Education is everything to Pamela Johnson.
The Williamsbridge resident and community leader is finishing up her first year as president of Community Education Council 11 covering a major swath of the northeast Bronx.
But she has a long history of serving local schools, from involvement in her now grownup daughter’s school parent associations since she was in pre-K.
She was one of two Bronx representatives on the Citywide Council on High Schools. She and her daughter were part of the School Leadership Team at Renaissance High School for Musical Theater and Technology on the Lehman High School campus.
A member of CEC 11 since 2009, Johnson wholeheartedly believes in parent involvement.
“Parents that participate, their students do better in school,” Johnson said “Because, number one, they’re connected to the school, and they know what’s going on.”
Johnson said CEC members are each liaisons to specific elementary, intermediate and junior high schools, checking progress reports and meeting with administration.
The council also submits evaluations of the district superintendent to the schools chancellor, and is involved in such issues as co-locations and zoning for new schools.
The CEC is comprised of 11 elected parent members and two community leaders appointed by the Bronx borough president, including Johnson. Member selections take place every two years, executive positions are voted on each year. Johnson said there is also a vacant position for a student representative on CEC 11.
All council meetings are open to the public, with time available for anyone to comment on issues in their school.
“We want to resolve everything that comes our way,” she said.
Johnson’s commitment to education goes beyond her extensive school involvement.
In 1999 she founded the non-profit Urban Neighborhood, Educational Technology for You, which started by offering computer classes for adults at the Eastchester Heights Community Center. In 2001 she shifted from her job at an energy company to running the non-profit full-time and expanding its offerings to an after-school and summer program for 30 K–7th graders.
“I always wanted to work with kids,” she said.
Johnson is also a member of Community Board 12, is education chair on the NAACP Williamsbridge Branch executive board, and hosts workshops as “The scholarship lady” to help students and parents finance college.
But above all, she said, the CEC is always her first priority.
CEC 11 Info:
Executive business meeting: second Tuesday of each month at 2750 Throop Avenue, Room 129.
Calendar meeting and workshops: Third Tuesday at rotating schools.