The Life of a Titan Teacher

Angelina Ruiz, Writer


Mrs. Gaffney would use her imagination a lot as a favorite thing to do when growing up she told me. “It entertained me and led me to do some pretty fun things, building a conveyor belt from my house to my friend’s house, making hilarious movies, pulling pranks on my friends, making a slip and slide out of a swimming pool locker room in Saudi Arabia…which I got into big trouble for.” And she’s done a lot more creative things similar to those when she was younger.


As I asked her why she enjoys teaching, Mrs. Gaffney said, “I love the element of hope that each student gives me, that they can help our world become a better place in the future. I love having the opportunity to be creative and challenging my students to be creative. I love the unexpected things my students say and that they get me to think in new ways.”

She explained what has made her stronger in her teaching career: “Advice from my parents (who are both teachers), having a child of my own, learning from my students, and trying to always find the good in situations and in my students.”


Besides being in the classroom, her interests and hobbies are “Cooking, reading, hiking, and anything involving being by the ocean.” Mrs. Gaffney said.


Mrs. Gaffney was involved with sports and extracurricular activities while she was a student. “I was very involved! The main sport I was involved in was softball – I played shortstop and played on the school’s varsity team, a weekend league team, as well as an All-Star travel team where we played with some of the Thai national softball team players. I also played on the varsity volleyball team, I was heavily involved in dance, and I skateboarded.”


She’s lived all over the world. “My parents are teachers and decided to move overseas when I was a kid. I lived in Saudia Arabia from 1st – 4th grade and then I lived in Bangkok, Thailand from 5th – 12th grade. It was a very unique, exciting, and interesting experience that I feel forever grateful to my parents.”


 She has fond memories she has from her childhood. “Solving (fake) mysteries as I pretended to be a detective with my best friend, Paul Heath, a hilarious British boy when I was in elementary school in the compound that I lived in Thailand.”

Her family has a tradition they do in December. “Every Christmas my mom gives my sister and I our “Santa gift” by having us go on a scavenger hunt that usually features clues involving our favorite shows, like Arrested Development. The scavenger hunts haven’t stopped, even though I am 31.“


Mrs. Gaffney continued, “My favorite number is 6 because it was my grandpa’s number. He was an exceptional athlete and I always wanted to be as exceptional as him. I played shortstop, just like him.”