The Judith Cruz Story: Show Notes

Judith Cruz is a native Texan who has lived in Houston for almost 20 years. Her mother hails from Guatemala and Cruz has fond memories growing up in a bilingual, Spanish-speaking home. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction, Bilingual Special Education from George Washington University. Cruz has over 20 years of experience as an educator and volunteer in public schools. Today, she is a proud member of the Houston Independent School District school board District VIII in Texas. She won in the general election on November 5, 2019 and assumed office on January 16, 2020. During our interview we discuss lessons learned from losing your first campaign, how to responsibly govern a public school district during a pandemic, and the long term effects of learning loss due to COVID-19 on our most vulnerable students.

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Houston Independent School District Twitter:



Topics discussed in this episode:

[00:00] Introductions

[01:37] It all started with the rapper Mike Jones

[07:35] I lost my first time too

[11:42] If I can influence change, why not?

[15:08] I can’t look back

[18:26] A distinction between, I’m thinking about it and I’m doing it

[23:52] How to start the first day of school

[26:03] There were 7,000 kids unaccounted for

[27:46] Safety vs. Compromising Students’ Future

[30:37] We weren’t doing so well before COVID

[37:01] A tough position to be in

[39:06] It’s all about local control, supposedly

[42:07] Rapid fire questions — Trustee Cruz is always ready

“How to Start a Podcast During a Pandemic”

About The Host:

Stevon Cook is a small business owner, policy maker and media personality. He is the founder of The Luther Harris Holding Company, a strategic advising company that focuses on creating partnerships, diversity recruitment and helping companies drive impact in the communities where they do business.

As the host of The Cook on Monday Morning podcast, he interviews high capacity leaders in a variety of industries. The goal of the podcast is to build a community of people creating lives that make them excited about Monday morning. At Cook on Monday Morning we believe that if we can own Monday morning, we can own the week, if we can own the week then we can own the year and if we change your year, we can change your life.

Cook is the former President of the San Francisco Board of Education. He was elected in 2016 with over 150,000 votes. He also served as CEO of Mission Bit, an education nonprofit focused on ending generational poverty through coding education for high school students.

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Book Recommendations:

Consultant: Strategic Advising & Recruiting | SF Board of Education | Cook on Monday Morning Podcast.