PHARR, Texas – Vanguard Academy stand were joined Friday by Pharr police and fire departments for a drive-by parade to honor Superintendent Narciso Garcia.

The vehicles were festooned with posters, balloons, and messages of appreciation. Many described Dr. Garcia as “Simply the Best.” 

Dr. Garcia was presented with dedication videos, an appreciation plaque, gift baskets, paintings, and other gifts.

“We wanted to have a day where we could truly show our appreciation for everything Dr. Garcia has done for us,” said Barbara Gonzales, director of Vanguard’s GEAR UP program.

“He has always done phenomenal things for the district but through this COVID-19 his guidance and leadership has really put us head and shoulders above what other districts are doing.”

Gonzales said all the Vanguard staff are “really proud” of the fact that over half a million meals have gone out during the coronavirus crisis.

“We not only taking care of Vanguard children, we are taking care of the children of our neighboring communities,” Gonzales said.

Mary De La Garza is child nutrition director at Vanguard. She confirmed that 505,000 meals have gone out during the COVID-19 pandemic. She said the program will continue through June 30. De La Garza said she expects Vanguard to cook and distribute 770,00 meals by the end of June.

Asked about the leadership pf Dr. Garcia, De La Garza said: “He is an awesome superintendent. I cannot describe it. He is very meticulous. Holds us to the highest level, everybody. But he also sets the example first.”

Vanguard Academy teachers, faculty and administration wholeheartedly believe and emulate Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.

Angelica Martinez, is principal of Vanguard’s Beethoven Secondary School in Edinburg. 

Asked why the drive-by celebration was held, Martinez said: “We are expressing our love and appreciation for Dr. Garcia. And our appreciation for all he has done for our students. He has exemplified what every principal, teacher, student would love to have in a superintendent.”

Martinez said Garcia had a plan in place for how students would receive an education during a pandemic. From providing broadband to over 500 students in need of WiFi, Chromebook or simply making home visits to reconnect students, parents and educators, Martinez said Garcia was in the forefront, leading by example.

‘“He did a phenomenal job. He guided us. He lead us. He engages us, he equips and he empowers us to do what’s best for our students.”

Asked how long Dr. Garcia had been at Vanguard, Martinez said: “Three years. They have been a huge transition for our district. He has brought in a lot of new resources, programs and tested the boundaries of education. He has shown, no matter how small a district is, you can always do much more than neighboring districts and highly populated districts because every student counts. He does what is best for every student.”

Asked if the drive-by celebration was a success, Martinez said: “A huge success. He is a wonderful man to work for and we are blessed to be here.”

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