About Us

Angela RuizGreetings Families of our CIA Cougars:

It is an honor to serve as the principal at Clay International Academy (CIA). This is my 16th year in education. I received an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from Purdue University and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership was earned at Indiana Wesleyan University. I am currently a doctoral candidate at Indiana State University with a dissertation focus on Teacher Connectedness and the Influence on Student Success. My background includes three years of teaching second grade, five years teaching fifth grade, three years serving as an Assistant Principal, and the last five years serving as a building principal in various school settings, including elementary, middle, and high school.

As the principal, I am dedicated to helping scholars and teachers meet their fullest potential by providing an environment that is safe, supports risk-taking, and invites a sharing of ideas. My personal belief is that leadership consists of painting pictures of the future, creating goals as a team, listening to responses, and helping the community choose which pictures are best for CIA.

As an academic leader, I am committed to being actively involved in engaging scholars so they become participants in their own education. Research shows, scholars learn best when involved in the learning process. When scholars are empowered to take charge of their own education, they learn how to work more efficiently than if they are simply told what to do. By developing relationships with our scholars, their teachers and families, and through the data collection process, we are able to individualize instruction that best meets the needs of all learners.

Breaking down barriers through open communication is one of the most rewarding and effective, components of leadership. There is significant power in teams and partnerships; together we will bring collective wisdom of the group to bear on a problem. When synergy is present, creative solutions emerge. Therefore, as a member of South Bend Schools and the surrounding community, I will model collaboration; I will facilitate teamwork with the staff and develop partnerships within the department of education. Clay International Academy empowers intercultural understanding and respect by fostering vulnerable conversations, not as an alternative to a sense of cultural and national identity, but as an essential part of individualized global citizenship.
Our focus includes showing empathy, compassion and respect. We are committed to service designed to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us. The CIA team will nurture curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We will promote learning independently and with others that is enhanced with the consistent implementation of explicit instructional strategies; our team will provide exciting and challenging standards-based learning opportunities for all learners.

CIA aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring scholars who help create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect enhanced by a safe and orderly environment. We are committed to offering excellent educational opportunities that are enhanced by the personal relationships developed with our Cougars and their families. At CIA the educational experience is not just for students; it is a journey for the entire family.
As always, if you have a question or concern, do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you for embarking on this journey with our team.


Angela Ruiz, Ed.S.


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