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Glendale Unified board celebrates community standouts

School principal Dr. Linda Gubler Junge came out to see members of the Crescenta Valley High School
Crescenta Valley High School principal Linda Junge was awarded the James R. Brown honor by the Glendale Unified board on Tuesday for “exemplary leadership skills and significant contribution to advancing the quality of public education.”
(Raul Roa / Glendale News-Press)

Awards and recognitions were handed to members of the greater Glendale community during a Glendale Unified board meeting on Tuesday, which served as a de facto party.

The heart of the get-together included four awards named after former district superintendents.

Linda Junge, principal at Crescenta Valley High School, was given the James R. Brown honor “for exemplary leadership skills and significant contribution to advancing the quality of public education.”

“What an honor it is to work in this district that I attended as a student, that I have dedicated my career to,” said Junge, who began as a teacher with Glendale Unified in 1997. “This is a very special place, and I have an amazing administrative team who is here as well.”

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Crescenta Valley High was named a top 3% state and national school by U.S. News & World Report in April and a 2019 California Distinguished School in February.

State Supt. Tony Thurmond also recognized the school’s exemplary program in arts education, career-technical or physical activity and nutrition in March.

The Robert A. Sanchis Award is for those “whose interaction with the public and with fellow employees reflects positively on the district” and was presented to Christina Burt, a teacher specialist at Horace Mann Elementary, and Sonia Boller, a switchboard clerk at the district’s headquarters.

“I’m fortunate that I get to work with such an amazing, supportive group of people,” Boller said. “As a parent [in] the district, I’m fortunate that my kids receive such an excellent education.”

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According to district officials, the Burtis E. Taylor Award signifies “the highest degree of dedication to public education.”

Former Crescenta Valley Town Council president Steve Pierce and Measure S citizens’ bond oversight committee chair Michael Myers were selected for the honor.

“From the time I was a young man, I admired and respected those people who took time from their day jobs to contribute somehow to the community,” Myers said.

The final superintendent’s recognition — the Michael F. Escalante Award — was established for outstanding high school seniors.

Abdullah Hasan from Clark Magnet High, Sophia James from Crescenta Valley High, Aaron Houghton from Daily High, Trishley Nubla from Glendale High and Omer Abdelrahim from Hoover High received the honor.

The winners of the Taylor, Brown and Sanchis awards each received a crystal trophy, while the students earned plaques.

Other awards included checks.

The Glendale Schools Management Assn. honored Elizabeth Bowakian and Isabella Lakisna from Clark Magnet High and Bella Busalachhi and Mikayla Stone from Crescenta Valley High with $700 scholarships each to bolster their careers in education.

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Glendale’s chapter of the California State Employees Assn. gave a $1,000 scholarship to Brianna Guzman from Hoover High, who’s heading to Glendale Community College with the ultimate goal of becoming a police officer.

One of the most significant awards, money-wise, went to Crescenta Valley High senior Jean Rhee, who was informed of her full scholarship, $23,000 annually for four years, to attend Otis College of Art and Design.

Glendale’s first, second-, and third-place winners in the Hollywood Burbank Airport Authority banner contest — Serrineh Khachatourians from Crescenta Valley High, Margaret Hofhine from Clark Magnet High and Taleen Amirkhanian from Crecscenta Valley High, respectively — were recognized.

The district received $3,000 for its participation in the competition, while Khachatourians will have her winning piece enlarged and hung from the airport’s tower.

Glendale High’s Juliet Bazikyan, Kianna Gueco, Faviola Ramirez and Valeria Delgado were also awarded between $3,000 to $5,000 through the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program Scholarship, or CCAP, to continue their culinary educations.

Kailyn Huynh from Hoover High received $5,000 from CCAP and a half scholarship from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she plans to continue her education.

Others recognized Tuesday were the Glendale Unified Student Advisory Council, the state champion Glendale High dance team, the Lexus Challenge titlist, which was the geographic information systems class at Clark Magnet High, Crescenta Valley High gold medalist Skills USA competition winners and the Math, Engineering, and Science Academy competition victors from Glendale High as well as Roosevelt and Wilson middle schools.

In sports, Crescenta Valley High’s dominance in CIF Southern Section action was acknowledged as were the CIF-SS boys’ and girls’ swim teams, the softball team and track 1,600-meter runner Dylan Wilbur.

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