Spotlight: Jaime Ramirez
Honoring Jaime Ramirez, Distinguished Alumni of 2020, for his outstanding engagement in our community as an educator and coach.
Cascade Elementary School teacher Jaime Ramirez has been selected as the Distinguished Alumni of 2020 by the Wenatchee Valley College Foundation for his mentorship of students and engagement in the community.
After graduating from Wenatchee High School, Jaime attended Wenatchee Valley College from 2007 to 2010. He graduated from Eastern Washington University in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in health and fitness and then returned to East Wenatchee to teach P.E. at Cascade.
“When I was in third grade, I decided I wanted to be a PE teacher,” he said. “Now, I’ve taught P.E. and health to over 500 kids at Cascade Elementary. I also coach girls’ soccer in the fall and in spring I coach boys’ soccer.”
As an educator, Jaime said focuses on being student-centered and fostering positive relationships.
“I am here for the students. In whatever way I can help them out, I will do it. I first build positive relationships, and I know that learning will then occur,” he said. “My favorite part (of being an educator) is when I can help someone that truly needed help – whether that is in P.E. class or academics. If you make a child smile and help them learn something they didn’t know, that they thought they couldn’t accomplish, that is my highlight - when kids are feeling happy and excited to learn.”
Jaime was born in Mexico, and his parents brought him and his brothers to the U.S. when they were still young. His parents never graduated high school, he said, but they wanted a better future for their sons.
“They said ‘We brought you to the United States so you can get a college education. It is up to you to decide what you want to do,’ ” Jaime said. “I came from poverty, not knowing English… After so many years of hard work and sacrifices, to receive this amazing award – it is an honor and a miracle.”
Jaime plans to give back to his community through mentoring high school students that will form the next generation of teachers.
“I’m really passionate about helping teachers start out right,” he said. “I want to help high school students understand things like being part of the teachers’ union, teacher evaluations, how to interact with parents, how to track those communications. There are definitely lots of changes and requirements for keeping up your teaching certificate and helping these students be prepared for when they move on in their journey is important.”
As a teacher and alumni, Jaime said he sees the value of getting an education, especially at a community college.
“You are able to stay home, save money, and get prepared for your future. The professors are student-centered, the classes are small so if you need help the professors are available,” he said. “Education makes you more confident. It opens more doors for you. The more you know, the more opportunities you will have. Your network just grows, as do your knowledge and skills.”