The Community for Excellent Public Schools (CEPS), a group that works to support public schools in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, has appointed Rebecca Kennerly as new chair.

Kennerly recently completed a two-year term as president of the Santa Monica-Malibu Council of PTAs (Parent Teacher Associations). She has been a member of every school funding and bond measure campaign committee since 2002, according to CEPS.

Kennerly joined CEPS in 2003 and worked on the Santa Monica City Charter Amendment Campaign, which resulted in the successful joint use agreement between SMMUSD and the City of Santa Monica. The agreement was renewed in April.

“CEPS has spent the last ten years successfully advocating to preserve and protect the integrity and excellence of our local public schools,” Kennerly said. “Its mission is to help ensure that local public school students are prepared for the complex future that awaits them.”

Kennerly was also actively involved in the CEPS “Caravan for Kids” initiative, which, in conjunction with California State PTA, planned and executed press events in 11 major media markets throughout California. The effort culminated with a rally on the steps of the State Capitol in Sacramento in April 2005, when participants protested those rounds of proposed state budget cuts to education.

Kennerly follows Shari Davis, who served as CEPS chair or co-chair for seven years. Davis was recently elected president of the Santa Monica-Malibu Council of PTAs, and assumed her duties last month.

“It has been an intense seven years as CEPS chair,” Davis said. “Supported by the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and thousands of volunteer hours, CEPS has accomplished a great deal for our students, our schools and our communities.”

Information on CEPS, www.excellentpublicschools.org/.

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