Greg Garcia ’12, ’14 received the “Franklin Strong” award last fall at Franklin High School in Portland. Garcia is a social studies teacher at the school, and he was nominated by colleagues for making a special effort to motivate his students toward academic success. Franklin Vice Principal Emily Mather said “We congratulate Greg and so appreciate his work for our school community.”
“Every student is guaranteed food in my classroom courtesy of donations I’ve secured from local businesses,” he explained. “Getting this award means that my peers appreciate my efforts as well as the students. It reminds me that my efforts go beyond the four walls of my classroom. I have a raffle system where good grades and regular attendance earns tickets for clothes and other trinkets donated from national companies. After tests, the ‘big raffle’ includes Blazers tickets, OMSI passes and coupons for free movies. If I can keep kids in school, I’ve done my job. Satisfying these needs in society is one of the biggest reasons I became a teacher.”
At WOU, Garcia earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history and credits the “excellent and charismatic” faculty with making him the teacher he is today.