Previous School Teacher Shyla Deacon is Running for MPS Board District 1
With over 77,000 students enrolled in the largest school district in Wisconsin, 82 percent of Milwaukee Public Schools students are economically disadvantaged, according to their site, with more than half of the students being Black.
MPS students are failing at a faster rate than any other Wisconsin school district, due to the lack of funding and resources. And, on top of it all, there are teachers within the system who don’t know how to deal with the students their teaching. Most MPS students come from low-income neighborhoods where they have traumas that they don’t know how to efficiently deal with. On top of their traumas, the students have to go to underserved schools, where they have teachers who don’t know how to deal with students like them.
Previous school teacher and intern for the MPS board Shyla Deacon, said introducing and increasing Social Emotional Learning (SEL) into the MPS system is something she will bring to the board, if she’s elected to MPS board come April 2.
“I always wanted to be someone who changes things for the better,” Deacon said.
According to Wisconsin Department of Institution, SEL is “the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”
SEL focuses on learning from a more personal level to hopefully discover the root issue causing the student to act out. Most students are dealing with issues that affect their ability to learn, but a teacher who’s never been in a neighborhood like the one they now teach in, don’t always understand the underlying issues.
Providing teachers and parents SEL training is the one of the first steps to fixing MPS, said Deacon.
Deacon spent 30 minutes before starting each class by tending to her students. She would ask them if they were hungry, she had a mirror in her room for students to do their hair and cologne and perfume for students available on her desk.
“I took care of their immediate needs first,” and it increased their attention she said.
Deacon filed her paperwork to run for MPS Board District 1 last May. Back in 2009, she spent almost two years as intern for the board where she was able to see first-hand the ends and outs of how MPS is ran and what it takes to keep a district so large, going.
Increasing parent-student involvement is high on her list. One of the first things she would bring to the board is a newsletter for parents. Something similar to MPS’ Recreation Guide, but one that instead focuses on informing the parents about what’s going on with MPS.
“Whenever [parents] are informed, they’re going to be more engaged,” Deacon said. “When we go fight, I need a flock of parents with me.”
She has four kids in the district and she’s going to use that experience to bring “MPS to the next level.”
“I always want to be someone who changes things for the better,” Deacon said.
To contact Shya Deacon email her at email@example.com. The Nonpartisan Spring Election is April, 2 2019.