During his teaching career, Mr. Rivera has received numerous awards and has been recognized as being an innovative leader and pioneer in cultural arts. In 2001, he was featured in the Los Angeles Times article “Oxnard Mariachi Music Teacher Help Youth Discover Roots”. Later, he received the 2003 “El Concillo Del Condado de Ventura Latino Leadership Award for Cultural Arts” and the “Mexican American Political Forum of Ventura County Diego de Barboza Musical Excellence Award”.
In 2009, Mr. Rivera received the “Torch-Bearer World Harmony Award” and “Human & Civil Rights Award” from the Washington Education Association. In 2007, he received the Numerica School Champion Award given to one teacher whose students believe “goes above and beyond”. Mr. Rivera has been given the Outstanding Educator of the year from the Fiesta Mexicana’s of Wenatchee. Under his direction, in 2012 the Mariachi Program was named recipient of the Washington State Golden Apple Award by KCTS 9 Seattle, and this year Rivera was recipient of the Jefferson Award — the highest award for public service in the state — because he “inspires kids to stay in school…inspires their dreams and their thirst for education.”