The Burbank Unified school board candidates, in their own words

Steve Ferguson

Age: 24

Profession: Principal of CF Political and Media Strategies

As a candidate for school board, I believe that it is important to put forward a plan for which you can be held accountable.

I am the only candidate to put forward new ideas to better our district, which include more financial transparency measures, the development of alumni associations, and the establishment of a Parents Bill of Rights to help parents navigate our district more effectively for their child.

My campaign has always been about incorporating all perspectives into the decision-making process and, as a result, I have established a broad coalition of support from throughout the community.

I am the only non-incumbent who has served on civic boards and commissions and who is not funded by outside political interests who would seek to privatize our schools and profit on the backs of our students.

Putting our students first has been, and always will be, my highest priority, and I look forward to providing more educational opportunities to our students as we prepare them for college and the work force.

David Dobson

Age: 50

Profession: Freelance video editor

I am the parent of two children in Burbank schools, a third-grader and an eighth-grader, so I have been involved with our schools for nine years.

For most of that time, I have been active with the PTA and am currently serving my second year as PTA president at Walt Disney Elementary and treasurer of the Jordan Middle School PTSA. I have also served on the booster board and school site council at Disney and the calendar committee for the district.

As an involved parent, an active member of the PTA and a graduate of Leadership Burbank, I am someone who is passionate but open-minded, who listens before he talks, who cares deeply for our children and schools, and who is ready to do the hard work needed to bring people together around the solutions that are best for our kids and the community.

And now that Measure S has passed, it is critical we have board members with broad experience, who understand what it means to spend other people's money, and who will use the bond funds as an investment in the future of our schools so they can be the schools of the future.

Larry Applebaum

Age: 53

Profession: General contractor

I'm a lifelong Burbank resident, father of a fifth-grader, and have the background, knowledge, experience and passion to best serve the children of Burbank and the taxpayers whom ultimately fund our schools.

While on the board, I have fought to budget our scarce dollars wisely, leaving prudent reserves that allowed the district to be financially solvent while also navigating horrific cuts to our education funding the last five years.

The passage of Measure S provides resources allowing the district to integrate technology and instruction in a manner our students need and deserve. My years of experience in the fields of electronics and construction, plus knowledge gained watching projects accomplished during my tenure on the board, will help me to insure that bond funds are used properly and that our community gets the most bang for every dollar.

I stand out as a candidate because of my demonstrated skills of effective listening, thoughtful consideration of all sides of issues, and excellent working relationships with parents, teachers, staff and administrators.

My clear understanding of school funding and budgeting will help me continue keeping our educational programs strong, diverse and relevant, protecting the best interests of an ever-changing population of students.

Charlene Tabet

Age: 48

Profession: Property manager

As a lifelong resident of Burbank, I attended Burbank schools from kindergarten through 12th grade, sent my three children to Burbank schools and actively served in each of those schools as PTA president. In addition, I have 15 years of teaching experience.

My teaching experience and the more than 20 years of working with our schools has provided me with an unparalleled experience that no other candidate has. I will use that experience to address the many challenges and opportunities facing our district.

My past experience has shown me that a successful educational experience is a three-sided triangle – schools, parents and students, all three working together for the benefit of our children. I strongly support arts education in our schools, as the arts bring many opportunities for our children to excel, grow creatively and, for some, give them a reason to just love school.

I also support increasing access to technology for our schools.

Our children need to have the skills for the ever-changing job market after graduation.

I feel it's a privilege to serve the citizens and our children of Burbank Unified and I look forward to that opportunity.

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