Angie Fino has been named 2021 Teacher of the Year for the Pacific South district. Mrs. Fino is a math support specialist at Stearley Heights Elementary School in Okinawa, Japan.

Fino holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of New Mexico-Albuquerque and a master’s degree in organizational management from University of Phoenix-Albuquerque. She has 23 years of teaching experience, 18 of which have been with DoDEA.

When asked why she chose to become an educator, Fino recalled the admiration she felt for her teachers as an elementary school student.

“Being a teacher gives me the opportunity to impact many students by being a role model and building relationships, inspiring them to be good citizens, passing on my knowledge, building confidence and making connections to the real world,” Fino said. “Teaching is a blessing that I do not take for granted.”

As math support specialist, Fino works with students who need math support in a small group setting.

“When that ‘light bulb’ turns on is where I find the most gratification,” she said. “Just as I tell my students not to give up, I instill that in my teaching on a daily basis. Seeing students gain knowledge and confidence in math allows me to fulfill my teaching responsibilities.”

Stearley Heights Elementary Principal Dr. Jennifer Sears said that Mrs. Fino is always willing to collaborate with classroom teachers and provide families with additional support and resources.

“She is a master of data analysis,” Dr. Sears said. “She assists every teacher and/or grade level in how to use math data to drive instructional practices and activities, as well as provides opportunities for re-teaching and enriching math instruction with students at all grade levels through math support or collaboration with other intervention/support specialists."

TOY Stearling
Angie Fino Math Support Specialist Teacher
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