P-16 Council and Counselors Network Regional Meeting

Apr. 2023 | Vol.4, Iss. 8

The theme for the P-16 Council & Regional Counselors’ Network meeting was one that hits close to home in many Valley schools and across the nation:

Successful Transitions: Are our students ready? This generation of students is our future!

Cynthia (Cindy) Valdez, Associate Vice President for College Access and K-12 Partnerships, UTRGV P-16 Council Co-Chair/RGV LEAD Executive Board, and Dr. Narciso Garcia, Superintendent, Vanguard Academy, provided the welcoming address. Luis Rodriguez, Executive Director, RGV LEAD, followed with RGV LEAD updates for the audience.

Tina Jackson, Ph.D., Asst. Commissioner of Workforce Education, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, delivered the THECB Presentation. David Gutierrez, Program Coordinator, Workforce Solutions, informed the group about Industry-Based Councils.

Ron Garza, Associate Vice President for Workforce & Economic Development, UTRGV, and Claudia Garcia, Program Coordinator for Workforce Development, UTRGV, shared the UTRGV Professional Education & Workforce Development Overview.

P-16 Council Presenters

Tina Jackson

Dr. Tina Jackson is the Assistant Commissioner of Workforce Education at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. In this role, she works with all aspects of career and technical workforce initiatives and programs, including the administration of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. Most recently, she served as the District Director of Developmental Education at Collin College. In this role, she worked districtwide on issues related to developmental education, completion, and guided pathways to careers.

In March 2019, Jackson’s Developmental Education Program received the 2019 Promising Program Award from the National Association of Developmental Education. In July 2018, Jackson was one of only 20 individuals across the United States selected for the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education (AABHE) Leadership and Mentoring Institute. Dr. Jackson worked as the statewide coordinator of Community College Programs at the University of Texas at Austin for five years, helping to redesign developmental math throughout all 50 community colleges in Texas. Jackson also served as Associate Dean of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) at Dallas County Community College District.

Dr. Jackson holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Science, a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Minnesota, and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Texas at Austin.


Results for America. (2022, October 19). Tina Jackson. Results for America. bit.ly/3qWtfKb

Dr. Narciso Garcia

Dr. Narciso Garcia is superintendent of Vanguard Academy Public Charter Schools, a school system focusing on Pre-K3 through 12th-grade education.Narciso Garcia

Vanguard Academy currently has eight schools in the Rio Grande Valley, located in the cities of Alamo, Edinburg, and Pharr. It is scheduled to open a campus in Mission, Texas, in August 2023.

Dr. Garcia joined Vanguard Academy in 2017 after serving as Deputy Superintendent of the Pharr-San Juan Alamo (PSJA) School District for three years, starting in 2014 and culminating in 2017. As Deputy Superintendent of PSJA Schools, Dr. Garcia oversaw the areas of Career and Technical Education, College Readiness, Curriculum and Instruction, Finance, and Special Programs, for example, Bilingual, Dual Language, and Special Education Departments. Dr. Garcia also mentored principals in the school district by providing them with instructional and leadership support.

Before joining PSJA Independent School District as Deputy Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Garcia served as Superintendent of Schools for the La Villa Independent School District. He established a college-going culture in this rural community by implementing the first Early College High School in the Rio Grande Valley Delta Area. While at La Villa ISD, Dr. Garcia committed to providing all students with free college tuition by providing all students with the opportunity to earn up to an associate degree, 60 college hours, or become Core Complete.

Before serving as Superintendent at La Villa Schools, he was an elementary, middle school, and high school administrator in the roles of assistant principal and principal for seven years. In 2008-2009, as PSJA North High School Principal, Dr. Garcia graduated the second dual language cohort Senior Class in the State of Texas.

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