Miranda Black finds herself back in the halls of GCHS, six years after her graduation. Fortunately, for her, she is not taking classes anymore but teaching Family and Consumer Science instead, which includes foods and nutrition, clothing, teen living, childhood development, and interior design classes. This 2015-2016 school year is her first as a staff member at the high school she grew up in. “I had such a great experience going to GCHS that I was thrilled to have the opportunity to come back,” she exclaims.
The summer after her graduation, Miranda Gill married her high school sweetheart, Cayden Black (GCHS graduate of 2009). The two newlyweds then moved to Cedar City to attend Southern Utah University where Miranda received a bachelor’s degree of Fine Arts in Secondary Art Education and Cayden received a bachelor’s in Science in Outdoor Recreation Parks and Tourism with a minor in Criminal Justice. “Cayden and I both made it on the Dean’s list in college while raising two kids!” says Miranda. Their son Corbin is now 4 years old, and their daughter Presley is now 2 years old.
Along with taking 1st in Sterling Scholar under the category of Visual Arts, Miranda tells me that some of her fondest high school memories revolve around softball. “My favorite memory was taking state in softball my senior year,” she says and then relates that her husband Cayden also remembers taking state in his sport, football, his freshman year.
Although high school was good to her, Miranda seems to hold the best memories for her years at SUU. “In college, I was recognized my senior year as an Outstanding Arts Education Student. I received a medallion to wear at graduation and I gave a speech to the College of Visual Arts students at SUU,” she tells me.
Another one of her favorite college experiences was an internship she completed for the Arlene Braithwaite Gallery at SUU. “I worked with the Masters of Arts Administration students to develop a program for K-12 students who would visit the gallery in the fall. We developed activities for students to experience while looking at the art of Jim Jones and attending the science museum that is also located on campus. I had the opportunity to curate work for exhibitions as well as contact local schools to inform them about the program. I enjoyed getting to make connections with students at the college as well as people working in the school districts,” the young artist recalls.
In November, 2014, Miranda and Cayden both moved to West Jordan, Utah, where Miranda spent several years working as both a Safety Manager Assistant and a Mine Laborer at Lisbon Valley Copper Mine and as an art teacher for 4th-6th graders at Monticello Academy in West Valley City. When Miranda and Cayden both found jobs here in their beloved hometown, Moab, they happily chose to move back. Now she enjoys her job as a high school teacher, while Cayden works as an Assistant plant operator at Le Grand Johnson.
Miranda loves living in Moab because she is close to family. Her parents, James and Tiffany Gill, still reside here (Tiffany is a GCHS alumna as well), along with Miranda’s younger brother, Cade Gill (age 17), who is currently enrolled as a junior in GCHS. Miranda also has an older brother, Dillon (age 25), and a younger sister, Cassidy (age 21), both are GCHS alumni. Dillon has graduated from SUU with a bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Recreation; he now lives in St. George and works for the city as parks maintenance manager. He also works for Red Cliffs State Park, located in Washington County. Cassidy is currently a student at SUU working on getting a degree in arts education; she hopes to be an art therapist someday.
Along with being near her family, Miranda says she loves being back in Moab for all of the outdoor activities. She enjoys hunting, fishing, paddle boarding, hiking, biking, camping, and mountain backpacking. “I have backpacked the highest mountain peak in Utah (King’s Peak) and three 14,000 foot mountain peaks in Colorado. My goal is to summit all 52 fourteener peaks in Colorado.” she tells me.