At age six, math genius Leo Armando Ramirez Sr. knew that he wanted to help others. Reared in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas among poor, yet hardworking Latino and Hispanic migrant workers, he came to associate education with a better life.
So he became a teacher. For thirty-two years, “Mr. Ram” inspired McAllen High School students to reach for more, to push themselves, and to put in their best efforts. The results speak for themselves: under his spell, the McHi Math Wizards captured twenty team state championships. But there is much more to the story.
The Wizard Maker details the individual and collective stories of teens who made the sacrifices and went toe-to-toe with the best math teams—and schools—in Texas. Many of these students defied hardscrabble backgrounds to win scholarships to such top-tier colleges as MIT, Stanford, and Harvard.
This emotion-filled memoir of a master teacher who repeatedly won state and national awards concludes with the heartfelt gratitude of Mr. Ram’s protégées. Their words testify to his effectiveness as a teacher, his positive influence as a mentor, and his dedication as a friend to students in need.