Education Influencer: Angelica Cruz


The stARTem dream continues thanks to the tribe of professionals and institutions that carry the same heart beat as us - empowering students with the tools to change the world! We would like to introduce you to some of the important people, who have come alongside us at the beginning of this journey. We hope you are as inspired by them as we are! Meet stARTem's first major cheerleader: Angelica Cruz. 

Q: What is your educational and professional background? 

A: I attended Tufts University for my Bachelor's degree in Child Development & Community Health. I then entered teaching through Teach for America. I taught kindergarten, fifth grade, and middle school English Language Learners. Then I did instructional coaching and school administration in business/operations before I opened SySTEM. I have 2 master's degrees (one in Curriculum & Instruction and one in Educational Leadership). 


Q: Who are your role models professional and/or personally?

A: Ghandi: "Be the change you wish to see in the world." I've always felt my purpose on earth has been to help people and make a difference in children's lives. 

Q: What did you want to become when you were young?

A: A doctor-but then I realized I HATE needles and almost faint at the sight of blood so that didn't work out too well.  

Q: How did you become involved with stARTem?

A: I worked with Megan at Empower College Prep and loved the work she was doing in Art with students there. When I opened SySTEM I reached out to her to see if she could help instruct students in my new school too. 

Q: Why is STEM education important for your students?

A: STEM is the future. Our students must not only be literate in science, technology, engineering, and math, but they must learn how to think critically and problem solve. Those 21st century skills are so important in order for them to be prepared for the jobs of the future. 

Q: What impact has stARTem had on your educational institution?

A: stARTem has a great impact on our students by giving them high quality art instruction that connects to their STEM curriculum in other classes.

Q: Why would you encourage other schools to partner with Megan's program?

A: stARTem is a great addition to any educational program! Megan delivers everything needed to ensure your students are getting a top notch art education class, including the instructor!

You basically can rest assured that Megan will teach rigorous art standards to your students and help them see the connections to other subject areas, which develops a great integration across subject areas. 

Megan Epley