Miss McNeil’s Class

About Miss McNeil

I grew up in the beautiful Rogue Valley. I was born in Medford, and I went to elementary school at Lone Pine, Wilson and Hoover Elementaries. I have a younger brother, Kyle, who lives in Portland and manages a Dutch Bros, and a younger sister, Tiffany, who lives in Medford.  My mom is a nurse at Rogue Valley Medical Center, and my dad is a retired sixth grade teacher from Ashland Middle School.

When I was in 7th grade, we moved to Rogue River where we had five acres and tons of trees. I had two horses, Scarlett and Chief. My friends and I used to ride in the hills and sometimes we would come into town and race on Rogue River Middle School’s dirt track. I went to school at Rogue River Middle School and then spent a year at Rogue River High School.  When I was in 10th grade, I went to school at St. Mary’s High School, which I really loved because it was tiny and I actually got to play sports. (I am really bad at volleyball and basketball, and would have never been able to play anywhere else.)

When I graduated, I went to college at the University of Oregon. I loved it there, even with all of the rain! I moved back home when I ran out of money and finished up at Southern Oregon University. I wasn’t completely sure what I wanted to do. When I was a kid, I had two career aspirations. The first was an architect, until I realized I probably wouldn’t be able to make real houses out of legos. My second was teaching. I loved playing “school” when I was a kid. When I was in high school and college, I thought I wanted to teach high school history. Then I spent about 5 minutes in my friend’s third grade classroom, and I just knew. Elementary felt like home.

I went back to school at SOU and got my master’s in teaching.  I did my student teaching at Washington Elementary in Medford. I got a job right after I graduated at Art Freiler Science and Technology Magnet in Tracy, California. I was a core teacher, which was teaching language arts and social studies to fifth and sixth graders.  I loved it there! We had laptops for all of the kids and we got to do fun things with technology. However, my son Vinny was born in February 2003 when we lived there, and I realized that I wanted to come home and raise him near family.

We moved back to the Rogue Valley and bought a house in Medford. I worked for two years as a substitute and as a tutor at Sylvan. My daughter Sophie was born in December 2004.  In September 2005 I got my job at Central Point Elementary, teaching 2nd grade.  I could not have picked a better school! I absolutely love my job and the people I work with have become my second family.  My daughter will be in fifth grade at CPE this year, and my son will be in seventh grade at Scenic,  and I feel that it is such a blessing to be able to see them during the day and to have such a close relationship with all of the people who are working with them.

This will be my  fourteenth year teaching, and I can’t believe how quickly it has gone! After a few years of teaching 2nd,  I asked Mr. Rowley (our principal) if I could switch grade levels. I loved second grade and my team, but we knew we were not going to need four 2nd grade teachers that year. I thought a lot about which grade I wanted to go to. I was really excited about 4th grade, because that meant I would get to see some of the same kids that I had back in 2nd. I didn’t get all of my old class back, but I did get several kids that I knew before, and I really enjoyed seeing how much they had grown since I knew them last.  Later, I switched to a 4/5 blend. That means I got to have all new fourth graders and some new fifth graders. I also got many fifth graders back that I had the year before. (Yay!) I also got to experience to my THIRD YEAR with a few poor, I mean lucky, kiddos, who I had in 2nd and 4th. Mwahaha! Three years with those six kiddos made me feel like they were practically my own kids. I may have cried like a baby on the last day of school saying goodbye to them. The next year I taught 4/5 again, and I got to loop with the majority of my fifth graders, which was so amazing. I love getting to have kids twice, because we know each other so well, and I know their strengths and weaknesses right off the bat.  I was also excited to get to know all of my new 4th graders, although some of them were familiar faces because I had their siblings before. 🙂 The next year I got moved with Mrs. Qualls to teach a 1st/2nd blend. It was  my first time with this particular blend, and I was excited to partner with Mrs. Qualls. I was also thrilled because I already knew a few of the kiddos through their older siblings or from seeing them in Sophie’s class. Then I moved to 3rd grade for three years.  Last year I got to move back to 4th! I am also really looking forward to getting to know some of the younger siblings from students I had in the past. It’s really special to get to have kids in my class that I have known since they were babies! I am also really excited to get to know all the new faces, as well. I am really looking forward to another year in 4th grade!

Miss McNeil’s Schools:

Fifteen Things About Miss McNeil You May Have Not Known

1. My first car was a convertible 1970 VW bug named Prudence. I had her for 13 years. I still miss her.

2. My horse Scarlett got her name because in 6th grade, I adored the book “Gone With the Wind.”

3. My grandfather was involved in politics when I was a kid, and I helped out in his elections when I was in elementary school. I campaigned door to door for him.

4. I love to watch UO football. I had a friend who played and he used to get me tickets to go. I got hooked.

5. My kids and I went to Alaska, where I saw a grizzly bear eat another grizzly bear, which was super gross.

6. I have cats named  Flower and Gary (after Spongebob’s pet snail). We also have a frog and two guinea pigs. We also have a part time dog named Loki.

