The responsibility of children’s education is not only the schools, but also the parents and how much they’re involved. Malibu resident and school volunteer Soniya Perl believes a parent’s involvement is important to improve education. She has held leadership positions including PTA president at Webster Elementary and board member of the PTSA at Malibu Middle School.
Perl has made great efforts to improve education and advocate for the health and safety for Malibu’s children, including during the conflict with the Santa Monica-based school district to push for toxic PCB cleanup.
Her husband, Stephan Perl, nominated Soniya and said she is heavily involved in her children’s education and has attended every school meeting since their daughter was in kindergarten, 12 years ago.
“She’s worked tirelessly in Malibu in the school system since my daughter came to it in kindergarten,” Perl said. “She’s always on the PTA, she’s always doing fundraising, she’s always putting on functions for the school—she’s just so involved.”
Soniya has been dedicated and passionate about her community and her involvement. “I believe education [is] not just the school’s responsibility, but it’s also the parents’ responsibility to enrich and support the school and their endeavors,” Soniya said. “Malibuites are a special bunch; we’re genuine people. People want to do the right thing.”
Soniya has been an active community member from speaking at city council meetings to advocate for the skatepark revamp at Malibu Bluffs Park. “I come in and make speeches and make sure all the concerns were addressed,” Soniya said. “So whenever there is an issue that involves the community, I’m active.”
Soniya and her family moved from West Los Angeles to Malibu 14 years ago to live in a smaller community and be near the ocean.