Brookwood teacher Mariela Vazquez is currently serving on the Dalton State College Presidential Search Committee. The committee was formed after the current president, Dr. Margaret Venable, announced her intent to retire in summer 2023.
Vazquez graduated from Dalton State in 2021. During her time attending the college, she served as the president of the Student Government Association. She was also chosen as both homecoming princess and homecoming queen during her time attending the school.
Earlier this year, Vazquez was contacted by the Office of the Dean of Students asking if she would be interested in being nominated to serve on the committee. From there, she was interviewed and eventually chosen to represent alumni in the search process.
As the only Dalton State alum represented on the committee, Vazquez said she feels a responsibility to bring a critical perspective to the search process.
“I have a lot of work to do to represent those who are not in college anymore,” Vazquez said. “I take honor and pride in the role I have been given, but I also take responsibility. I want to make sure everyone’s opinions are heard, while keeping in mind the future generations.”
The Search Committee is reviewing resumes and interviewing candidates. At the end of their process, they will recommend between three and five finalists to the Board of Regents for their consideration.
Vazquez said she is looking for someone who not only has a passion for education, but also for the Dalton State community.
“I’m going into this committee to make sure the future president is passionate about serving the community,” Vazquez said. “A lot of times there’s leaders who have the education and knowledge, but not the connections or desire to work in the community. That desire is something I want to make sure whoever we hire has.”
Overall, Vazquez said she is excited to give back to the community that gave so much to her while she was in college. She continues to embrace the lessons she learned at Dalton State as a teacher at Brookwood School.
“I’m very blessed and thankful that I get to serve on this committee and serve this community,” Vazquez said. “Dalton State gave me so much, and I just want to give back. I also get to do that through working for Dalton Public Schools. I get to educate the future generations and instill in them the desire to go to college and be involved.”