Educator of the week

April Ramos-Olona 
Sunrise Elementary School

Los Angeles Unified School District
Favorite Subjects: Language Arts, Math and Science

In her 10th year as a Principal, Mrs. Ramos-Olona is the proud leader of Sunrise Elementary School in the Boyle Heights community of Los Angeles, CA. Taking lessons from several role models she had growing up, she's fostering an environment on her campus that constantly pushes her students and teachers alike towards academic excellence.

At an early age, Mrs. Ramos-Olona was the beneficiary of having a strong group of teachers around her that had a genuine interest in her success and who saw her achievements as their achievements. When recalling what motivated her to join the field of education, she simply said it was her teachers! As she put it, "they inspired me to go into the field of education." She felt as though they made it their goal to help her achieve her goals. "[My teachers] cared for and believed in me so much, that I felt the need to do the same." In her efforts to give back to the next generation of students, Mrs. Ramos-Olona's academic journey ultimately led her to receive degree's from Cal State University, Long Beach; National University, Irvine; and Cal State University, Dominguez Hills. With a strong academic foundation as her building block, she was ready to make an impact on young minds starting their own academic journey's.

While her favorite subjects to teach are Language Arts, Math, and Science - Mrs. Ramos-Olona felt she could make a more significant impact outside of the classroom. When speaking to Mrs. Ramos-Olona about Sunrise Elementary School, you can feel her passion for inspiring her entire campus and giving them a similar feeling that she had as a student. "I became a principal because I truly enjoy working with teachers, students, and parents in order to improve student achievement." Using this statement as a guiding principle, she truly embodies the idea that it takes a village to raise a child, and engages everyone in her efforts to increase students' success on her campus.

A strong ambassador of the STEM-Up™ Initiative, Principal Ramos-Olona is a big champion and advocate for STEM education in the Boyle Heights community alongside Great Minds in STEM™. She aims to ensure her students have every opportunity to take advantage of the future possibilities a STEM career can offer them. She acknowledges that she became involved in STEM because she understands, "STEM is the future and our Latino students need to be exposed to it." Her STEM goals for the year are two-fold, she plans to: 1) engage students in the study of hands-on Science exploration; and 2) educate parents on STEM careers for their children.

Leading by example, Mrs. Ramos-Olona is a role model for her campus in her own right; a trait her former teachers would certainly be proud of. She hopes to continue spreading her STEM message to the community at-large and pass along the same motivation and inspiration that received from the educators that left a lasting impact on her academic experience.

During her spare time, Mrs. Ramos-Olona enjoys reading for leisure - especially on her worldly travels. She will continue getting her passport stamped from the many countries that she plans on visiting during her downtime. She is also sure to be enjoying the dance floor in every city that she visits, as she really enjoys putting her dancing shoes to good use.

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