Dr. Dara Ware Allen is the CEO and Principal of City Charter High School. In this role, she leads a team of exceptional educators responsible for achieving the school’s mission to graduate students who are academically, technologically, personally and socially prepared to succeed in post-secondary education, training and/or employment. Recognized locally and nationally for its innovative model, relationships play a huge role in the school’s design and success, contributing to the school’s 96% graduation rate. Ultimately, as the chief executive and administrative officer, Dara works to assure creative and strategic leadership consistent with the mission, values, and culture of the school. Prior to that, Dara served as the Assistant Superintendent of Student Support Services for the Pittsburgh Public School District. In this role, she led and ensured the coordination of services across numerous areas, geared to connect students, families, and schools with the necessary resources and supports to meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of students. Departmental areas of responsibility included but were not limited to the following: Out-of-School Time and Afterschool Programs, College and Career Education & Guidance, School Culture and Climate Support, Magnet and Open Enrollment, Restorative Practices, Discipline and Alternative Education, Behavioral Health Services, and Crisis Planning and Response.
Other roles she has held have included Chief Operating Officer and Program Director for Leadership Pittsburgh, Inc.; Executive Director of YouthWorks, Inc.; and Director of the Educational Opportunity Centers of Southwestern Pennsylvania at Penn State University.
Dara is also committed to the community, which is evidenced by her current and past service on local boards and advisory committees, including the Allegheny County Jail Oversight Board, Partner4Work’ Youth Policy Council, and an appointment to the Pittsburgh Public School Board by Mayor Ravenstahl to fill a short-term vacancy. She currently serves on the Remake Learning Advisory Council, Health Careers Futures Advisory Board of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, and the Board of Directors for the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and YouthPlaces. Dara is a proud graduate of Leadership Development Initiative V and Leadership Pittsburgh XXVIII. She is also a founding member of the Urban League Young Professionals of Pittsburgh, was named a “40 Under 40” award winner in 2002 by Pittsburgh Magazine, and was recognized in 2012 among the New Pittsburgh Courier’s “Women of Excellence.” A graduate of Pittsburgh Public Schools and Spelman College, Dara also holds a Ph.D. in Workforce Education and Development from The Pennsylvania State University.
Dara is married to Gregory Allen and the proud mother of two boys, Evan (14) and Micah (11). She is
active in her church and in her leisure, Dara enjoys movies, non-fiction books, trying new recipes, and time with family and friends.
Dara currently serves on the Remake Learning Council.