March 13, 2017
On April 26, 2017, Street Law, Inc. will present the 2017 Educator of the Year Award to Julio Garcia, a law and social studies teacher at Coral Gables High School in Coral Gables, Florida. This award, sponsored by McGraw-Hill Education, is given annually to an educator who teaches students in an exceptional manner and uses Street Law materials.
After beginning his teaching career with a six-year stint teaching math and social studies at Miami Edison Middle School, Julio joined the staff of Coral Gables High School in 1993, and has been there ever since. Early in his tenure, Julio was asked by his principal to pilot a law studies class. Though not a lawyer by trade, Julio spent the entire summer studying law, and successfully carried out a 27-student law studies class the following school year. Since then, teaching law has become Julio’s primary role at Coral Gables High School. He currently teaches 300 students per semester, leading courses in civil law, criminal law, constitutional law, and legal systems.
Julio also proudly uses Street Law curricular materials, including McGraw Hill’s Street Law: A Course in Practical Law, in many of his classes. Thanks to the breadth of topics covered by Street Law materials, and Julio’s passionate dedication to the subject area, Julio was recently able to add two academic years to the Coral Gables High School law studies curriculum.
Julio is immensely passionate about education, and strives to bring that passion to the classroom every day. If students detect that their educator is uninterested—or feigning interest—in the topic at hand, Julio believes that they won’t retain the material being taught. As such, Julio brings enthusiasm to the classroom every day, informed by his conviction that students learn best when they are taught by an educator with genuine affinity for the subject matter. His motto is: “I can make every kid a champion.”
Julio also runs the Mock Trial program at Coral Gables High School, where his teams have won several county and state championships, and experienced success at the national level. Julio is the school’s Small Learning Communities Coordinator, providing instructional leadership to his school’s themed academy leaders and academy team members, working closely with the Assistant Principal for Curriculum, and acting as the direct liaison between Coral Gables High School and the district office.
Since 2009, Julio has been a partner teacher in the Street Law/NALP Legal Diversity Pipeline Program with the law firm of Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP. Julio collaborates with the law firm and the University of Miami School of Law to facilitate his students’ participation in the program, which includes visits from the lawyers, lessons on commercial and contract law and legal careers, and annual field trips to the law firm and the law school. These field trips give Julio’s students the opportunity to simulate a day in the life of an attorney—they engage in interactive workshops like mock contract negotiations, share lunch with the lawyers and law students, and participate in networking and career exploration activities.
In light of these tremendous accomplishments, Street Law and McGraw-Hill Education are proud to crown Julio Garcia with the 2017 Street Law Educator of the Year Award.
(Reproduced with permission)
Supreme Court Summer Institute for Teachers
Legal Diversity Pipeline Program for Law Firms
High School Law Course
Teaching for Civic Engagement