Dr. Andrea Ange’s Passion for Learning will Live on at Campbell

January 12, 2018

 

by Sue Krzeminski

Everyone knew where to find Dr. Ange. The library has long been a hub for all the students to congregate at Campbell High School. Library Media Specialist Andrea Ange was always there with a quick smile and a kind word for students and faculty alike. Somehow she knew just what to say when someone was having a bad day or needed some encouragement.

“She was a supportive force at the school,” said Julie Greene, a long-term sub for Dr. Ange. “She was centrally located in the library, but, more importantly, she was centrally located in all the kids’ hearts.”

A passionate educator who centered everything she did around the needs of her students, Dr. Ange died this weekend from brain cancer.

She was that rare teacher who challenged her pupils academically and yet bonded with them almost like a doting family member. For the last decade, Dr. Ange made her presence felt, often behind the scenes, in countless ways whether she was applying for grants for the district, directing library programming or simply lending her wisdom to senior projects.

“She was the epitome of life-long learning,” said Lynn Gnaegy, a family consumer science teacher at Campbell. “She was aggravated if someone didn’t take advantage of a situation or an opportunity. She was all about ‘be the best you can be.’ She was a champion of others.”

Gnaegy encouraged her friend and colleague not to wait to complete her doctorate. That accomplishment came in 2016 when the library media specialist earned her PhD in education leadership from Southern New Hampshire University. Both teachers helped motivate one another. Ange had taken a more unconventional route to becoming an educator. In fact, it wasn’t until later in life that her passion for teaching and technology came into full bloom.

Her journey may have taken twists in turns, but she eventually acquired a staggering number of accolades, honors, and degrees. In 2012, she was chosen New Hampshire School Librarian of the Year. The year prior she was awarded Outstanding Library Specialist by the NH School Library Media Association. She served as president of the NE School Library Association from 2007 to 2013. She dedicated herself to improving as an educator every day. It was never about the accolades as Dr. Ange was simply looking for new ways to open more doors for her students.

“The old school model of education was not her,” explained teacher Justin Ballou. “The traditional box form and recipe was not going to determine success. You could see this through her own life. Through her own experience she realized and took ownership that the essence of education was something you’re experiencing fully and immersing yourself in.”

Ballou said Ange’s passion for living and learning was infectious. That’s why she struck a chord with so many students. “She referred to every student as hers,” he explained. “She wasn’t about observing. She was about doing.”

That is exactly how senior Jason Hamblett viewed his mentor. He worked with Dr. Ange for four years as she was the adviser of the Campbell Key Club. “She had a passion for learning. She loved all of her students. She was a perfect example of ‘you can do anything.’” Dr. Ange and Jason started the ‘Chrome squad’ to help any teachers and students who were struggling with technology.

Following Dr. Ange’s lead, Jason is planning a career in information technology. “Basically she taught me everything I know as far as IT.”

But Dr. Andrea Ange’s reach went well beyond her technology expertise. It was her kind soul that touched so many around her. “She believed in every single kid who walked through the door. She saw all the opportunities and potential within each and every one,” said Julie Green.

And so her legacy will live on at Campbell High School. Her students are already planning on ways to honor their cherished teacher. Although in the planning stages, the students wanted to convert the former computer lab into a Makerspace where the students and staff can gather to create, invent, and collaborate. The students have already ensured Julie Green that they will make it happen. They are determined to make Dr. Ange’s vision a reality.

“The students are taking their grief in a positive direction by affecting change,” Green said. Likewise, Gnaegy has already had students come forward asking what they can do. One junior girl has proposed revitalizing the library in her honor as part of her senior project. There is even talk of a memorial scholarship.

In Lynn Gnaegy’s words: “She was one of those high school kids who you wondered about what path they’d take and look how many lives she touched.”