Miguel Pineda

Local: UFT
Miguel Pineda - COVID19 Memorial
Miguel Pineda, Teacher from UFT
* Teacher, Newcomers HS

Miguel Pineda was a dedicated math teacher and one of the founders of Newcomers HS in Queens, a school created to support newly arrived immigrants.

He “went above and beyond to help his students and his school community,” said Chapter Leader Nina Kramer, his friend and longtime colleague at the Long Island City school.

Miguel died on March 1, 2021, of COVID-19. He was 54.

Kramer described Miguel as “an extremely generous person who was cool headed, calm and an amazing problem solver.” A teacher for 31 years, he was “ahead of his time with technology and used it to keep his students interested and engaged in school,” Kramer said. He also helped his colleagues stay up to date with new programs and software. “His school will forever be grateful to him for keeping things running smoothly,” Kramer said.

Miguel was also the school’s testing coordinator, served for many years on the consultation committee and was an active member of his chapter.

James Vasquez was a teacher at Newcomers HS before becoming the UFT district representative for Queens high schools. “I taught at Newcomers HS for 23 years and have known Miguel my entire career,” Vasquez said. “He was a pioneer in so many ways. We all feel the tremendous loss of this educator and humane leader. He is so missed.”

Grief counselors from the union helped the school community process its shock and bereavement, Vasquez said.

Miguel loved the outdoors and traveled extensively with his family. He enjoyed camping and hiking and relished the family’s pop-up camper. He was a devoted husband and father, and he was active in his church, Nueva Esperanza Seventh-Day Adventist Church in the Woodhaven section of Queens.

Miguel is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, and sons Michael and Esteban.