A beloved Santa Monica community member may soon be honored by having a high school track named after them.
The late Patrick Cady will see Santa Monica High School’s track named in dedication to him. Cady worked at Samohi for 34 years as a social studies teacher as well as track and cross-country coach. He passed away in June this year.
Staff at Samohi and the Santa Monica community expressed interested in dedicating the track in Cady’s memory and discussed doing so at a Thursday, August 1 Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District Board of Education meeting.
“He impacted a number of students’ lives and was an important member of our community,” Carey Upton, Chief Operations Officer of SMMUSD said of Cady. “Even after he retired he continued to coach and work with the district. A recommendation has been made that, along with our newly resurfaced blue track, we should acknowledge him by dedicating the track to him.”
Upton showed the board aerial shots of the new bright blue and gold Samohi track. Placed at the base of the track within lane lines reads ‘SAMOHI VIKINGS’. To honor Cady, staff proposed placing the words ‘PATRICK CADY TRACK’ above the school’s name on the track.
“We felt like it was appropriate to name the track that,” Upton said. “As a track coach, he made a huge emphasis on this.”
Board member Craig Foster asked for a more formal naming process and policy (he noted he fully supported the naming and went on to add he voted for Cady’s 2010 school board bid), but board praise was unanimous and effusive for the proposed naming.
Board member Oscar de la Torre liked the idea of the track naming but felt the district could do a bit more to honor his former teacher.
“[The Cady’s] embody the school district,” De la Torre said. “They dedicated their lives to improving the lives of Samohi students. [Patrick Cady] needs more than a naming, he needs a plaque. Something to see and an explanation of who he was…There will be hundreds at his memorial this month and I think it’d be great to announce that there. Something that honors the legacy of this man.”
The board agreed to give staff direction to name the track after Cady and prepare a plaque in honor of him. The agenda item will come back August 15 to the board for official approval.
“We have a policy [for naming things], and Cady certainly fits it,” board Vice President Jon Kean said. “I only met him a few times but the outpouring…sometimes you just know when it’s the right thing to do. With this gentleman, it’s the right place, right time. And what better place? This was his home at Samohi. It’d mean a lot to his family and the community.”