Introduction to Mexican Music
» About the Educator
Introduction to Mexican Music
About the Educator

Ramon Rivera

Mariachi Director, Wenatchee High School

From handwritten thank you notes from parents and students to being honored by the White House, Ramon Rivera has been recognized as being an innovative leader and pioneer in cultural arts and has received numerous awards and accolades during his teaching career.

In 2001, he was featured in the Los Angeles Times article “Oxnard Mariachi Music Teacher Help Youth Discover Roots”. Later, he received the 2003 “El Concillo Del Condado de Ventura Latino Leadership Award for Cultural Arts” and the “Mexican American Political Forum of Ventura County Diego de Barboza Musical Excellence Award”.

After earning his Bachelor of Arts Degree at California State University in 2003, Mr. Rivera began teaching music full time in Southern California where he began several mariachi programs in Oxnard, Ca. He has since moved to North Central Washington where he is currently the Wenatchee School District’s Mariachi Program Director, overseeing 14 classes district-wide with a total enrollment of about 300 students. Mr. Rivera also teaches mariachi full-time at Wenatchee High & Pioneer Middle School. In 2009, Mr. Rivera received the “Torch-Bearer World Harmony Award” and “Human & Civil Rights Award” from the Washington Education Association. In 2007, he received the Numerica School Champion Award given to one teacher whose students believe “goes above and beyond”. Mr. Rivera has been given the Outstanding Educator of the year from the Fiesta Mexicana’s of Wenatchee. Under his direction, in 2012 the Mariachi Program was named recipient of the Washington State Golden Apple Award by KCTS 9 Seattle, and in 2014 was recipient of the Jefferson Award — the highest award for public service in the state — because he “inspires kids to stay in school…inspires their dreams and their thirst for education.”