For this week's Head of the Class, we head to College Gate Elementary School in East Anchorage, where Gerald Ramos is making sure his third graders are ready for the transition to fourth grade.

"It's a big change from, going from primary to now starting intermediate," Ramos said. "So, like this year, we learned cursive handwriting, we're learning more to type, we're working with multiplication, division."

Ramos says he developed an appreciation for education early on and found it was a perfect fit for him.

"Growing up, I had like 21 cousins and, like, a lot of them were little, and so I just always had a good rapport with my little cousins," Ramos explained. "I taught a couple of years in Japan and that's where I realized I really liked teaching kids, and so it's just been a natural thing I guess."

Students say they appreciate Ramos' ability to connect with them on their level, offering understanding and encouragement.

"I enjoy that he's always fun," said 9-year-old Jaxon, one of Ramos’ students. "He's always caring and always says, 'Never give up.’"

It's not only the students that appreciate the former BP Teacher of Excellence. Ramos ensures that parents are involved in decisions made at College Gate.

"Our PTA folded a couple years ago, so I started the parent-teacher club,” Ramos said. “It's just a way for parents to come here, get more involved and volunteer, and we can't do any activities unless we have parents involved."

Ramos not only helps facilitate parent involvement in the school, he's also managed the Student Council for the last six years, where he says they do all kinds of events to get students involved, like fundraisers, canned food drives and Salvation Army gift sorts.

"I always talk about how like, we can be leaders in our community,” Ramos said. “We talk about how they can, they can be role models, not just here, but when they go to middle school or high school."

For Ramos, it's all about preparing his students for the next level and creating lasting memories.

"I want to have a long-lasting impression for my students," explained Ramos. "I want them to remember how much they had fun and how much they enjoyed coming to my classroom or to College Gate, and just remember what they learned here and how they felt."

Being a teacher and a role model is what drives Ramos to do his best every day. He offers an encouraging atmosphere where students can prepare for what comes next.

Gerald Ramos is KTVA's Head of the Class.

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