Candidate profile: Devon Moody-Graham

Name: Devon Moody-Graham

Age: 33

Immediate family members: Husband: Curtis Graham; children: Gregory, Kynnadi, Karli

Town: Centreville

Office seeking: East St. Louis School District 189 Board Member

Occupation: Urban Business Strategist and Youth Developer

Previous and current elected offices and terms served: None

Why are you running? I am seeking office because I am a youth mentor dedicated to bringing the programs, college and career readiness resources to prepare our students for a better quality of life after graduation and beyond.

What is the most important issue facing the East St. Louis School District? How would you approach it? Lack of college and career readiness is a major issue facing current high school graduates. Preparing our students for success begins with head start and continues throughout matriculation. I would work to foster a culture of learning and equip our students with options to explore innovative careers through corporate partnerships in growing industries. I am also in favor for career pathways and professionals coteaching from elementary through high school.

Should a school district’s teacher demographics mirror that of its student demographics? Why or why not? I do believe that similarities in background are an important factor of student success, especially students of color. Although the students can learn from any culturally competent and experienced educator, seeing a teacher that looks like them can increase their ability to seek professional careers and leadership positions in the future.

How much emphasis should your school district put on STEM education? STEM activities should be apart of every subject area including physical education because science, technology, engineering and math are a key component of every aspect of life. STEM should begin with head start/elementary students.

In St. Clair County, there will be votes for two sales tax referendums. One would benefit school facility costs, one would benefit public safety. Do you support either or both of the referendums? Why or why not? I support both referendums. With steadily decreasing school budgets, the school facility assistance would provide relief for failing school districts. The issue of public safety is detrimental to the economic growth of cities like East St. Louis and if properly disbursed would aid in the growth and prosperity for those communities.

Why should people vote for you? I am one of the many successful products of East St. Louis District 189, a volunteer, community builder, local business owner, and a part of what’s right with the city. I am dedicated to bringing resources to our future leaders which includes my children who are in the district. I am not going to settle for anything less for district’s student than I do for my own children.