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Local Editorials

Our view: Departing school chief a positive force for education in Plano

As we reported this past week, Plano School District Superintendent Hector Garcia will leave his position with the district at the end of June.

Garcia, who has served as the district’s top administrator over the past six years, has accepted an offer to become superintendent of the Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Elementary District. The district serves all of Hinsdale, and parts of Clarendon Hills, Oak Brook, Burr Ridge and Willow Brook.

Like many parents and Plano-area residents, we were sorry to learn of Garcia’s pending departure from District 88.

In our view, Garcia brought a new energy to the district’s leadership and was an effective communicator with district’s parents and community at-large. His overriding message, from our vantage, was that education is important and valued in District 88 and that Plano students are expected to and will succeed.

We also liked the emphasis that Garcia placed on encouraging Plano students to continue their educations after high school, either by obtaining a four-year degree or earning two-year associate degrees or completing trade certification programs at the community college level. In this day and age of vanishing good-paying blue-collar jobs, students need to look past their high school diplomas and obtain additional education and/or training if they are going to maximize their hiring potential.

As School Board President Tim Campbell noted in a letter published in last week’s Record, Garcia’s focus on continuous educational improvement throughout the district has resulted in the national recognition for the district’s music program, the introduction of the Plano Premier Awards, more staff members participating in the state’s Those Who Excel program and district academic teams being invited to present at state and national conferences.

In working to boost academic standards and encourage Plano students to work hard at their studies, Garcia has also helped to bolster pride – what longtime Plano residents call Reaper Pride – in District 88’s students, staff and the community. It’s been fun to watch and we sincerely hope that his successor will be able to build on all the positive momentum. We wish the District 88 Board of Education well in their efforts to find a suitable replacement and encourage them to find someone who will continue Garcia’s positive path for the district and the community.

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