Feature: Faces on Campus: Roger Garcia
At some point, all M-A students get the chance to meet Rogelio Garcia, one of the nicest people on campus, whether it’s as we receive our textbooks or rush to print out homework. Although this is only his second year as one of our much appreciated librarians, it is his 13th in the Sequoia Union High School District.
He didn’t grow up with the dream of working at a school. In fact, while growing up in East Palo Alto, he and his brothers “would talk about wanting to be firemen. Our house, our backyard, was actually connected to the fire department so we, me and my three brothers, we thought that being a fireman was the greatest thing in the world.”
“When we were teenagers, we heard that all the girls liked the firemen, so that was more incentive for us. But once I went to high school, I started playing football and I knew that for a fact, I wanted to be involved with sports. High school football changed my life for the better.”
It’s also how he arrived at M-A, he explains: “My high school football coach, who I kept a really close relationship with, was friends with the football coach here at M-A and he said that he needed some help, so he introduced me to Coach Billings and they brought me in as a campus aide for a whole 3 months. A campus aide and a football coach. And then after that, there was an opening in the College and the Career Center.”
After 5 years working and coaching here, he was transferred to Sequoia and worked there for 6 years before returning to M-A.
He started his own high school experience at Woodside before transferring to Los Altos. There were “only four Latinos” in the entire school, he remembers, and the overall environment was very different from Woodside’s. “[Going there] took me out of my comfort zone and put me somewhere where I needed to challenge myself. And I think thanks to that, I ended up the person I am today.”
Outside of his job, he describes himself as a family man—he’s married with 4 kids, and one of his daughters currently attends M-A as a sophomore. He’s also a “big sports fan,” and when time allows, enjoys trying new sports.
As a father, he’s familiar with the stories behind lost books and has heard many more working in the library. Besides that, he recalls a student who brought in a book even though it had been chewed up by a dog. Another student “left 600 dollars in a book. Luckily, a few hours later, the mom came back and we open the book and we shake it and sure enough, there was money. He had left 600 dollars in the book, he had a summer job or something and he didn’t have a bank account, so he put his money in his textbook.”
“I like working in this environment. It keeps me young to a certain degree.” He adds, “The best thing about this job is that I get to meet every student. I get the privilege to actually talk to each student one time.”