Fresno High School’s Jacqueline Ruiz has been named teacher of the year by the Fresno County Office of Education.
Ruiz, who teaches chemistry and International Baccalaureate environmental courses, has been a teacher for five years. She is also the pep and cheer director at the school, leading Fresno High’s squad to qualify for the United Spirit Association National Cheer Competition for the first time ever this year.
Ruiz was also named among the top five employees by Fresno Unified at its annual Excellence in Education banquet in February. Then, she was recognized as the district’s best high school employee.
“I want students to construct their own knowledge rather than have me lecture to them,” Ruiz said in a statement. “When students take responsibility for their own learning, they figure out what works best for them, do better staying in their optimal learning modality and gain not just knowledge to pass an exam, but true understanding.”
Other winners include Bob Kampf, director of supplemental services at the Clovis Unified School District, who was named administrator of the year; and Danny Alberty, a campus assistant at Edison High, who was named school employee of the year.
The Office of Education held its annual Educator of the Year Awards Ceremony on Thursday night at the William Saroyan Theatre. Each district in Fresno County can nominate honorees. This year, 21 nominations were received for school employee of the year, 15 for administrator of the year and 22 for teacher of the year.
The winners have the opportunity to apply for the California Department of Education awards in 2017.