Patti Cruz began her career as an instructional assistant in Tempe Elementary School District, where she discovered her passion for supporting second language learners in schools. She started her teaching career in the Lennox Elementary School District in a bilingual first-grade classroom. After ten years of classroom experience, Patti returned to the Tempe Elementary School District to serve as an ELL instructional coach.
Patti started with NIET in 2009 when she joined ASU Prep Academy as a TAP master teacher. She then went on to support the AZ Ready for Rigor Grant with TAP Implementation as a regional master teacher and assistant director of TAP Systems. Before joining the NIET team, Patti served as the director of innovative curriculum design in the Isaac School District. Patti's hope is that all children have access to an engaging and successful academic experience.
Patti received her bachelor's degree in elementary education with an emphasis on English as a second language from Arizona State University and a master's degree in bilingual-bicultural education from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.