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Santaluces High School

The Tribe

Santaluces High School

The Tribe

Meet The Teacher: Ms.McNiff

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Micaela McNiff
Ms.McNiff, a U.S. History teacher at Santaluces

This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ms.McNiff, a U.S. History teacher at our very own Santaluces Community High School. She has five years of teaching experience, including two years at a middle school in Colorado and three years at Santaluces. Ms.McNiff was born in New York, but she grew up in Denver, Colorado. She moved to the Sunshine State three years ago. Ms.McNiff attended Metro State University in Denver, where she majored in History, earned her secondary education license, and received her bachelor’s degree. She also attended Liberty University Online to earn her master’s degree in American law.

What inspired you to become a teacher?
“I always wanted to be a teacher, ever since I was little. In high school and college, I was a nanny, so I always worked with kids. I really loved working with kids, so I took the next step and went into teaching. I always thought I wanted to teach younger kids, and even when I graduated, I wanted to teach middle school, and I was kind of afraid of teaching high school. Ever since coming into high school, I will never go lower. I think that high schoolers are the best. They’re funny, they work hard, and there’s not as many problems that you have to deal with.”

What’s your favorite part about teaching?
“My favorite part about teaching is getting to work with as many students as I do. I love meeting all the different personalities and hearing all the different stories I hear every day. I just love working with kids.”

Why did you choose to teach U.S. History?
“I’ve never been good at math, and I’ve never been good at science. I was either going to be an English teacher or a history teacher, and I’ve always liked social studies and history more, so that was the path that I took.”

What do you like to do in your free time?

“I like to spend time with my friends. I’ve made lots of teacher friends here at Santaluces, and we spend time together outside of school. I like to go to the beach because that’s something that’s new for me out here that I didn’t get to do in Colorado, so I do that a lot. I also love sports. I like to watch sports. I played basketball growing up. My brother and my sisters played college basketball, so definitely a big basketball fan. Football, too, [especially] fantasy football. I’ve won my fantasy football league a couple of times, so I like to watch football and keep up with my fantasy team.”

Since we were on the topic of football, I had a follow-up question: who do you think is making it to the Super Bowl this year? “I’m gonna throw a wildcard in there. Are you ready? New York Jets. The Jets have Aaron Rodgers this year and Dalvin Cook, and they have Sauce Gardner. So I think they’re gonna do pretty good. People are gonna roast me for that, but I don’t really care.” Mind you, this was before Aaron Rodgers tore his Achilles heel at his debut game for the Jets vs. the Bills, ending his season and crushing Ms.McNiff’s dreams.

What are your plans after teaching/when you retire?
“I want to travel. I definitely want to go to Europe. Italy is at the top of my bucket list. My family is Italian, my grandma is from Sicily, so I definitely want to go to Italy. I’d like to go to Greece and a couple more places in Europe.”

We hope to see Ms.McNiff at Santaluces for a long time as she is one of our favorite teachers. She’s caring, nice, and loves all her students. If you see her, don’t be afraid to say hi!

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About the Contributor
Vanessa Lara Mendoza, Staff Writer
Hello, my name is Vanessa! I'm a Junior at Santaluces High School, and this is my first year in The Tribe. I spend my days at school and work, where I'm known as "pizza girl" (shoutout to Mamma Mia's). When I do have free time, I love reading and spending time with my loved ones. My favorite book is Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, and reading it was an emotional rollercoaster. I'm so excited about what this school year has in store for me, and I hope you enjoy my work as much as I love writing it!

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