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I’m Luke Amphlett, I’m a teacher at Burbank High School, and I’m running for SAISD School Board in District 4

 

I live and work here in District 4: I’ve had the privilege of teaching U.S. History to brave, kind, compassionate, and successful students at Burbank for the last six years. 

 

I’m committed to working to center the voices of students, educators, and families in our district policy-making; to ensuring that all SAISD students have access to high quality, rigorous, culturally relevant and sustaining instruction in their local neighborhood schools; to creating spaces that honor our families and community members, celebrate their histories, and center their rich cultural and social capital in our work; to ensuring that all school workers are respected, supported, and paid appropriately for their work; to prioritizing human life over standardized test scores, and fighting to keep every member of our school communities safe. 

I have a track record of success as an educator, have high expectations for my students, and was selected as one of the original cohort of Master Teachers in SAISD. I have a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the Urban School Leaders Collaborative - a graduate program created by UTSA in collaboration with SAISD to create social justice education leaders with transformative visions for public education. I’m certified to work as a campus principal, to evaluate teacher performance, and regularly lead professional development for educators district-wide. I’m an active union member, organizer, and work closely with student organizations, immigrant rights and criminal justice reform coalitions, and housing and racial justice activists across the city. 

I'm running on a platform created by students, educators, union workers, and community members over the last two years. This platform, The Schools Our Students Deserve, lays out a series of commitments to student rights, worker protections and working conditions, parent, guardian & family voice and involvement in decision-making, and community involvement in creating a public school system that truly reflects and centers the full, complex humanity of our students, and meets their needs and those of the communities in which they live.

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I've spent the last six years fighting for student rights, educator voice, the rights of immigrant students in our schools, and for changes to district discipline policies. I was the only teacher in the district team that created the Student Bill of Rights, and helped assemble a coalition of student organizations, community groups, and major civil rights organizations to push for a deeper and more transformative discussion of student rights and protections in our schools. I led the push to change our district's code of conduct, collaborating with district leadership in ending subjective, discretionary discipline practices that disproportionately impact students of color, students with educational disabilities, and Black students, especially.

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I've led professional development in Culturally Relevant and Sustaining pedagogies, and differentiation - how to provide highly-individualized instruction that meets students' complex, individual needs - for hundreds of teachers across our district, and the state of Texas. I'm committed to a transformative teaching practice that builds on the cultural wealth and lived experience of students and their families, and connects to deep, relevant questions about the past and the present while building important college-ready academic skills.

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Throughout the COVID-19 crisis I've been pushing district leaders to prioritize human life over standardized test scores, to pay hazard pay to all district employees forced to work under dangerous conditions, and to center the health and mental and emotional wellbeing of students and their families in decisions about school reopening. I've risked my career as a teacher and been subjected to intense retaliation from school and district leaders because I've stood up for the safety of my students and coworkers whenever they've needed me.

Now I have an opportunity - and a responsibility - to take that advocacy to the school board level, to model democratic, student and community-centered leadership that truly puts students, educators, and families first. 

I’m asking for your vote this May, but more importantly for your commitment to the work of building towards a transformative, student-and-community-centered vision for our schools. We can only build the schools our students deserve together, as a community committed to providing the best possible education for our children.

 

It’s a huge undertaking, and there’s so much to do. 

 

So let’s get started. 

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