Humanities Teacher Raul Garcia is a White House Champion of Change!
On Friday, August 31 Boston Arts Academy (BAA)’s Humanities teacher Raul Garcia was invited to Washington DC to be honored as a White House Champion of Change. The White House along with the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics honored Mr. Garcia and nine other Champions for their leadership in the classroom and their commitment to student success.
Mr. Garcia has taught at Boston Arts Academy for eleven years in the Humanities department and Writing Seminar. During his time at BAA, Mr. Garcia has held many leadership roles including Humanities Department Chair, the Co-Leader of Tenth Grade Writing Seminar, a member of the school’s Board of Trustees, and a member of the Curriculum and Leadership team. “I am deeply concerned with developing a classroom that is strategically created to support different learning styles and multi-racial, multi-ethnic dynamics,” says Mr. Garcia. “The culture of BAA prepares teachers to be fluent with diverse learners- the school has established this supportive culture as a norm.”
At the White House event last Friday, Mr. Garcia joined other educators to share best practices, models, and teaching strategies for effectively engaging and educating students, in particular, Latino/a students. He asserted, “in our modern urban classrooms Latino/a students, whether ELL or not, need to be prepared for the 21st century through multiple modes of learning activities and by working in collaborative manners with their peers. “ By layering technology, rigor, and project-based learning into his curriculum Mr. Garcia constantly pushes each of his students to think critically. His work at BAA has continued to develop technology driven and multi-layered innovative curriculum for the school, and led him to facilitate many workshops for Boston Public Schools.
As said by Arne Duncan in a White House release about the ten Champions, “these leaders have shown an absolute dedication to helping their students succeed and are examples of the profound impact that educators can have not only in their classrooms, but in their communities.” As BAA celebrates 15 years of is artists, scholars and citizens this year, it is very evident that Mr. Garcia has made a tremendous impact on the school and community.
Read what the White House had to say about this great honor for Mr. Garcia!
White House Honors Boston Educator Raul Garcia as a “Champion of Change”
WASHINGTON, DC – Friday, August 31, the White House and the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics will honor educators who have devoted their time and efforts to inspiring their students to excel and promoting the teaching profession by setting a strong example in the classroom. Ten educators who have focused on improving student outcomes and closing the academic achievement gap for their students – most of whom are Hispanic and English Language Learners – are traveling from around the country to Washington to be recognized at a special White House event.
“America’s future is inseparable from the Hispanic community’s future – and by strengthening the academic success of Latino students, we strengthen our nation’s longterm economic prosperity,” said U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan. “These leaders have shown an absolute dedication to helping their students succeed and are examples of the profound impact that educators can have not only in their classrooms, but in their communities.”
Hispanics will continue to drive the growth of America’s labor force in the coming decades, accounting for 60 percent of the Nation’s population growth between 2005 and 2050, and already 1 of every 5 students in K-12 is Hispanic. If America is going to have the strongest, most competitive work force and lead the 21st century economy, and if we’re going to meet the President’s goal of having the highest percentage of high school graduates in the world by 2020, then we have to improve the educational outcomes of Hispanics. At the event, the educators will have an opportunity to share best practices, models, and teaching strategies for effectively engaging and educating students, in particular, Hispanic students.
Hispanics are both the largest and fastest-growing minority group in public education, but have the lowest education attainment levels of any group in the country. To meet this challenge, the Administration is working in partnership with communities across the country. The President’s Advisory Commission is critical to that effort, and is working to help strengthen the P-12 pipeline to ensure all Latino students graduate from high school prepared for college and their careers – as well as have the resources they need to access and complete some form of postsecondary education. A recent White House report on the Administration’s agenda and the Hispanic community includes a detailed section on education, and can be found by clicking HERE.
The White House Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative to honor ordinary Americans doing great work in their communities. Each week, a different sector is highlighted and groups of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community leaders, are recognized for the work they are doing to serve and strengthen their communities.
Raul Garcia received his B.A. at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor where he studied Sociology and Latino/a Studies. Afterwards he studied at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education where he obtained his Ed.M. and Massachusetts license to teach high school social sciences. Through the support and mentorship of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund Grant, which he received at U. of M., he remains committed to teaching in the urban public schools of Boston. Raul has taught Writing and Humanities at the Boston Arts Academy since the fall of 2001.