By Michele Gall For The Beacon-News October 10, 2011 5:10PM
Siblings Isaias Martinez, left, Ruth Ramos and Eliseo Martinez are former East Aurora students who now all teach in the East Aurora School District. | Submitted photo
Updated: November 16, 2011 12:39PM
In the East Aurora School District, there is a very special family whose whole lives have been dedicated to inspiring, educating and caring for the young minds that they touch.
Brothers Eliseo and Isaias Martinez, and sister Ruth Ramos have been driven toward academic excellence and have used this energy and zeal to mentor and serve as role models for hundreds of young students in East Aurora. It is important to recognize their incredible achievements as students, and their continuing excellence as educators.
Ruth Ramos was an honors student, who graduated in 1997. A four-year softball player, flutist in the school band, Singsation member, Ruth graduated in the top 10 percent of her class. She received a full academic scholarship to attend North Central College in Naperville.
For as long as Ruth can remember, “teachers have always inspired me. I recognized at age 6 that I wanted to be an inspiring person and as I matured, I used every opportunity to tutor those around me, including my four brothers. I honed my teaching skills early in life by participating in the Sunday school program at the church I attended.”
Ruth also received the Golden Apple scholarship before entering North Central. “Through this unique scholarship I was given the opportunity to learn how to teach in a child-centered classroom by some of the most talented teachers in the Chicagoland area.”
Ruth is presently teaching at the East Aurora Magnet Academy, housed at O’Donnell Elementary School. “I love the freedom I have to teach eager learners in science using a hands-on, problem-based approach,” she said.
Ruth enjoys being part of the Magnet program at East Aurora: “Ideally I want to help strengthen science and math education in the elementary classroom.’
Isaias Martinez says that teaching wasn’t his first love.
“I originally wanted to be a lawyer and would tease my sister for wanting to be a teacher. While substitute teaching at Gates Elementary to save up money for law, I fell in love with it,” he said.
Isaias enrolled at Aurora University and received a master’s in education. He has been teaching third grade at Gates for the past four years.
“I love inspiring my students to question why and how things work. Before each major concept I teach I ask them why are we learning this? How will we ever use this? I love when they brainstorm in groups and come up with what they believe is the reason they are learning a particular topic,” he said.
Isaias also won the district’s Rookie of the Year Award given to exemplary new teachers.
Eliseo Martinez also was a force to be reckoned with during his high school career. He participated in Singsation, band, Honors Drama, Thespians, several school musicals and plays and the National Honor Society. He participated twice in the National History Fair where he advanced twice in the Drama Performance category. In Eliseo’s senior year, he also received the Golden Apple Scholarship, which recognizes and prepares teachers who desire to teach in schools of high need.
“The Golden Apple Foundation and the Jr/Sr. Scholars program at North Central College played major parts in preparing me to teach in a high-needs setting,” he said.
Eliseo recognizes that his brother and sister were role models who helped play a part in his decision to go into teaching, as did his parents, who were staunch proponents of the worth of higher education.
Eliseo is currently a general music teacher at Bardwell Elementary and Rollins Elementary schools, teaching grades 1-5. In addition, he leads two fourth and fifth grade choirs after school, four days a week.
Eliseo credits two of his college professors at North Central, Ramona, Wis., and Jan Fitzsimmons, who served as role models who “put their students first and are positive mentors to future teachers.”
To be considered for Academic Spotlight, contact Michele Gall at