Elaine Arrieta
Education Outreach Specialist

Elaine Arrieta is an Arizona native. She attended ASU where she earned her BA in psychology. She started her career in behavioral health working at a residential treatment center for women and girls. It was there that she discovered her passion for education while helping adolescents with their studies. She returned to ASU for her post-baccalaureate studies in secondary education. Elaine enjoyed the roles of a classroom math teacher, administrator, and academic coach/mentor for 18 years. Her experience was predominantly in areas of poverty and she saw the barriers facing her students. Wanting to do more to affect change on a larger scale, Elaine moved out of the classroom and on to collective impact at Thriving Together, a systems change initiative through Valley of the Sun United Way. She managed educational impact programs by collaborating with schools and community organizations to enhance equity and educational outcomes for students in the Phoenix area. Because of her dedication to underrepresented populations and the opportunity to support culturally responsive programs in STEM, she found the educational outreach position a natural fit for her skill set. Elaine is excited to be a part of the CGEST team.

Mayra Ramos Angress
STEM Ambassador 2022-2023

Mayra Ramos Angress is a certified and recognized International Baccalaureate junior high school STEM educator with a focus in math, science, and design at Global Academy of Phoenix as part of the Alhambra School District in Phoenix, Arizona.  She has been an educator for over two decades, servicing low socio-economic communities and refugee populations throughout The Valley of the Sun. She serves as the director of her campus’s local chapter of the Math Engineering Science Achievement club, in which her students have won multiple prestigious competitions such as the MESA USA National Engineering Design Competition and the Technical Engineering Report.

“As an International Baccalaureate Educator, I strive to instill a sense of global knowledge, thinking, and values in all of my students. I not only prepare them to be good members of their local communities but also open-minded and exemplary world citizens. I want my students to imbibe the idea that making mistakes is ok, as long as we learn and grow from them."

Whitney Aragaki
STEM Ambassador 2021-2022

Whitney Aragaki (she/her) teaches tenth-grade biology and Advanced Placement (AP) Environmental Science at Waiākea High School in Hilo, Hawai‘i. She also teaches AP Environmental Science and AP Computer Science Principles statewide for the Hawai‘i Virtual Learning Network.

Aragaki has a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Swarthmore College, and a Master of Science in Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. She is a candidate in the Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa College of Education.

Aragaki began her teaching career with support from the Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers Fund Aspiring Teachers of Color Fellowship and the National Science Foundation GK-12 Fellowship. She is an alumna of the Hawai‘i State Teacher Fellowship. She is a National Board Certified Teacher, a Google Certified Educator and a 2019 and 2021 state finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.