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A Deeper Look Into TV Teacher Mr Amaya

Mr Amaya working at CNN

   Coming in live from Stingtown News is Miami High’s newest TV Production teacher Mr. Amaya! The outgoing and funny teacher has a background working with major TV networks and is now at Miami High School to share his knowledge with aspiring TV students. 


His Experience as a Miami High Alumni 

   Mr. Amaya attended Miami High from 2004 to 2007 and had a great experience overall. He says he was the same person in high school as today, an outspoken and funny individual who always tries to have fun.  

   Returning to Miami High, there were many changes compared to when he first attended as a student. The architecture and library were the main changes he noticed, and the fact that building 3 didn’t exist back then. He also says the generation of students now is different from the generation he was part of. He describes this generation as more “techy” or more technologically savvy.  

   During his years as a Miami High student, Dr. Underwood led the TV Production program, but Mr. Amaya was not part of it. He had a past passion for political science, before going into TV.  

   He was an officer in BETA and stayed friends with the people he met in the club to this day. His close relationship with BETA advisor Dr. Hueck also remained.  


Past Jobs 

   Before starting as a Miami High teacher, Mr. Amaya worked with TV network giants for the past 7 years as a

Mr Amaya Posing Proudly in Front of a CNN Logo

 multimedia journalist engaged in producing, editing, filming, and being a reporter. He has worked with CBS, CNN, ABC7 NY, and BBC.  

   Being a reporter at CBS was his last occupation before coming to Miami High to teach, and he feels it was a good

 experience. But after around 2 years of working with them, he decided to leave. He felt that CBS was turning more to politics, which was something he wasn’t passionate about covering.

   “There’s much I miss about it,” said Mr. Amaya. “I miss my coworkers, the camera team, producers, and the anchors.”  As for the work, he feels he can still do everything he was doing before, but now as a teacher.  

   He worked at ABC7 NY for 3 years before going to work for CBS, and it was his favorite work experience out of them all. His passion has always been with the hometown-type feature stories, and ABC gave him that creative freedom. He was able to film, edit, and produce local stories about anything and everything there was to cover in New York City.  


A Personal Take  

   Mr. Amaya was born in 1989 and raised in Miami, but he and his family are originally from El Salvador. He enjoys going to parties, hanging out with his friends, traveling, and overall having fun.  

   Growing up was fun for him,. “I grew up with cousins my same age,” he said. “It was a fun childhood. Traveling to El Salvador for summers to spend time with my grandparents on their farm for vacation were some of the best times I had.” 

Mr Amaya Holding his 2 Emmy Awards

    He’s moved around a few times, moving to New York to attend Columbia University, moving to Washington for his fellowship at BBC and to work for CNN, moving back to New York to work for ABC7, and finally coming to Miami to work at Miami High. 

   After graduating from Miami High, he studied at MDC for 2 years, transferred to UM after, and got his master’s in International Administration. After graduating, he worked 4 years in government before realizing it wasn’t something he was passionate about.  

   “I always loved watching TV and documentaries, and I was always intrigued by how it was done, but I never saw myself in it,” he said. “Once I got to a point in my career in government where I didn’t like what I was doing, I applied to Columbia Journalism school and moved to New York.”  He graduated from Columbia University with a Masters in Journalism.   

   Learning about the TV world came naturally to him. He always loved talking to people and learning about different things, and a journalism career matched his passion. Working as a journalist has been fulfilling to him and helping him to understand the world better and be more sympathetic to others. 

   In 2020 while working at ABC7, Amaya was awarded his first of two Emmy awards.  The first was for a story he wrote and produced about a town that relied on a lake for tourism but because of climate change, the lake had grown toxic levels of algae from the summer heat. He won his second Emmy with his team while working at CBS in 2022.  

   Besides his current work at WMHS, in the future, he plans to pursue freelance work in television and get a Ph.D. in Journalism.  


Reinventing TV 

   Mr. Amaya came to Miami High with a goal and vision and has every intention of bringing TV Production and WMHS back to its glory days. 

   “Any role that I’ve seen out there in the real world I’m bringing into WMHS,” he said. Currently, Mr. Amaya is teaching his beginning classes with the basics of TV so they will be able to run the Stingtown News show.  

   “They are learning how to pitch an idea, how to come up with a story idea, shooting styles, how to frame an interview, and learning sound and lighting. I want to prepare them so that if they take TV 2, 3, or 4 they are prepared and ready to handle the show,” he said. 

   In TV production, you learn everything from being an anchor or news reporter, covering stories, working behind the scenes using cameras, lighting, sound, writing scripts, and being a teleprompter. You learn to work together with your team to produce content. You learn that any creative vision you have can be made possible. 

   As for WMHS, Mr. Amaya plans on bringing the club up to a whole new level.  “As a club, it’s been disregarded for several years since Dr. Underwood left. I think the potential of the advanced TV Production students is incredible and it needs to be shown to the school and that’s my goal as an advisor,” he said.  

   Mr. Amaya wants WMHS to grow its members and become more organized. Another goal for the club is to win 1st place in its homecoming category.  


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Natalie Morales, Staff Writer

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  • S

    stephOct 6, 2023 at 12:51 pm

    wow really well written, amazing story

  • M

    maysonOct 4, 2023 at 4:45 pm

    i love u nat

  • A

    Ariana GonzalezOct 4, 2023 at 2:25 pm

    Wow amazing story