Meet Alumna Kelly Garcia ’15, Special Education Teacher at Excel Academy Charter High School
Name: Kelly Garcia
Class Year: 2015
- Special Education Teacher at Excel Academy Charter High School – East Boston, MA
- Vice Chairwoman of the Chelsea School Board – Chelsea, MA
Graduate Degrees (if applicable): Master’s in Education from Boston University
In one sentence, what does your job entail?
As a Special Education Teacher, my job entails the implementation of Individual Education Plans (IEP) for students with learning disabilities, such as, Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
(ADHD), and etc. and accommodating the curriculum so that they are successful in the classroom.
What if any, unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross?
During my sophomore year, I went on a service trip to Dangriga, Belize where 12 other Holy Cross students volunteered at Holy Ghost, an elementary school. It was on this trip that I fell in love with working with children and discovered my passion for teaching. Then, I tutored at a local school in Worcester the remaining years at Holy Cross. When senior year came, I applied to Teach for America and got in! I am now in my third year of teaching and am also an elected official in my city. I serve as the District 7 School Board Member and Vice Chairwoman of the board in Chelsea, MA.
How did you learn/decide it was a good fit for you?
Giving back to my community and advocating for students in urban school districts is a passion I developed shortly after my years at Holy Cross. I am fortunate and eternally grateful I found my passion and will continue finding innovative ways to improve my community.
What were you involved in when you were on campus?
Pernet Family Health Services, Community Harvest Project, Pathfinder (Passport Program), Study Abroad (studied in Argentina for a semester), Multicultural Peer Educator, Teaching Assistant in Dangriga, Belize, CASA, BSU, and LASO.
What was your major and how has it affected your career decisions?
Majoring in Psychology allowed me to develop a deeper understanding of the differences that exist in our society, and taught me to accept everyone for who they are. Developing an acceptance of all differences and all personalities has truly benefited me in the classroom, and has made my job incredibly rewarding.
What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work?
The importance of genuinely listening and the art of networking.
-Asking alumni for advice instead of a job
-Stepping out of your comfort zone and challenging the “norm” allows you to GROW! Don’t be afraid to go against what is socially accepted