Home » New teacher profile: Tara Canniff

New teacher profile: Tara Canniff

Teacher Tara Canniff

Diving into this week’s teacher spotlight is Tara Canniff! Ms. Canniff has been at Heatly for 14 years and currently teaches fifth grade. Originally from Greenwich, Connecticut, Ms. Canniff grew up with three sisters and was a competitive diver throughout her time at Union College. She graduated from the school in 2007, with a major in Anthropology and a minor in Chinese. 

After graduating from Union, Ms. Canniff continued her studies at the College of Saint Rose, where she earned a master’s degree in Childhood Education in 2009. She also obtained a dual certification to teach both childhood and special education. 

Prior to her arrival at Heatly, Ms. Canniff spent eight years as the coach for the men’s and women’s diving teams at Union College. During this time, Ms. Canniff coincidentally completed her student teaching requirements at Heatly, which opened the door to future teaching opportunities at the school. 

Upon finishing her student teaching program, Ms. Canniff was hired by Heatly as a teaching assistant. After six years, she switched roles in 2015 to become the district’s elementary special education consultant teacher. Ms. Canniff is now the fifth grade teacher at Heatly and is involved in several extracurriculars, including serving as the advisor for the Middle School Club and working part-time in the afterschool program. 

“I’m excited to come to work everyday because I love the students and staff that I work with,” said Ms. Canniff. 

As a teacher for the past 14 years, there are many aspects of the job Ms. Canniff enjoys, however her favorite is how much fun she gets to have while teaching. 

“The students always know how to put a smile on my face,” she said gleefully. 

Although Ms. Canniff has extensive teaching experience, she still relies on her favorite piece of teaching advice, which is to “enjoy every day with your students, as they will always remember how you made them feel seen, heard and valued.”

When she’s not teaching at Heatly, Ms. Canniff enjoys spending time and traveling with her two sons, Rory (age 6) and Owen (age 5). A fun fact about Ms. Canniff is that she has a twin.