About Me

mmm-math-ms-ramerMy name is Elaina Ramer, but, if you’re a student in one of my classes, please call me Ms. Ramer. I teach mathematics at Harbor High School in Santa Cruz, California. I am also the faculty advisor for the Queer Straight Alliance student club and coordinator of the intramural indoor soccer tournament at Harbor. I am one of the union representatives for teachers at Harbor High as well.

On this page, I’ve included some information about my past, my interests, and photos that will give you a better idea about who I am. Thanks for visiting!

I was born and raised in Santa Cruz, California. And I still live here! It’s hard to imagine being somewhere else. I’d hate to leave my family, the ocean, the forest, and the wild and creative people who live around here. However, I have left the Central California coast to travel and study in other places, experiences that were influential in my life.

As a child, I loved to do art projects and play sports. My favorite subjects in school were language arts and history, not math! I played soccer, surfed, and did Junior Lifeguards every summer. Thanks to my grandma’s encouragement, I played the viola throughout most of my youth. In high school I got involved with theater where I learned to sew and design costumes. I attended Branciforte Elementary and Jr. High Schools and Harbor High. I’m lucky to have grown up in a loving, supportive family with many relatives in the Santa Cruz and Watsonville area.

I Attended Hampshire College, Cabrillo College and UCSC where I studied Economics, Math, Spanish, and Latin American Studies. I studied abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico and in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was always kind of terrifying for me to go spend months in a country where I didn’t know anyone, but I made amazing friends and had wonderful experiences. I’m so glad I had those opportunities.

During my 20’s, I worked as a bookkeeper and accountant, a bike messenger, a beach lifeguard, a warehouse manager for a small farm, a waitress, a receptionist, and a math tutor! I also traveled a lot. In 2009, I spent a summer working on a farm in France and I bike toured in Spain and Syria (before the current conflict began! It was a very lovely place.). I learned so much from working in different jobs and traveling to faraway places. Eventually, I decided to pursue a career in teaching . When I was 28 years old, I went back to school to finish my B.A. and get my teaching credential.

Outside of school, I love to play in the ocean and do crafty things. I’m a co-founder and an occasional teacher at The Fábrica, a community workshop for sewing, knitting, and other textile arts in Downtown Santa Cruz. I also love to cook, spend time with my family (especially my sister’s kids, Indiana and Huckleberry, and my cat Mirzakhani), play soccer, and train in boxing and kick boxing at a gym on the east side of Santa Cruz called Allied MMA.

In case you’re interested, here’s a list of the degrees I have earned:

  • Teaching Credential (/w bilingual authorization in Spanish) and Master of Arts in Education, UCSC
  • Bachelor of Arts in Latin American & Latino Studies and Global Economics, UCSC
  • Associate of Science in Mathematics at Cabrillo College
  • Oh yeah, and a Diploma from Harbor High School (Class of 2001!)

My teaching credential allows me to teach secondary level mathematics. Additionally, I earned an authorization to teach math in Spanish.

Why teaching? Why Harbor?

Some volunteers from UCSC, some students, and some staff on the bottom row (Me in the Argentina jersey, guidance counselor Juan in the middle, and ELD teacher Mr. Rose in the USA jersey.

It can be hard to figure out what career is best: one that pays enough and is enjoyable most of the time. It’s an extra bonus if your job is also something you believe in! I chose to be a teacher because it’s a job that supports me, because I enjoy the day-to-day work of interacting with students and helping them learn, and  because I believe in public education. Even through teaching can be very challenging, I do enjoy it and I feel very lucky to have a job where I can have a positive impact on my community.

Although I love my hometown and am happy to be working at my alma mater, that’s not why I chose to work at Harbor. This school is a place where people value diversity and the social-emotional health of all students. I feel that teachers and administrators here are doing their best to promote equity in education. At Harbor, I feel that teachers are encouraged not only to teach well, but also to care for their students as people. Additionally, my coworkers in the math department at Harbor are really on top of their game! They’re smart. They cooperate. They pay attention to research in the field of math education. For me, it was obviously the best decision to stay at Harbor.

Okay. Cool. Let’s do some math!