Kalonna S. Carpenter is a native St. Louisian and graduate of McCluer Senior High School. She completed a Bachelor’s Degree Program with a Double Major in International Studies/Anthropology and Spanish from Webster University. She holds a Master Degree in Teaching Communication Arts from Webster University, and an Educational Specialist Degree in School Administration from Lindenwood University. Soon to be Dr. Carpenter, she is (ABD), all but dissertation at Missouri Baptist University.
Kalonna S. Carpenter is an avid scholar, researcher, and advocate for children from diverse backgrounds, particularly those of African, Latino, and Indigenous descents. She has worked as a World Languages Teacher Department Chairperson, Curriculum Leader, Varsity Athletics Coach and School Leader for 12 years. Her areas of expertise lie in Romance Languages and Literatures, Educational Leadership and Policy, Social and Cultural Anthropology and Ethnic Studies.
In 2015, Kalonna founded The Jnana School for Social Justice, an Independently Operated MicroSchool for Elementary students in St. Louis; she published her first book of poetry in 2013, "Shedding from the Inside", and authored her second, "The Journey", in 2017. Her shares that “And the Bamboo Rises”, will be her last book of poetry before moving onto novels. “And the Bamboo Rises” is due for release in late 2018.
Kalonna’s creative writing talent exposes her most intimate accounts of life. Her writings reveal profoundly, through poetic anecdotes "the dignified apathy” that plagues Black Americans, on the quest for wealth and fame, while stretching from margin to center. Realities of addiction, relationship problems, gentrification, and growing up Black in Ferguson, Missouri, is the crux of her 2017 release “The Journey”, sparked by the non-indictment of Officer Darren Wilson for the killing of 18 year old Mike Brown.
Media Communications always intrigued Kalonna as a youth. As a teen, she began perfecting her public speaking skills. As a freshman in High School, she was McCluer Senior High School’s International Cultural Festival’s Master of Ceremonies for the 2000 school-year. Most recently, Kalonna has been featured nationally and internationally in the media for print and runway modeling, creative writing, and urban education reform. She has represented Brands such as Horace Mann, Torrid, NEA Today, Women of Distinction, and JMG Lifestyle Magazine; she was been on the local Fox News in St. Louis several times to perform poetry from “Shedding From the Inside” and as a guest model for Curvy Vixen Boutique’s television debut.
Kalonna’s newest endeavor is The Jnana School Summer Camp Program. Kalonna met with Mr. Bernie Hayes, the Civil Rights Activist and Media Communications Guru, for a special interview to promote her innovative education alternative to the City of St. Louis. The television special aired three consecutive times on NLEC TV Channel 24.2 in April 2018. The Jnana School Summer Camp Program begins mid June, 2018, and The Jnana School Academic Year Program begins early September, 2018.