Educator of the week

Cynthia Felix-Mercado 
Sheridan Street ES

Los Angeles Unified School District
5th Grade Teacher

Favorite Teaching Subjects: Math and Science

For the past 11 years, Ms. Cynthia Felix-Mercado has been a member of the Sheridan Street Elementary School family, located in the community of Boyle Heights, CA. Since she was a child, she immediately began to develop a passion for education, enjoying every aspect of it especially when it came to helping her teachers. It was her 6th grade teacher, Mr. Baltazar, that helped solidify her decision to one day becoming a teacher. "He was strict but very fair, and at the same time he made learning fun and interesting. He was always encouraging us to try our best and taught us to be leaders not followers. He inspired me to be the best I could be."

A graduate from California State University at Fullerton, Cynthia soon found herself in the classroom utilizing her knowledge and experiences to help mold the nation's future generation of leaders. As an educator, she truly understands the impact she is making in the lives of her students and knows that it is her responsibility to expose students to all opportunities. In 2008, Sheridan Street Elementary School was selected to be one of 12 elementary schools in Boyle Heights to be a part of the STEM-Up™ Initiative, a community-based program that provides a value chain of opportunities allowing participants to gain awareness, inspiration, motivation, and skills to pursue STEM careers.

Through the STEM-Up™ Initiative, Cynthia became exposed to the importance of introducing and showing students the vast opportunities available in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). "I saw how excited and how much fun my students were having the first time they participated in a STEM activity. They were learning and enjoying it…it reminded me of when I was in 6th grade and how much I liked being in class." Seeing this type of impact on her students made her realize that she needed to learn more about STEM and what it represented to ensure that her students receive the best education possible and are prepared for their future.

In 2011, Ms. Felix-Mercado became the Ambassador for the STEM-Up™ Initiative at her elementary school. As a proud supporter of STEM education, she believes that it helps motivate and excite her colleagues about teaching science; excitement which is then passed on to their students and gets them interested and curious about STEM. "I believe in the value chain. However, in order for it to work, we all have to do our part. Therefore, I am committed to doing my part."

During her spare time, Cynthia enjoys going to the movies with her family and watching baseball, especially when her son Damian is playing!

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