Silka Cuba-Ortiz - American Academy

Silka Cuba-Ortiz was born and raised in New York City. She started her education career right after 9/11.

 

Before that, she worked in Corporate America running the human resource department at a hedge fund company. Right after the tragic events that took place in New York City, Silka decided to pursue her dream of becoming an educator.

She first volunteered at an inner city school in the Bronx, where the resources were scarce and no parent involvement was evident. At the same time, she went back to school where she earned her Master’s in Education and became a certified teacher in the State of New York.  She immediately fell in love with those kids and started to work directly with members of the community such as mentoring students for high school, reaching out to the community by visiting students’ homes, tutoring, and being a “Big Sister” to at-risk youth. Parents became responsive to her visits and the students starting attending school more and their reading and math proficiency scores went above the district and state scores.

A few years later, Silka moved with her growing family to West Palm Beach to assist her elderly parents. There, she opened a children’s gym alongside of her husband, Felix. After the 2008 housing crisis, the gym closed. During this time, she continued to work as a teacher at a charter school in which she is still employed for over 13 years.  At this school in Florida her principal encouraged her to be a school leader. Once more, she went to school to earn her second Master’s in Educational Leadership and became the Academic Dean at her school. She has been successful writing and implementing curriculum throughout her school and sister schools. Again, her proficiency scores were above the district and state scores. She created small group “center” activities where her teachers wanted to buy the centers because they were effective in learning and interactive. Silka has a habit of going into work before her contracted hours and leaves way after school is over to ensure all her students do their homework and has food to eat. She is a big asset to her school.

Silka is also the director of the summer camp at her school where she is successful in providing all children with a safe and fun environment. In addition, they are being exposed to different field trips where most students have never been to. She wants to ensure that all students have the same opportunity as their peers. Therefore, she does a lot of fundraising in order to make sure that all students are able to attend all field trips.

Lastly, she meets with families from different diverse backgrounds and assists them with their citizenship exams and advocates for them as well. Silka wants to continue to improve communities and impact children of all ages to do greater things in life. She is eager and ready to take on any challenges that may come her way in order to improve tomorrow’s future. With this being said, she has envisioned opening and operating after school programs in order to impact communities with education and awareness of their world around them.

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