Education Advocate

Shirley Brandman recently completed two terms as an elected member of the Montgomery County Board of Education. During her tenure, she served two years as president of the Board and three years as vice president. She led the Board’s most recent strategic planning effort that resulted in the adoption of aggressive accountability targets aimed at accelerating the elimination of all achievement gaps. She was also an elected officer with the statewide Maryland Association of Boards of Education.

While on the Board of Education, Ms. Brandman participated actively in countywide efforts directed at the wellbeing of youth and their families. Ms. Brandman continues to serve as a Co-chair of Montgomery Moving Forward, a collective impact effort mobilizing leaders across sectors to engage in collective problem solving. In March 2011, County Executive Leggett appointed Ms. Brandman as a Co-Chair of the countywide Latino Youth Collaborative Oversight Work Group. Ms. Brandman also represented the Board of Education on the Montgomery County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council for several years. Since completing her term in office, Ms. Brandman has joined the Board of Directors of IDENTITY, Inc. as well as MCAEL.

Prior to her service on the Board of Education, Ms. Brandman worked as a special education consultant and master teacher for children with learning disabilities. She also directed the Domestic Violence Clinic at the Washington College of Law. Ms. Brandman began her professional career as an attorney representing children in abuse and neglect and juvenile delinquency cases in Newark, New Jersey. In 1993, she founded Cornell Law School’s first Child Advocacy Clinic. Prior to her election to the Board of Education, Ms. Brandman served for ten years as an elected local and county PTA leader. She was recently recognized by the Commission on Children and Youth with the Nancy Dworkin Child Advocate Award for her service on behalf of the children in our county.

She is a graduate of Yale Law School and Yale University and earned her Master’s Degree in Special Education from American University.