Sergio Munda, the new Spanish II teacher at McNicholas High School, was hired to replace Cass Cleavinger who did not return to McNicholas for the 2017-2018 academic year. Munda has been teaching since 2009 both abroad and in the U.S. However, he knew how to speak Spanish long before he began teaching it.
From a young age, both of his parents, who are Peruvian immigrants, raised him speaking Spanish at home. He also took courses in the language at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, then at Boston College, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1995. He moved back to Cincinnati in 2002. From there, he entered the workforce, using his proficiency in Spanish in the business world until 2007.
In 2007, Munda came to feel that his talents would be better served in an educational setting. “Instead of building financial wealth, I wanted to use my skills and talents to work with youth and adults to build intellectual wealth,” Munda said. He returned to school at Xavier University and earned his master’s degree in education in 2009. He began his teaching career teaching Spanish at Covington Latin High School, then Wyoming High School, then Clark High School, as well as teaching Spanish, science, and social studies to third graders at the Academy of Multilingual Immersion Studies (AMIS). He also spent time teaching English as a second language at Xavier University, where he received certification to do so for kindergarteners through twelfth graders, and in Albania, where he learned how to speak Albanian. His license to teach English as a second language to adults comes from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.
Munda learned of McNick’s job opening after returning to Cincinnati from a job interview in St. Louis and checking the Archdiocese of Cincinnati website for a job closer to home. At McNick, Munda said he is excited to be “teaching Spanish to a group of students that is eager to learn, very enthusiastic to learn.” He said that he is “excited about the classroom structure, resources available, including staff support, and the enthusiasm the students have towards learning.”
For students taking his class, Munda advised them to “take risks with the language and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.”