Degrees and Certifications:

Ms. Vangel

In 2016, our staff was asked to write about our school days.  Our paragraphs were displayed in the foyer outside of the office.  When updating my web page, based on our current remote learning circumstances, I thought back to my paragraph...I hope it gives you an idea of who I am as an educator!  There have been a few edits and updates to reflect the here and now.  


My Love of Words

It was a surprise to find that recounting my own school days would be such an emotional journey as I thought about the ups and downs of all those years.  After much thought, many smiles, and even tears...I decided to thank a few of my teachers that helped me develop a true love of words.  Words, when chosen carefully have power that can be used for good.  Words are free, words are abundant, and words leave lasting impressions.  Now just might be a time that we need positive, hopeful words that can say what we mean when we are unable to reach out and hug the ones we love and miss so much...our family members both near and far, our friends, and for teachers...our students.  I traced my love of words all the way back to my childhood days of playing Boggle, doing word searches, and drawing on my chalkboard.  I love little words, like "jot", fancy words, like "unencumbered", and every day words, like "happiness."  There were teachers, some of which have since married, remarried and even left our earth, who encouraged students to use higher level vocabulary and exercise word choice.  I vividly recall titling my 6th grade writing portfolio for Mrs. Gusky, Works of Art, it's probably in a bin in the attic was that important to me that it became a keeper.  With some time on my hands, maybe I'll dig for it.  Mrs. Gusky left notes of encouragement and smiley faces, now known as "feedback", on the pages.  She made me feel good about writing and having fun with words.  Mr. Steitzel introduced me to the word "serendipity", it was the title of our anthology book that year and he made a big deal out of the word before he even passed out the books.  They were brand new books with a shiny vibrant cover!  I am fortunate to have enjoyed many serendipities along life's road.  And Mrs. "Bart", tough as nails teacher with the highest of expectations for herself and her students, and those Wordly Wise quizzes.  I was not singing her praises then, but she knew better than me, those words would serve me well for decades to come! Lastly, the masterful Linda Oja, the woman I was blessed to student teach beside back in 1993.  She knew how to apply the acronyms before they had been coined as acronyms, SEL, SEI, LOL!!  I loved my days spent sharing her second grade classroom.  I am eternally grateful that she taught me to teach from the heart.  I left her classroom feeling the same way I left Mrs. Gusky's sixth grade classroom...confident, valued, inspired.  I left feeling I had the power to make a difference, they would all be proud to know how committed I am to my job as an educator. I have never thought of myself as a teacher of today, more of a teacher that works to inspire tomorrow, so that students will grow up to use their power for good.  This world needs goodness.