By Conrad Dudderar
Karyn Garcia used the word “thrilled” several times while describing her newest role as she begins her 24th year in education.
Garcia started June 12 as the new principal at Yukon Middle School after seven years as an assistant principal at another Oklahoma City metro district.
“I love the idea that I get every seventh and eighth grader in Yukon in my building,” Garcia said. “It’s a big responsibility, and I’m thrilled and honored to be able to do it.
“I grew up in Mustang, and I like that ‘big district in a small town’-kind of feel.”
She’s worked in Albuquerque, N.M., Mustang, Oklahoma City, and – most recently – the Edmond school district.
She spent about 15 years as a classroom teacher and was a GEAR Up program site facilitator.
“My heart is in middle school,” Garcia added. “I’ve always been associated with middle school kids. They are just awesome human beings.
“Middle school kids are a ‘fountain of youth’, so to speak. It’s really, really nice to be around them.”
She’ll have about 1,400 Yukon middle school students around her when the fall semester begins in August. Her new 120-member staff includes 77 certified teachers.
Garcia earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Central Oklahoma. She later attained a teaching certificate and master’s degree in secondary education from the University of New Mexico, then a master’s in educational administration from Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
She was attracted to the administrative position with Yukon Public Schools because of the support from fellow personnel and the district’s steady growth.
“People have been so friendly and supportive of me being here and what they’ve heard I bring to the table,” Garcia shared.
GET TO KNOW ME!
Garcia will get to know all YMS personnel in the weeks leading up for the 2023-24 school year. She’ll meet soon with her assistant principal and counseling teams.
“I’m going to meet every single person who’s in this building, working alongside me to support kids,” the first-year head principal pointed out. “That idea is very exciting to me. It’s also daunting because we have a very large staff.
“I am here to support my staff. And I can only do that if I know who they are, and I have a relationship with them.”
She has a collaborative leadership style and believes strongly in the saying “teamwork makes the dream work.”
“I want to empower my teachers to be able to do what they need to do,” Garcia said. “I expect all of my staff members to be experts in their field. That’s how we come together and solve problems for kids.”
Garcia looks forward to introducing herself to YMS’ parents through a welcome letter and video in which she’ll detail her vision for the school.
She is confident she’ll excel in her new job at YMS principal.
“The bottom line is, I love my job,” Garcia explained. “I love working with kids. I love working with families. I love supporting my teachers. I love meeting new people, figuring out how we can build on the amazing things Yukon already has – or starting new traditions.
“I want to be visible. I want to be part of the community. I’m ready really to ‘dig in’ to what this does look like right now – and what this can look like.”