Arkansas state Rep. Carol Dalby, R-District 1, was honored Thursday during the Texarkana, Ark., School District's 2018-19 Distinguished Alumni Reception at Arkansas High School.
TASD Superintendent Dr. Becky Kesler said Dalby has a deep desire to serve her community and followed in her father's footsteps by serving on the TASD Board of Trustees from 2008 to 2017. Kesler described Dalby as "tenacious."
"She's strong, powerful and definitely unshakable. For Carol, there is right and there is wrong. And fortunately for me and the students and staff at TASD, she believes in us and her support is unrivaled and there's no stopping her," Kesler said. "She has been instrumental in so many of our endeavors. From the stadium renovation to getting the support of the community to build a new school, Carol helped make what we could only dream of become a reality. When I look around the district, I see so much of Carol's influence in TASD."
Dalby thanked those who attended, which included close friends and co-workers at the Arkansas Legislature.
"I am overwhelmed by the kind words of Dr. Kesler and all those who are here. It is very emotional. I never thought I would be standing here tonight," she said. "I'm reminded how truly blessed I am to be from this community and a graduate of Arkansas High School."
Dalby went on to say that she served her community because her parents set wonderful examples for her in their own service.
"Sometimes people question why I am such a strong public school supporter and the answer to that's an easy answer for me. My parents were," she said. "They believed in Texarkana, Ark. School District and they believed in Texarkana. They believed in public education and public service."
A lifelong resident of Texarkana, Dalby earned a Bachelor of Science in education from Ouachita Baptist University and a Master of Science from Texarkana A&M University-Texarkana and went on to obtain a juris doctorate from the University of Arkansas School of Law.
In 2016, she was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives and is serving her second term in representing District 1, which includes Texarkana and a portion of Miller County. For the 92nd General Assembly, Dalby serves as chairwoman on the House Judiciary Committee; the House City, County and Local Affairs Committee; House Rules Committee; Girls' State; Arkansas Legislative Institute; Arkansas Legislative Council (alternate); Legislative Joint Audit (alternate); Speakers appointee—Alternate Courts Advisory Committee; I-49 Caucus; and the Arts Economic Bi-Partisan Committee.
She served as a past president on the Texarkana Arkansas School District Board of Directors. She also served as president or chairwoman on other boards and commissions, which include the University of Arkansas Alumni Association Board of Directors; Opportunities, Inc.; Texarkana Resources for the Disabled; Texarkana Chapter of the Red Cross; Texarkana Library Commission; and Women for the Arts.
Dalby is a founding member of Arkansas of Women for Education and serves on the Women for Texas A&M, Texarkana Regional Center on Aging and Texarkana Friends of UAMS boards.
She is a member of First United Methodist Church, where she teaches Sunday school. She has two grown children, Robert and Caroline, and lives in Texarkana with her husband, John.
Dalby ended her talk by stating that TASD has a bright future.
"We have great teachers and leaders but they cannot do it alone. We must all pitch in," she said. "We must support our school. We must encourage our friends, our neighbors, our relatives and all the people we come in contact with to come home to our school and come home to our city. We have a responsibility and an obligation to plant seeds for those trees under whose shade we will never sit nor rest. Let us be bold in our mission. Unwavering in our commitment. In the words of our alma mater, conquer and prevail. And each day, let us wake up knowing it's a great day to be a Razorback."