Michael Molinari, who joined the staff at Santa Fe High School in 2019, has been teaching for 29 years. He taught for 16 years at Kearny Elementary, ten years at De Vargas, and three years at Milagro. He teaches U.S and World History.
Teaching, to Mr. Molinari, is very important as he can make “the lessons of history known to [his] students.” To him, history is a good story and lessons can be taught through it. “The events of the past are lessons that we can use in our own lives and in our society in which we live,” he said. “It is unfortunate that people, specifically many leaders, do not pay attention to those lessons.” He said he enjoys seeing “the stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”
He enjoys teaching as it gives him an opportunity to work with young people and “have an impact on future generations.”
Mr. Molinari was born in Portland, Ore., “before it was popular,” and then raised in Sutherlin, Ore. He earned his associate’s degree in liberal arts from Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore. He then went on to Mt. Angel Seminary where he earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts with a concentration in history.
To continue his studies, he earned a bachelor’s degree in education and finished with a master’s in education with a focus on curriculum and technology. Both of these degrees were earned at UNM. Last, he went to Adams State in Alamosa, Colo., to study U.S history and earned 40 additional credit hours beyond his master’s degree.
In 1984, Mr. Molinari joined the Pecos Benedictine Abbey in Pecos, NM, where he met his wife. They moved from Pecos to Santa Fe for the beautiful scenery and have been here ever since.
Fueled by his love of working with children, he and his wife adopted two. Their daughter was born in Albuquerque, and their son was born in Hobbs. Mr. Molinari had the opportunity to be at his son’s birth and he and his wife even became friends with his son’s biological parents. His children are multi-racial.
Through the process of adoption, he said he has learned that “It isn’t easy for the birth parents.” He has also learned that “children placed for adoption can come from a variety of backgrounds, families with histories in which much of it is not fully disclosed. This particularly pertains to health issues and personality typology.”
A fun fact about Mr. Molinari is that he learned to drive a garbage truck before he learned to drive a car.
In his free time, he enjoys hunting and being in the outdoors.