Mrs. Angel poses in front of her decorated wall in her classroom (Photo: Maxine Salvador, The Puma Prensa)
By Maxine Salvador, business manager
Math teacher and avid problem solver Tina Angel is still a relatively new teacher on campus, as this is only her second year at MCHS. She teaches Math 1 and Honors Math 3, actively helping students grow their skills in the subject while sharing her love for problem-solving.
Angel was born in Norwich, Connecticut, and is the middle of five children. Growing up, she was always on the go and often moved because her father worked for the Coast Guard. In fact, by the age of 12, Angel had moved a total of 15 times. She claims that she “learned how to make friends quickly,” showcasing her strong character that many of her students recognize daily.
Outside of school, Angel indulges in an active and busy lifestyle. During college football season, she takes a plane to Los Angeles on Fridays to watch her son play along with spending quality time with her family. In addition, she’s an athlete who is experienced in many sports: volleyball, basketball, track, gymnastics, cheer, and softball. While, unfortunately, her knee injuries halted her engagement with most of these sports, she still dances every night and even bikes to school most days to stay active. She also takes hip-hop classes at The MovementLAB, a local dance studio, in addition to ballroom dancing with her husband.
Angel is a first-generation college student who graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where she majored in electronic engineering and minored in pre-med. While originally a computer science major, she was pulled into the engineering route after gaining friendships in that area at university. It was the perfect switch for her after all, since she found her underlying passion in mechanical engineering.
Prior to becoming a teacher, Angel worked for a manufacturing company called Wescam—now called L3—and was the Director of Manufacturing. She was a working engineer who was also in charge of the many teams working on the manufacturing floor. Angel was a workaholic, she says, working day and night and all kinds of crazy hours. As a matter of fact, just two days after giving birth to one of her sons, she was already back in her office typing up code on her computer with her newborn on her lap. Her job was undeniably exhausting, having little-to-no breaks and rarely any free time. After six years of working for L3, the company was bought out, ending her journey as a mechanical engineer.
At this point, Angel found herself at a crossroads. One might ask, “If she was previously a mechanical engineer, how did becoming a teacher fall into her career path?” Well, a previous manufacturing consultant that Angel worked with at L3 helped her find her way. The consultant was amazed at how easily she could turn a complicated idea into something simple, which is why she recommended that Angel could work in education. In the end, it all worked out for the best since she continues to implement math into her everyday in addition to pursuing her passion with problem solving by guiding students through their experiences with math.
In the early 2000s, Angel was given the opportunity to shadow a teacher from Montgomery High School. With just one visit to a high school classroom, Angel took the class into her own hands and began to teach the students, landing her a job on the spot to teach at MHS. After obtaining her position there, Angel became a student at Dominican University in San Rafael, where she studied to earn her teaching credential. Angel devoted 18 years of her time teaching at Montgomery; that is, until she switched to MCHS where we now have the pleasure of having her as a part of the teaching staff.
Angel has always been a problem solver. She loves how there are so many different ways to attack a problem, but always ending with a satisfying, final answer. While teaching may not have been her first career choice, Angel is glad that she has the opportunity to teach students about math because of her love for the subject. Math can be tough for people to learn because “not everybody learns the same,” as she is quick to point out. However, Angel is a firm believer that regardless of anyone’s preferred learning style or background, anyone can learn math: “They just need someone that cares enough to show them in a way they can understand. Teaching gives me that ability to help children that might not have anyone to help them.”