TEACHER OF THE MONTH — See it as Bob Hope educator Christian Cruz surprised with special honor

Published 12:38 am Thursday, November 17, 2022

Christian Cruz had no intention of becoming a teacher — until he took a job at Bob Hope High School seven years ago.

“I actually saw the job posting and saw some of the courses and thought I’d be able to teach that,” the Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation teacher said. “I will stay here at Bob Hope. I love it here. It’s the students. The middle school and high school work well together. I’ve seen these kids from sixth to 12th grade.”

While in class, Cruz on Wednesday was surprised with a $500 gift card after learning he had been selected as Teacher of the Month, sponsored by Philpott Motors.

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“Mr. Cruz is a great teacher, role model and coach,” said Campus Director Jesus Acosta. “The students are always happy to be in his class. Mr. Cruz serves as the CTE department leader, and he is one of the volleyball coaches who received our first ever coach of the year award in 2021.”

Christian, who is originally from Puerto Rico, has a master’s degree in Anthropology.

“I’m an archeologist but I specialize in human remains,” he said. “I love archeology. In my hometown we had these big rocks and my grandma said that’s what Indians made to collect water. I always wanted to go back and see how they live.”

But by replying to one job posting, his future goals have changed.

“The students want to be taught and want to learn,” he said. “At the school we have an opportunity to show them things hands-on.”

Pictured from left are Philpott Motors representative Charity Allen, Bob Hope High School Teacher Christian Cruz, Philpott Motors representative Sarah Stratton, Port Arthur News Sales Consultant Candace Hemelt, and Bob Hope High School Campus Director Jesus Acosta. (Monique Batson/The News)

And that, he added, is what also helps with children who might not start the year with a lot of interest in the class.

“I think when we make them do hands-on learning, we can bring them back to the lesson,” Cruz said. “That’s why I love it. People say teaching high school is so challenging with the future generation, but they just need a little discipline.”

Hands-on for Cruz, for one example, is using bones during lessons.

“They’re fake but it’s still hands-on,” he said.

In addition to his classes, leading the CTE program and serving as an assistant coach for the volleyball team, Cruz is also the head coach of the tennis team.

“We are very proud to have Mr. Christian Cruz as our Teacher of the Month and thank the sponsors Philpot Ford and The Port Arthur News for this recognition,” Acosta said. “Our teachers really need to be celebrated for everything they do everyday.”

Sarah Stratton of Philpott Motors presents Christian Cruz with a $500 gift card. (Monique Batson/The News)