Name chosen for new high school near west if Lake Worth opens in 2023

Secondary school of Dr.  Joaquin Garcia will open on Lyons Street in 2023.

When Palm Beach County’s newest high school opens in the fall of 2023, it will be the first in the county to be named after a Hispanic community leader.

School board officials voted to name the school Dr. Joaquín García – a name that honors one of the founders of the Hispanic Education Coalition, who died last December.

“This is an emotional day for many of us. Joaquín was a mentor to me, a friend. I know I wouldn’t be here if not for the hard work he did for decades to make it possible for a Hispanic individual/ Latinos to even run for school board,” said board member Alexandria Ayala.

More than 30 people attended the meeting and at least a dozen spoke in favor of the new name.

Dr.  Joaquin Garcia was the founder and chairman of the board of the Hispanic Education Coalition

Wearing white shirts and T-shirts, they shared their personal love and professional inspiration for García, who wanted to improve education by investing in scholarship programs, advocating for dual language learning and supporting causes that make schools more accepting of both Hispanic and LGBTQ+ students.

Mayors and vice mayors from Belle Glade, Pahokee and South Bay were joined by Greenacres council member Susy Diaz to voice their support.

“As a native of Florida and Palm Beach County, I can tell you it’s way beyond time that we look to honor a Hispanic (person) with the name of a school,” Diaz said.

Diaz added that the communities that will feed the new high school, such as Palm Springs and Greenacres, are majority-Hispanic communities.

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