Burbank’s Agazaryan, Gezalyan, Baboudjian Earn All-CIF Honors

First published in the Dec. 25 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Burbank High School’s varsity boys’ water polo team is coming off one of its most significant seasons in school history after finishing as runners-up in the CIF-SS Division V championship game. And it gets better for the Bulldogs as senior Johnny Agazaryan was the CIF Division V Player of the Year.
Junior Zack Gezalyan and senior Hovannes “Hovo” Baboudjian also earned All-CIF first-team honors.
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Providence Captures First Championship in 37 Years

First published in the Nov. 27 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Twenty-two years as head coach of the Providence High School cross-country program, Michelle Boucher is still evolving, tinkering with the program to bring out the best in her athletes.
“We’ve been trying to change the culture of the program to be more serious about running and have a more serious attitude. No more excuses,” she said.
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Pioneers’ Stellar Season Ends One Game Short of Title Match

Photo courtesy Eric Owens
Freshmen Breanna Pelaez and Olyvia Rutter helped Providence reach the CIF Southern Section semifinals in one of the program’s most successful seasons. The Pioneers finished the season with an 11-5 record.

By Eric Owens

Special to the Burbank Leader

Second-seeded Providence had a tough CIF-SS Division 7 playoff semifinal against visiting Lakeside High of Lake Elsinore, suffering an 11-5 setback at Burbank’s Olive Park.

Freshman Olyvia Rutter pitched six relief innings for Providence (11-5 overall record) and surrendered six runs (only three of which were earned) on seven hits while striking out four Lancers.

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Burroughs’ Fine Campaign Ends in Bakersfield

Photo by Eric Danielson
Dyani Del Castillo is one of five Burroughs High School seniors who played their final game of the season on Tuesday when the Bears fell to host Bakersfield, 51-30, in the first round of the CIF State Division 3A playoffs.

The Burroughs High School varsity girls’ basketball team’s season came to an end on Tuesday. The Bears received a tough draw in the CIF State Division 3A Southern Regional playoffs and fell to No. 1-seeded Bakersfield, 51-30, in the first round.

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Providence High Hires New Director of Development

Anja Kloch

Anja Kloch has joined Providence High School as its director of development, a role in which she will serve on the school’s leadership team and be responsible for expanding fundraising efforts, the school announced.
“We are so excited to welcome Anja to the Providence community,” said Head of School Scott McLarty. “Anja is an accomplished development professional and will be an incredible partner in strengthening our culture of philanthropy and raising the funds needed to support and expand our programs in the years ahead.”
With more than 29 years of experience as a marketing development professional, Kloch formerly was chief external relations officer for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. There she created a comprehensive major gifts program and led her team through strategic and operational planning, introduced new revenue streams and enhanced corporate participation in peer-to-peer programs, among other accomplishments.
Kloch has extensive experience working in the nonprofit sector, including serving as resource development director for the Burbank Boys & Girls Club and as vice president of development for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles.
“I am honored and excited to be joining the extraordinary team that makes up the staff and faculty of Providence High School,” said Kloch. “We have an opportunity to help our Pioneers discover all their potential and gifts at a crucial state of their development as humans. I look forward to heading up the team that will work tirelessly to ensure that this mission is supported with the necessary resources.”

Providence High Helps Students Engage Safely With Social Media

The era of COVID-19 has left most Americans isolated at home with their own electronic devices, increasing the use of social media, especially among adolescents.
And the only school in the nation governed by a health-care system is doing its part to help its students navigate past the pitfalls of platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat, where young users sometimes put up deceptive faces and bullying is common.
Providence High School, which is affiliated with the Providence hospital chain, recently became the first school in the state to form a partnership with Half the Story, a nonprofit organization that believes in digital well-being and encourages youth to share their lives unfiltered — their passions, hidden talents and struggles — to connect with others on a more human level.

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Obituary | Vincent Stefano, Jr.

Vincent Stefano, Jr.

Vincent Stefano, Jr. (81), husband, father, grandfather, uncle, cousin, friend, and lifelong Burbank, California, resident and former mayor (Burbank), passed away on Aug. 24, 2020.
Born on Dec. 21, 1938, in Burbank, the only child to Vincent Sr. and Mary Stefano, descedants of Italian immigrant families. He graduated in the last winter class at John Burroughs High School in 1957. He attended the University of Southern California, led the student body, became an active member of the Theta Xi fraternity, president of the Trojan Knights, Trojan Squires and an avid Trojan football fan. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in public administration, Vince attended Loyola Law School. He was president of the Loyola Bar Association from 1963-1964 and earned his law degree. He went on to practice law for over 40 years.
Before starting his private law practice, where he counseled and supported countless local clients in matters of family, real estate and corporate law, Vince was a deputy city attorney for the City of Los Angeles, deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County, and city prosecutor for the City of Burbank. Vince was a firm believer in civic duty. It was his passion for local politics and debate that ultimately lead him to run for Burbank City Council, serving from 1973 through 1977, and as mayor from 1974 to 1975. Vince was largely responsible for the city’s paramedic program, the CHP, and the CalPERS pension plan. He also served on several other boards and commissions for Burbank and was an active member of the Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center and Providence High School communities.

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Colleagues Remember Former Mayor Stefano

Vince Stefano

Vincent “Vince” Stefano Jr., a former Burbank city councilman and former mayor, died Monday, with those who knew him remembering him as a “bigger-than-life guy.” He was 81.
Stefano served on the City Council from 1973-77, holding the office of mayor from 1974-75. During the mid-’70s, he and the rest of the council worked to transfer control of what is now the Hollywood Burbank Airport from Lockheed Corp. to the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority.
Former Mayor Michael Hastings, who served with Stefano on a Providence High School board, said in a phone interview that Stefano was a “very dynamic guy, fun to do business with. … He was one of those guys who, when we set our minds to doing something, we got it done — but we had fun doing it.”
Hastings credits Stefano’s hard work with the flourishing of the airport, an important transportation facility that serves several million passengers a year, according to the it’s website.

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Now A.D., Providence Coach Looks for Bigger Impact

Providence High School boys’ basketball coach Brandon Lincoln was recently hired as the athletic director. In his three years leading the Pioneers, he has won two Prep League championships and was named CIF-SS Division IV Coach of the Year in 2019.
Photo courtesy Providence High School

The culture change of the boys’ basketball program at Providence High School has made the Pioneers one of the most competitive teams in the CIF Southern Section since the arrival of head coach Brandon Lincoln, and he hopes to carry over that success as an administrator.
The school recently announced Lincoln as the new athletic director after he’d served as an assistant A.D. and physical education teacher since his arrival in 2017. He assumed his new duties immediately and will continue to coach the boys’ basketball team.
“We are so excited to welcome coach Lincoln as director of athletics,” Head of School Scott McLarty said in a statement. “He is already an accomplished mentor to and supporter of students and coaches alike, and in this new role, will demonstrate his considerable leadership skills. We can’t wait to see the positive impact he will have on the entire Providence High School community in the years ahead.” Continue reading “Now A.D., Providence Coach Looks for Bigger Impact”