Betty Steinkolk Literacy Patio and Garden

Christopher Rizzotti, president of the Burbank Assn. of Realtors Community Service Foundation, addresses the crowd assembled for the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Betty Steinkolk Literacy Patio and Garden at Jordan Middle School on Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Joyce Rudolph / February 23, 2013)

Jordan Middle School volunteers were up early Saturday morning building tables and benches or setting plants in neat rows for the Betty Steinkolk Literacy Patio and Garden, dedicated to the beloved former principal who died in 2009.

The 3 p.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony was the culmination of a yearlong partnership between the Burbank Business Partners, Burbank Assn. of Realtors Community Service Foundation and the Burbank Noon Rotary Club, said Sue Georgino, board member of the Business Partners.

Georgino has partnered with Jordan, and more than a year ago, she toured the school with Principal Stacy Cashman, who outlined her to-do list. Cashman said the patio was a priority because the teachers needed a place to relax, and because it joins the teachers lounge and library, the students can also enjoy the space. On a tip from her husband, Vic Georgino, Sue brought together the Noon Rotary and Realtors foundation.

Having the two organizations do something good for a Burbank school was a great thing, said Jonathan Taylor, immediate past president of Noon Rotary.

“It is unique, and it's something we hope will inspire other organizations to follow in our footsteps,” he said.

Both groups donated funds from their general funds, and additional donations came from individuals. The total of the project was just under $15,000, Taylor said.

The project completes the Betty Steinkolk Patio that the faculty started in 1985, said former physical education teacher Terry Scott. Funds to pour the concrete came from the PITS talent show, he said. Scott remembered Steinkolk was all business when it came to being a principal, but she knew how to have fun when the faculty got together socially.

The patio features a mural designed by English teacher Dana Ragle, who is the Mural Club adviser at Jordan. It was painted by students in the club and parents.

Hannah Park-Worley, 13, an eighth-grader at Jordan, was impressed with the result.

“I think the mural is absolutely gorgeous, and the front of the school with the flowers and everything makes it look 10 times better than it has before,” she said.

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JOYCE RUDOLPH can be contacted at rudolphjoyce10@gmail.com.