Michael Ruiz, a Dallas ISD 2015 Teacher of the Year, caught the educator bug in the 11th grade when his teacher asked him to act as the substitute for a class.
After teaching trigonometry to his peers and friends, one of his classmates came up and told him he did an awesome job.
“After that day, I was hooked,” Ruiz said.
Later in life, Ruiz gave up a job as a business development manager at a tech company to become a teacher. Today he teaches fourth-grade at W.B. Travis Vanguard for the Academically Talented and Gifted.
While he might have made more money in tech, Ruiz much prefers being a teacher to his old career.
“I wasn’t making a difference in lives, I was just making a difference in the bottom line,” Ruiz said.
Ruiz was recognized for his ability in the classroom and named the Dallas ISD 2015 magnet/special schools teacher of the year at a ceremony in October.
Praised by colleagues as a problem-solver, innovator and campus technology guru, Ruiz is described by supervisor Brigette Caldwell as a fixture in the school’s academic and social life.
“I work with some of the most amazing people in the world,” Ruiz said. “It just so happens that they are eight-, nine-, and ten-years-old.”
For degreed professionals who, like Ruiz, want to make an impact as a teacher, the Compass Alternative Certification Teacher Academy is accepting applications. Compass provides degreed professionals and recent college graduates with a non-traditional avenue to become a teacher in Dallas ISD. Click here to learn more.