Kid Reporter: An Interview with Allen Broyles



TCS is excited to welcome Allen Broyles, the new  Assistant Head to The Children’s School, this summer! Before his arrival, he sat down with Ryan and Mary Margaret, fourth grade students, to answer a few hard hitting questions from our student reporters.  

Mary Margaret: What is your favorite childhood memory?

Allen: Every year growing up I went  to this camp on the beach in Panama City. It was a week-long camp and a lot of the same people would come every year. We spent lots of time playing in the ocean, and walking on the beach and developed really deep and long-lasting friendships.

Ryan: What do you think is special about TCS?

Allen: That’s a long list! My daughter has been at TCS for nine years and my son has been here since pre-primary and is in first grade and will be here for five more years. The big buddy program, how respectful adults are of kids and how much the kids get to use their voice in asking questions are all special attributes of TCS. The kids get to be messy and muddy, and their learning is about using their hands as well as their brains. You all are so kind to one another, and I think the BCC curriculum is a huge piece of that. I’m sitting here coming into this new job because of the wonderful and positive experience my kids have had.

Mary Margaret: Where did you live before you moved to Atlanta?

Allen: Alabama. I lived in Montgomery through my 10th grade year in high school and moved to Atlanta when I was a Junior in high school, so I’ve been here since 1982.

Ryan: What would you like students at TCS to know about you?

Allen: I really like playing, and I really like the arts. I’m a musician, and I play keyboard, trumpet and accordion in bands. I have a potter’s wheel at home, so I like to get messy with that. I also like to bike and camp. I would want students to know that if their view of adults is that we don’t get to do that kind of stuff anymore, that we can still choose to play a lot when we’re older if we want to.

Mary Margaret: Can you describe your family members?

Allen: I have two great kids who go here. Christopher is a first grader with Wilma and Amanda.  He loves building things and seeing how they work, and has a great architect’s eye. He has strong friends and cares about them a lot; he loves making singing, rhyming jokes; and he’s really funny. Catherine is in 6th grade. She loves writing, rock climbing, music and acting and playing around with words, including being patient with her dad’s bad puns. She just finished her last year of Players. My wife Rachel and I have been married since 1999. She works for a small company that creates software for business, and plays ultimate frisbee in a few leagues each year. We both love getting outside with Catherine and Christopher. My mother lives in Atlanta and was a school teacher before she retired. She’s very active in her church and her grandkids’ lives. She’s artistic and painted pictures of us as we were growing up. She has a lake house on Lake Martin, and she spends a lot of time there. My dad was a minister. He also was musical and played guitar in a lot of family and community sing-alongs. He refuses to retire and is very active through the Presbyterian church with issues that are going on around the globe and has been to a lot of fascinating places like North Korea, South Africa and Jordan. I have two brothers, one of whom is our resident business major. My younger brother was an art major at Davidson College and also big into technology. He works at Turner.

Ryan: Would you like to have more sports at TCS?

Allen: I would, and in general, would like to have more physical activity and movement.  Sometimes that’s sports and sometimes that’s going outside and running and flailing your arms in the park. But being able to be outside and moving a lot is important. I personally have a hard time sitting still for a long time, so that’s also my personal view. As far as athletics, I didn’t do the typical ones growing up, but I was into kayaking and climbing. The only team sport I played was ultimate frisbee, and I liked it because it’s run by the players and there’s no referee and there’s a huge emphasis on the spirit of the game. As a kid I played one season of baseball, one season of football, one season of baseball, because my parents wanted me to try them before saying no.

Mary Margaret: What are your hopes, plans or dreams for TCS?

Rachel, my wife, and I were both involved in the big planning process for what should happen at TCS in the next couple of years and beyond. That would be another reason why I’m in this job because those meetings were super exciting. I made the comment on one of those days that the potential of the school is similar to the way I view my daughter. She is great the way she is and is also going to grow and get better and better at all the things she does. I also would want to protect a number of great things in place like the big buddies, respect for kids’ voices and the focus on activity and movement. The most exciting part of the vision is that you don’t have to take time off from learning to play and be joyful; play can be the act of learning.

*Fun Fact: When you see Allen on campus, ask him about performing on Conan O’Brien and other late night TV shows!