Skip to main content


Longwood Elementary School Principal Named Educator of the Year
Posted 2/9/22
Lauren McDermott
Longwood Elementary School Principal Named Educator of the Year
Principal Luis Garcia is an alumnus of Hayward Unified School District and graduated from Hayward High School.
HAYWARD, Calif., February 8, 2022Longwood Elementary School Principal Luis Garcia is Hayward’s 2021 Educator of the Year and will be honored at the Chamber of Commerce’s 78th annual Awards Celebration Gala on March 26, along with other noteworthy Hayward leaders.
Perhaps Garcia is such an effective educator and leader because he is teaching younger versions of himself. He, too, is a product of the Hayward Unified School District (HUSD) and attended Ruus and John Muir elementary schools, Bret Harte Middle School and Hayward High School. His first role at HUSD was as a bilingual kindergarten teacher at Cherryland Elementary School, and quickly realized that educating the students of Hayward was his calling. 
“This award is a testament to the amazing work done by everyone here at Longwood, our wonderful community, and most importantly the students who bring us so much joy,” said Garcia. “I feel very humbled to receive this honor. “
Later, Garcia served as a 6th grade teacher at Cherryland, then became assistant principal at Mt. Eden High School and a 4th grade Spanish dual-language immersion teacher at Burbank Elementary, before becoming principal of Longwood.
The importance of education was instilled in Garcia from a very young age, as many of his family members are educators.
“I try to impart these lessons on my own children and my students,” said Garcia.
HUSD Superintendent Dr. Matt Wayne said Garcia’s student-centric approach is part of why he has successfully supported Longwood during his tenure as principal.
“There has never been a day on the job that Luis hasn’t given his all to Hayward students,” Wayne said. “Our Longwood Elementary students thrive and excel, thanks to the tireless efforts from Principal Garcia and all of the teachers and staff there.”
Although the Gala is one of the longest-running annual events in Hayward history, health and safety precautions will cause this year’s celebration to be a hybrid of virtual and in-person presentations. The Chamber of Commerce plans to release more information about the event location, time and virtual viewing link next week. Family members attending the event will be required to make provisions for health and safety.
“We will learn more about Luis when he accepts his honor at the Chamber Awards Celebration Gala,” said Hayward Chamber President Kim Huggett. “He follows in a tradition of past educator recipients who have selflessly made contributions to Hayward that have made it such a great place to live and work.”
Business Person of the Year Aaron Ortiz of La Familia, Police Officer of the Year Nate Scinto and Firefighter of the Year Anthony Conte will also be honored at the event.
Garcia earned his bachelor’s degree in Chicano Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara and later a master’s degree in education and educational administration, both from San Francisco State University.
About HUSD
The Hayward Unified School District (HUSD) serves nearly 19,000 students at its 30 school sites throughout the City of Hayward. We honor our diversity and partner with our families to ensure that every student is ready to learn in a joyful and safe environment. Our goal is to provide all of our students and families opportunity and access to a range of programs that engage their interests, inspire a love of learning, challenge them to think critically and prepare them for college, career and life.