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School of Humanities, Education, Justice & Social Sciences

Patricia Garcia, Ph.D.

Patricia Garcia

Office: Klingbeil

Tel: 617-243-2181



  • Ph.D. in Spanish/Bilingual Education, Florida State University
  • Ed.D. in Education Leadership, University of Sarasota
  • M.A. Foreign Language Education, University of South Florida
  • B.A. University of Panama, Language Arts Education


Dr. Patricia Garcia is an accomplished and dedicated educator with over 30 years of experience, including more than 17 years as superintendent of schools in Virginia, New York, and Connecticut. During her professional career, Dr. Garcia has served in a wide range of roles in the United States and overseas. Starting as a middle school teacher in her native country, Panama, she has since gained experience at all levels of the educational system, from classroom teacher to principal, assistant superintendent, regional superintendent, college professor, and superintendent of schools.

Recently retired from the superintendence, Dr. Garcia has been a lecturer in the University of Connecticut Executive Leadership Superintendent Preparation Program and the Doctorate in Education Leadership Program at New England College. While stationed in North Carolina, she served as an Assistant Professor of Foreign Languages at Barton College. In this position, she led the initial certification program for Teachers of English as a Second Language, which was approved by the state of North Carolina.

Dr. Garcia has accumulated a proven track record of academic excellence and passion for equity and social justice through effective leadership, positive organizational change, and building high-performance teams. Throughout her career, she has significantly impacted education by advocating for equity by expanding college learning opportunities for marginalized students, instituting Algebra in middle school, developing dual-language programs, and establishing college pathways programs at the high school level. Also, while serving as superintendent of schools in Connecticut, in partnership with Electric Boat and Quinebaug Community College, she initiated one of the first Early College Opportunity Programs for high school students, which has served as a model for other programs in the state.

Her research interest is directly influenced and inspired by her experiences as a second language learner, as a teacher of English as a second language, as a superintendent of schools, and by the need to support teachers and administrators in implementing equitable classroom practices. As such, her areas of interest include school improvement, teacher leadership and social change, bilingualism, and second language acquisition. In collaboration with colleagues from two universities in Boston and New York, she recently participated in a study of how State Education Agencies in all 50 states and the US territories support school districts with students dually identified as English Language Learners and Special Education.

Dr. Garcia has been recognized as a visionary and courageous leader and has received many notable awards in recognition of her commitment and dedication to students and the community, including Connecticut State Education Resource Center’s George Coleman Excellence in Equity Award; the NAACP 100 Most Influential Black Leaders in Connecticut; the NAACP Above and Beyond Award for Exemplary Commitment to Education; Connecticut Parent Power’s Exemplary Education Leader; and Long Island, NY Raices Latinoamericanas, Pioneer in Education Award.