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City Year Los Angeles Teacher Spotlight

City Year AmeriCorps members work sidebyside in collaboration with their partner teachers to fully support their students in the classroom. We are proud to partner with visionary teachers who continue to inspire and lead the future leaders of tomorrow.

The City Year Los Angeles Teacher Spotlight is designed to highlight teachers in our partner schools. Below is our conversation with Mr. Martinez-Cruz, a teacher at Thomas Jefferson High School.

Name: Mr. Martinez-Cruz 

Hometown: Brooklyn Heights, NY

Years teaching: 36 years, and 27 years at Thomas Jefferson High School 

What is your favorite part of teaching? 

My favorite part of teaching is the kids, the frustrations, the successes, the ‘aha’ moments when they realize ‘I can do this.’” 

As an educator in LAUSD, how do you hope to inspire your students? 

I hope to inspire students by being there for them every day and showing them that they are capable of doing great things. I want my students to know that they are capable of being successful no matter what other people think of them.  

How has City Year helped build a positive school culture and climate? 

City Year helps students feel more confident in themselves. AmeriCorps members in the classroom remind students that they have people that care about them and that they belong. City Year really cares about students and treats them with the respect they should be treated with.  

How has City Year helped you in the classroom? 

City Year is a resource that students can tap into when they are having difficulties. Students can have oneonone support to learn new and different strategies to solve problems. Even though each AmeriCorps member has a focus list of students, they still make themselves available to help everyone that asks for help.” 

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