Teacher Danielle Cross.

IUSD’s ‘teacher of promise’ is an innovator

by TOM BERG

Some people are meant to be teachers, and Danielle Cross is definitely among them.

The fourth grade teacher at Eastwood Elementary has been in the classroom for just two years, but she’s already won students’ hearts with her caring approach and positive energy.

There was little surprise when Irvine Unified School District named her one of four Teachers of Promise. The annual honor goes to first- or second-year instructors who go above and beyond while demonstrating professional curiosity and enthusiasm for teaching.

Cross spearheaded Eastwood’s participation in the ocMaker Challenge, a countywide innovation contest. After coaching students on how to spot a problem and come up with a solution, Eastwood’s sixth-graders swept first, second and third place.

“Irvine is such a special place,” Cross says. “They really go above and beyond to give kids opportunities that don’t exist elsewhere. Each teacher feels supported to try new things and take that risk. I never feel scared to try new things if I know it’s for the benefit of my students.”