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Let’s Get Down to Business

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Let’s Get Down to Business

Mr. Padilla instructs his student Xzayvier Day in Digital Design, one of the three classes he currently teaches at Miami High.

Mr. Padilla instructs his student Xzayvier Day in Digital Design, one of the three classes he currently teaches at Miami High.

Mr. Padilla instructs his student Xzayvier Day in Digital Design, one of the three classes he currently teaches at Miami High.

Mr. Padilla instructs his student Xzayvier Day in Digital Design, one of the three classes he currently teaches at Miami High.

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Two years ago, Miami High gained a new recruit. After a long history with work in business and finance, Mr. Padilla responded to his desire to teach, and he has quickly come to enjoy his new job.


College and Career

Mr. Padilla’s postsecondary education began at the University of Florida (UF) where he got a bachelor’s degree in History. From there he went to Florida International University (FIU), receiving a bachelor’s degree in Finance and a master’s degree in Taxation.

Mr. Padilla’s earliest experience in teaching occurred right after graduating from UF, when he travelled to Mexico and taught English in Mexico City and Guadalajara for ten months.

Mr. Padilla lived in Mexico for nearly a year as an English teacher.

“I did it as an adventure mostly,” he said. “I taught at schools and did private tutoring. The country has a large demand for English teachers – there were a lot of business professionals there taking English classes at night.”

Between that and his current position, Mr. Padilla has had several jobs. Among them was work in accounting and financial planning, which he did for 5 years each, as well as being a salesperson for life insurance at Northwestern Mutual and casualty insurance at State Farm.


Teaching at MHS

Mr. Padilla became a teacher at Miami High in late 2015. His first positions were as a substitute teacher and a co-teacher of U.S. Government/Economics. Currently, he teaches Business and Entrepreneurial Principles, Digital Design, and Digital Information Technology.

Teaching found Mr. Padilla more than the other way around. “I was always a drifter, and I feel like I still am, to be quite honest,” he said. “However, teaching is something I’ve always had in the back of my mind to do.”

His initial doubts about a teaching career concerned the money he would make in the profession, but he came to disregard that because he knew that he would enjoy it. “I’m glad I finally gave it chance,” he said. “Teaching is a job that you don’t do to make money; teachers teach because they have a conviction to teach.”

Mr. Padilla is passionate about his current career. As with anything else, he finds that it has its ups and downs. “The best part of teaching here is that we have an amenable student population that yearns for scholarship and is very open to learning,” he said. “I couldn’t ask for a better setting to start a career in education.”

One downside he finds is the curriculum. “The hardest part is having to teach under a set of guidelines and regulations,” he said, “basically, having to teach things that you do not necessarily believe that students could benefit from as much as others. Industry certification exams, although they are good and they do provide important skills, I think may be overemphasized. Many students could probably benefit more from more reading, more writing, and increased communication skills.”

Although he is class of ’93 Columbus graduate, Mr. Padilla is glad to make a home of Miami High. “Sometimes I feel a little out of place, but Miami High is a very welcoming environment. Between its tradition, history, and culture, it’s quite an admirable place. There’s culture here in the fact that a lot of teachers are alumni. I truly believe since I started teaching here that it’s like the education gods have been on my side.”

Being a big football fan, he attends any of Miami High’s games that he can. In the recent MHS vs. Columbus game, he got to see two schools he loved face off. Nevertheless, he rooted for his current employer over his alma mater. Several of his students are on the team, he said, so he feels connected to it.


One of Mr. Padilla’s earliest jobs in finance was with Northwestern Mutual.


Mr. Padilla brought the Entrepreneurship class to Miami High this year with the support of business department chairperson Ms. Benavides and the school’s administrators. In it, students learn the foundations of business management and become certified in Microsoft Office, which is a fundamental set of tools in the business world.

“This is knowledge that many high school students do not get exposed to,” he said. “Ultimately, the goal is to get them to understand that entrepreneurship is a very possible path for their future. It gives them the best of everything: it employs their creativity, allows for autonomy, and offers them the freedom to choose their own path. There’s nothing more rewarding than those things when it comes to building a career.”

Teaching the class has been an enriching experience for Mr. Padilla. “Even though I took on more work because I’m now teaching a third class, it has so far been my most rewarding experience this school year,” he said. “I have the opportunity to share my knowledge in a subject that I know, enjoy, and have experience with.”


Personal Life and the Future

Mr. Padilla is a proud Nicaraguan born in Matagalpa. He has three brothers and one sister. “I was 5 years old when I left and came to Miami,” he said. “I like to go back every year.” In his free time, he likes to exercise, go biking, watch football games, and travel.

Five years from now, Mr. Padilla hopes to still be teaching. Also, he would like to be running a successful financial planning business, which he plans to get in motion soon. “I still have an active license,” he said, referring to the CPA license which qualifies him to be an accountant. “If I’m doing both, that would work great – the two go hand in hand.”

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About the Writer
John Clement, Editor-in-Chief

Senior in Journalism 3

1 Comment

One Response to “Let’s Get Down to Business”

  1. Gilda Popritkin on January 28th, 2018 6:10 pm

    This is a great example of a human being…this is only said from someone who knows Mr Padilla since he was born!!!
    I am so glad that he was able to influence young people in Miami High and serve as an inspiration. Keep up the good work Mr Padilla!!!

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