We’re thrilled to welcome Rick Cruz to the Board. Cruz’s appointment was unanimously approved today by the DC Council. He will serve until 2018.
Cruz has spent the last seven years, working for organizations as varied as DC Prep Public Charter Schools, Teach for America and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. He shared more about his background and interest in education during his nomination hearing:
I have long been interested in education. My father came to this country from Peru, arriving with a fierce immigrant work ethic and belief that education was the way to move ahead. For nearly 40 years, he worked as a machinist for a small contracting business and did engineering and electrical maintenance for New York City buildings.
He had amazing technical skills and an intellectual curiosity that would have been well served by higher education, but he didn’t have the opportunity to attend college. In fact, he gained much of his formal schooling while in the Navy in Peru.
From an early age, he talked to me about the importance of education. Educational access and opportunity has always been a conversation in our family. I kept his words in mind as I went to college – the first person in my family to do so – and began my professional career.
Nearly 20 years ago I moved to the District. I stayed to raise a family and ultimately be part of the effort to make this city a better place to live and to raise children.
Before that, I spent 12 years working and leading strategic consulting and advisory services in the corporate sector. A largefocus of my work was in the finance, audit and risk management arenas. And now I work day-to-day with corporations, foundation and nonprofits, advising their leaders on serving young people in the communities in which they operate.
In the time I have lived in the city, education has improved and the public charter sector has played a large role in this progress. There are many reasons for that. Much of it is due to the hard work of social entrepreneurs, school leaders and teachers. However, credit is also due to PCSB which has distinguished itself as a high-quality authorizer and is recognized nationally as such. While at DCPrep, I had the opportunity to work closely with the Board and its staff who carried out their duties with great professionalism, urgency and transparency. They have set and maintained policies and standards that have allowed public charter schools in its jurisdiction to thrive, innovate, scale and increasestudent achievement.
Analyses of charter school sectors across the country recognize the District of Columbia amongst a very small sample of cities where charter schools unequivocally perform, setting and meeting a high standard for student achievement. Governance - both by the PCSB and of the PCSB - is an important component of its success. That is why I am so honored to have theopportunity to join the Public Charter School Board.