Elysian Heights Elementary Arts Magnet
Los Angeles Unified School District, California
Emilio Garza embodies the core values of Magnet Schools of America, according to the person who nominated him. When he arrived at Elysian Heights, he noticed that the school’s racial demographics did not represent that of the community. Elysian Heights is located in an area that is approximately 45% white while the school’s white population sat around 20%. Understanding that every child benefits from attending a diverse school, his mission became to increase the diversity of the school and gain the trust of the community. He has been successful.
Elysian Heights became a magnet school under his leadership and changed their instructional approach to now include Arts Integration. Together with his leadership team, they developed the core innovative arts integration curriculum that was pervasive throughout the day. The new rigorous approach to instruction yielded glamorous academic and social emotional results.
This shift could only happen under Principal Garza’s leadership. He leveraged his superb interpersonal skills, ability to motivate and unify groups into crating the crown jewel of Northeast Los Angeles; a group that included parent and community partners. No longer was Elysian Heights a relatively unknown small school just below Dodger Stadium.
Raise the level of performance consistent throughout school districts nationwide and creates a platform from which all magnet schools can flourish. Magnet Schools of America’s national certification process is designed to recognize the hard work of the best magnet schools in the nation and to help them as they grow.