Ruby Rivera

Ruby Rivera

Riverside County Teacher of the Year

Rancho Mirage High School
Palm Springs Unified School District


“Serving PSUSD is an honor because it is my home where my own teachers, my students, their parents, and my district staff have become an extended family. What I do every day feels like so much more than a job and I’m thankful to have found such a fulfilling passion to pursue as a career. Thank you to my students who inspire and motivate me to be my best and my teachers who taught me to be a lifelong learner. Thank you to my respected colleagues who have selected me to represent you as teacher of the year. Thank you to my mother for believing in me from day one and modeling the strength that my sister and I need. Thank you to my children who give me greater purpose and fill my heart every single day. My biggest thanks go to my loving husband who is my best friend and greatest advocate.”


Raised in the Coachella Valley by a young single mother, Ruby Rivera credits the local schools for opening her eyes to a world beyond poverty, drugs, and gangs. As a teacher, Ruby now does the same for other students in her classroom at Rancho Mirage High School and acknowledges their essential role in keeping her invested in education. As a first year teacher, the death of a student compelled Ruby to rally the campus community together by launching a Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) club. She is a presenter on technology topics at conferences throughout the district and motivates her students to engage in their community. Colleagues share that the title of “teacher” is too small for Ruby and that she is more aptly described as “a community builder who has been instrumental in creating an environment where education is a way for students to improve their schools, their neighborhoods, and their lives.”