Together, Fordham University Graduate School of Education employees Eva Garcia and Lillian Garcia have nearly 65 years’ service in education. Although they are not related, they share their surname and their Puerto Rican heritage.
But the similarities don’t end there. Both women work for Fordham’s successful BETAC (Bilingual Education Technical Assistance Center), Eva as the director and Lillian as a resource specialist. Both women worked early in their careers as bilingual and ESL teachers and both went on to become successful principals at Bronx schools: Eva at P.S. 75, and Lillian at P.S. 1, the Courtlandt School.
Last month the New York League of Puerto Rican Women, Inc. (NYLPRW) honored the two educators at its annual College Awards Gala Dinner in Marina Del Rey, Bronx for their career achievements and outstanding service to the community.
Fordham’s Bronx BETAC assists Bronx public schools in their efforts to improve language instruction to the borough’s minority students who are English learners. It is one of two centers operating under a five-year contract with the New York State Office of Bilingual Education /Office of Foreign Language Services. The other center is located in the Lower Hudson Valley, and both are administered by the GSE’s Center for Educational Partnerships (CEP), directed by Associate Dean Anita Batisti.
The CEP enjoys a reciprocal relationship with the city schools; it helps thousands of public school students and, in turn, the city helps Fordham’s master’s and doctoral students gain classroom experience and keep abreast of cutting-edge educational practices.
The NYLPRW dinner is held annually to raise scholarship funds for undergraduate Puerto Rican women, selected for their academic excellence and service to the community.