The STISD board of directors hired Efrain Garza as Executive Director for Student Support in July of 2020. STISD created this position to provide leadership, development, implementation, and evaluation of all facets of student support services, including but not limited to, health services, counseling, special education programs, and career and technology.
Throughout his 20-year career in education, Garza has served STISD students through different roles within the district.
He began his career in 2001 as a science teacher at The Teacher Academy of South Texas (Teacher Academy) in Edinburg. At that time, Teacher Academy consisted of both middle school and high school. Garza continued in that role until 2008, when it was decided that the middle school grade levels from what had become South Texas Business, Education & Technology Academy (BETA) would split off as a separate campus. As a new counselor and part of the middle school creation team, Garza helped establish the middle school campus of Teacher Academy as South Texas Preparatory Academy (now South Texas ISD Preparatory Academy).
In 2015, he helped in the establishment of the district’s newest middle school, Rising Scholars Academy of South Texas (now South Texas ISD Rising Scholars Academy) in San Benito, as assistant principal. He was crucial in the creation and implementation of the mission and vision for the campus, and he oversaw and evaluated numerous departments on campus and was the lead in various duties, including multiple facets of administrative management.
From there, he transitioned to a role as assistant principal at South Texas Business, Education & Technology Academy, or BETA (now South Texas ISD World Scholars) in 2017, and a year later was hired as principal of that campus. As principal, he oversaw the growth and development of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme, and led the campus through its program change and transition from BETA to World Scholars. Garza continues to serve as acting principal for World Scholars until a principal is hired. Garza was also tasked with overseeing the district’s special education services program beginning in the 2019-2020 school year.
Along with his science/biology teacher certification, Garza holds an ILP3-Principal Certification from Region One ESC, as well as a Master of Education in Guidance and Counseling and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Texas Pan American (now The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley).
He looks forward to continuing to serve the students of STISD in his new role as Executive Director for Student Support.