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Texas proclamation honors Cypress Ridge principal Claudio Garcia

Claudio Garcia Day

Cypress Ridge High School graduate Jason Baldwin presents Cypress Ridge principal Claudio Garcia with a proclamation from the State of Texas recognizing Dec. 11 as “Claudio Garcia Day” during an assembly at the school on Dec. 11.

Dec. 18, 2013—The State of Texas recognized Cypress Ridge High School principal Claudio Garcia with a proclamation declaring Dec. 11 as “Claudio Garcia Day” in honor of more than 40 years in education that will conclude with his retirement this month.

Cypress Ridge students and staff celebrated the proclamation during an assembly at the school last week. Several student groups gave Garcia a token of their appreciation during the event:

  • the Rams’ football team presented him with a “Garcia” No. 1 jersey and helmet;
  • art teacher Amanda Loos gave him a framed painting of a Ram in front of the Cypress Ridge front façade;
  • the AFJROTC presented him with the Order of the Sword, a U.S. Air Force designation that recognizes individuals held in high esteem that they wish to honor.;
  • the band and orchestra played songs while students performed a dance with him; and
  • the entire campus and community presented a miniature bronze Ram designed by local sculptor Ed Hankey.

The proclamation was presented by Cypress Ridge graduate Jason Baldwin, who wanted to help recognize Garcia for helping him through tough times while he was a student. Baldwin, who worked on Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign and now works as a legal assistant in a law office, contacted Gov. Perry’s office to get the proclamation approved.

Baldwin contacted English teacher Alicia Vedder about the proclamation to organize the on-campus events on Dec. 11.

Claudio Garcia Day

Cypress Ridge AFJROTC members present Claudio Garcia with The Order of the Sword. Pictured, from left, are Gerard Samaroo, Angie Morales, Garcia, Anna Good, Robert Shumski (who built the case) and Master Sgt. James Core.

“Working with Mr. Garcia has been a gift of learning every day. He is a teacher at heart and will help students and staff to achieve their very best,” said associate principal Stephanie Meshell. “His belief that we are here to help all students and staff be successful has made Cypress Ridge the family we are today. His servant attitude stands out the most.  He would not ask of others, unless he was willing to do it himself.”

Garcia received his bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Texas A&I University and his master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M University at Kingsville.

Garcia’s 40-year career in public education began as a teacher and coach in Odem, Texas, in 1973 and continued at Brownsville Porter and Orange Grove high schools before he was named assistant principal at Orange Grove in 1988. In 1992, he was promoted to principal at Orange Grove, where he served six years before accepting a principal position at Flour Bluff Junior High School in Corpus Christi in 1998. In 2000, he was named principal at Corpus Christi Calallen High School, before moving to Houston to open Cypress Ridge in December 2001.

Garcia said he was surprised, honored and humbled by the proclamation issued by Gov. Perry.

“It was totally unexpected and came as a complete surprise to me that day, as did most of the festivities and gifts that I received,” he said. “The idea for this proclamation was originated by a former student and one of my staff members. I suppose that it goes to show that we just never know how far our influence as educators will go. I am grateful for having received the proclamation from Gov. Perry, along with his and First Lady Anita Perry’s well-wishes on my retirement.”

 

Claudio Garcia Day

Cypress Ridge football players present Claudio Garcia with a Rams jersey and helmet during the Dec. 11 celebration. Pictured, from left, are head coach Gary Thiebaud, football players Christopher Robinson and Jordan Molden and Garcia.

 

Claudio Garcia Day

Cypress Ridge art teacher Amanda Loos painted a portrait of a Ram in front of the high school, which she framed and presented to Claudio Garcia on “Claudio Garcia Day.”

 

Claudio Garcia Day

Local sculptor Ed Hankey congratulates Claudio Garcia on “Claudio Garcia Day” as Garcia is joined by department chairpersons who presented him with a bronze ram that Hankey created.  

 


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