Pam Brady, who previously served several terms as president of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s Board of Education, was elected to chair the School District’s Personnel Commission on December 2.
The role of the School District’s Personnel Commission is to ensure that classified employees receive fair treatment during the hiring process, when promotions come up, when they receive training, and also to protect the merit system. Classified employees include the District’s secretaries, cafeteria employees, and custodians as well as other classifications.
In an interview with the Mirror, Brady stated that a key goal she hopes to achieve during her chairmanship is to improve communication between the Commission, the School District, the community, and SEIU, the union that represents the District’s classified employees. Improving communication will be the subject of the retreat the three-person Commission will be embarking on next week.
Right now, the Commission’s communication vehicles include a newsletter and a website. She would like to improve those and also build a calendar for the Commissioners to meet with the classified employees at the school sites.
Brady noted that she hopes the retreat will also help “facilitate an opportunity to have conversations about the Commission’s practices and processes.” She “wants every child in the District to succeed” and emphasized the significant role classified employees play in helping to encourage that success.
The new Personnel Commission Chair was elected to the District’s Board of Education for the first time in 1990 and she left the Board after serving three four-year terms. She has been a member of the Personnel Commission for the last six years. To her, the District “is like a second home.” Her father attended Santa Monica’s public schools and so did she.
In addition to her work on the Commission, Brady is also the President of the California State PTA. Jack O’Connell, the California Superintendent of Instruction, installed her in that post July 1, 2007 and her term will end in June, 2009.
Brady also is a Community Mobilization Manager with the American Cancer Society. Her duties include overseeing free patient resources and services as well as company relationships for nine communities in Ventura County. Her responsibilities also include coordinating the annual Daffodil Day, a program where volunteers deliver daffodils to cancer patients who are either in their homes or while receiving treatment.
Other American Cancer Society responsibilities for Brady are training volunteers to run support groups for cancer patients and recruiting volunteers to help with the society’s Look Good and Feel Better program. She emphasized that nurses that work with the society are available 24 hours, seven days a week at 800.ACS.2345. Callers can receive referrals at this number to any of the society’s free services throughout the United States and those who speak a language other than English can also call in at the same number.
Brady was motivated to work at the American Cancer Society because she has known so many people who have been affected by cancer. Her own daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer at 38.
“A desire to spend my life giving” started very young for Brady when at just three years old she attended an Optimist Breakfast with her father and helped serve pancakes. The experience left her feeling “that’s what you are supposed to do.”
Brady tries to “never back down from making a difference” and her husband helps her navigate through the many commitments she makes to “help make a difference” in the lives of others.