County Executive Pittman, Superintendent Dr. Arlotto Appoint Peggy Cruz as Chair of Joint Commission on the Opportunity Gap
Annapolis, MD (October 8, 2021) Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman and Anne Arundel County Schools Superintendent Dr. George Arlotto announced the appointment of Peggy Cruz as chair of the Joint Commission on the Opportunity Gap. The Commission’s next meeting will be Wednesday, October 13, at 4pm.
“Peggy is an inspiring leader whose position in school health puts her at the interface between our schools and our communities,” said County Executive Pittman. “As an AACPS parent of two Black and Latino children, she understands the importance of the commission’s work. Peggy is an emerging leader in our community, and I’m proud to appoint her to lead this effort.”
Peggy Cruz is the current Anne Arundel County Department of Health Bureau of School Health and Support Program Supervisor for the Old Mill/Northeast Clusters. In this position, she works to support the health room staff in implementing comprehensive health care services for students. She has been with the Anne Arundel County School Health program since August of 2018 when she was assigned as the School Health Nurse for Germantown Elementary School and West Annapolis Elementary School.
“This Commission is critical to the success of our school system and our County because its work speaks to the myriad ways in which we can equitably propel our students forward to the place where they all reach their full potential,” Dr. Arlotto said. “Ms. Cruz’s wealth of experiences will serve her well as she leads this amazing team.”
In February, 2020, Ms. Cruz was promoted to Community Health Nurse Supervisor for the Chesapeake/North County Cluster. In March, 2020, as part of the Anne Arundel County Department of Health's COVID 19 response, Ms. Cruz was reassigned and served as an assistant for the Public Information Office. She later was assigned to the Field Assistance Team, which provided support and resources to vulnerable populations including congregate housing, detention centers and shelters. She also managed the COVID vaccination clinic at Maryland Live! Casino as part of her emergency response duties.
Before joining School Health, Ms. Cruz worked as a wound care nurse at Anne Arundel Medical Center, as a school health nurse for the U. S. Department of Defense Education Activities in Bahrain, and as a registered nurse in critical care at Chesapeake General Hospital in Chesapeake, Virginia. Ms. Cruz received her Bachelor or Science in Nursing from Norfolk State University in 2004.
In addition to her nursing experience, Ms. Cruz’s prior employment history includes her work as an Aerospace Materials Engineer for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1998.
“Chairing the Joint Commission on the Opportunity Gap is an honor - I am excited to continue the work of the Joint Initiative to Eliminate the Opportunity Gap committee that presented the recommendations in November of last year. They have provided us with an excellent road map,” Peggy Cruz said.
Ms. Cruz, with specialized experience in education and a connectedness to the needs of our community will lead the charge of the commission to develop strategies that will ensure equitable, informed and transparent decision-making so that by 2026, the kindergarten readiness goal of 76% is met.
Additional information about the Joint Commission on the Opportunity Gap, including the meeting schedule, can be accessed at aacounty.org/jcog.