Greetings! My name is Jill Cruz and I am beyond excited to start my eighth year teaching at Hobart. I graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor's in Elementary Education and I have my Master's of Education through Indiana Wesleyan University. I also hold a current license as a respiratory therapist. (Yup, I changed careers to be a teacher and I LOVE it!) I am the proud mother of a seventh grader, Madeline (Maddie) and a fifth grader, Jack. Our newest addition came in January, Baby Samuel. He was a little bit of a surprise and we couldn't be happier. Trust me, these are names my kindergartners will become very familiar with as I tend to use the "Adventures of Maddie and Jack...and Sam" in most of my writing examples. I live in Valparaiso with my husband, Mike and the kiddos. I was born and raised a Viking, but I love being a Brickie, too! Prior to children, Mike and I moved to Southern California for about 3 years. I cherish the memories of sunny California but I am glad to home in the Midwest surrounded by my family and friends. I spent the summer doing all of the things I love: teaching the summer reading program at the YMCA, playing with my kids, hanging out with my family and friends, going to the water park, researching new and innovative classroom practices and curriculum, spending hours on Pinterest, and READING!! It was a great summer and I am so blessed. :) The highlight was going to the Kindergarten National Conference in Las Vegas, baby!!! I learned so much and I can't wait to make this the best year of your child's school career...so far. 😜 We are going to have a great year in Kindergarten and I look forward to "running" this journey with each and every one of you!