For Caryl Shuham, getting involved with Partners In Education (PIE) was an easy decision – her kids have been in Broward County Public Schools for years. So when her son entered Cooper City High School, Shuham got her business involved in a partnership. PIE is a local non-profit organization that focuses on improving student achievement by cultivating relationships between business and students in Broward County Public Schools.
“We felt that it was a good way to get involved at the high school level, which can be difficult for parents,” said Shuham, who has served as co-chair of the Partners program at the school.
During her involvement, the Shuham & Shuham Law Firm helped sponsor the band with time and monetary donations. Additionally, Shuham was critical to developing more partners for the school, working in tandem with Cooper City Mayor Debby Eisinger who has been the school’s PIE Committee co-chair since 2005.
“I am working to benefit the school my son goes to which is a win all around,” she said.
When asked why she wanted to get involved with her business as well as personally, Ms. Shuham reflected for a moment.
“For us, personally, it was the kids. But I also think that the quality of our Broward County Schools is a reflection on the county we live in – on the community level, as well. In our case, we relocated specifically for the school – the quality of the school mirrors the quality of our neighborhood,” explained Shuham. “From a business and community partner perspective, the results of the work of the PIE committee get better every year. As more businesses hear about it and get involved – they love to support their local school. A strong local school only helps local business – it’s mutually beneficial.”
Through their many partnerships, Cooper City High School is able to offer a popular ethics course to seniors every year. Local business people come in and present real-world ethical dilemmas to the students, then help them work through it. The above photo shows students at the 4th Annual Ethical Decision Making in the Workplace and Society Event, started by a PIE partnership.
Partners also support special programs, like the band, and underwrite a website that teachers utilize to enhance their classroom teaching. Cooper City partners also sponsor test preparation classes for the SAT and ACT – courses that are incredibly valuable for students.
Shuham points out that the benefits of partnership go in both directions.
“The close ties between the businesses and the school foster a stronger community, and a lot of us use the Partner website (www.browardpartners.com) when we are looking to do business in town,” said Shuham. “I’d much rather support the businesses that support our school!”
Nina Randall, executive director of PIE agrees, saying she is thrilled to have a partner like Shuham who works so hard to develop strong business partnerships for the school.
“Cooper City High is a wonderful example of the good things that come to schools and businesses through our Partners in Education program,” said Randall. We’re very lucky to have dedicated businesses like Shuham & Shuham working with us.”