7. I have struggled to keep a classroom pet. Once I had “Assassin”, the killer goldfish. He  killed several fish, and two crabs. However, I’ve gotten better and the fish seem to survive. We also have two pets, guinea pigs named Princess Penelope and Super Sidney. (They belong to my daughter.)

8. I am probably the only teacher in the school who doesn’t drink coffee. 🙂

9. I have been to  Tokyo Disneyland, and a couple of years ago, I got to take my kids to Disneyland. Next summer we are going to Disneyworld!!

10. My favorite artist is Vincent Van Gogh, but no, my son is not named after him.

11. I am obsessed with the Beatles, and my favorite song of their’s is “For No One”, but I DO in fact listen to other music, too, inspite of what former students may say. Right now, I don’t have a favorite song, but I have been listening to a lot of Mumford & Sons and Of Monsters & Men, but that may change in a week.

12. My favorite TV show is “Project Runway”.

13. My dad says I learned how to read when I was 2, and I haven’t ever stopped since.

14. When I was in high school, I went on an exchange trip to Japan. I had my 17th birthday in Hiroshima.

15. My friend Amanda and I took Prudence on a road trip through Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Canada, Washington and Eastern Oregon. We got all the way back to Crater Lake and we hit a deer.

My favorite books when I was in elementary school:

Anastasia Krupnik series

Little House series

Anne of Green Gables series

Sweet Valley High series

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

All of the Ramona books

posted by Miss McNeil in About Miss McNeil and have Comments (46)


  1. Comment by yareli on June 14, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    your the best techer

  2. Comment by Miss McNeil on June 18, 2009 at 7:37 am

    Aw, Yareli! Thank you! I’m going to miss you next year!

  3. Comment by Jordan K. on September 15, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Now that is cool you are one of my favorite teacher’s.

  4. Comment by Miss McNeil on September 15, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    Aw, thanks Jordan! You are one of my favorite kiddos! 🙂

  5. Comment by Jordan K. on September 22, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    what are you up to and i am sorry for getting amoshanal when i lost the election. 🙁

  6. Comment by Miss McNeil on September 22, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Oh, Jordan. Don’t feel bad for having emotions! Adults have a hard time when they lose elections, too. Handling disappointment can be a very difficult thing. I know it is hard when you are looking forward to something and then it doesn’t happen, and it is natural to be upset. I think you handled yourself beautifully. You were upset, you took a minute, and you were fine. I would only be upset if you started blaming other people or got mad at the winner or something. Getting a little bit emotional when you face disappointment is healthy, and the way you handled it is perfectly healthy, too. 🙂 You would have been a great student council representative. I hope you don’t let this disappointment stop you from getting involved. 🙂

  7. Comment by Jordan K. on September 23, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Thank you miss.mcneil 🙂

  8. Comment by Jordan K. on September 26, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    you should get a piture of you on your “Meet Miss.Mcneil” page

  9. Comment by Miss McNeil on September 27, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    No thanks! 🙂

  10. Comment by Jordan K. on September 27, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    why not my aunt said that

  11. Comment by Jordan K. on November 13, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    hi 🙂

  12. Comment by Miss McNeil on November 14, 2010 at 12:26 am

    Hi Jordan. 🙂

  13. Comment by Jordan Kuykendall on April 1, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    hi. i am bored there is nothing to do at my house right now

  14. Comment by Jordan Kuykendall on June 15, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    I have a feeling that you are having a good summer? I miss you and I hope to see you next year if you visit your dad! I hope to see you soon! 🙂

  15. Comment by Miss McNeil on June 16, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Aw, thanks Jordan! Miss you, too. 🙂 I don’t visit my dad much during school, since we’re usually teaching at the same time, but if you are in his class next year, I’ll see what I can do. 🙂

  16. Comment by Jordan Kuykendall on June 17, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Awsome 🙂

  17. Comment by Jordan Kuykendall on June 17, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    And the CD you gave me i love it! you are so cool and fun hope i can hear from you soon! 🙂

  18. Comment by Jordan Kuykendall on June 20, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Yesterday when my sister was watching Dora i found out that there is a wonder pets with the 2 beatles. It is called “wonder pets save the beatles.” I thought this would want to hear about this because it is really cool.

  19. Comment by Miss McNeil on August 3, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Jordan, I’m so glad you liked it. 🙂

  20. Comment by Miss McNeil on August 3, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Thanks, Jordan! I’ve seen that one. Love it. 🙂

  21. Comment by Jordan Kuykendall on September 10, 2011 at 9:09 am

    well i got you dad and he is my homeroom and math teacher. also i heard you had 39 students, i feel sorry for you.

  22. Comment by Jordan Kuykendall on November 1, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    HI, I was there on halloween but Sophie told me you were sick. Well I hope to see you soon and I hope you feel better! 🙂

  23. Comment by Miss McNeil on November 3, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Hi! I’m so sorry I missed you! Sophie told me she saw you. How’s class with my dad? 🙂

  24. Comment by Jordan Kuykendall on November 4, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Really different but I like it alot, the funny thing about him is that he says
    that I had the student now I get the master. Well I miss you and I also miss the
    district. I really hope to see you soon!!

