New position aims to maintain positive environment on campus
Mediating between fights and conflict is no easy feat, especially when the people involved are teenagers. Magaly Ruiz understands this and her job as this school’s climate advocate directly tackles these issues, welcoming and supporting students and encouraging them to open up to their problems.
“As a school climate advocate, my responsibilities are to help create a safe, welcoming environment at school, to build community, make connections, to help the students not just get along with themselves, but even with the adults that are on campus,” Ruiz said.
This school year, Los Angeles Unified School District created an entirely new position to maintain the school’s environment and culture that wasn’t disciplinary, as a response to the removal of school police in LAUSD. Ruiz started working at this school in November 2019 as a community representative, where she helped the parents communicate with teachers and other members of staff. While she did enjoy this; she still wished to have more interactions with the students than just seeing them at the student store. The main challenge she faced at the beginning of working as a school climate advocate was that there were no replacements for community representative, so Ruiz had to help with both positions until her replacement, Lorenzo Ramos, arrived last month. She views her position as very enjoyable, as she can speak and meet many students of DPMHS every day.
“Mrs. Ruiz is someone who has great communication skills,” Principal Armen Petrossian said. “She has people skills. She’s someone who’s trustworthy. She’s someone that both teachers and parents can trust. And she has experienced working with parents and students.“
Now that Ruiz is working as a school climate advocate, she is actually able to communicate with and help many students whenever they feel like opening up about their problems. She is there to talk to students who have things they need to speak about that they may not feel comfortable mentioning at home or with friends and to listen and assist anyone who needs it. She sits with students who can’t stay in class because of anxiety and personal problems, and listens to them.
“I’m very happy to be here,” Ruiz said.I’m very happy to have this position and I hope that I can help as many students as possible.”