Texas Assistant Director, Houston Region
Judith Cruz is the assistant director for Texas in the Houston region at Ed Trust, where she manages and executes policy goals and activities within the Houston region in collaboration with the Texas State Director and regional partners. She develops a network of partners across the Houston area and coordinates advocacy to advance shared policy priorities.
Judith has over 20 years of experience as an educator, nonprofit leader, and volunteer in public schools. She began her career in Teach for America and continued teaching for a decade — in DC Public Schools, in Houston Independent School District (ISD), and as part of the team that created and started Liberty High School in southwest Houston (for nontraditional students), where she was a founding teacher. She has served in her community as a member of the Board of Directors of the Eastwood Civic Association and Houston A+ Challenge, multiple Houston ISD committees, and was co-founder and president of her neighborhood school’s PTA. She also worked at DiscoverU, a Houston nonprofit whose mission is to broaden the worldview of underserved youth through experiential learning experiences. While there, Judith oversaw the expansion of the program into middle schools and developed the parent engagement, volunteer, and alumni programming.
As a native Texan and the daughter of a Guatemalan immigrant, Judith earned a B.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction, Bilingual Special Education from George Washington University. She currently serves as a trustee and board president of the Houston ISD.
Baking and cake decorating
What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work?
In my spare time, I dance with Ambassadors International Ballet Folklólrico and cheer my kids on at their soccer games.
What drew you to education?
I had the opportunity to tutor struggling first grade readers my senior year in college. I had never been drawn to education or to work with young people, but through that experience I saw the power of access to high-quality education and resources. It changed the trajectory of my career and I remained in education since that time.