a half-hour, you have to figure out the most important part of the
story to tell."
The documentary, called "Years of Challenge and Glory," begins
with the establishment of the district's first schoolhouse, at the
corner of what is now Chevy Chase Drive and Verdugo Road. That
schoolhouse opened in 1879 and in the video is referred to as
"Glendale's oldest school and its newest school." The school's
officials celebrated a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the campus last
fall, after five years and $14 million worth of construction. But
recounting the tale of Glendale's public schools was not possible
without including the city's history.
"The city had a direct impact on how the school district ...
grew," Blyth said. "At the same time as the school district was
enhanced, it also became an attraction for people who came because of
the schools. The two histories are really intertwined."
Pallos, the district's former spokesman and a history buff,
approached Blyth with the project after seeing his work for Glendale
High School's 100th-anniversary film.
Most of the photographs and documents used were from the
district's archives and the Special Collections section of the
Glendale Central Library.
Much of the film is in pictures, with some animation to illustrate
the district's development.
"Ever since I joined the school district in the 1970s, I had an
interest in the history of public schools," Pallos said. "[The 125th
anniversary] really is a milestone. It's not so much the anniversary
of the district, but the anniversary of the first actual school
house, back when James Garfield was president."
The district's five board members narrate segments of the film.
Board President Greg Krikorian narrated the segment that recounts the
cultural shifts the city has experienced.
"When you watch the video of public schools in Glendale, it's
amazing to see the transformation and how the schools played a major
role in it," Krikorian said.
In fact, Blyth believes that anyone could learn something new from
"It seems to me that one of the things that happens is that people
who have been associated with the district for a long time aren't
necessarily aware of the history," Blyth said. "Even the school board
members wouldn't know [these things] if they didn't study the 125
years of history. [The documentary is] an opportunity to see
something that's bigger than any one person.
When you take it on that scope, it's always surprising -- people
always learn something they perhaps hadn't expected to learn."