Meet the Board of Education candidates

The Malibu Times sent a questionnaire to eight candidates running for four seats on the Board of Education for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.

They were given the same time frame to respond and were limited to 150 words per answer.

The first profile was printed on Sept. 2, and a new one will appear in the newspaper each week through Oct. 21

To access previous profiles onlin e, go to Click “Archives” on the top right. Choose “Advanced Search Options.” Select Sept. 1 as the start date and type “Meet the Board of Education candidates” in the search box.

Name: Patrick Cady (actually William Patrick Cady)

Birth date: August 14th, 1946

What is your education and employment history?

I started working for my father in his hardware store when I was eleven and continued off and on until his death in 1970. I ran the store for a year and a half before we closed it. I also was a plumber during high school and college summers. I worked as a playground director after school and for the summers at Franklin School and Webster School (in Malibu.) I worked at Malibu Lumber Company from 1972 to 1974 and started working as a teacher at Santa Monica Alternative School in 1974 and moved to Santa Monica High School in 1982. I was winner of the Konig Teaching Excellence Award in 2007.

Graduated Anacostia HS in Washington DC in 1964

University of California, Berkeley, BA in 1968; US History Major, English Minor University of California, Los Angeles, 1970; MA in US History Teaching Credential, University of Southern California, 1974

How did you become involved in school issues? What has your involvement included?

As a teacher and union member I’ve been involved in school issues for the past 36 years. I’ve worked on many district committees. I served as Leadership Advisor to the student body from 1989-1992 and helped students involve themselves in district educational concerns. I’ve worked on study committees deal with tardies, campus beautification and bond issues. I also was leadership advisor my last year 2007-08.

There is a feeling by many in Malibu that this city is an afterthought for school district officials. Why does this sentiment exist? What can be done to change this feeling?

I suspect that the feeling exists for some because of the distance from the main office and the lack of a Board Member from Malibu who is willing to drive the PCH regularly. Malibu is a unique education situation.

How have your tried to interface with Malibu residents, including education and city leaders. What have you accomplished?

I live here and interface with residents everyday. I have had informal meetings with Malibu civic leaders. I haven’t accomplished much since I’m just starting out as a candidate.

Other than Board meetings, how many times have you been in Malibu in the past year? With whom have you met? What have you learned?

I’ve learned that there is frustration with how the schools are run and funded; with being heard by school officials and board members. Each person I’ve talked to has different issues and there seems to be no real consensus except for a general distrust of the school board and high ratings for the schools, administrators, teachers and staff that individuals know.

What is your opinion on the demand by some Malibu parents for the formation of a Malibu school district?

I fear that a separate school district may be an inevitability. I don’t favor it since the schools in Malibu are small. Maintaining many small schools means higher overhead in terms of custodial and administrative staff. It means more work for teachers who have to prep for more than two classes at the secondary level and means fewer offerings. I’d like to work for more flexible solutions that would allow Malibu students to take advantage of art, language, ROP, advanced placement classes and other offerings at Santa Monica High School (and even SMC.) Years ago I suggested that a comprehensive high school in Malibu might not be as good as a dedicated marine science magnet with block scheduling in Malibu and Samohi and a shuttle bus service which would allow students to study at both schools and take advantage of the economies that come from bigness and flexibility.

What is your opinion on the effort to make Point Dume Marine Science Elementary School a charter school?

I have no problem with a charter school if that is the only way to guarantee that a school is kept open on Pt. Dume. I have concerns about equity issues and how well the school would be representative of the diversity within the district. I worry that after a few years the parent support, which seems high at this time, will dwindle as children grow older and enthusiasm and volunteer support begin to wane. On the other hand, charter schools might be a direction that all the schools in Malibu might pursue to offset the sense that SMMUSD is not committed to Malibu schools. Charter schools as an alternative to a separate school district might work but I’m not really in favor of that direction.

Is the school district doing all it can to solve budget issues? Are there concepts that have not been tried?

I think a leaner administrative approach is best. I believe that teachers and staff can be relied on to run the schools, write and articulate curriculum, and provide leadership for change and efficiency. I have a great deal of confidence in the ability of our teachers and staff to run the schools without bringing in outside experts, prescriptive curriculum, and expensive consultants who lack the day-to-day experience and knowledge of those who work here.

What is your experience dealing with budgets? How about legislation?

When I worked at SMASH the teaching staff had responsibility for the budget. Most of the knowledge I have of the budgets at SMMUSD comes from that experience. I also had to oversee the entire budget of the Associated Student body at Samohi, which included over 100 clubs and organizations including all the athletic teams and music groups. I believe that I can understand the district budget and find ways to save. Other than supporting bond issues and candidates, I have no experience at politics/legislation.

How many people are in your immediate family, regardless of whether they live at home? Feel free to mention their names and ages.

I have been married to Linda Baer Cady for 39 years. She just retired from 39 years of teaching at Greenbelt JHS in Greenbelt MD.; Malibu Park JHS, and John Adams Middle. I think she is the best teacher in this household.

We have one child, a daughter, Kristin Elizabeth Cady Russio (30 this Sept.) who went through Santa Monica schools and SMC. She graduated from Oregon State University in 2002. She was married to Robert Russio in a ceremony at Calamigos Ranch here in Malibu in July 2003.

Last October 30, Kristin and Robert gave us our first grandchild, Kayla Rose Russio.

I am an identical twin. My brother is Michael R. Cady and lives in La Plata, Maryland. He was a teacher and administrator in Prince Georges County and Montgomery Co. Public schools in Maryland.

What are your interests and hobbies not involving school issues?

I think the greatest teaching experience of my life is being a coach. I get to watch people (especially kiddos) develop over time. I continue to volunteer as coach at Samohi and work with individuals and groups as a private coach.

I’m an ukulele player. I favor a tenor 8-string. Besides playing “Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World” (which are now required ukulele tunes), my favorite is “When I’m 64.”

I love spending time with my granddaughter who I get to see about every 6 to 8 weeks and am amazed at how children grow even thought I’ve been through it once … it’s even more miraculous the second time around.

My brother and I read and discuss (and argue) books and articles on educational issues. It was my readings and discussions with him that led me think I could be a successful member of the board of education.

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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