Elmer Merlos

KIPP Summit Academy, San Lorenzo, CA

Mr. Merlos is a 15-year vet of the KIPP Summit team. Since 2014, his 7th graders have met or exceeded goals on the ELA portion of the SBAC test. Mr. Merlos won “Teacher of the Year” award in 2019 for his dedication to students and being of assistance to anyone who needed him. Mr. Merlos is dedicated to teaching his students about their history and allowing students to not only feel engaged but to be empowered. His unit on the Americas helps students who are often first-generation Latinx a chance to explore their personal history while in school. He does this intentionally for students because he recognizes that as an immigrant from El Salvador and a first-generation college student, he did not often get the chance to learn his history. He has a steady stream of current and former students visiting his classroom to share the good news about their lives.

“It’s his deep community roots that allow him to help them find their own path to justice. He has numerous students that are now employees of social justice organizations throughout the Bay, fighting for immigration, education, and workers’ rights. He knows this because he still keeps in touch with so many of them.” —Megan Roberto, KIPP Summit Academy School Leader