My name is Denise Ruiz and I am running for FISD School Board Position 2. I was raised in Houston, graduated from Mt. Carmel High School and was a practicing RN for several years before raising my family. My husband, Luis, and I have lived in Friendswood for over 25 years. Our sons are all Friendswood graduates and have recently graduated from Texas A&M, Stephen F. Austin, and Texas State University. I believe their FISD education prepared them well.
“Giving back” was instilled in me at a young age. I have been a church volunteer and an active board member with the Friendswood Little League. My introduction to school activities began as a PTO volunteer at Cline and then subsequently at Westwood, Bales, Friendswood Junior High and High School. It was through my involvement with PTOs that I became familiar with the district staff and school procedures. Later, I was asked to serve on the Friendswood Education Foundation which was instrumental in equipping our classrooms with up to date technology and other materials requested by our teachers. I served on the District’s Site-Based Decision Making Committee, Safety Committee and Booster Club. I cherish all of my volunteer experiences and learned a great deal with each one, but I am most honored to have served as an FISD School Board Trustee from 2006-2010.
During my initial time on the board, we were able to make an important long range goal for FISD become a reality. We oversaw construction of our new junior high school, natatorium and additions to Cline. The construction also included safety vestibules at each campus with a significant addition of a secured entrance at the high school. I am proud to say this was the largest building program in the district’s history and was completed on time and within budget.
During this same time, our district was recognized as one of the most effective and efficient in the state and our student performance was among the top 2 percent. The District received many accolades during this time for financial management and student performance and one of the most fun was the Lone Star Cup Award, won in 2008/09, 2009/10, and 2013/14.
I am currently serving an unexpired term since June 2018. This is the second time since 2010 the Board has asked me to complete an unexpired board member’s term, the first time in 2016. I am honored both Boards respected my knowledge and previous experience and trusted me to serve the students and staff of FISD.
I believe strong leadership is critical for ensuring safety and the high performance of our students. Every student and staff member deserves a safe learning and working environment. As a board, we continually review all safety initiatives and mandate their implementations. My previous experience will serve our students and employees well in assuring a safe and effective learning environment.
My knowledge of the intricacies of school finances are paramount. Advocacy with state legislators to provide adequate funding for our District is critical. The daily school operations, the ability to hire and retain the best staff as well as equipping them with state of the art technology are components of our success.
I am proud to serve with others who understand the importance of a forward vision for our students and I look forward to continuing to work with the board on these areas.