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October 2016 Member Spotlight - Dr. Hector Garcia

Dr. Hector Garcia
Superintendent 
Plano School District 88, Plano, Illinois

Career Highlights & Education:
Over the last 23 years in public education, I have had the privilege of working as a high school History teacher, building administrator, principal, district administrator, and now Superintendent.  As a building administrator, I have had the pleasure of being a part of the evolution of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) at A.E. Stevenson High School with Dr. Rick DuFour as well as working with thousands of educators across the country in the implementation of PLCs during the last few years.  As a district administrator, I have led the efforts to ensure that thousands of underrepresented students in three different school districts have complete access to Advanced Placement courses.  In every school district that I have been in, AP student enrollment, AP tests taken, and AP test performance has increased for all students.  
 
I have my undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago, my Masters degree from Northern Illinois University, and my Doctorate from Loyola University Chicago.
 
What I like best about my job:
As a Superintendent, I enjoy speaking to all of our students from the effervescent kindergarteners to the often petulant high schoolers. Our students are always a great source of pure energy, insightful perspectives, and endless optimism. I also enjoy working behind the scenes with selfless and passionate individuals focused on helping kids. While the work is never easy, there is something energizing about working in a school setting and trying to improve the learning conditions for students.  
 
The best advice I’ve ever received:
Never underestimate the power of teams.   
 
Advice you would give a new superintendent or school leader:
Always find two or three things that regularly re-energize you.  
 
If I ever snuck out of work early, I could probably be found:
Nothing beats the serene atmosphere and the challenge of a golf course! 
 
People would be surprised to know:
I have never had beef jerky or watched a scary movie! 
 
One thing I wish more people knew about ALAS:
ALAS is a great source for developing the social networks that are often critical for young Latino/a administrators seeking to become district leaders including Superintendents.