Marisa Rivas is currently working as an Instructional Services Specialist in the department of Research, Assessment, and Evaluation in Riverside, CA. She earned her doctorate degree at Azusa Pacific University studying the factors that affect the school-wide implementation of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) programs. Previously, Rivas served as an elementary school principal and as an educational consultant, where she trained and coached teachers on the use of educational technology. Her research interests include topics related to student wellness (Social/Emotional Learning, PBIS, Restorative Practices) and the strategic use of data to improve academic and behavioral outcomes for diverse student populations.
At the time of the award, Rivas taught 7th grade English/Language Arts at Richardson PREP HI Middle School in San Bernardino, covering a multitude of ideas and concepts, giving her students a whirlwind of engaging activities to spark creativity and spur academic achievement. Rivas was both scientific and artistic in creating her lesson plans. Her structured methods include Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) strategies for all learners in her classroom and student data analysis to inform instructional decisions. She also developed a well-researched, sequential process to help students better enjoy writing. Rivas' classroom also had a creative streak. Her students were responsible for incorporating technology into their finished products. This balance between data-informed instruction and artistic expression paid off. Ninety percent of Rivas' students scored proficient or higher in language arts on the California Standardized Test (CST) for several consecutive years and roughly half of all students achieved perfect scores on the state writing exam.
“I'm so thankful for all the doors that being a Milken Educator has helped open for me. It gives me that extra bit of confidence and..." (read more)
2020 Ed.D., Azuza Pacific University
2015 M.A., Azusa Pacific University, Educational Leadership
2005 M.A., Azusa Pacific University, Curriculum and Instruction
2002 B.A., California State University, San Bernardino