Marisa Rivas is currently teaching 6th grade language arts at Arrowview Middle School in San Bernardino, CA. She is a doctoral student at Azusa Pacific University studying educational leadership and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). Previously, Rivas has served as an elementary school principal and as an educational consultant training teachers on technology usage in the classroom. At the time of the award, she taught 7th grade Language Arts at Richardson PREP HI Middle School in San Bernardino, CA 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 determine course curriculum. 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. Students also presented expository speeches on topics of their choice, complete with visual aids. Even though Rivas taught middle school, she attended high school AP training seminars to ensure her curriculum would prepare students for a demanding AP schedule.
This balance between data-driven 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)
2002 California State - San Bernardino, B.A.
2005 Azusa Pacific University M.A., Curriculum and Instruction
2015 Azusa Pacific University M.A., Educational Leadership