YES Prep Public Schools

Teacher Spotlight: Crystal Hernandez, Gulfton Secondary

Through the halls of YES Prep campuses, amidst the daily whirlwind of teaching and learning, there are stories that quietly weave their way into the fabric of the community. Crystal Hernandez, a dedicated educator with a heart for her students, embodies one such story. From her journey to YES Prep to her transformative relationships within the school, Crystal's narrative is one of passion, resilience and the profound impact of education. 

Finding Her Way to YES Prep 

Crystal's journey to YES Prep wasn't a straight path but rather a winding road shaped by her experiences and a desire to make a difference. Fresh out of college, she embarked on a career that initially led her to Child Protective Services, where she worked tirelessly with families and children. Yet, it was her role as an Apollo Fellow at Furr High School in HISD that ignited her passion for teaching. Engaging with 9th graders, Crystal discovered her calling: to impact students' lives and help them realize their potential. Her own journey as a first-generation college student navigating through challenges laid the groundwork for her empathetic approach to teaching. 

Demystifying Greatness 

Reflecting on her early years as a teacher, Crystal realized that true greatness in teaching wasn't just about imparting knowledge but about fostering genuine connections with her students. She shifted her focus from merely teaching math to nurturing the whole student. Drawing from her own experiences, she created a classroom environment where students learned academic concepts but also developed essential life skills. For Crystal, teaching wasn't just a profession; it was a platform to empower students to advocate for themselves, persist through challenges and feel valued. 

Building Transformative Relationships 

Within the halls of YES Prep Gulfton, Crystal found a community that became an integral part of her journey. Among the many students who left a lasting impact, one stood out—Daniela. Teaching Daniela illuminated the power of resilience and determination. Despite facing personal challenges, Daniela approached every day with unwavering focus and dedication to learning. Her journey through YES Prep and beyond, culminating in her acceptance to Princeton University, served as a testament to the transformative power of education. 

Daniela's story inspired Crystal to be an educator and a champion for every student who walked through her classroom doors. Through her unwavering support and belief in her students, Crystal strives to create an environment where every student feels seen, valued and empowered to pursue their dreams. 

As she continues to write her story at YES Prep, she exemplifies the essence of education—a journey of growth and resilience. Through her dedication to her students and her unwavering belief in their potential, Crystal Hernandez stands as a beacon of hope and inspiration within the YES Prep community, proving that every story deserves to be told and every student deserves to be championed. 


Crystal Hernandez is a dedicated educator with a decade-long tenure at YES Prep Gulfton. She currently teaches Math 8, where she brings her passion for mathematics and student empowerment to the forefront of her classroom. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Crystal serves as a TIA Master Teacher, providing guidance and mentorship to her colleagues, and holds the esteemed title of Level 4 Teacher, reflecting her exemplary dedication to her craft and her students. Crystal's commitment to excellence and her unwavering belief in the potential of every student make her an invaluable asset to the YES Prep community. 

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