My name is Savion Castro and I serve on the Madison School Board because I believe in the power of education to change lives, communities, and destinies. My experience as a Madisonian who experienced poverty and homelessness, and who graduated from MMSD as a student of color with a disability, is testament to that. I know that students like me are not problems to be managed, nor bodies to be controlled. We have the lived experiences and agency to transform our schools into the equitable learning communities that all students deserve.
Whenever I meet a Black or Brown educator in the district I get inspired because I know how important their presence is for our kids; I come from a family of Black educators and was fortunate to absorb their lessons through my upbringing. When I was growing up, my grandmother always used to tell me that "they can take everything away from you but your education." Education has been one of the most powerful tools for our freedom in our country; It is imperative that we have as many Black and Brown educators possible to help repair the injustice in our education system
I attended UW–Madison as a PEOPLE Scholar, majoring in sociology and history, and went on to pursue a career as a policy analyst working with organizations such as the Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS), One Wisconsin Now (OWN), the State Legislature for State Rep. Shelia Stubbs, and currently for UW Madison's Odyssey Project and Gener8tor. In July 2019, I had the honor of being unanimously appointed to the Board of Education out of a pool of nearly 30 applicants. In my first year on the board, I have helped pass the largest compensation increase for staff in a decade; overseeing the process of hiring the district's superintendent; and have been a leading advocate for the 2020 referenda to ensure that our teachers and students have the facilities, compensation, class sizes, and equity strategies they need to succeed and thrive.
I want to build up capacity for all day 4K, embrace restorative justice throughout the district, and improve hiring and retention of Black teachers through better recruitment and expanding and improving our ‘grow your own’ programs. Additionally, I know we can build academic momentum at the elementary and 4K level, by improving literacy, social-emotional skills and a curriculum reflective of our students diversity, centering Black voices, to improve graduation rates, college matriculation, and employment opportunities. Together we can develop the next generation of leaders, heal injustices, and bring our district to the forefront of education in the 21st century.