Rio Americano High School

The Mirada

Rio Americano High School

The Mirada

Rio Americano High School

The Mirada

Civitas Director Nina Seibel to Retire This Year After Almost 30 Years at Rio Americano

Nina Seibel.
Nina Seibel.

After teaching at Rio Americano for almost 30 years, Nina Seibel is retiring. She plans on moving to Las Vegas to be closer to her sister and her family. 

In her classes, Seibel is known for asking students questions, leading them to form their own conclusions. Instead of giving her students a fish, she teaches them how to catch one on their own.

As the head of the Civitas program, Seibel works late into the evenings, often leaving with the maintenance staff.

“Civitas is essential to keeping our democracy healthy and safe,” she said. “I think every kid should have that in-depth civics education.”

Seibel grew up moving frequently as her dad was in the military. The strict parenting she experienced worked either to give “examples of what to be, and definitely what not to be,” she said. 

Seibel attended UC Davis but left when she became pregnant with her son as she was already also caring for a young daughter. She later attended Cosumnes River College and then transferred to Sacramento State. She received her teaching credentials from Chapman University. 

After completing her student teaching at Rio when her son was a baby, Seibel got a job offer and never left.

“Rio’s my home. I wouldn’t want to be any place else,” she said. “It’s the kids. They’re intelligent and funny and they challenge me. They usually inspire hope.”

English teacher Jolynn Mason started at the school the same year as Seibel, in 1996. The two teachers immediately bonded and are still very close. 

“Nina is the most dedicated teacher [and] person I have ever met,” Mason said. “She puts 120% of her effort towards whatever she is involved in.”

It wasn’t until over a decade into her career that Seibel took over the Civitas program. When the previous coordinator of the program was retiring, no teacher wanted to take on the amount of work required to keep it running.

“I was not going to let this amazing program fall apart,” Seibel said.

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