Francis “Sonny” SanAngelo, Social Studies teacher at Rochambeau Middle School (RMS), is Region 15’s 2018-19 Teacher of the Year. Mr. SanAngelo has worked in Region 15 at RMS for sixteen years, serving as a Social Studies teacher and concurrently as an Instructional Teacher Leader for the past six years. The Selection Committee recognized SanAngelo’s passion, kindness, and enthusiasm towards teaching history. He is recognized for teaching social studies in a manner in which creates long-lasting learning and for inspiriting his students to not only understand history, but for understanding how the past influences their lives. Colleagues describe SanAngelo as a “picture of calm,” as someone who is full of optimism and a sense of humor, and as a person with an “uncanny ability to look on the bright side of things.” They further describe him as a man of integrity and honesty, who “holds himself to the highest moral and ethical standards, both personally and professionally.”
“Mr. SanAngelo is most deserving of this significant recognition honor. His strong work ethic and unwavering commitment to his students and staff is a testament to his character and the energy that he brings to Rochambeau Middle School. He truly embodies the qualities, habits, and dispositions that one would expect in the very best of teachers. He genuinely knows his students and works tirelessly to help them achieve their infinite potential in the classroom. He is a trusted colleague, a dear friend, and an influential mentor who continues to leave a lasting impression on each and every student, staff member, and parent who has had the privilege to be inspired by him,” said Michael Bernardi, Principal of RMS.
Former students recall their time in the classroom with “Mr. San” with happiness and nostalgia, and how he made learning both enjoyable and engaging. One parent described how her daughter, now in college, still talks about Mr. San’s love for history and they way he was able to share his love with his student.
Colleagues, parents, and students all emphasize how SanAngelo’s kindness and enthusiasm, wit and intelligence in all aspects historical, is highly respected and admired. The connections he develops with his students and colleagues are far reaching.