New SAT Prep Instructor Joaquin Ruiz’s Positive Transition Amid Virtual Learning


Joaquin Ruiz

Acing the Ultimate Test: New SAT prep Instructor Joaquin Ruiz has experienced an excellent transition to the North Atlanta community, even amidst the uncertainty of virtual learning.

The transfer to a new school can be a formidable one for students and teachers alike, and this year’s unconventional circumstances have added an additional twist. Fortunately, instructor Joaquin Ruiz is not fazed by this challenge and is already thriving in his position as North Atlanta’s new SAT Prep Class teacher. 

Ruiz’s arrival comes as a result of former teacher Dr. Crystal Keel’s departure from NAHS to pursue work as a marketing and communications professional. Ruiz has embraced the responsibility of filling her shoes and now teaches primarily sophomores key math, reading, and writing concepts that they’ll be expected to know come SAT exam time. This is Ruiz’s first year teaching, and he will embark on this considerable feat in conjunction with tackling the uncertainty that is virtual school. “I never knew that I would start off my teaching career by using Zoom, but here we are,” he said. 

Although the 2020-21 school year marks Ruiz’s initial experience in his educational career, he brings to the table invaluable real world experience. His first job was at Publix when he was a junior at Roswell High School. Ruiz then spent more than 10 years working in restaurants as a bartender and server, as well as being a golf caddie for East Lake Golf Course. Ruiz attended Georgia State University where he majored in Journalism with a minor in English. “Although I knew I was going to teach at some point in my life, I was insistent on starting my career as a journalist,” he said. “I love to write. I still write to this day,” he said.  

Ruiz’s tenaciousness has paid off, and after years of working and going to school, he has finally realized his dream of becoming a teacher. From early on, Ruiz has had the goal of making constructive change and leaving a positive impact within the community. A teaching career gives him the opportunity to help youths because it enables him to equip impressionable students with valuable insight. “I wanted to impart my knowledge with the next generation,” he said. “And, I just love teaching. Working at North Atlanta confirms it.”

Ruiz’s first impression of North Atlanta has been overwhelmingly positive. Although the adjustment to instructing in a virtual environment is challenging, Ruiz has felt immense support and encouragement from his fellow North Atlanta staff. “It’s been an arduous, but gratifying experience,” he said. “Ever since my first day, it’s just been good energy, you know?” 

It’s this positive energy that emanates from the students and faculty alike, in addition to his own excitement in joining the NAHS community, that makes every day both challenging and a dream come true.