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Washell named to state Board of Early Care and Learning

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Dr. Cristina Washell, associate professor and coordinator of the elementary and special education program at UNG, has been named to the state Board of Early Care and Learning.

Dr. Cristina Washell, associate professor and coordinator of the elementary and special education program at the University of North Georgia (UNG), was appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp to the state Board of Early Care and Learning.

This role is personal for Washell, whose family immigrated to the United States from Cuba when she was 3 years old. As a child in Chicago, she was involved in Head Start, a federal program for early childhood education, health and nutrition for low-income children and their families.

"This is really close to my heart," Washell said. "I know firsthand the way those programs helped my development."

The board "works to enhance children's early educational experiences to promote their academic, social, emotional, and physical development in partnership with families, communities, the early care and education industry, and stakeholders," according to a press release announcing Washell's appointment.

Washell is eager to build on the board's current work.

"It's not something schools can do by themselves. They need help from families and the community," Washell said. "I realize the impact those early years of education will have on the child's career as a lifelong learner. It sets the child off on the right foot."

Washell has worked at UNG since 2010 and has been the program coordinator since 2017.

Outside of her job, Washell takes part in community outreach to develop literacy in Latinx children.

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