Last but not at all the least in our DFL candidate series: Chauntyll Allen for School Board! We are so pleased to give you Chauntyll’s answers to our questions:
Why did you decide to run?
I am an educator, youth advocate, and community leader who brings people together and speaks truth to power. I’m a graduate of St. Paul Central High School and have 25 years of experience working with youth in schools and child protection. I’m an expert in addressing impact of trauma, including urban trauma, and creating safe spaces where people can learn, grow, and thrive.
This is what our district needs to move forward. I realized that I need to step up further, to be able to influence policy at a district level, moving past the school based and individual influence I already have.
I am running to create a school-to-success pipeline to support all kids. I will do this by creating a safe, trauma-free environment in schools; providing culturally-competent curricula; expanding community full-service schools that address the broader needs of the students, their families, and the communities at large, and bringing a greater focus on trades in the schools.
What’s your vision for the St.Paul School District 30 years from now and advice for the Class of 2049?
My Vision: Schools will be more innovative in ways that use tools we can’t even imagine now. There may be more creative uses of social resources and less ties to traditional classrooms. Teachers will be inspirers and guides, because many of the social challenges students face will have been eliminated or addressed by other organizations.
To the Class of 2049: I hope that it’ll be the norm to live in a society that has circled back to caring about humans and nature and advancement of humanity. As you live your life, take full advantage of living life, finding out who you are and how you fit into society to make things better. Continue pattern of people before you to move things forward. Believe in yourself and believe in each other.
How do you plan to govern in a way that is inclusive, creative and equitable?
To me, this is about being community focused. I will actively promote community participation at board meetings, especially if it’s uncomfortable. I will help the board come up with a structure that supports Student, Staff, and Parent voices within policy making and the roll out of new ideas. I will actively build on other school districts’ successes and learn from their failures. I will work to ensure fiscally responsible management. Finally, I will use my skills as an activist and my community network to identify and pilot innovative solutions for the benefit of the SPPS students.
What’s the last book you read?
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas so that I can discuss it with one of the kids I work with.
Name one previous teacher/ administrator who left a lasting impact on your life?
Katie McWatt. She inspired me to always work in my community. She was an activist and educator who understood youth. Her message can be heard here: https://vimeo.com/18782258.