My name is Pat Cruz - friends often call me by my first and last name, so now I write it that way (patcruz).
As a first generation Filipino American I love to connect people from different cultures, something I have had to do from a very young age. The arts helped me to bridge my two worlds and better express myself when I struggled with language. I want to help all students (especially those who struggled like me) to love school and love learning.
I am an Atelierista and Arts Integration Specialist for the International School of Panama and the founder of the Transcontinental Educator Artist Collective for Humanity (TEACH). I am the founding director of The Teaching Artists Institute in Maryland and former Chief Innovation Officer for Young Audiences in Maryland.
I have dedicated my career to helping students who struggle in school. I have over 25 years of experience in integrating the arts into the curriculum. I taught for 10 years for Public Schools in the US, there I help to lead an arts integration pilot program beginning in 1998. This program helped to significantly raise student achievement in reading and math. We went from just 30% of our 2nd grade students reading at grade level to over 60%! Our 5th grade ELA scores went from the bottom in our demographic (65-75% receiving free/reduced meals) to 2nd highest in the state!
The results were so compelling that in 2005 I joined the nonprofit, Young Audiences Arts for Learning of Maryland (YA). As YA’s Education Director/Chief Innovation Officer, I designed PD programs and partnerships with schools and districts around Maryland. I also directed the Teaching Artists Institute, an intensive training program for Teaching Artists who want to integrate their art form into the school curriculum. As atelierista at ISP, I help my students explore the hundreds of languages of the arts, music, dance, theatre.
My goal is to help transform teaching practice through integrating the arts and teaching artists throughout the school day so that all students (and teachers) may find their voice and love learning.
AWARDS, RECOGNITION, DEGREES:
"Elementary Art Teacher of the Year",
by Baltimore County Public Schools
"Jay Tucker Arts Advocate of the Year",
by Arts Education in Maryland Schools Alliance (AEMS) a Kennedy Center alliance member
"Linda Popp Arts Leadership Award"
by the Maryland Art Education Association
Bachelors of Science in Art Education from Towson University
Masters in Teaching with a focus on Arts Integration from George Mason University.