The Glendale Council PTA honored state Sen. Anthony Portantino and seven other public school supporters on Founders’ Day.
Portantino received the Elected Official Honorary Service Award for his leadership on policies that improve learning outcomes for children and for his long-standing support of K-12 public education.
In addition to Portantino, GUSD administrative secretary Christine Giannamore and the Eveleigh Restaurant received the Very Special Person Award. GUSD Parent Katrin Avanessians and Crescenta Valley High Science teacher Orenda Tuason received the Honorary Service Award, and Hoover High School Spanish teacher Rosendo Rojas received the Outstanding Teacher Award. GUSD Human Resources Director Kyle Bruich received the Outstanding Administrator Award and retired GUSD administrator Stephen Williams was given the Golden Oak Service Award.
“I want to congratulate all of the wonderful school supporters who received awards. They are making a positive difference for the health and well-being of our children and everyone who supports public education deserves our appreciation. I am proud to be a PTA member and to be in a position to advocate for children,” Portantino said in a statement.
“I am grateful to the Glendale Council PTA members for their hard work, advocacy and dedication to our children. I’ve said it for years, if you want something done right, go to the PTA and ask for help. This is a tremendous institution, and I am deeply appreciative of this honor.”
Portantino has been a lifelong advocate of K-12 public school education. Since being elected to office, he has championed policies that place student well-being and success at the forefront of California’s legislative agenda — including later start times for high schools.
The state senator’s legislative agenda includes proposals for expanding behavioral health services in schools, mental health education and training for students and teachers, screening for risk of dyslexia, addressing language barriers for students with IEPs and improving emergency safety procedures for students with special needs. He has also advocated for establishing a dishwasher grant program for K-12 schools to address the state’s single-use trash and waste crisis — an idea initiated and championed by the GUSD and Glendale environmentalists.
“Glendale Council PTA is excited to honor Sen. Anthony Portantino with our Elected Official Honorary Service Award for his outstanding policy work and legislation that positively impacts the lives of all children,” Lerna Amiryans, Glendale Council PTA president, said in a statement.
“Sen. Portantino has been a strong partner of Glendale Council PTA, supporting our advocacy efforts and local initiatives, including SB 328 and SB 1255.”
Glendale Council PTA serves and represents the schools of the Glendale Unified School District. GCPTA serves as the governing body that oversees the activities of 24 school unit PTAs.
• Very Special Person Award — This award is given to recognize an individual or organization for their service to PTA.
• Christine Giannamore, administrative secretary, Communications and Public Information, GUSD
• Eveleigh restaurant, owners Jared and Kristin Levy, 8752 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood
• Honorary Service Award — This award is given to recognize an individual or organization for outstanding service to children and youth in their community, going above and beyond what is asked of them.
• Katrin Avanessians, parent volunteer, past president, Thomas Jefferson PTA, past president, Eleanor J. Toll PTA
• Orenda Tuason, science teacher, adviser to CVHS Academy of Science & Medicine, Crescenta Valley High School
• Outstanding Teacher Award — This award recognizes a teacher for outstanding service to children and youth through PTA, school or the community.
• Rosendo Rojas, Spanish teacher, Herbert Hoover High School
• Outstanding Administrator Award — This award is given to recognize an administrator for outstanding service to children and youth through PTA, school or the community.
• Kyle Bruich, director of certificated personnel, GUSD
• Elected Official Honorary Service Award — This award recognizes an elected official for outstanding policy work and/or legislation that positively impacts the lives of children. This award may be given at the local, state or federal level. This award is not an endorsement of any elected official, but to celebrate the work of the elected official.
• State Sen. Anthony J. Portantino
• Golden Oak Service Award — This award is given to recognize, as the most prestigious of the Honorary Service Awards, an individual or organization who has made significant contributions to the welfare of children and youth in a school or community.
• Stephen Williams, retired principal, Abraham Lincoln Elementary; past principal, Benjamin Franklin Elementary; university supervisor, CSUN
First published in the March 4 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.