Edinburg Consolidated ISD Superintendent of Schools, Gilberto Garza, Jr. has announced his retirement at the end of June 2009.
Garza a veteran educator of 38 years, of which 32 had been in the Edinburg school district.
He served as a teacher, an elementary school principal, and director of Elementary Education prior to being named superintendent of schools by the ECISD school board three years ago.
The same down-to-earth nature and fairness in leadership that Garza demonstrated as a principal and as an administrator has made him a successful superintendent of schools.
Under his leadership as superintendent, the district has made remarkable strides and advancements in academic performance as well as student and campus achievement; the district’s building program; and a safe schools program.
During his time as superintendent, ECISD campuses have dramatically improved in academic test scores reaching a pinnacle in 2008 with 12 Exemplary and 15 Recognized campuses, more than any other school district in the Valley and the Region One Service area.
Under Garza, the district also set in place a safe schools program that has put the ECISD at the forefront of school safety by placing police security officers at every one of its 27 elementary school campuses. At 945-square miles, the ECISD is one of the largest land mass school districts in the nation, and as such, it has schools within Edinburg as well as schools that extend into rural areas of the northern Hidalgo County. The ECISD also had police security as well as certified police officers at all three high schools and five middle schools.
Garza’s leadership has also provided for a successful district building program over the last three years.
Among the building program projects have been:
• Seven Classroom wings providing an additional 49 classrooms to overcrowded schools
• Renovations to an existing school facility that led to the opening of the district’s fifth middle school
• Construction of a multi-million Maintenance and Facility Complex
• Renovation of an existing facility to create an Instructional Technology Complex
• Renovation of the Old Science building and the Second Floor of the Central Administration Building
• A new synthetic turf and track at Cat’s Stadium
• Expansion of the Ag Farm
• Improvements to the Transportation Shop
• Library expansion to various elementary schools
• Parking lot improvements at elementary and secondary schools
• Development of a Master Plan to do renovations and additions at Brewster School
• Replacement of air conditioning systems at various schools
In May 2008, he led the district in gaining overwhelming community support and confidence for a $111,920,000 school bond issue to build new school and make renovations and improvements. The bond construction program is well underway with the district set to break ground on new schools very soon.
Under his leadership, the ECISD has maintained a fiscally healthy and sound financial condition even through an economic recession that has affected school districts nationwide.
Garza has announced his plans to retire from education at the end the 2008-2009 school year. While he plans to spend lots of time with his wife, family and grandchildren, Garza said he will continue to be involved in education in the ECISD.
“I would like to thank the Board of Trustees and the community for giving me the opportunity to serve my school district,” said Garza. “I am very proud of the many positive improvements that together we were able to accomplish during the last three years.”