Morgan Hill Unified School District’s new superintendent, Dr. Carmen Garcia, officially started her new job on July 1.
She released the following letter to MHUSD students, staff, parents and residents of the community on her first day:
It is an honor and a privilege to introduce myself as our district’s new Superintendent. I’m overjoyed to join the MHUSD family! Thank you to the Board of Trustees for their support and for their steadfast commitment to the success of our students.
I began my journey in Morgan Hill USD shortly after my appointment on May 18. To ensure a smooth transition into the 2021-22 school year, I have spent this time working closely with outgoing Superintendent Betando, meeting with district/school administrators, staff and district partners to familiarize myself with our school district and surrounding communities. Over the last month, I’ve had the opportunity to observe firsthand the unparalleled community support, excellent programs and services, and the enriching educational opportunities our schools and wonderful teachers and staff provide for our students.
In my first 90 days, I will continue my “listening, reading and learning” sessions as I meet with numerous groups and individuals to gain perspectives and opinions on positive aspects of our district and schools, challenges we face, and growth opportunities. I am planning community “meet and greet” events with staff, student, parent/community groups (Home and School Clubs, School Site Councils, English Learner Advisory Committees, the Special Education Advisory Committee) before the start of the school year.
Throughout the year, I will be a common face at school sites meeting with students, various personnel groups, dropping by faculty lounges to meet with teachers and staff, developing Superintendent Student and Parent advisory council groups, attending parent group meetings on campuses, and visiting coffee shops near our schools so that we can get to know one another. In me, you’ll find someone who is accessible, an advocate for open lines of communication, and laser-focused on ensuring student success.
My story parallels many of our students’ family stories—born in Tepatitlán, Jalisco, México, we immigrated to Southern California when I was young and found myself learning a new language in an unfamiliar school system. Like many of our own district families, my parents relied on the public education system to successfully guide my siblings and me through our K-12 education and instilled in us the desire to work hard to reap rewards. Through their unwavering support, along with key teachers and mentors, I’m living proof that education opens the doors of opportunity—an educational philosophy that has remained a central part of my moral compass throughout my career as a teacher, researcher, middle and high school principal, district office administrator and superintendent.
As educators and Morgan Hill Unified community members, each of us has an opportunity and a responsibility to help mold the lives of our students so they too, can open their doors of opportunity via an innovative learning system where we meet each student at their point of need and propel them to their next level of success—you’ll often hear me refer to this as the ‘I Plus (+) One’ approach. I believe in accelerating the academic, social/emotional and college/career opportunities for each student in order to achieve their collegiate and professional goals, while simultaneously providing purposeful, targeted support for students that need an additional boost—thus lifting and accelerating all students and preparing them for the future of their dreams.
On a more personal note, I am married to Dr. Gabriel Gutiérrez, a School Psychologist, and together we have three beautiful children—Sophía (10), Emma (7), and Sebastián (6)—and Luna, our energetic one-year-old dog. My most prized role as a mother has only intensified my sense of responsibility and urgency to meet the needs of all our students and to expand their opportunities in our district and beyond.
I look forward to working with the Board of Education, embracing the opportunities and successes the year ahead will bring, and to working alongside each of you as we deliver on the promise to our school community—ensuring the success of each and every student, every single day. Thank you for your support and I look forward to meeting with you soon.