Teach For America Statement on Alum Christopher Ruszkowski’s Appointment as New Mexico’s Acting Secretary of Public Education


Gallup, N.M., June 28, 2017—Teach For America today released the following statement on the announcement of Christopher Ruszkowski’s appointment as New Mexico’s Acting Secretary of Education.

“Teach For America congratulates alum Christopher Ruszkowski (Miami-Dade Corps ‘03) on his recent appointment by Governor Susana Martinez as the State of New Mexico’s Acting Cabinet Secretary of Education.

From his time in the classroom as a member of the Miami-Dade charter corps to various district, nonprofit and government administration leadership posts, Christopher has worked tirelessly to provide students growing up in underserved communities access to transformational educational opportunities, most recently partnering with the Teach For America—Delaware region as a member of Governor Markell’s administration. He will undoubtedly carry on this passion and commitment as he works to improve educational outcomes for students throughout the state of New Mexico. Several of Christopher’s former students have joined Teach For America over the past five years, including three in his home region Miami-Dade, thus demonstrating the impact he had as a classroom teacher on his students’ lives.”

Gerald Jean-Baptiste (Miami-Dade Corps ’12) one of those former students, said this about his appointment:

‘Mr. R, as I called him when I was an eighth grader at John F. Kennedy Middle School in Little Haiti, has been the most influential educator and mentor in my life.  It began with him as my middle school teacher, but he paved a path for me to attend New York University, Harvard Graduate School of Education, join Teach For America—Miami Dade, work at Google, and now start my own social entrepreneurship venture. My confidence that Mr. R can positively serve EVERY student in the state of New Mexico is unshakeable—because I am a product of Mr. R’s leadership.  We shared a common bond in our immigrant experience—and I know he can unlock the potential of any student regardless of when the student's family arrived to the country or the circumstances to which they were born or the neighborhood from which they came. I am living proof of that.’

The appointment of an alumnus to a role of this magnitude is a milestone for the Teach For America community, and we are proud of our alumni in New Mexico and across the country who work across a variety of sectors to eliminate educational inequity. As Teach For America has been a longstanding partner in New Mexico’s educational and civic community, we look forward to working with the New Mexico Public Education Department and the state’s policymakers to support school communities in expanding educational opportunities and supporting the next generation of leaders that put our students first.”

About Teach For America

Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity. Some 6,900 corps members are teaching today in 53 urban and rural regions across the country. They join a Teach For America community that is 53,000 strong, working across every sector to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education.. Teach For America is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.