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Oak Ridge Elementary School

Talking with Tigers - Meet Senon Cruz!

How long have you been in education, and how long have you been a Frenship Tiger?

I have been in education for 30 years and a Frenship Tiger for 7 years. 

What made you want to pursue a career in education?

I knew I wanted to teach since I was in middle school. Along the way, I had a few amazing teachers who made a difference in my life. Back when I was in elementary, I still remember sitting in a general education classroom where English was only spoken, and I only spoke Spanish. The sink or swim method was the approach for learning English. As an emergent bilingual student, I will always be grateful for two amazing teachers. Due to their dedication and passion for teaching, they inspired me to pursue the profession of education. 

As the Bilingual and ESL Coordinator for Frenship ISD, what are your goals for the program and students?

Regarding the dual language and ESL programs, I know that we have come a long ways from where these two programs were seven years ago when I was hired as the Bilingual / ESL Coordinator. But I didn't do it alone, and this was definitely a TEAM effort. I have worked and currently work with an amazing team of dual language and ESL teachers who pour out their hearts each and every day to serve our students and families in these two programs. Due to their hard work and their passion for teaching together, we have built two solid programs that exemplify our district vision to “Seek Perfection… Capture Excellence”. Our goal is to continue to strengthen both programs for the best interest of our students.    

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment at Frenship ISD?

My greatest accomplishment in Frenship ISD is to be able to SERVE our students and families. To be able to provide two solid programs that meet the needs of our emergent bilinguals across the district is very satisfying. This has absolutely been a team effort. 

National Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15 – October 15. What are some of the things our Frenship staff and students are doing to celebrate the history and culture?

At Willow Bend Elementary, students had the opportunity to learn about el 16 de septiembre, Mexico's Independence, and enjoy the performance of the Ballet Folklorico dancers from Lubbock High. Some of our teachers wore beautiful cultural attire from Mexico to show their support. 

At Terra Vista Middle School, students brought their favorite dish to share with the class that represented their culture. Our dual language program serves students from different Latin American countries, so I got to taste some of these delicious dishes. It was a great day of celebration for all. 

Are there any other programs or events throughout the year?

Our dual language students at Willow Bend Elementary and Terra Vista Middle School will also have a huge bilingual celebration towards the end of the school year. We will have around 500 families attend our Willow Bend celebration. The families get to view student projects before eating dinner and watching their students perform in the PAC. This celebration is a way of closing out the school year. The 5th grade students are recognized as they leave elementary and continue their bilingual pathway at Terra Vista Middle school.  

At Terra Vista Middle School, the 8th grade dual language families attend and enjoy student projects and dinner during their celebration as well as recognize these students as they continue their bilingual pathway at the high school.  

The end goal of the bilingual pathway is for students to attain their biliteracy seal on their high school diploma, and this is also reflected on the student's high school transcript.   

Why do you love most about Frenship ISD?

What I love the most about Frenship ISD is that Frenship puts students FIRST. All decisions are made with the students in mind. Frenship provides a high-quality education to ALL students.