Dr. Cristina Cruz-Ortiz, Principal
Dr. Cristina Cruz-Ortiz has been an educator and school leader for over twenty years. Her career started in 1989 as a first grade teacher at Earlington Heights Elementary in Liberty City (Miami-Dade County). While working there, Dr. Cruz-Ortiz was recognized by Congresswoman Ileana Ross Lehtinen for her dedication to her students and their parents, and was featured on Schools That Work, a CBS television special. She continued to work at Miami Dade County Public Schools until accepting aposition as a charter school principal in 2008. As Principal of Somerset South Homestead Elementary, Dr. Cruz-Ortiz and her team took the school from a D to an A – making the most gains of any school in Miami Dade County that year. [LINK TO ARTICLE]. During that time, she also helped open Somerset South Homestead Middle and High School. Under her leadership and guidance, that campus reached a 100% graduation rate – surpassing state and national figures. In 2014, Dr. Cruz-Ortiz was recognized by the Homestead City Council for her contributions to the community and for positively impacting the lives of hundreds of students in the city of Homestead.
A passionate educator and mother of two, Dr. Cruz-Ortiz earned BA in Elementary Education in 1989, a Master’s in Elementary Education in 1993, and Doctorate of Education from Nova Southeastern University in 2001.