Roxanne Garcia-France will become Valley Stream School District 30’s superintendent on July 1. The outgoing superintendent, Nicholas Stirling, who announced his retirement earlier this year, will step down on June 30 after a decade in the job. At its March 21 meeting, the district Board of Education unanimously appointed Garcia-France as Stirling’s successor.
After four years as associate superintendent for curriculum, instructional and educational services at Nassau BOCES, Garcia-France will return to a district that is familiar to her, where she previously served as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. Now as the district’s chief, she said she aims to prepare students to thrive in the 21st century by not just equipping them with knowledge of the core subjects, but also helping them become competitive in today’s complex world through training in civic, environmental and financial literacy.
During her years with Nassau BOCES, Garcia-France provided services and programs to the 56 school districts in Nassau County, and she returns to District 30 with experience in human resource management, marketing and public relations, career and technical education, emergency response management and community school resources coordination.
She emphasized the importance of exposing students to multiple educational and career paths. “Not everyone has the access or ability to pursue college, and not everyone needs to,” Garcia-France said, and the district curriculum must account for that diversity of choices. A single academic lesson, she said, can appeal to students with an eye for plumbing and agricultural landscaping as well as those interested in engineering and design, all the while expanding their understanding of what’s possible in their careers.
As Covid regulations evolve, and with mixed mask use the new norm in Long Island schools, Garcia-France said, districts are tasked with catering to students’ emotional and social needs, and she added that she would prioritize communication with parents and students.
“I have a special-ed background,” she said, “and just as there are students that have to come to school with a wheelchair to function in the school environment and be successful,” the district will honor and respect people’s choices on whether to wear a mask or not, and, she said, “allow students to interact in their environment without feeling stigmatized for their choices.”
“Many districts are turning to a new normal,” Garcia-France said, “and I think the new normal is re-emphasizing our good old hygienic practices of washing our hands, maintaining our personal space [and] continuing to provide notification to parents when there are Covid cases. I’m happy that we’re returning to normal, but will always be making sure that our children learn how to protect themselves and keep themselves healthy.”
Garcia-France earned an undergraduate degree in marketing management from Baruch College; and a master’s in special and elementary education, a certificate of advanced study in educational administration and a doctorate in educational leadership from Hofstra University.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Garcia-France back to ‘the Friendly Schools,’” school board President Ingrid Wyllie-Dacon said. “Her familiarity with our students and community, as well as her forward-thinking approach to education, are a perfect fit for District 30. Her belief that students are the future builders of our nation aligns with our long-held district vision. We are delighted that she has chosen to return to lead our school community and continue implementing our five-year strategic plan.”
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