Allen was first elected to the Vancouver
School Board in the fall of 1999, and was re-elected in 2002. He began
a teaching career in Cranbrook and Prince George, before moving to Vancouver
in 1959 to teach in Southlands, Carleton, Lord, Nootka, Nightingale and
Simon Fraser elementary schools. After 35 years as a classroom teacher,
Allen retired in 1992. He has a son, who is now in his 30s.
Allen is also a past president of the BC Teachers
Federation and the Vancouver Elementary School Teachers Association and
is an Honorary Life member of each and a recipient of the Fergusson Award
– the BCTF’s most prestigious award. He is also a past chair of Co-Development
Canada, a non-governmental organization working with developing nations.