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Fontana teacher is honored at Region 10 Educator of the Year ceremony

Ruzanna HernandezRuzanna Hernandez is dedicating her life to helping students and teachers accomplish their goals, and that's why she is receiving a prestigious honor this week.

Hernandez, an instructional support teacher at Jurupa Hills High School, was one of 10 educators chosen to participate in the California League of High Schools' Region 10 Educator of the Year awards ceremony on Jan. 10 at the Ontario Airport Hotel.

"I really appreciate this honor; it came as a surprise," said Hernandez, who made sure to thank others who have assisted her. "It's hard to take credit for a lot of projects because I've had a lot of help."

However, there's no doubt that self-determination has played a key role in her success, starting when her family first came to the United States from the former Soviet Union in 1989. She faced tough times due to poverty and having no knowledge of the English language.

She said that because of those difficult circumstances growing up, she can relate to many students in Fontana today who are undergoing similar situations. But she has always set high standards for herself, and she expects students at Jurupa Hills to establish lofty expectations as well.

After receiving her Bachelor's degree at Cal State Los Angeles in 2013, Hernandez has gone on to obtain two Master's degrees and one Doctorate at the University of La Verne.

She has been teaching in the Fontana Unified School District for 10 years and has been at Jurupa Hills the past five.

Hernandez started out as a mathematics teacher and now is glad to be involved in instructional support, providing input that benefits both teachers and students.

"The work I do now impacts a larger number of students," she said. "I really like working here. I hope to stay in Fontana for as long as I can."

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