On Monday, The Seattle City Council voted unanimously to confirm Dwane Chappelle as the new Director for the Department of Education and Early Learning today.
Chappelle has served as principal for Rainier Beach High School since 2011 and, under his leadership, achieved a 79 percent graduation rate which exceeded the district average. Chappelle also garnered great success with the school’s International Baccalaureate program.
“I really look forward to working with Mr. Chappelle in taking the next bold steps to improve our local education system,” said City Council President Bruce A. Harrell. “His success in turning Rainier Beach High School around, passion to help students on all socioeconomic levels, and experience working with students displaced from Hurricane Katrina demonstrates his intrinsic leadership skills in getting the job done.”
The Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning’s mission is “to ensure that all Seattle children have the greatest opportunity to succeed in school and in life and to graduate from school ready for college and a career.”
Chappelle intends to address the most critical challenges facing the department, which include:
- Implementing the ambitious Seattle Preschool Program phase-in schedule adopted by the Mayor and City Council.
- Working with Seattle Public Schools to address the persistent opportunity gap minority students face.
- Reauthorizing the Families and Education Levy and the Seattle Preschool Levy, which both expire in 2018.
“Mr. Chappelle has shown tremendous dedication and aptitude in improving educational outcomes at Rainier Beach High School,” said Councilmember Debora Juarez. “We look forward to seeing him tackle the persistent racial disparities in our city’s schools.”
Chappelle was an assistant principal in Arlington, Texas and Plano, Texas and earned his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Grambling State University and his Masters of Secondary and Higher Education at Texas A&M University.