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February 2024

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Courtesy photo Miranda Jeantete

Miranda Jeantete

Being raised in a community where your history connects to every part of your present, it’s difficult to find the courage to leave. The Questa del Rio News is committed to highlighting different members of our community, both those who have forged their paths and have planted their own roots in the community that raised them, and also, those who have pursued lives outside of the community through our Representando series. This series is dedicated to those who are Representando Questa in various facets of life.

In this issue, we spoke with Miranda (Riddle) Jeantete, who graduated from Questa High School in 2001. Currently, Miranda resides in Rio Rancho with her husband Rico and their daughters, Jadyn and Lauren.
Upon graduation from high school, Miranda attended UNM-Taos to begin her coursework in education. Due to lack of options at the Taos campus, she knew a move to Albuquerque was imminent, however, the thought of relocating with a 3-year-old was a daunting prospect. That’s when she found the value of surrounding yourself with the right people.

Courtesy photo Miranda and her husband Rico pose with their daughters Jadyn and Lauren

She recalls when her-then boyfriend Rico asked her, “where do you see yourself in 10 years?” She answered without hesitation, “in a classroom, teaching.” That’s when Rico told her “okay, let’s go register for classes.” In December 2005 she relocated to Albuquerque with the encouragement and support from her future husband who had already completed his bachelor’s degree from UNM.

Feeling overwhelmed with emotion as she recalls her journey, Miranda says Rico and her mom, June Riddle have always been her biggest supporters. While at the time, she only had her sights set on her bachelors degree, Miranda has since obtained her master’s degree in Educational Leadership & Administration.

Her career has included teaching for the public schools sector, where she held roles as an educator at Puesta del Sol Elementary and most recently, at Sandia Vista Elementary where she was an assistant principal for three years and a principal for two. “Ever since I was small, I have had a desire to learn, but also to teach others. I’ve always loved the classroom and used to cry when we had snow days,” Miranda laughs as she recalls her lifelong love and passion for learning.

While she enjoyed being an effective leader in the public school system, Miranda recognized it’s easy for teachers to be discouraged from the profession. “It’s so incredibly important to encourage and support teachers while they navigate the day-to-day. Fostering their passions and supporting them is so paramount.” In 2022, Miranda decided to step away from public education to expand her impact on up-and-coming teachers.

She accepted a job with UNM in Albuquerque as the Department Administrator of Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies for the College of Education and Human Sciences. “It truly is a full circle moment for me. There is so much passion within the department for equality and that resonates deeply,” she says. Working closely with the Department Chair, Miranda now supports the faculty who prepare the future teachers of tomorrow.

When asked what her message would be for anyone who is in education or considering pursuing a career in this field, she says “you have to love the kids before you can teach them. You have to make sure the kids are taken care of. Their focus can be on everything else outside of the classroom but if you’re able to engage with them and get them to a place of trusting you, they will open up and learn.”