As a science teacher, Vanessa Ruiz is warm and easily connects with students, parents, and colleagues. As science department chair, she mentors two new teachers. She also serves on the principal’s advisory council and developed a social emotional learning program on self-management, self-awareness, decision making, relationships, and social awareness. Vanessa puts relationships before rigor, creating an environment conducive to learning.
Finalists: Veronica Burlesci, Pomolita Middle School; Erick Guzman, Cesar Chavez Language Academy; Wendy Provost, Herbert Slater Middle School; Kim Roth, Eagle Peak Middle School