Karen Garza known for student-centric approach

Apr 15, 2013 by

As superintendent in Lubbock, Tex., Karen Garza joined hundreds of volunteers in a door-to-door campaign to persuade students who had dropped out of school to come back to the classroom.

“It really humanizes the dropout issue,” said Garza, for whom the annual event is a cherished memory. “It’s an inspirational experience to meet these young people and talk about their challenges. There’s usually lots of tears shed on that day.”

Garza, 50, is known across Texas as a down-to-earth educator who, as a teacher, principal and superintendent, has striven to stay out of the news and in the lives of her students. She will now bring that student-centric approach — and her 26 years of experience — to Fairfax County, where in July she is slated to take over Virginia’s largest school system.

As a little girl, Garza dreamed of becoming a teacher like her father, a college English professor in Texas. She began as a kindergarten teacher in a tiny Texas town, then rose to principal and deputy superintendent in other school districts before moving to Houston as second in command of the city’s 200,000-student system. But she always had the ambition of one day leading a large school district.

via Incoming Fairfax superintendent Karen Garza known for student-centric approach – The Washington Post.

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