A distinguishing suit, excellent beard, shiny head, and stern facial expression is how students describe assistant principal Mr. Garcia. He is extremely strict about students doing the right thing and has zero tolerance for non-scholarly attitudes.
Born on May 15, 1983 and raised in the Bronx of New York, Eric A. Garcia has lived a rough childhood. He grew up in the projects in a struggling household. A hard working mother, father addicted to drugs and alcohol, and an older brother already going down the wrong path is the environment Garcia lived in.
Garcia attended Harry S. Truman High School in the Bronx. Although he wasn’t associated with any clubs, he played sports such as basketball and baseball. Unfortunately, Garcia still had a rough high school experience. In his freshman, sophomore, and junior year, Garcia was hanging with the wrong crowd. So when senior year rolled around, he almost dropped out.
Due to his older brother already taking the path that he almost succumbed to, Garcia knew he had to change his behavior for his dear mother. He woke up one morning and cut off everybody that he had been dealing with all his life. During the summer of his junior year, Garcia went to summer school and took three classes. Then senior year, he took 8 classes from 7 A.M. to 3 P.M. just so he could graduate with his class in 2000.
After successfully graduating high school, Garcia attended Norfolk State University and Regent University in Virginia. At NSU he was an English/Theater major and an Education Leadership major at Regent.
Following the college chapter in his life, Garcia was a supervisor at a detention center in Portsmouth, Virginia. Next, he was a basketball coach and English teacher at Cradock Middle School. Garcia is now in his first year at Churchland High as an assistant principal.
“I love it here," says Garcia. "The staff and students are friendly. I take this as a great opportunity to learn about high schools.”
When addressed about his stern or “mean” impression he has on most students, Garcia said, “A lot of people look at my face, but I can’t fix my face. I mean you want me to smile every time someone sees me, but that’s not the person I am. It’s tough to get that misconception because of the way I look; that I’m not a nice guy or I’m unapproachable or very strict and mean.”
Although he understands this misconception, Garcia just wants to have a safe, instructive environment for everyone.
“It’s just when it comes down with the students doing the right thing, I’m no nonsense. You’re either gonna do what you’re suppose to do or you know there’s gonna be some consequences that follow. I’m trying to make sure that the students and teachers are in a safe environment and that instruction goes on in this building. I can’t do that if there’s people not doing what they’re suppose to do.”
While being at CHS, Garcia plans on molding our young boys into men.
“I’m trying to mold these young boys to become men and better citizens. I try to be there for them because growing up, kids don’t have that role model.”
Garcia wants to let the students know the following going forward in life: “Keep pushing. Everyday is a new day. Just because something didn’t go your way one day, doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. Just strive to be the best that you can be.”
When he’s not working hard with the students at CHS, Garcia is either reading, playing video games, or spending time with his kids.
“I like reading, though I’m not currently reading one right now. The last set of books I’ve read were Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. The first two were great, but the last one sucked to me. I’m also an avid video gamer. Right now I’m playing Mass Effect: Andromeda. I also like to spend time with my kids.”
Mr.Garcia talking to two students in the hallway during transition.
Mr.Garcia talking to a student in the hallway during transition.
Photos: Elijah Macklin