Dalton Public Schools will be represented on the new Georgia State School Superintendent's Parent Advisory Council by Tanya Castro, who was nominated for the post by Missie McKinney, assistant principal at Dalton High School.

"I was thrilled" Castro gained a spot on the council, McKinney said. "She's a good, quality person who will represent us well and bring a nice voice to the committee."

Castro is actively involved in the local school system, particularly in the engineering and robotics programs at Dalton High School, and she has three children in different buildings. Her son, Izaak Lara, is a senior at DHS; her son, Andrew Lara, is in eighth grade at Dalton Middle School; and her daughter, Kristen Castro, is a kindergartner at City Park School.

Tanya Castro is "very active in her community, and she worked for (a) nonprofit," McKinney said. "She's knowledgeable in a lot of different areas."

The council is comprised of "a group of parents from across the state that provides input on new policies, projects and materials that impact students and their families," according to the Georgia Department of Education. Members, who serve terms of two years, "are particularly focused on how to increase parent and family engagement to ensure student academic success."

To be not only nominated locally, but also selected for the council, is "a great honor" for Castro, Tim Scott, superintendent of Dalton Public Schools, told Castro during a Board of Education meeting on Monday. "We appreciate you representing us."

Council members are chosen based on their capacity to lead, current levels of involvement in their child's school, and responses to application questions, according to the Department of Education's website. Members will meet several times during the course of their two-year terms and work closely with State School Superintendent Richard Woods.

Castro will attend her first informational meeting for the council on Oct. 28 in Atlanta.

"We know parent engagement is so important," Matt Evans, chairman of the Board of Education, told Castro Monday night. "Thanks for doing that on a state level."

For her current, past and future efforts to support Dalton Public Schools and its students, the Daily Citizen-News names Tanya Castro Citizen of the Week.

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