Three File for Board of Education Position

  • Three candidates are running in the April 7 election to ll the unexpired term of a Board of Education mem- ber who resigned. Thomas (Allen) Todd, Kevin M. Mitchell and Brian McQueary have led to run for a two-year term.

    Allen Thomas (Allen) Todd lives in Webster Groves with his wife Heather and their two kids, Avery, a second grader at Bristol and Evan, a preschooler at the Walter Ambrose Family Center. Allen is currently chair of the school dis- trict’s Finance Advisory Committee and has been a member of the district’s Legislative Advocacy Committee. In addition, he served two years as president of the Parent Teacher Organization at Ambrose. He also serves on the board of directors of Non-Profit Missouri, as the secretary/treasurer.

    In his professional life, Allen is the director of part- nerships and initiatives for Health Literacy Media. He has spent nearly 20 years working in non-prfit, governmental and public policy settings, including working for several years in the U.S. House of Representatives. He has also managed numerous political campaigns at the state and federal levels. A proud product of public education from kindergarten through college, he comes from a family of educators, including his mother, who taught kindergarten for more than 30 years. He is excited to bring his personal and professional experience to the Board of Education.

    Mitchell Kevin M. Mitchell moved to Webster Groves in 2001, where he started a successful business. With Lauren, he raised two boys, Owen and Beckett (high school, Hixson). He’s a freelance writer, author, marketing creative, and communication expert to local and national businesses. He has served WGSD groups as vice president of the Bristol PTO, WGHS Band Aides president, and a member of Webster Equity Bridge.

    “We have our challenges, but we must strive to provide as much to as many as possible,” he says. “As a musician and arts education advocate who understands the power of a strong arts program on students’ grades and social skills, I’m concerned that recent changes have meant fewer kids spend less time on music.” He believes that WGSD needs to better serve all students, from those at a social and economic disadvantage to those who thrive in academically advanced situations.

    “I am active in the community, interacting daily with parents and teachers, listening to concerns,” he says. “I believe there are ways to achieve more for all students without lowering standards. Working with the current school board whom I admire, and the dedicated professionals at our schools, we can raise more successful, empathetic students with our community dollars.”

    McQueary Brian McQueary is a high school English teacher with 14 years of experience. He holds a master of arts in education and a bachelor’s degree in English, both from Truman State University. Currently, he is a doctoral student in Saint Louis University’s Curriculum and Instruction program. He and his wife, Yorba, have lived in the Webster Groves area since 2013 and have a daughter and a son in district schools.

    Brian is running for School Board because his experience as an educator provides a perspective on how nancial decisions impact the children. Having two children in pre-k and, soon, kindergarten, as well as his career as a teacher, makes him cognizant of the purpose of education to not prepare children for a role in soci- ety as it currently is, but for roles reshaping society as it should be—to bring about more equitable outcomes for all students. He embraces Webster’s focus on innovation and equity and will work to channel resources to support these practices so that our school district can not only be innovative but be the leaders of innovation for our greater community.

    Three board incumbents will be sworn in for another term in April. Amy Clendennen, Jo Doll and David Addison led for re-election to three-year terms. Because no other candidates led for a full, three-year term, no election will be held.