By: Samantha Connelly & MaKalie Farmer

The fresh fear of walking into an unknown world, the freshmen who are to graduate in 2021, walk the unfamiliar high school hallway, adrenaline filled, accompanied by another new face, the principal. Flash forward to the now confident comfortable seniors who will be exiting along with the man who guided them through their high school years.

Principal Michael Garcia will be finishing up his four year reign over Abilene High as the 2020-2021 school year ends.

“Great students and great adults. The parents and community are great to work with,” Garcia said. “That’s the part I’m going to miss the most.”

Before he stepped in as head principal, Garcia served as an assistant principal from 2002 through 2009. Afterwards he took a few years off of high school in order to work with elementary schoolers, only to return to AHS for the 2017-2018 school year.

“For a while, there was a lot of inconsistency for this position that was mainly due to the changes,” Garcia said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to keep up with the changes, especially this year with COVID.”

Garcia was offered a position downtown working in the AISD Administration office as a leader in Student Services. His new job will include many of the same responsibilities as a high school principal such as responding to student needs and determining what actions will need to be taken in order to improve the education experience for the students.

“The hardest part was probably critical conversations,” Garcia said. “Sometimes conversations can become uncomfortable, but you have to learn how to be comfortable in those situations.”

Until the next school year begins in the fall, a team of faculty members and administrators will be selecting and interviewing candidates, searching for Abilene High’s perfect match.

“It’s very bittersweet,” Garcia said. “At the same time, I’m ready for a change. I’m ready for someone to step into this role and take it to a higher level.”