Pam Chirls Announces Candidacy for Seat on Livingston Board of Education
Thursday, May 24, 2012 • 6:35am
Pam Chirls wishes to announce her candidacy for a seat on the Livingston Board of Education.
A township native, Pam graduated from Livingston High School in 1981 and received her college degree from Brandeis University. She works as a full-time executive editor, managing a team that creates award-winning cookbooks for professional chefs, culinary students, and home cooks. Recognized as a top editor by Food Arts magazine, her strong business and teamwork skills have enabled her to connect with high-profile authors and institutions and, in partnerships, to create a publishing program that continues to thrive in a challenging economic environment.
Pam returned to Livingston with her husband, Stuart, in 1998 knowing that her children would receive an excellent education in Livingston Public Schools. Their oldest children are now in 11thgrade at Livingston High School, and their youngest child is in 5thgrade at Riker Hill Elementary School.
Since resettling in Livingston, Pam has been active in both community and school organizations. She volunteers as a youth chair at Temple Emanu-El of West Essex, and her family raises puppies for The Seeing Eye Institute. Pam develops programs as a Parent Teacher Council parent education chair and as a vice president of parent education for Livingston Municipal Alliance Committee (LMAC). She considers it a great honor to have been recognized by LMAC in 2011 for ongoing coordination with Livingston Public Schools administrators and teachers, designing parent education programs and materials that address areas of interest in our community and coordinating them with school-based programs for administrators, teachers, and students. She has been actively involved in organizing informative programs with bestselling authors like Rachel Simmons and Wendy Mogel; insightful presentations by highly regarded psychologists like Maurice Elias and Matt Bellace; and a film screening of Race to Nowhere, which fostered discussions around the topic of student stress. She also worked with media specialists and guidance counselors to create The Toolbox of Character, a book list that enables parents of elementary school children to support the character education lessons that are delivered in their children’s classrooms.
As a parent representative on the Strategic Planning Committee, Pam has taken an active role in the development of the Strategic Plan, which was approved earlier in the school year by the Board of Education. This plan outlines the core beliefs and the strategic goals for eight identified strands, each of which informs the day-to-day decisions of Livingston Public Schools. She was also a member of the first working team to assess grade weighting structure at Livingston High School, with an adjustment that now allows at least a full-credit 4.0 for each student who earns an A. This committee also made suggestions about equitable access to the curriculum, which encourages students to freely and responsibly pursue their academic passions. Finally, Pam was a member of the first working team to assess middle school sports and gifted and talented art and music programs. As a result, students have been taking part in elementary and middle school gifted and talented art and music, and they have been participating in middle school sports under the management of the YMCA for the past several years. These programs are the basis for healthy lifestyles at a critical time in their social, emotional, and physical development. Pam has also served Livingston Public Schools as a Parent Teacher Council PAGE (Parent Advocate Group for Excellence) chair, overseeing social programs for children in the program and educational programs for their parents; at Riker Hill School as a school leadership team representative, a publicity committee chair, a budget task force representative, and a classroom mother; and at Livingston High School as a school safety team member.
Pam’s experience on these committees has prepared her to become a member of the Board of Education. The Board-approved Strategic Plan has outlined important strategic goals, and she will bring an informed and experienced voice to the Board of Education, one that represents the interests of all students in our school community and responds to the concerns of those who provide the important foundation for their intellectual and personal development.
Our children enjoy a high quality education in the Livingston Public Schools, but that does not mean that we should not always be searching for ways to improve it further. Pam has found active collaboration to have been the key to success in her committee work, and she looks forward to the opportunity to hear from and to work with residents who care about the quality of education in Livingston.