New Teacher: Mr. Maira


Alex Volkerijk, Writer

A new year here at Shawnee means another group of new Renegades joining us. A new addition to the Social Studies department, Mr. Maira was interviewed about his previous experience, and what he brings to the table here at Shawnee.

Where did you go to College?
Maira: “I did my undergrad and masters at the University of Tennessee.”

Are you married? Kids? Pets?
“I had a pet chameleon named Larry, but sold him after he reached his angsty teenage lizard years.”

Where was your first job?
“My very first job was working as a lifeguard. I made one save while on kiddie pool. A small child managed to fall down in 6 inches of water and couldn’t push himself back up, so I scooped him up, and that was that. #hometownhero”

Where did you go to high school? What activities were you involved in?
“Seneca. No, I don’t drive a John Deere. I was in jazz band, and also ran track, in which I won state for pole vault three times and have some records here and there.”

Did you like your own high school experience? Best thing? Worst thing?
“I really enjoyed high school. It starts out really awkward, as everyone is trying to figure out who they are and what they want to do. However, once that became somewhat more clear to me, I had a great time. The worst thing about high school… if anything at all, how early it started. I’m a morning person, but it’s still really tough some days to go to bed at 9pm and wake up at 5am.”

Did you always want to be a teacher?
“I actually always wanted to be a pilot. However, when I found out I was colorblind, that dream was shelved. But I found the next best thing and got my skydiving license. Why fly planes when you can jump out of them?”

Do you plan on doing anything in your career after teaching? Why did you become a teacher?
“I would love to live in a van and travel the western hemisphere for a couple of years. Maybe afterwards make weird art to sell for absurd prices on Etsy.”

I became a teacher because I really believe that by being in education I can make a difference in the lives of others. Not just as a role model, but by showing students that someone is here for them and cares about where they go in life.”

What are your hobbies?
“I still compete as an amateur in pole vault about 3-4 times a year. I also surf, am into home renovation, and enjoy distance biking, short walks on the beach, running, hiking, camping, fishing…the list goes on.”

What school did you transfer from?
“BCIT Westampton”

How do you like Shawnee?
“It’s a fantastic place to work, although C Hall makes me dizzy.”

What activities are you doing here?
“I am currently coaching our girls gymnastics team.”

What is the best thing about being here at Shawnee?
“The students. They are extraordinarily well-behaved and engaged in class. I also really enjoy how passionate they get about being a Renegade, and the overall feeling of school spirit.”

What did you do over the summer break?
“I worked as a pizza chef, renovated part of my house, and skydived as often as I could.”

What is your favorite food?
“Without a doubt it would have to be a Moe’s chicken club quesadilla. Have mercy.”


Thank you to Mr. Maira for your interesting answers. Welcome to Shawnee!