Mrs. Dominique’ Paul


Mrs. Dominique’ Paul, BOE candidate, believes she will bring an emphasis on communication, representing all members of the community.

“I’m supported by unions, non-union organizations, democrats, republicans, teachers and parents,” Mrs. Paul said.

A co-chair of the Rockwood Early Childhood Parent Teacher Organization and a member of the teachers grant committee within the R.E.A.C.H program, she works towards building a sense of community with parents and children through events and activities throughout the area.

Mrs. Paul is the mother of Olivia Paul, age 4, and Isaac Paul, age 5, who are scheduled to attend Ellisville Elementary School.

“Every single decision is going to impact them,” Mrs. Paul said. “Of course I’m going to do my due diligence, not just because of my own kids, but also because I care about all of the kids that I’m going to be involved with in Rockwood in the next 12 to 13 years.”

Being the wife of Mr. Adam Paul, Ellisville Mayor, could only prove to be an advantage, according to Mrs. Paul.

“People are concerned that my husband is the mayor, but it is an admirable thing that he has chosen to do and be the voice of the people,” Mrs. Paul said. “I’m looking to do the same. The most important thing is that I have is a direct line of communication to the public, not just through my husband, but through the various organizations that I’m involved in.”

In addition to the R.E.A.C.H. activities, Mrs. Paul volunteers with the Ronald McDonald House, the STL Food Bank and Purple Stride within the St. Louis community.


The first priority of the BOE needs to be communicating a clear vision of the district from this point forward, according to Mrs. Paul.

“With the last bond issue, it wasn’t clear the direction [the district] was trying to go,” Mrs. Paul said. “[The public] didn’t know where the money was going. With Picture Rockwood, there was almost too much communication and not a clear direction. There were too many options.”

Direction in decision-making is a key component in gaining public trust for Mrs. Paul.

“Precise options for people need to be out there so people feel confident and clear in giving to and supporting the school district,” Mrs. Paul said. “Without communication, you don’t have anything.”

Mrs. Paul is ready to introduce various ways of spreading Rockwood news to the public.

“We could work with the municipalities and see if we could put a small section of ‘What’s going on in Rockwood’ [in newsletters,]” Mrs. Paul said. “Going to the monthly mayor meetings and the Chamber of Commerce makes sure we have that presence. I don’t know if that would work, but that is something that we should attempt.”

She believes visibility is key when trying to increase communication outside of the school district and in the individual cities.

“There are so many things that go on and are so family oriented out here in West County, like farmers markets, etc.,” Mrs. Paul said. “There is so much possible exposure within the community.”


Mrs. Paul believes her experience as a Certified Residential Appraiser would bring a needed perspective to the BOE in terms of district finances.

“Rockwood is very closely tied to how the real estate market performs,” Mrs. Paul said. “I completely understand the impact that Rockwood has on the real estate in the area.”

When families move to a new location, the standing of the local school district is usually a factor. Traditionally, home values are higher when a school district performs well academically, making properties attractive to those buying and selling houses.

RSD struggles to maintain its standard of education with limited funds. Local property taxes provide 65.6 percent of the operating revenue for the district, according to Fingertip Financial Facts for the 2013-14 school year.

“Rockwood is a district that does not have a significantly high real estate development, so every dollar counts,” Mrs. Paul said. “Past and current tax increment financing essentially freezes those tax dollars for what could be up to 20 years. Most of this area has been built off of tax increment financing. And to make it simple, 1994 taxes cannot pay 2014 bills. They just can’t.”

Although public schools do receive money from the federal, state and local governments, the majority of the revenue comes from property taxes. Here is where communication is a key factor, according to Mrs. Paul.

“We are a public school district, and we rely on public funds,” she said. “We need to be aware of the municipalities we reside within and what they are doing. [The municipalities] need to be more aware of what Rockwood’s doing.”

With both children at a young age, Early Education is on the forefront of Mrs. Paul’s mind.

“[The new kindergarten program] is $2 million the first year that will be a deficit, but the district was able to come up with a formula that after the third year it will be profitable,” Mrs. Paul said. “That’s the main issue with the implementation of the kindergarten program, so hopefully that’s the first thing that we are able to address and get squared away so everybody can get some peace of mind.”


With Common Core curriculum on the brink of implementation, Mrs. Paul is prepared to quell uncertainties concerning the changes in the classroom.

“The education I received was you read the book; you take the test; you read the book; you take the test,” Mrs. Paul said. “Common Core is a completely different approach. Making sure the public is aware of how this is going to be different for the kids and how it’s different in the classrooms is important.”

The district already has a proven track record of implementing this approach successfully.

“They are doing it already with the gifted children, so application-based learning should be good enough for the rest of the population,” Mrs. Paul said. “The rest of the population of Rockwood deserves that experience.”

One main change which will be evident throughout the district is the tracking of progress as a student graduates each year.

“I understand there’s some concerns with tracking, but we have to be able to track things to make sure things are working and going in the right direction,” Mrs. Paul said. “We have to track all information to prove the success or failure [of Common Core].”

Mrs. Paul eases anxiety by assuring that RSD is not implementing Common Core blindly.

“This is not just happening in Rockwood, and this is not just happening in the United States,” Mrs. Paul said. “When we compare ourselves to China or Finland, they are doing the exact same thing, and it’s working. We’ve stolen a page out of their book, and they have been doing it for a much longer period of time.”


While Mrs. Paul believes communication is the first priority of the BOE, she believes freedom of conversation must be introduced in a classroom setting, as well.

“It’s important for communication to be exchanged and transferred for students to understand why they think a certain way, dress a certain way and how life experiences are completely different, even if you live within the same neighborhood,” Mrs. Paul said.

When encouraging the liberties of exchanging conversation, there are still limits.

“You need to always be respectful,” Mrs. Paul said. “You don’t want to hurt anybody, but there’s a way to exchange ideas without being offensive. Having conversations [in classes] allow for communication to be exchanged and transferred.”

While being conscious of one’s words, students are free to use their First Amendment freedoms in school.

“Clubs within the schools are the perfect arenas to use those,” Mrs. Paul said. “Knowledge doesn’t just come from a book, it comes from people and personal experiences. If our voices are silenced, it’s really difficult to not repeat the past.”