Teacher of the Year gave up lucrative tech job to impact lives (video)

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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.

 

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