When Pamela Jouan Goldman moved to Mount Pleasant from New York City four years ago, she immediately began looking for ways to get involved in the community. The mother of two started writing for a local magazine, and decided to run for a position on the Charleston County School District Constituent Board for District 2. She was elected to the four-year term in 2018, and served as board chair for two of those years.
Originally from London, England, Pamela and her family moved to Los Angeles when she was a teenager. She worked in the music industry for Atlantic Records for many years, then moved to New York City after she got married. She started a business with her husband, Michael, creating magazines for high-end restaurants and chefs — a company they still run. She recently published a young adult novel titled “Turtle” with her daughter, and this year Pamela will be up for re-election for the school board.
“Between raising kids, writing the magazines and freelance pieces, writing my own stuff, and volunteering, I fill my days quite easily,” Pamela said.
This motivated entrepreneur opens up about her book, volunteering, and raising teenagers.
Moms to See in the 843: Pamela Jouan Goldman
Q: How did you meet your husband? How long have you been together?
A: This is a great story: We met while I was on vacation in the South of France. Michael is actually from Salisbury, North Carolina, but he moved to Aix-en-Provence after college. A work colleague of mine had met him during a college trip to France, and when I mentioned I was going to be there, he recommended I meet up with Michael. The rest, as they say, is history. Two years of long-distance and then he moved to LA. We were married at the cathedral in Aix-en-Provence 21 years ago!
Q: What are the names and ages of your children. Where do they go to school?
A: My son Gabriel is 17 and a senior at the School of the Arts. He is a fantastic jazz trombone player and is currently mulling over college choices — music versus being a pilot — or doing both! My daughter Julia is 12 and a seventh-grader at Laing Middle School, where she is head of the Laing News Team. She runs varsity for Lucy Beckham High School, plays tennis, and a mean acoustic guitar. And she speaks French.
Q: What do you like most about being a mom?
A: I have two pretty awesome kids. Sure, we all fight (I mean, I have a teenage boy who is partial to lifted trucks), but I guess the best part is knowing I am part of something bigger, that I helped in some way mold them into hopefully the great people they will become. I love going to a concert and tearing up when my son has an amazing solo and thinking, “Yep, that’s my Gabriel!” And I love snuggling with my daughter on the couch and watching “Gilmore Girls.” (We just finished season two — I mean, each season is like 24 episodes long!)
Q: What advice would you give to moms of young kids?
A: It’s not new advice, but savor the moments, they go by fast. Remember, even when things are tough and you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel with a stubborn child, behavior issue, etc. — reach out to your mom-friends, we are all in the same boat! And most importantly, talk to your kids. We eat dinner together almost every night and I treasure those dinner discussions. We talk about everything. It’s never too early to bring up the tough subjects. Kids hear it all these days, don’t be the last person to talk to them about smoking/drinking/drugs/relationships, be their guide instead. Start a conversation and make it okay to talk about the things that might make you cringe on the inside. At least you know they are opening up.
Q: What made you want to serve on the school board? What do you like most about the position? What are some challenges?
A: I knew I wanted to give back in some way and so I asked my neighbor and Mount Pleasant Town Councilwoman GM Whitley, who suggested I look for openings in local boards. I came across the school board opening and went for it. The discipline cases are the most challenging but the most rewarding when we can work with a student to get them back on the right path. Some stories are heartbreaking though. Rezoning is not fun and I know how personal education is to a parent so I get it, but we are pretty lucky to have great schools in Mount Pleasant.
Q: When did you publish the book you wrote with your daughter, “Turtle”? What was your favorite part of creating the book together?
A: When the pandemic first hit in 2020, we decided to write a book. We self-published it in November 2021, about 18 months later. It really was a labor of love. Julia is a terrific writer and has a keen eye for detail. While I did most of the daily slog, we would review every chapter together and I would make changes based on her critical eye. After all, it’s a story from the POV of a 10-year-old girl and that was easier for her to tap into than me. I loved collaborating with her. I loved being inside her brain.
Q: What nonprofits or organizations are you donating the proceeds to?
A: We initially raised $1,000 for Mount Pleasant Track Club in November and December to fund female athlete travel needs. Next, we have started working with Girls On The Run in a similar fashion, donating book sale profits. We have some initiatives with them in the works. We are reaching out to track clubs across the state to offer similar fundraising opportunities. Any opportunity to benefit female athletes!
Q: What other hobbies or passions you enjoy?
A: My family loves to travel and we are looking forward to starting that back up again this spring with a trip to Costa Rica and then Greece this summer. My mom is in London so we spend time there in the summer. I love hiking and we do that a lot in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, where we have a family home.
Q: What projects or goals do you have coming up?
A: You mean how many volunteer projects have I signed up for? Starting last year, I organized voting days at each high school in Charleston County School District in conjunction with the League of Women Voters so that is on tap for this spring. I am also chair of a huge band fundraiser for the School of the Arts called “Jump, Jive and Wail” this May. My writing goal is to finish book number two in the Run Like A Girl series by the end of the year.
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