It will be a bittersweet time for Lubbock ISD employees as Superintendent Karen Garza spends her final weeks with the district. Tuesday afternoon, she revealed she will move on to head up the Fairfax County Schools in Fairfax, Virginia.
"This decision has been very, very difficult, because I care so deeply about this school system, the employees, and students that make Lubbock ISD so special," Garza said.
LISD has seen some changes during Garza's four years as superintendent, such sa $200 million in improvements passed by voters in 2010. Included were some areas where LISD had fallen behind. Technology in classrooms is up to date, the district boasts better facilities, and Lowery Field, not updated for decades, is now a first rate sports complex.
"I'm proud of the fact that I feel like we've engaged people in meaningful ways in the work," Garza said. "With the 2010 bond, I felt like stake holders had a say in the design in that program, and we've done that with lots of things. So, with almost every effort, anything that we've taken on with LISD since I've been here, we've had communities, groups of stake holders, that really helped shape that."
"Our success rates with national merit scholars, Pre-AP and AP focus. I mean, it goes unnoticed the effort that went into the 2010 bond, and the unprecedented investment in this community."
LISD Board President Steve Massengale said it's a disappointment to lose Garza, but he's proud of what they've accomplished under her leadership.
"She's recognized because you can't outwork her, and you can't outthink her," Massengale said, "and quite frankly, when you have those types of characteristics, you're on lots of people's radars. That's why, when you look at some of the finest school districts not only in the state of Texas, but across the nation, why they came looking for her."
Massengale said board members will likely spend some time in closed session after Thursday's board meeting to discuss options moving forward. He anticipates they'll appoint an interim superintendent soon. He said Garza will finish out the year with the district.