Fairfax School Board Names Karen Garza Superintendent [Video]

Superintendent from Lubbock, Texas will step in as leader of Fairfax County Public Schools on July 1.

Karen Garza was officially appointed Thursday as the next superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools.

Garza, currently the superintendent of the Lubbock Independent School District in Texas, will start July 1.

The school board approved Thursday a four-year contract for Garza, through June 30, 2017.

Read: New Fairfax Superintendent: 'I Am A Constant Learner'

In remarks  after the unanimous vote, Garza said her primary focus will be on teaching and learning, "for that is our core work."

"To our stakeholders, our employees, our parents and our business and community partners, I pledge to be responsive and accountable to all Fairfax County schools stakeholders," she said.

Garza also said she planned to be "very visible," noting the best part of her day was when she was able to be out in schools and classrooms.

"We will rally around her and support her," Fairfax County Federation of Teachers president Steve Greenburg said of Garza on Thursday night. She will be outstanding "because she has no choice," he said.

School Board Chair Ilryong Moon told Patch last week this search, his third as a school board member, is a better hybrid of the other two searches Fairfax has conducted in the past decade and a half.

Last fall, board members pledged to make this process more open and inclusive than searches in the past, during which some residents said they felt excluded and unheard.

They pursued a two-tiered public engagement process that involved a community-wide survey and large stakeholder meetings, along with a committee of 18 stakeholders who held interviews with semifinalists.

"This has worked out very, very well," Moon said.

To see the full video of Garza's comments, click the media player above.

See also:

  • Fairfax Superintendent: Candidate Can 'Bring Everyone Together in a Common Mission'
  • Fairfax County School Board Makes Superintendent Pick


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