By Brandon HENSLEY
Glendale Unified School District said goodbye to outgoing board member Joylene Wagner during its Monday meeting in downtown Glendale and swore in three members who were voted in during the April 2 elections.
Incumbents Greg Krikorian and Christine Walters took their oath once again from city clerk Ardy Kassakhian as well as the newly-elected Armina Gharpetian.
“I will strive to pursue perfection with [the help of] teamwork, and thank you so much, guys, for your open arms and congratulating me and welcoming me,” Gharpetian said when she took her seat from Wagner. “This is a new chapter in my life and I’m ready to give back to this great community.”
Wagner was given an emotional sendoff. There was a reception for her 45 minutes prior to the meeting and one of the first items on the agenda was for each board member to congratulate her on eight years of service, including her work for high school robotics and the arts, then extending best wishes for the future.
“You have touched the hearts of many and connected with many in this community in the various things you have done for all of us, and that stands,” said vice president Nayiri Nahabedian. “There’s nothing that takes that away.”
Student board member Joy McCreary, who attends Crescenta Valley High, said she had Wagner as a roommate at the California School Board Conference last year.
“I had a fantastic time. You were a great roommate,” she said to Wagner from across the dais. “You are frankly one of the people who I really look up to,” adding that no one can match Wagner’s dedication.
“I work hard on this board, but I don’t work nearly as hard as you do,” said board President Walters. “I think it’s safe to say you work harder than the five of us.”
“You have been my go-to person when I need to know anything legislative,” she continued, “when I need to understand issues at a state level, when I need to understand issues at a federal level.”
Krikorian credited Wagner with helping Measure S succeed. The measure was passed last year to help fund GUSD schools in lacking areas.
“That’s because of the unity of this board, and that [has a lot] to do with your leadership,” he said.
“There was never anything politically involved with what Joylene did,” said Mary Boger, who was battling a very sore throat and cough. “It came from a pure sense of service … I’ll miss you so much and am proud to have you as a friend. Thank you for all you have done.”
“It has truly been a pleasure to serve with all of you,” Wagner said. “I’ll miss it in this capacity, but I’ll enjoy new capacities, and leave it at that.”
Before Gharpetian took her place, the members got up and switched positions for the year ahead. Nahabedian took the position of president, Walters to regular board member, Krikorian to city clerk and Boger to vice president.