Dr. Joshua Garcia will begin July 1 as Tacoma Public Schools’ new deputy superintendent pending School Board approval Thursday, March 22, Superintendent-elect (Interim) Carla Santorno announced today. Garcia currently serves as the assistant superintendent of Teaching For Learning in the Federal Way School District.
“I think Josh and I will make a good team,” Santorno said. “We think similarly on many issues. Josh has an extensive background in instruction and a variety of experiences in community engagement and legislative issues.
“He has been involved in some innovative initiatives in Federal Way, including holding students to a high academic standard by pushing more students into advanced placement classes,” Santorno said. “We interviewed an outstanding group of high-caliber candidates. Josh rose to the top, can tackle a breadth of issues and came highly recommended by a variety of people.”
As deputy superintendent, Garcia will provide administrative leadership; plan, organize, direct and support initiatives of the superintendent; manage the planning process and direct the curriculum and instruction program to ensure high-quality teaching and learning throughout the district.
“Becoming the Deputy Superintendent of the Tacoma Public Schools means more to me than a new job,” Garcia said. “It is an opportunity to fulfill a longstanding dream. It is about giving back to America’s public education system, which has been so important to my family. The opportunity to serve the students, families, staff and City of Tacoma is truly an honor for me. I look forward to working extremely hard on behalf all children in the Tacoma Public Schools. As a new member of the very talented team, I am eager to continue to build upon the rich traditions and longstanding partnerships within the city and across the district."
Garcia has served as the assistant superintendent of Teaching For Learning in the Federal Way School District since 2010 where he oversees instruction, curriculum, assessment, unique programs, supervision of K-12 spectrum schools and professional development for more than 22,000 students and 3,000 employees.
Prior to his current position, Garcia served as Federal Way’s executive director of Teaching For Learning and principal of Todd Beamer High School. He also served as vice principal at White River High School. He began his education career as a teacher in Riverview School District in Duvall.
He is currently an extended faculty member in the University of Washington Bothell’s principal program, and was an adjunct professor at Saint Martin’s University in 2006.
Garcia also served as president of the Washington State Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, an organization that addresses all aspects of effective teaching and learning such as professional development, educational leadership and capacity building.
Garcia earned his doctorate at Seattle University, his master’s degree at Heritage College, his bachelor’s degree at Washington State University and his teaching certificate at University of Idaho.
“Both sets of my grandparents immigrated to the United States – from Europe and Latin America. Each one valued education and made sure their young families attended the public school system,” Garcia said. “My parents continued this passion and challenged my brother and me to be strong yet humble leaders supporting the needs of all children and service organizations. This foundational set of values continues to be my guide.
“Throughout my career in public education, I have had the opportunity to work in amazing and extremely diverse school districts as well as communities with rich traditions and with inquisitive students, caring families and citizens. Through meaningful partnerships, early and continuous support, and creating a safe environment for students and staff to thrive, I believe we can become a world class school district,” Garcia said.