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Welcoming the newest Mustang

Rria Cruz-Soto became Mountain View Elementary School’s principal nearly four months ago, bringing with her a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a passion for empowering students.

She said she’s enjoyed the adjustment so far, noting the welcoming community and the four New York snowstorms she hasn’t had to endure this month alone.

Ms. Cruz-Soto’s husband is a dean of students and associate vice president nearby at Cal Poly Pomona, and she has a three-year-old daughter. The one thing she misses is her mom, who she’s trying to convince to move in with her.

“I love Claremont and that [Mountain View] is diverse,” Ms. Cruz-Soto said. “The students are so respectful and are always willing to offer any help.”

Ms. Cruz-Soto came from Seymour Dual Language Academy in Syracuse, New York, where she was vice principal for a year and principal the following three-and-a-half years. At SDLA, students and staff spoke English for half the day and Spanish for the other half.

But Ms. Cruz-Soto hasn’t always worked in urban environments.

She got her bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in urban education at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and her master’s degree in leadership and administration at Utica College before starting her career at a rural school in Hamilton, New York. There, she simultaneously taught sixth grade and high school Spanish for a total of five years.

Ms. Cruz-Soto describes Mountain View as the best of both worlds.

“It’s a real world school, and there are kids with so many different backgrounds,” she said. “I get a little bit of everything that I’ve loved.”

Her goal for the rest of the school year is to build relationships with the Mountain View community and help students get the education they deserve. Ms. Cruz-Soto described integrating technology into the school system as something that will prepare students for 21st century learning and jobs that aren’t even created yet.

“I want students to have a clear vision of their future and opportunities,” she said.

 

—Meghan Bobrowsky