Dr. Jennifer Garcia-Edwardsen

Deputy Academic Officer

Jennifer Garcia-Edwardsen, PhD

Student success and community development have been Jennifer’s driving passions throughout her career. As an educational leader for over 13 years, Jennifer has strived to create an optimal, high achievement learning environment for both students and teachers. Her focus has been on developing support structures for students by exposing them to community leaders, developing collaborative relationships with parents and community professionals, and coaching her instructional team to set challenging goals. She has accomplished these objectives by not only encouraging, but actually modeling a whatever it takes mindset.

In her present capacity as Deputy Academic Officer for the Hays CISD, Jennifer has expanded the scope and reach of her influence to a district-wide endeavor. She is actively involved in developing district level systems and supports for student achievement as she provides assistance, guidance, encouragement, and ongoing support for campus principals and district departments.

Her passion to inspire others has resulted in:

  • Successfully turning around and improving academic rating of multiple elementary schools
  • Developing and implementing a full day district wide Pre-K program
  • Developing and sustaining strong community partnerships to address the physical, social, and emotional needs of students (partnerships include: St. David’s Dental and Vision Van, Junior League Meal Program, Seedling Mentors, Health Community Nights)
  • Implementing culturally responsive programs to address students who come from socially or economically disadvantaged communities
  • Establishing advanced learning opportunities for advanced academic and gifted and talented programs
  • Data-driven decision making and creating a school-wide data-wise protocol system
  • Setting a positive, collaborative tone on campuses and fostering positive school climates
  • Increased attendance rates and lower discipline rates
  • Establishing the Del Valle International Explorers to take 5th grade students on science-based international exploration adventures (Costa Rica, England, Puerto Rico)

As a community leader, Jennifer has tirelessly advocated for all students, especially students and families from diverse cultural backgrounds, or different educational experiences. In addition, she contributes her time and energies to mentor the next generation of teachers, as part of her service to the H-E-B Raise Your Hand Texas program and review scholarship applicants for Raise Your Hand and UT–Austin. In her current position as Deputy Academic Officer for Hays CISD, Jennifer’s scope of responsibility and sphere of influence have widened, but her focus on improving student achievement and building strong communities to support them have not changed.