Same faces, new titles

The leadership ranks within the Glendale Community College and Glendale Unified governing boards were reshuffled Monday as they prepare for another difficult budget year.

Anita Gabrielian and Armine Hacopian assumed the offices of president and vice president, respectively, on the Glendale Community College Board of Trustees. And Joylene Wagner and Christine Walters assumed the presidency and vice presidency on the school board.

College trustees Tony Tartaglia and Vahe Peroomian, and Glendale Unified board members Nayiri Nahabedian and Mary Boger, took the oath of office at City Hall after winning re-election on April 5.

The leadership changes at Glendale Community College and Glendale Unified come at a critical juncture for both administrations.

Glendale Community College is bracing for as much as $10.7 million in state funding losses in the coming fiscal year, which starts on July 1. Supt./President Dawn Lindsay announced last month that the college’s 2012 winter session has been eliminated as a cost-saving measure. A formal decision on summer school is expected later this week.

The college is also working to regain its positive standing with the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, which placed the college on warning status last summer for failing to meet certain criteria.

Among her priorities as president, Gabrielian said, will be to push forward with the college’s plan to develop a comprehensive distance-education program, as well as to expand career tech classes in the sustainable-energy field.

“I think my priorities as president clearly have to be to facilitate a group that maintains a focus through these challenging times on student success, and how to best serve the community,” Gabrielian said.

Her chief responsibility as vice president will be to support Gabrielian, and to ensure the right staff is in place to enable the college to flourish, Hacopian said.

“We want our students to succeed,” Hacopian said. “In order for our students to succeed, obviously, there needs to be enough money to go around to provide for their well being…. That means quality instruction, quality facilities, quality resources.”

The coffers at Glendale Unified — and spirits — were buoyed somewhat by the recent of passage of Measure S, a $270-million school bond that will fund a technology infrastructure overhaul. Nevertheless, the district could see its state funding shrink by as much as $20 million during 2011-12.

Outgoing school board president Greg Krikorian noted that California continues to rank near the bottom in public education funding. He likened trying to balance the budget during the economic crisis to hitting a moving target.

“The state still hasn’t found solutions to solve these problems,” Krikorian said.

Wagner acknowledged that the coming year will be difficult, but added that she is confident that those on the board are the right people for the job.

“As we work to prepare our students for their future, I look forward to working with all of you and all of our partners out there,” Wagner said.

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