Gus Garcia Young Men's Leadership Academy

School Leadership


Mr. Sterlin McGruder

Before I joined Austin ISD, I served as the principal of Grand Prairie ISD’s Young Men’s Leadership Academy at Kennedy Middle School when it reopened as a single-sex school.

As principal at Gus Garcia YMLA, my goal is to create a culture focused on college readiness and leadership. Students will have a chance to participate in project-based learning through Project Lead the Way and get involved in STEM classes (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

My primary objective is to prepare young men for lives of responsibility and leadership in a globally competitive world. The students who graduate from Gus Garcia YMLA will uphold the values of service, brotherhood and acceptance of responsibility for their actions. The Young Men’s Leadership Academy is committed to training the leaders of tomorrow who will change their communities, the nation and the world. 


Mr. Gavino Barrera (6th Grade and 7th Grade A - M)

It is with great pleasure and enthusiasm that I introduce myself as an Assistant Principal to the community of Gus Garcia YMLA. Like our YMLA Creed says—"I take pride in my community and will work to make it a better place"—this has always been my essential driving force to provide a school that delivers in academic rigor, a safe place and a spirit of family. In 23 years of education, I have served as a High School English Teacher, ELA Coach, Assistant Principal and a Principal. It is with this experience and dedication that I will pour my heart into our academics and our stakeholders. I look forward to another amazing year at Gus Garcia YMLA. 

Ms. Brandy Gratten, M.Ed. (8th Grade and 7th Grade N - Z)

Life-long educator, coach, administrator, learner, and committed Austinite. I am so excited to serve as one of your Assistant Principals. I am going into 13 years in public education; eight of those were in the classroom and the court as a coach and the last four have been as an Assistant Principal. I'm so fortunate to co-labor in this work with you. My heart is to continue the process of empowering students, encouraging our community, and enthusing our work. My passion is to always get better, on purpose, every day.