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Ravenstahl chooses Youthworks Inc. leader for Pittsburgh school board

| Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2009

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl announced today he plans to appoint Dara Ware Allen, executive director of YouthWorks Inc., to fill a vacant seat on the city school board.

Allen, 36, of Highland Park, will fill the post formerly held by Heather Arnet, who resigned June 30, about 1 1/2 years into her term.

Allen, a mother of two, earned a doctorate in workforce education and learning performance systems from Pennsylvania State University; a master's degree in education from Duquesne University and a bachelor's degree in psychology from Spelman College, a historically black college for women in Atlanta.

Ravenstahl said he interviewed all eight candidates who expressed interest in joining the nine-member school board. This is the first time Ravenstahl appointed a school board member since he took office in September 2006.

"In the end, I chose Dr. Allen because of her extensive professional experience in working with young people and her proven commitment to the future of Pittsburgh Public Schools, our children and our city," the mayor said in a statement.

A swearing-in ceremony for Allen is planned for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday during a school board meeting in Oakland. Allen's term would expire in December 2011.

"I am humbled by this opportunity to serve the interests of all Pittsburgh Public School students and the City of Pittsburgh and am committing my best to this challenging and important role," Allen said in a statement.

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