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Dr. Edgardo B. Castro began his career as an educator over two decades ago in various capacities: as a mathematics teacher, an English Language Learners Development (ELD) Specialist, and an assistant principal. Four years into his career as principal of Lincoln Elementary, Dr. Castro has already proven himself an accomplished turnaround leader committed to culturally responsive and socially just public education. Serving a rural, multicultural, multilingual student population with universal participation in the free and reduced-price meals program, Dr. Castro is committed to advocating for Lincoln families while engaging them as problem-solvers and drivers of change. For example, three years ago, he implemented academic parent-teacher teams to identify barriers to learning and proactively seek solutions. This process has built trust and led to initiatives such as the school’s Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) program. Embedded across the curriculum and grade level teams, the program aims to increase student connection to the school community by developing their intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in support of healthy interpersonal relationships, teamwork, and collaboration, and has led to improved attendance and decreased behavioral referrals. Under Castro’s leadership, Lincoln was recognized with the 2017 GMCS Excellence Award for academic gains. He was also recognized with the 2017 GMCS Excellence Award for academic gains. Castro earned his Ph.D. at New Mexico State University, graduated with 4.00 GPA, Summa Cum Laude on December 10, 2021; a graduate of the University of Virginia’s (UVA) Turnaround Principal Program, and a participant in the New Mexico Department of Education Principals Pursuing Excellence (PPE) program. He holds an M.S. in Leadership from Old Dominion University and a B.S. in Education. He was named the 2013 Northampton County Public Schools (NCPS) Teacher of the Year in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Dr. Castro earned his National Board-Certified Teacher (NBCT), 2015-2025. Dr. Castro was chosen as the 2021 National Distinguished Principal of the National Association of Elementary Principals (NAESP). In a more personal note, Dr. Castro has a son who lives down under, New Zealand! He likes an outdoor adventure, and if he is inside, he is reading, writing, and/or cooking.