Willard Elementary School Principal Receives Powerful Latina Award
When Francis E. Willard Elementary School principal Diana Garcia set out to be an educator, it was an easy choice where she would work.
“As a student who was brought up in the School District of Philadelphia, I know the issues and the hardships that our kids are facing, and I believe I can make the most impact working in the inner city because I came from a similar environment,” Garcia said.
This is the community that brought me up,” she added. “We all need role models that show students that our current circumstances don’t dictate our future.”
Garcia was recently selected as one of ten Latinas honored at the Powerful Latinas Awards, an annual event by Hispanic Media that recognizes the most outstanding Hispanic women of the year.
She received this honor after a nomination and selection process carried out by the Latinas Lifestyle 2021 ambassadors.
A Dominican-American, Garcia has been in education for 26 years. She is entering her fifth year in the District and previously served as principal at John Welsh Elementary School.
She prides herself on building a village that really cares about the students and holds them in high regards.
She works to positively affect the lives of her students and families through empowerment, which is why Garcia has worked to increase family engagement through new initiatives and programming since arriving at Willard.
“This award may be for me, but it’s really about the power of my village,” Garcia said. “I’m very proud of the staff around me.
“I don’t pretend to know all of the answers or do all of this all on my own. In order for a school or community to be successful, you need a good village,” she added. “I am proud that I have that here at Frances E. Willard.”
Born in New York City, Garcia moved to Philadelphia as a child and attended Potter Thomas Elementary School, Conwell Middle Magnet, Stetson Junior High School and Mastbaum A.V.T.S.
Garcia graduated from Mastbaum A.V.T.S in 1989, becoming the first in her family to graduate high school. She would later earn both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.