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 14 in October and is in 8th grade. Bellaflor is 12 years old and is in 7th 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 completed his GED. Rico graduated from the University of Dallas with a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Letters.
After graduation, Mr. Rico 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, Rico 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
Ms. Valtierra is entering her 23rd year in education in Irving ISD. She is a proud product of Irving ISD, having attended Brandenburg Elementary, Travis MS, and MacArthur HS. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and her master’s degree from Lamar University.
Having started at Gilbert in 2000, Ms. Valtierra has served many roles on this campus. She taught 5th grade for 12 years and 2nd grade for 3 years. She became an interventionist in 2015, the Academic Specialist in 2016, and was beyond thrilled to become one of the Assistant Principals here in 2018. She has even been a parent at Gilbert- both of her sons, Joshua-age 26, and Gabriel- age 15, attended Gilbert from kindergarten to 5th grade.
When Ms. Valtierra is not at school, she is often watching her son play football or soccer. She also loves to watch college football (Hook ‘Em Horns!) on Saturdays and the Cowboys on Sundays!
She is honored to continue to serve the students, staff, parents, and community of F. M. Gilbert. She is committed to building relationships with all stakeholders and to ensure the success and well-being of each individual student. Ms. Valtierra looks forward to this new school year and can’t wait to welcome all Grizzlies back to the building!