  25. Comment by Jordan Kuykendall on November 5, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Steve is just so cute everytime I come to your website I want to see his big
    eyes when someone feeds him! 😀

  26. Comment by Jordan Kuykendall on November 5, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    I also love his chubby cheeks when you feed him so much. 🙂 (:

  27. Comment by Miss McNeil on February 25, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Sorry I haven’t replied for a while, Jordan! I’m glad my dad is challenging you. 🙂 I ask him about you and he said you are doing great, which made me really happy. 🙂 I love, Steve, too. Keep feeding his chubby cheeks! He’s hungry! 🙂

  28. Comment by Jordan Kuykendall on April 28, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Sorry I have not replied for a while to, but it is really different on the new project we are doing in homeroom. I did not know that he would have us do something like this, I thought that we would be more oceanography, but we are making a full size picture of ourselfs and to go with it a page on what we are doing after 10 years from when we graduate. Although it is very fun. Hope to hear from you soon Miss.McNeil!! 🙂

  29. Comment by Jordan Kuykendall on June 14, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Okay, I hope your school year went by good! Also I hope to hear from you soon! (and maybe next year I could come and help you when I get a free day, and when you would want me to 🙂 )

  30. Comment by Miss McNeil on June 15, 2012 at 8:06 am

    Hi Jordan! I hope your year went well, too! Of course I would be happy to have you come in any time! 🙂

  31. Comment by Jordan Kuykendall on July 24, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Sounds fun!

  32. Comment by Jordan Kuykendall on August 4, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Thanks and I hope to see and hear from you soon!!

  33. Comment by Jordan Kuykendall on November 16, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    I am watching the baby pictures of 2010-2011 and it is making me want to go back to school there it makes me sad watching them. How I don’t see any of my friends from school then just new ones here, it is still hard to change/move schools. 🙁

  34. Comment by Miss McNeil on November 17, 2012 at 10:03 am

    🙁 I’m sorry you are having a tough time. It will get better.

  35. Comment by Jordan Kuykendall on August 6, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    I heard you were going to teach 2nd grade again. Well that is just what I heard

  36. Comment by Miss McNeil on August 8, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Hi Jordan! I taught 1st/2nd last year, and this year it looks like I’m moving to 3rd. How’s everything with you??

  37. Comment by Jordan Kuykendall on August 19, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Getting harder. Well mostly because I am now going into 8th grade. I am really excited for a new year as well. Are you going to be able to teach Sophie this year?

  38. Comment by Miss McNeil on August 31, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    I can’t believe you are in 8th! 🙂

  39. Comment by Jordan Kuykendall on September 10, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    It is a big jump from last seeing someone in 5th grade and then saying they are in 8th. I also realized that I go to school with Yasmin and Shawn. And also I changed schools again.

  40. Comment by Miss McNeil on September 12, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Wait! Where are you? You are with Yasmin and Shawn? Where?! Say hello to them for me! 🙂

  41. Comment by Jordan Kuykendall on September 13, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    I am going to Hedrick and I will tell them you said hi, Oh I almost forgot, Nicholas R goes there too.

  42. Comment by malaki on February 26, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    Cheetahs are the fastest land animal on earth! They stalk there pray and when there right time comes they attack. If it is a fast animal like a gazelle, it has to go as fast as it can to catch it. When a cheetah has cubs lions and other predators will try to get the cubs whenever they can. So cheetahs are the fastest land animals on earth.

  43. Comment by Jordan Kuykendall on June 9, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    hello, my mom told me that school for you got out, I’m going into sophomore year… kinda scared, and kinda wishing I was back in easy elementary school… but I wanted to drop in and say hi cuz its been a little while. 🙂

  44. Comment by Miss McNeil on June 11, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    Hi Jordan! It’s so good to hear from you! I can’t believe you are already a sophomore!!! I know you’re scared, but I know you’ll be great…you always have been and always will be amazing! 🙂

  45. Comment by Karen Hinderer on February 22, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    Hello, Miss McNeil!
    I came across your blog while searching for older pictures of Lone Pine School. I attended 1st Grade there in 1960-1961 and Mrs. Guetzlaff was my teacher. I loved her so much! I noticed that you got your first car in 1970 which is about when I bought mine. Were you, possibly a classmate? I graduated in 1972 from Medford and am working on our 45th reunion. I just posted my Lone Pine class picture from 1961 and am trying to identify all of the students. If you might have some input, I’d love to hear it! I was also wondering if I may post your Lone Pine picture as part of our album.
    You have some wonderful students who obviously care for you and I think you are probably on a lot of “Favorite” lists!

  46. Comment by Miss McNeil on February 23, 2017 at 10:02 am

    Aw! I think it’s so wonderful that you have such great memories of your first grade teacher! I’m not a classmate though. My parents might have been though? Gary McNeil and Laurie Johnson, but I don’t know exactly what years they graduated. 🙂 I graduated in 1995. My first car was a 70 bug, but it was older than I was at that point. Good luck with your reunion!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *