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Maria Chappelle-Nadal for U City Board of Education

Chappelle-Nadal, an incumbent, is seeking reelection.

Patch sent all local candidates for office identical questionnaires in order to compile candidate profiles prior to the April election. Each candidate who returned the survey will be featured on the site.

Maria Chappelle-Nadal

  • Address: 7133 Dartmouth Ave.
  • Occupation: Public service
  • Education: Georgia State University, B.A. Dual degree in Political Science and Sociology
  • Family: Rosa Nadal (aunt, University City High School graduate) and Reyna (cousin, Pershing Elementary School student)
  • Years Lived in the School District of University City: 34

Background

  • Office of the Lt Governor, State of Missouri (2000-2003)
  • The Center for American Women in Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University (2002)
  • Neighborhood Leadership Academy at the University of Missouri - St. Louis (2002)
  • Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life at University of Missouri - St. Louis (2004)  
  • American Council of Young Political Leaders: Lifetime member 
  • State Representative: 2004-10 
  • University City School Board Director: 2010 - current 
  • State Senator: 2010 - current 

Why Run?

I am running for the position of school board director because I am committed to the successful outcomes of our students in University City.

What prompted my re-election to the school board was the need for rigor in the education of our students, a laser-like focus on the academic standards that ensure literacy, a full accreditation and, most importantly, giving all of our students a chance to be successful in life. I bring a vision and a plan to this position.

Questions

What do you see as the biggest issue facing the School District of University City? 

  • Teacher/Staff Empowerment.
  • The percentage of students at Basic or Below Basic in their student achievement outcomes.
  • The large number of transient students and high percentage of students living in poverty within our school district. 

In what area does School District of University City need to improve? Are you satisfied with the way the district has been operating? 

As a community stakeholder, I am satisfied with the overall operation of the school district. My focused list of improvement areas are the following items:

  • Focus on the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP)
  • Follow-up with concerned citizens in a comprehensive way always including their perspectives in the decisions that we make. As a school district, we must do a better job of being responsive to the ideas that all stakeholders wish to have implemented. Residents want to know they are being taken seriously by the district, not when convenient, but all the time.
  • Address school culture issues among staff and teachers

In what areas do you intend to participate in the district outside of school board meetings? 

Outside of school board meetings, my focus is student literacy. I read in classrooms at both public and private schools in University City on a regular basis. I have an hour-long program I've created for students to encourage them to read on their own or with their loved ones at home. On average, I read 6-9 times per week in my entire senate district. 

Please share your feelings on the Prop U bond issue - if you are in favor or against it, and why.

I support Prop U because some of our school facilities need serious upkeep. I have concerns with existing asbestos in our aged ceilings at the high school.

While I support Prop U, my concern remains that not enough dollars from Prop U will go to the renovation of the natatorium. That was not fully thought out in the pre-planning of Prop U. Residents in University City have been pretty adamant about their wishes for the natatorium.

It is unfortunate our students can not practice or compete at our natatorium. The $150,000 of $19 million dollars is simply not enough for the renovation of the natatorium. Next, our district needs a comprehensive long term plan that deals with all buildings that are vacant and underutilized.

Assume you win election. What single thing do you want to accomplish during your term on the board.

During my second term on the University City School Board, the single thing that I want to accomplish is a program implemented that focuses on full student immersion in the core standard subjects they are lagging behind in. My ideal is to have a minimal number of students at Basic or Below Basic levels in their academic outcomes.  

Literacy is the key! 

On Tuesday, April 2, I am asking University City residents for their vote.

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