Dr. Karen Garza became the new superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools beginning July 4. Dr. Garza was unanimously elected to her position by the Fairfax County School Board. Previously, she served as the Superintendent in the Lubbock Independent School District (LISD) in Texas. In LISD, Dr. Garza oversaw 30,000 students for four years. Before serving in LISD, Dr. Garza was the Chief Academic Officer in the Houston Independent School District (HISD) for four years. HISD educated 200,000 students, making it the seventh largest school district in the nation. She will now serve 168,000 students here in FCPS, the 11th largest school district in the nation.
Dr. Garza has clearly identified her priorities in FCPS, with students being her priorities. She wants them to have a “world class” education, so they can successfully meet the challenges before them. Dr. Garza stresses the importance of strong and effective teachers and available professional development. She also wants parents to be involved in their children’s education. Dr. Garza plans to gather principals and teachers to talk about their “hopes, dreams, and aspirations” for FCPS, she said in a Red21 interview. Dr. Garza has been learning about FCPS and its schools, so that she can identify and make improvements to FCPS’s current strengths.
Dr. Garza has begun implementing her collaborative leadership style. She has been meeting with principals and teachers during her transition summer. She encourages principals and teachers to collaborate. She has public meetings planned to connect with students and parents. Parents can be involved by attending AHS’s PTSA meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 10 to hear Principal Randazzo deliver his “State of the School” address. Dr. Garza wants to familiarize herself with the students and the schools of FCPS. She intends that FCPS functions as one dedicated, connected unit instead of isolated schools.
Dr. Garza is impressed by the FCPS’s system. She has been pleased by its talented students. She has observed great schools with traditions of excellence and supportive parents. She has found that each school is unique and plans to encourage that diversity within FCPS. She is impressed by FCPS’s “passionate” and “dedicated” teachers and principals, Dr. Garza said in a Red21 interview. Dr. Garza is proud to be the Superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools.
Dr. Garza plans to be very visible in the schools. “The best part of my day will be when I’m in schools to be with children and to better understand the needs of our schools,” Dr. Garza said on myfcps community. When Dr. Garza visits AHS be sure to greet her and show her some Atom pride.