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The Paw Print

The Paw Print

The Paw Print

Faculty farewell: Tom Allard

Jennifer Godwin-MInto

With a drum in hand and a story in mind, Tom Allard has served as both a Middle and Upper School Performing Arts teacher and a resident storyteller for grades K-12 for 23 years. Broadening perspectives across the student community, Allard’s stories have been an integral part of the Poly experience. Narrating rich stories of the past, Allard has mesmerized students and teachers from classroom to classroom with his vivid imagery, expressive gestures and captivating delivery, painting a vibrant landscape for all to enjoy. Allard described the highlights of storytelling: “It’s an irreducible theatre. An elder sharing the power of ‘we’ and where we’ve been. It’s ancient.” Allard’s emphasis on sharing his Native heritage allows Poly students to gain a deeper insight into Native American history and the Native experience, specifically when visiting the English II class after their reading of There There. He impressively balances entertainment with education, creating a window into the lives and perspectives of others. Describing his disposition when he performs and tells his tales, Allard’s colleague and friend Richard Sherrell said, “Allard commands the space as if he’d flipped on a light switch.” “I was always entranced with how Mr. Allard could transport us into a world built upon the power of his words,” expressed sophomore Elissa Henry. Allard shared, “There was room in Poly for an old theater pirate. They saw my potential before I did.” As Allard’s stories and readings have anchored themselves in our hearts, we fondly bid him farewell and wish him fair winds on his next voyage.

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