Senate Democratic Leader Malcolm A. Smith has appointed Dr. Evelyn W. Castro of Brooklyn to the Governor's Children's Advisory Committee.
The Children's Cabinet was established by Governor Eliot Spitzer in June to develop and implement plans aimed at providing universal health insurance coverage for pre-kindergarten and school-aged children. The group will also identify policy, program and systemic barriers that prevent state and local governments from effectively and efficiently serving the needs of children as well as formulating remedies and solutions to identified problems.
"Dr. Castro has an extraordinary background in early childhood/elementary education and is a perfect fit for the goals and objectives set by Governor Eliot Spitzer in his Executive Order creating the Children's Cabinet," Smith (D – St. Albans, Queens) said. "Dr. Castro is a true talent and has the breadth and depth to examine and analyze the issues and challenges we're facing with early childhood education."
Dr. Castro holds a double Masters Degree from the Manhattan-based Bank Street College of Education and an additional Masters and Doctorate from Columbia University. She was also the Director of Early Childhood Education for the NYC Public Schools, principal of two elementary schools, a superintendent and vice president of the Leadership Academy under Chancellor Joel Klein. She currently serves as the Associate Dean of the School of Education at Long Island University's Brooklyn Campus, which is represented by State Senator Velmanette Montgomery (D-Brooklyn), the Ranking Democratic member on the Senate's Social Services, Children and Families Committee.
Montgomery recommended Dr. Castro for this post saying, "I am pleased Dr. Castro is available to serve on the Cabinet. Her expertise in this field will aid the panel in addressing important education issues facing policy makers and citizens alike. I know Dr. Castro personally to be an inexhaustible hands-on and visionary leader. Her strength as a parent advocate is only matched by her ability to inspire parental involvement in their children's education."
"I am pleased to have been chosen by the Senate Democratic leadership to serve as part of the Governor's Children's Cabinet," Dr. Castro said. "This is a welcomed challenge where I can bring all my skills over the past 25 years to the table and get a chance to be part of implementing some needed reforms."
"The children are our future and setting them on the right track at the early stages of their life will be beneficial to them and to society as a whole," she added. "I look forward to being a productive part of the advisory panel."
The Children's Cabinet will be chaired by Director of State Operations Olivia Golden, and co-chaired by Deputy Secretary for Health and Human Services Dennis Whalen and Deputy Secretary for Education Manny Rivera.