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  Encarnacion Garza

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies




Currently, I am a Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy studies at The University of Texas as San Antonio. I earned my Ph. D. in Educational Administration from the University of Texas at Austin. I was a fellow in the Cooperative Superintendency Program, a nationally recognized doctoral program designed to prepare candidates for the superintendency. I earned my M. Ed. (Counseling), and B. A. (Spanish) from the University of Texas at Pan American.

My experience in K-12 education is extensive and diverse. I have been a teacher, counselor, director of an alternative education center, school principal, field service agent, and school superintendent. In addition, I have served students not only in Texas, but also in several states across the country including Colorado, Ohio, New York, Washington, Florida, and Maine.

After 31 years as a K-12 educator, I joined the faculty at UTSA thirteen years ago. My teaching and area of specialization is school leadership preparation at the doctoral and master’s level. My teaching and leadership philosophy is firmly grounded on the notion of social justice advocacy. It is also shaped by my lived experiences as a migrant student, my pedagogical training, and my experiences as an educator.

One of my most significant contributions has been my role as coordinator of the Urban School Leaders Collaborative (USLC), a partnership between UTSA and San Antonio I.S.D. (SAISD) to prepare aspiring school leaders. The USLC recently received the 2013 University Council of Educational Administration Exemplary Educational Leadership Preparation Program Award.  The USLC is a program with a strong focus on social justice leadership and customized to meet the needs of the school district.

International Research

Through my work in two major international research projects, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with and build relationships with colleagues in over twenty countries and four continents.These partnerships have provided many opportunities to collaborate within a cross-national context. The first is a partnership with scholars and practitioners from Sweden. As a member of this research team, I am currently engaged in a collaborative research project designed to examine school leadership preparation and the educational systems in both countries, particularly in those schools with diverse student populations. The second international partnership on school leadership is my work with the International Successful School Principals’ Project (ISSPP). This collaborative was initiated at the University of Nottingham in England in 2001 to identify successful school principals in participating countries. The network now involves over twenty countries in active research and continues to grow. Member countries include: England, Turkey, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Cyprus, Australia, China, Israel, New Zealand, South Africa, Kenya, Canada, United States, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, Finland and Puerto Rico. Our participation in this international research collaborative has yielded several publications.