JES teacher's passion for teaching, building relationships helps inspire students
Since she was a junior in high school, Angela Schindler knew what she wanted to do with her life.
took a class called social justice,” Schindler said. “We were able to
go out into the community and serve in a lower socioeconomic environment
in which we were contributing to society in some way. I volunteered in a
preschool setting at BridgePointe in Clarksville.”
BridgePointe, she would help the teachers and work with the children
doing crafts, during recess, and helping them learn letters and numbers.
“It was here that I began my idealistic dream of being about to make a difference and help others,” Schindler said.
order to make a difference, Schindler decided to become a teacher.
After graduating high school, she attended Indiana University Southeast
while working up to two part-time jobs as a full-time student. The jobs
she took while at IUS worked right into her life goal: teaching.
held jobs that would provide teaching experiences. I taught gymnastics
classes at a gym in the evenings. I taught computer classes at
preschools in the area for a company called Computer 4 Kids, Inc.,”
Schindler said. “I would teach the preschool children to use the
computer programs that were installed on the computer, which at the time
were very simple programs, of course, back, in 1996.”
love of teaching and helping children, Schindler earned her elementary
education degree with endorsements in Kindergarten and Early Childhood
Development in 1997. After graduation at IUS, she took a teaching
position in a half-day kindergarten program until she found a full-time
position at a Catholic school in Louisville, Ky.
was quite a rewarding one,” Schindler said about teaching sixth-grade
students. “It broadened my view of the world around me and my place in
it. It taught me perspective.”
It was at that middle school that she learned about cultures all around the world.
St. John Vianney student population was very multicultural. I taught
students that had recently immigrated from countries, such as Vietnam,
Bosnia, Rwanda, and the Congo in Africa. They told stories of their
homeland and living in areas where they would play chase with monkeys!”,
While they told stories of growing up in
different biomes and different environments, the students also told
stories of heartbreak.
“They also told stories of civil war ripping apart families,” Schindler said.
years after Schindler began teaching at the middle school, the Catholic
Archdiocese System closed the school due to financial problems.
Schindler went to work in Nashville, Tenn., until she learned about
Scott County School District 2 from a friend, who she made while
“After this school closed, I spent some time out of
the classroom and missed it so much. Then, when telling a friend of
mine from college this, she told me about the school system she was
working in and loved, Scott County School District 2, and that they may
be hiring,” Schindler said.
She filled out an application and was hired to work at Vienna-Finley Elementary School.
spent my first 11 years in SCSD2 at Vienna-Finley Elementary School,
and I can’t count the number of times I received help from others. I was
able to work with a great group of professionals and families,”
Schindler said. “We shared ideas and collaborated about what is best for
students daily. I really developed some excellent relationships and had
some great successes and experiences at Vienna-Finley Elementary School
that I will never forget.”
After 11 years at VFES, Schindler
moved to Johnson Elementary School this school year. JES is closer to
her home and is a place where both her children, Paxten, 6, and Bella,
4, can attend.
“I feel very blessed to have this opportunity this
year. The school is close to my home, which is very convenient. The
school has a fabulous preschool program, which is directed by Pam
Akemon, [and is where] my 4-year-old attends. It is a real asset for the
school to have a preschool program. It prepares the students for what
the school’s expectations are in the coming years, kindergarten
especially,” Schindler said. “I love having my children at the school I
am teaching. And, they love it too.”
Throughout her career, Schindler has been able to rely on JES principal, Doris Marcum.
has a great outlook towards life in general; is a positive influence to
work around; expects the best of all students, parents, and teachers;
and I have the privilege of working for her this year,” Schindler said.
working at SCSD2, Schindler had a chance meeting at Walmart that lead
into a reunion with her students from more than a decade ago. She ran
into her former middle school student, and the student recognized her.
The two caught up in the shopping market aisle.
“Then, the next
day, she friend requested me on Facebook. Then, a number of other former
students friend requested me within the day. It was amazing how fast
that happened with social media! Then, within a month, the first reunion
that class has ever had, was planned,” Schindler said. “The reunion
happens each year — so far — now. Other former students are in careers,
such as the military, physical therapy, landscaping, dental hygiene, and
one student was on America’s Got Talent as a comedian and lives in New
York, and travels doing comedian shows now. They are getting engaged,
married, and having children.”
Because of Schindler’s passion for her job, she helped inspire many children to reach their dreams.
passion for teaching today is directly related to what interested me in
the career in the first place. When a student shows tremendous growth
or masters a skill that was difficult and smiles a big smile or is proud
of an accomplishment, those are the days I walk away knowing I have
done what I set out to do all those years ago when I decided to become a
teacher,” Schindler said. “I want to make a positive difference,
inspire others to meet their highest potential, believe in themselves,
and achieve their dreams.”
To Schindler, relationships matter.
Because of her passion for teaching and her willingness to follow her
dreams from early on, she has inspired many children to follow their
dreams and reach their goals. At Scott County School District 2,
Schindler’s story is our story. Your story matters. You matter.