Osborn School families with canine members will be pleased to hear that Angela Garcia loves dogs every bit as much as her predecessor, so the Principal dog-lover tradition at Osborn lives on. In fact, most things will stay the same at Osborn for the time being.
By Sarah Varney
Osborn School families with canine members will be pleased to hear that Angela Garcia loves dogs every bit as much as her predecessor, so the Principal dog-lover tradition at Osborn lives on. In fact, most things will stay the same at Osborn for the time being. “I’m not going to come in and make immediate changes,” she noted.
“I’ve had a warm welcome here at Osborn. The parents have been extremely nice,” Garcia said. She is very impressed with the beautiful new school sign done in mosaic and initialed by all of the members of last year’s fifth-grade class. The sign was a parent project.
For seven years, Garcia served as assistant principal at Wampus Elementary School in the Byram Hills Central School District. Before that she taught at the Clarkstown Central School District. She began her teaching career in Chappaqua.
Her move from teacher to administrator was originally unplanned. “I really had a passion for teaching but then I had the chance to take on some leadership roles and discovered I liked working with large groups of adults,” she said.
She prides herself on her communication skills and her ability to create structure and organization. On the communication front, Garcia has already begun taking the pulse of Osborn. She distributed a questionnaire to teachers earlier in the summer to see what they think about the school and their own priorities, and she’ll send out another one to parents at the end of August.
One of the main challenges this year will be to implement the teacher assessment mandate within the No Child Left Behind law. Students test scores will be included as part of the assessment of a teacher’s performance. The new system has left many teachers nervous.
“One of my jobs will be to reassure teachers and yet meet the requirements. The focus is to meet the mandates without affecting the children,” she said. The main reason for the anxiety surrounding this mandate is that no formula for scoring the results has been established.
It’s important to keep standardized testing in perspective, Garcia noted. “After all, when students leave fifth grade they don’t remember filling in Scantron bubbles. They remember the trip to Philadelphia and ballroom dancing.”
Garcia and her husband Steven, a middle school principal, have two greyhounds at their North Salem home, along with two children: Isabella, 4, and Alexander, 18 months.
While the children are very active, the greyhounds aren’t — they take retirement very seriously. Once their racing days are done, they mostly lie around and relax. “They like a walk in the morning and a walk in the evening and that’s about it,” she said. She and her husband also belong to an organization that helps place ‘retired’ greyhounds in new homes.