– By Josh Durso
The Geneva City School District has a new superintendent. The lengthy search concluded with the selection of Dr. Patricia Garcia, who will assume the role on July 1st.
Dr. Garcia brings more than 30 years of educational experience, of which 15 was spent focused on district leadership. The Board of Education said in a press release that Garcia brings a proven track record of academic excellence and passion through effective leadership, positive organizational change and building high-performance teams.
“We are very excited to welcome Dr. Garcia to the Geneva School District,” said Board of Education President José Canario in a news release. “The experience and skills Dr. Garcia brings to the district will support and continue our tradition of serving as a Gateway to Great Achievement for all Students.”
Throughout the Superintendent Search process, adjustments were necessary to address school closures and social distancing guidelines. To keep the integrity and timeline of the search process, the Board of Education and Dr. Ramos, Search Consultant, facilitated finalist interviews using the feedback from the school community survey along with the representation of different stakeholder groups.
“During this extensive interview process, the Board worked with different stakeholder groups and the survey data to guide our decision making. We looked for an individual who combined the necessary vision of education in today’s world and the unique needs of our very own school district. Together, we believe Dr. Garcia not only satisfies that vision but has the experience to lead us into the future,” added Dr. Canario.
Robert Smith, principal of Geneva Middle School and president of the administrators’ union shared his own excitement about the selection. “I was impressed with the experience that Dr. Garcia has had during her career. Her desire to be a lifelong learner during her personal and professional journey is inspiring,” he said. “I believe that she will be an excellent fit for GCSD because of her passion and desire to promote equitable programs and opportunities for our diverse student population. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to be a part of the search process and hope that the school and community can come back together soon to meet and welcome Dr. Garcia.”
“On behalf of the Geneva Teachers Association (GTA), I welcome Dr. Garcia to the Geneva City School District,” added Jenn Davison, West Street School teacher and president of the GTA. “During the stakeholder interview with Dr. Garcia, it was clear to GTA representatives that she recognizes and values the diverse skills, experiences, and dedication of all employees. Her focus on collaboration and inclusion powerfully demonstrates that she understands the positive influence that every adult can have on our students. I look forward to Dr. Garcia getting to know our committed and professional staff at GCSD as we also take time to get to know and learn about Dr. Garcia. We share her goal to connect with all employees, students, and families as we know and live the belief that Geneva can only be at its strongest and brightest when we all work together.”
However, some voiced concern with the fact that the public couldn’t be more involved in the process.
“I regret that the community was not able to be more a part of the search process, but I was impressed with how well prepared Dr. Garcia was. After talking to her, I realized that she’s probably the best candidate that I’ve interviewed, and I’ve interviewed for three superintendent searches. I think she’ll be perfect for the job; she knows what this district needs,” said Mark Yeckley, Geneva City School District senior building maintenance mechanic and president of the support staff union.
“While I will miss Trina Newton, I am excited about Dr. Garcia’s arrival. I find her to be a thoughtful and engaging intellect. She will speak to all Geneva families in their own language and with a deep appreciation for all experiences. Dr. Garcia clearly is dedicated to an honest, child-by-child assessment of success, and I believe she has the experience and skill to build on all that Trina has achieved during her tenure. I look forward to working with Dr. Garcia and her team for the good of all Geneva children,” added Chris Lavin, executive director of the Geneva Community Center (GCC) and Boys & Girls Club of Geneva (BGCC).
“I am very humbled and full of joy to be joining a school community that is dedicated to excellence and that places great value in the education and success of all students,” said Dr. Garcia. “I’m looking forward to serving the school community and working collaboratively, and you have my promise that I will lead with equity lenses, making sure that all students have access and opportunities to develop their skills, talents, and passions. I can’t wait to meet you.”
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