Hispanic Heritage Month brings an exciting energy to Dalton Public Schools as numerous members of our staff and students boast strong connections to the Hispanic community.
Virginia Ruiz, assistant principal at The Dalton Academy, cherishes her Hispanic heritage year-round, embracing it both within and beyond Hispanic Heritage Month.
Ruiz was raised in Mexico until her family relocated to the United States when she was nine years old.
She frequently shares stories of the significant traditions her family continued to uphold even after their move to America. These traditions endure within her family, as she passes them down to her children.
According to Ruiz, one of the most important traditions her family maintains is Las Posadas, a multi-day celebration occurring from December 16 to Christmas Eve. The celebration happens with friends and family and can include carolers, food, hot beverages, and piñatas.
“One of the biggest things from my childhood that I remember most would be the Posadas,” Ruiz said. “Even now, we try to go back to our country in December for Christmas with my children and my parents, and we still follow that tradition of the Posadas.”
Ruiz said that, upon arriving in a new country, she had to blend her own cultural heritage with the local culture, leading to the development of a unique cultural perspective.
“Yes I am from Mexico,” Ruiz said. “I was born in Mexico, but I also feel like I’m part of this community. I'm also part of Dalton.”
Ruiz believes that her upbringing in a Hispanic family has equipped her with valuable insights for her role in a predominantly Hispanic community.
She said that as a child she wished she had seen more educators and administrators who shared her background. In her current position as an assistant principal, she feels it's essential to inspire young students by demonstrating that they too have the potential to achieve greater things.
Thank you for tuning in as we as we observed Hispanic Heritage Month by showcasing the wonderful staff that make up our district.