Over 20 years later, Ruth is a National Board Certified Teacher with Social Studies and Multi-Subject Credentials, the chair of the Instructional Committee for the National Council for Social Studies, a member of the NCSS House of Delegates, and a former National Council for Geography Education Middle School Teacher of the Year. She is also a former Teach Plus Fellow for Los Angeles where she worked on public policy issues in education. Ruth is her school’s chapter chair for United Teachers of Los Angeles.. 

But the titles mean far less to her than the students themselves. She found her calling working in K-12 Title I schools and currently works at a continuation school, teaching students who have not been successful at traditional schools due to a variety of challenges they may face.

Ruth remains close to her siblings and even co-manages an educational equity consulting company with her three sisters—all of whom hold advanced degrees in education and related fields. Home is still a bustling, vibrant place: Ruth and her husband, their two teenagers, her mother-in-law, a steady stream of friends from school and scouts, and one moderately well-behaved dog.


Ruth Luevanos is a mother, a wife, a teacher, a union leader, an activist, a law school graduate, a scout troop leader, and the first Latina ever elected to the Simi Valley City Council.

Ruth is a tireless advocate for her students and for all young people. She dedicated her life to the belief that there are no lost causes, only unrealized opportunities. Unapologetically progressive, Ruth believes in well-funded and well-supported public education, Medicare For All, tackling the interlinked problems of racial and environmental justice, and making a just transition away from fossil fuels into a greener future.

The daughter of immigrants, Ruth Luevanos grew up as the fourth of five kids in a rowdy, tight-knit household full of laughter and big dreams. She and her siblings all learned English for the first time in kindergarten and were among the students bussed across the San Fernando Valley to integrate their public schools. In 1978 when their machinist father was injured and had to stop working, the family sold secondhand goods at the local swap meet on weekends to make ends meet. 

After completing a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice at George Washington University and earning her Juris Doctor at Loyola Law in Los Angeles, where she served as President of the Student Bar Association, she got ready to study for the California Bar Exam. To pay the bills while she studied, she decided to try substitute teaching.