Fatima Garcia and Kayla Canales

Santa Gertrudis ISD recently hired Fatima Garcia (left) as the new SGS principal and Kayla Canales as the elementary-junior high counselor. 

Returning Santa Gertrudis School students will see a couple of new faces in the front office after the district’s board of trustees approved hiring Fatima Garcia as the new SGS principal and Kayla Canales as the elementary-junior high counselor.

Garcia comes to SGISD after serving as the assistant principal at Dubose Intermediate School in Alice. She has also served in different administrative capacities, including principal roles, with San Diego ISD.

She fills the vacancy left following the resignation of previous SGS principal Mike Jones, who was recently hired by Kingsville ISD as the new principal of Harvey Elementary School.

“I’ve always wanted to work for this district,” Garcia said.

Born in Brownsville and raised in Mexico, Garcia received her bachelor’s degree in secondary education from University of Texas-Brownsville. She spent several years as a high school teacher in Beeville before receiving her master’s degree in education online from Walden University.

Garcia said the reputation of Santa Gertrudis ISD is what led her to join the district.

“It has a reputation of excellence,” she said. “I hear amazing things from a lot of people about Santa Gertrudis. I just hope I can continue that.”

With teachers returning to work on July 24, followed by students one week later, Garcia said she has a lot to do before the start of the new school year. She said she has spent her first few days meeting with teachers, and is looking forward to visiting with parents and students.

“I am a people person,” she said. “I love meeting people, but I am very serious about my job. Education is my passion.”

Joining Garcia at Santa Gertrudis School for the 2019-20 academic year is counselor Kayla Canales, who replaces its previous counselor Beth Brown.

Canales is an alumna of Santa Gertrudis ISD, attending the school district as a student from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

“Class of 2010,” she said. “I’m returning to my roots, my district, my alma mater.”

Canales has been an educator with Jubilee Academy-Kingsville and Alice ISD before spending the last two-and-a-half years with Bishop Consolidated ISD as a third grade teacher. During her time in Bishop, Canales also earned her master’s degree in counseling from Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

“And I plan on becoming an LPC (licensed professional counselor),” she said.

As elementary-junior high counselor, Canales will serve both the Santa Rosa and Santa Gertrudis campuses of Santa Gertrudis School.

“I’m very excited,” she said. “I’m back where I began, and I had the best education here at this school district. I attribute a lot of my success to (Santa Gertrudis ISD), so I am very excited about my new role here.”

Anthony Ruiz can be contacted at aruiz@king-ranch.com or (361) 221-0251.

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