Claudia Ruiz, Principal
Claudia Ruiz is excited for the opportunity to serve the Gilbert students, parents and teachers as Principal this school year. She is passionate about collaborating, communicating, building and nurturing relationships among students, parents and teachers in order to achieve student success. She believes we first must capture a student’s heart in order to be able to help the student grow academically, build their character and integrity. She strives to create a positive learning environment where students feel safe, comfortable, accepted, valued, and respected by their teachers and peers.
Ms. Ruiz believes in maintaining rigor in instruction and setting high expectations for all students while also differentiating instruction in order to ensure we are meeting the needs of every student. The priority in every decision being made is to keep the best interests of students first. She believes every student has the capacity to learn; however, not all students learn in the same way. She believes it is our responsibility as educators to determine and implement the best methods and practices so that each child receives an appropriate and successful education experience.
Ms. Ruiz has worked in Irving ISD for 14 years, previously serving as Assistant Principal, Academic Specialist, Interventionist, Fifth-Grade Bilingual Teacher and Second-Grade Teacher, all at Gilbert Elementary. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies from UT Arlington.
Ms. Ruiz loves spending time with her two children, who are her pride and joy. Alfonso turns 12 in October and is in 6th grade. Bellaflor is 10 years old and is in 5th grade. For Ms. Ruiz, it is an honor and privilege to serve as Principal at Gilbert Elementary.
Francisco Rico, Assistant Principal
Mr. Francisco Rico was born in a small town in Guanajuato, Mexico. He came to the U.S as a teenager, took ESL classes, and then completed his GED. He then graduated from the University of Dallas with a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Letters.
After graduation, he entered an alternative certification program to become a teacher and was hired by Irving ISD. He worked at Paul Keyes and John R Good Elementary Schools, teaching Second, Third, and Fourth grade bilingual classes and GT self-contained. Allwhile completing his master’s degree in Bilingual Education from SMU. After ten years of teaching, he moved to Gilbert Elementary to work as a Reading Interventionist and Academic Specialist. He worked at the district level in the World Languages Department as an ELL Specialist, and later became an Assistant Principal at A.S. Johnston. This is Mr. Rico's seventeenth year in education, and Gilbert is lucky he has come back to continue his professional journey as an Assistant Principal.
Mr. Rico looks forward to an amazing year at FMG!
Kesha Valtierra, Assistant Principal