Lead Endorses Cady, Lieberman, Snell for Board of Education
LEAD (Leadership, Effectiveness, Accountability and Direction), an education advocacy group of parents and interested residents has endorsed three candidates for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education.
The organization, which advocates transparency and strong leadership in the district, is backing : challengers Pat Cady and Laurie Lieberman, and Barry Snell, the current Board President.
Candidates were evaluated and endorsed on the basis of their responses to a written LEAD questionnaire, their performances at last week’s LEAD/CEPS candidate forum, and “evidence of their effectiveness and leadership within the community on important school and district issues.”‘
According to Debbie Mulvaney, founding chairwoman of LEAD, “Among all the candidates, Pat Cady, Laurie Lieberman and Barry Snell impressed us as best embodying the qualities that LEAD sees as critical to excellent school board functioning: Leadership, Effectiveness, Accountability and Direction. Each of them shows a commitment to equity and inclusion, has demonstrated effective leadership on education issues, and has shown a willingness to tackle difficult issues in a collaborative manner.”
LEAD members “viewed Pat Cady’s experience as an educator in the school district, a coach and mentor to students, and an active community member as a powerful combination that will make him an asset to the school board. As a teacher, he brings an important perspective – one that will stimulate innovation and inclusion.”
A 35-year veteran of the Santa Monica-Malibu school system, “Mr. Cady possesses first-hand knowledge of school programs and policies that will be invaluable when matters involving classroom priorities, class size, and alternate instructional methods come before the School Board,” said Mulvaney.
Laurie Lieberman, former co-Chair of LEAD, “was selected for an endorsement based upon her long-standing commitment to quality public education in the school district, her fundraising leadership on the Measure A campaign, her legal and advocacy work in persuading the City Council to add Measure YY to the November Santa Monica ballot, and her active participation in the SAMOHI Coalition.
“Lieberman’s advocacy for public education in the community, combined with her strong legal background and experience in public policy issues in and around the City of Santa Monica, were key criteria in her selection as a LEAD-endorsed candidate.”
In the opinion of LEAD member Paul Silvern, who also serves on the District’s Financial Oversight Committee, Ms. Lieberman brings “an important parent and community perspective, plus significant strategic and analytical skills which will be critical as the District faces serious economic challenges in the years ahead.”
LEAD members viewed “Mr. Snell as having led the Board of Education effectively during a tumultuous period that included changes in district leadership, drastic state budget cuts, a failed parcel tax, coupled with pent-up parent frustration at the dismal state of public funding for education. All these issues combined to make Mr. Snell’s job as School Board President particularly challenging in recent years. LEAD members viewed Mr. Snell as having reached out in important ways to connect with schools and their communities, and having been open to differing points of view.”
Mulvaney characterized LEAD’s endorsements of Cady, Lieberman and Snell as a good fit with the organization’s mission.“LEAD is a grassroots education activist organization dedicated to finding school district leaders who will take initiative, acknowledge and tackle problems head-on, lead the efforts to implement necessary reforms, foster open community discussion of important District issues, and maximize the participation of volunteers and parents in the community.”