas for four
years prior to taking the same position at Luther Burbank Middle
School in September.
"It's a great school and the students and parents have been
wonderful," O'Rourke said. "I feel like I've moved home, like I was
meant to be here."
Luther Principal Wanda Liddell Armstrong said administrators are
thrilled to have the position filled.
"Mr. O'Rourke's experience, expertise and sense of humor are a
welcome addition to the Luther family," Armstrong said.
Growing up in Boston, he set himself apart from his identical twin
by earning his bachelor's degree at Emmanuel College, his masters
degree in psych- ology from City University in Bellevue, Wash., and
his masters degree in admini- stration from San Jose State.
Another new assistant principal was welcomed into the fold this
month when Burbank Unified School District board members sent Todd
Bixler to the principal's office at John Muir Middle School on Oct.
After budget cuts more than a year ago eliminated these full-time
positions, Muir has had to share an assistant principal.
Muir Principal Dan Hacking said the problem with having a
part-time assistant principal serving two schools is there's no
continuity. Students need clearly stated goals or consequences, and
the only way to get that is to have someone there full-time to deal
with the discipline and forge relationships with the students,
"Todd is a known quantity throughout the district and on campus,"
Hacking said. "Having all discipline problems run through one person
makes everything run much more smoothly, so we're very excited to
have him on board."
Bixler teaches history at Burbank High School and is scheduled to
make the move to Muir around Oct. 25.
"It's like going home, returning to my roots," Bixler said. "I
started as a substitute at Muir, and it was that experience that made
me return to school to get my credentials."