Raider For Life: Mrs. Harrell

Staff Spotlight: Mrs. Elisabeth Harrell


During these times of uncertainty, students look to teachers to provide heartfelt advice and share their key knowledge. One teacher worth mentioning is Mrs. Elisabeth Harrell. You may know her as the Marine Science Academy (MSA) teacher, a Disney fanatic, or just recognize her from the halls of CI, but Mrs. Harrell has always been a part of the Raider community. 

Born and raised in Oxnard, Mrs. Harrell is, as she would put it,  “a proud Raider through and through.” 

As a part of the class of 2003, her fondest memories of the Islands were playing Monopoly in now fellow teacher Mr. Sam Kochel’s economics class, editing the school yearbook, attending rallies — which she claims “were even the best back then” — and enjoying Friday night lights where she met her husband. 

After high school Harrell went to Ventura College for a few years to decide what she wanted to study. Once she decided to become a science teacher she transferred to CSU Channel Islands and earned her bachelor’s degree in biology in 2009. She then returned the following year to earn her teaching credential. Mrs. Harrell is someone who values education, so in 2017 she decided to return to her alma mater and is now working to earn a master’s degree in education. 

Ms. Harrell teaches Biology, Marine Biology, and Environmental Science. She enjoys marine biology and environmental science the most and loves talking about the ocean and the interesting creatures on and off land. Her passion for the subjects she teaches is what makes her class fun. In her class they “focus not only on the science behind the issues but on the issues themselves and what we can do to have an impact large or small,” she said.

After six years of dating her high school sweetheart, Mrs. Harrel and her husband got married, a love story most of us could only dream of. Together they care for two cats, Bamboo and Munchkin, both of which she refers to as her “fur children.” She values quality time with her three nieces and loves being the Auntie that spoils them. She and her Husband enjoy travelling, but with COVID making that impossible Mrs. Harrell likes to binge watch TV shows on Netflix and Hulu. And is now a self-taught loom knitter. 

Recently COVID has affected more than just travelling plans, but also how we operate as a school. With distance learning now in place many staff members find it difficult to adjust to the new way of teaching. Luckily for the CI community Mrs. Harrell is considered one of the more tech savvy teachers who are called upon for assistance. Although she has made mistakes in her own class, she still keeps an optimistic attitude. 

She states, “During distance learning, I’ve learned to go with the flow, #failforward, and be extra patient and forgiving. Keep doing your best Raiders and we will see this through! “