It’s National Assistant Principals Week! In the Arlington ISD we know how vital the role our APs play at every campus. They make a huge impact on the success of our students and staff. In honor of this week, we’re spotlighting several APs throughout the district.
Today we’re shining the spotlight on Gunn Junior High and Fine Arts and Dual Language Academy assistant principal Geovany Garcia. Garcia thought he was going to be a lifelong history teacher until the principal and assistant principal at Workman Junior High encouraged him to get into administration. Just like when he was a teacher, his goal as an AP is to help students and ensure they get an incredible learning experience.
Hometown: Irving, Texas
Colleges: University of Texas at Arlington
Favorite hobbies: I love playing golf, basketball, mountain biking and spending time with my amazing wife and dog.
Years in Arlington ISD: 8
› What made you want to become an AP?
I think the moment I knew I wanted to become an assistant principal occurred when I was at Workman Junior High School. As a teacher, I had a great opportunity to work alongside an amazing principal (Dr. Stroy) and assistant principal (Mrs. Jefferson) at Workman. To see how they helped students and teachers get better each day inspired and motivated me to want to become an assistant principal. Also, reflecting on the impact that my high school assistant principal, Mr. Vernon, had on my life also motivated me to want to be an administrator. As I started to think about becoming an assistant principal, I recognized the great opportunity it provides in being able to help teachers and students on a greater scale. I knew I wanted to lead like the leaders who helped me become a better educator and person. I wanted to inspire kids to think they were capable of the impossible, like Mr. Vernon did for me. I wanted to challenge teachers to think outside the box and support them in taking risks in order to accomplish their goals like Dr. Stroy and Mrs. Jefferson did for me.
› What route did you take to becoming an AP?
So initially, I always thought I would be a history teacher forever. I loved teaching and being with students, so being a campus leader wasn’t something I was thinking about early on in my career. However, when I was a history teacher at Workman, my assistant principal, Mrs. Jefferson, and my principal, Dr. Stroy, both encouraged me to take on leadership roles. During my time there, they provided me with opportunities to lead on the campus and gave me all the support I needed to continue to grow and develop as a teacher and leader. I was a level leader, academic team leader, department leader and served on various campus and district committees. As a result of the experiences and opportunities provided, it motivated me to go back to school to get my M.Ed. and apply to be an assistant principal. I interviewed for a few AP jobs and eventually landed my first AP job outside the district in my hometown. A year later I was given the great opportunity to return to AISD and serve as an assistant principal at Gunn.
› What’s your favorite element of being an AP?
As an AP, I get the balance of being able to work closely with students and teachers, so I really love that element. I love helping and supporting our students and teachers accomplish goals they set for themselves. It gives me great joy when I see or learn about a goal a teacher or student has accomplished.
› Describe the legacy you want to leave at this school.
The legacy I want to leave behind at Gunn is one in which people say he helped move the Gunn teachers, students and community forward by helping them think in creative and innovative ways in order to provide the best learning experience for all our students.
› What’s one piece of advice you’d give your younger self?
Just because you look and sound different than the rest of the students in those advanced placement classes doesn’t mean you don’t belong. Don’t get out of those classes. You were selected to be in them for a reason. Listen to Mr. Vernon and stay in them, Geo. You got this.