Hey, when was the last time you drove past Burbank High School?
When we graduated from Burbank High School in 1968, there were only three grades: 10th, 11th and 12th. All that changed, though, in the 1990-1991 school year when 9th graders were admitted to the school and the old buildings were no longer adequate.
So in 1996, the city of Burbank passed a school bond for the rebuilding of Burbank High School. Phase I was completed in 2001 and 80 new classrooms had been built, along with the administration offices and a counseling center. By 2003 there was a new Performing Arts Center (including the Wolfson Auditorium, named for beloved drama teacher, Deanne Wolfson) and more than 100 classrooms with lighting and most importantly, air conditioning! I do remember that some of those old classrooms got awfully hot at the start of school.
But it wasn’t only the buildings that changed — the demographics did too. When I graduated from Burbank High, I think we were only one of three Chinese families in the city of Burbank. When 9th graders came onto the campus, there was an increase in Russian, Armenian, Asian and Hispanic students. The centennial book states that as a result, “The English Language Development program grew from one classroom of Spanish speakers . . . to twelve classes taught to a multitude of foreign speakers by several teachers and aides.”
When I attended the opening concert of the Burbank High School Centennial Celebration, the diversity of the student population was immediately apparent.
I witnessed this evolution over the years when I visited my mother! Last time was November 2011, two and a half years after she passed, when I sold the Burbank house.