Hernan Cuevas Bracamontes attended Ohlone College after graduating high school to complete his general education classes. At the beginning of his academic journey he was unsure of what major he wanted to pursue. However, he always enjoyed mathematics and continued to take more mathematics courses. During his time in junior college he discovered he had a real knack for helping people with mathematics and decided to become a teacher. He then transferred to CSU East Bay and received his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics 2016, Master of Science in Applied Mathematics in 2017, and Teaching Credential in 2018. Hernan’s teaching journey began during graduate school when he taught remedial algebra classes at CSU East Bay. Next he taught middle school mathematics at Selby Lane Elementary for a year before making the jump to high school mathematics. Hernan is now entering his 5th year of teaching high school mathematics at Woodside High School where he currently teaches Algebra 2 and AP Calculus AB.
Hernan's biggest personal accomplishment as a teacher has been having the opportunity to teach AP Calculus early on in his career. Given the lack of representation of his people teaching AP classes, especially in STEM, he is proud to be a teacher that students can see themselves in. Hernan plans to continue teaching AP Calculus and encouraging students from diverse backgrounds to take AP mathematics courses. Hernan’s biggest professional achievement has been receiving the Sequoia Union High School District Superintendent and Principal Recognition in March 2020. He received this award for his work in the district's Math Initiative Program, where he was one of the piloting teachers.
Hernan’s favorite thing about being a teacher is the relationships he builds with his students. Hernan believes that being a teacher is more than just teaching the content required for the course. He reminds educators, “As an educator you spend so much time with your students and have the chance to teach them a variety of things and be a positive role model in their lives.”
Hernan advises those wanting to work in K-12 education, “There is no single strategy for success when it comes to teaching. But positivity, flexibility, empathy and a desire to keep learning, and will help along the way.” He believes the biggest need of the teachers in the mathematics community is support. The support to continue the work needed to provide the most equitable experience and to meet the diverse needs of our students. Hernan thinks math teachers need to be supported with time, resources, encouragement, and appreciation.
“To me Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrating all the accomplishments of our people but also acknowledging how much work we still have left to do. We must continue to work hard and help empower each other so that the Latinx community is represented in every industry.”