Saturday Spotlight- Athena Angerhauser

Name: Athena Angerhauser (my Facebook last name Bier is my grandma maiden name don’t want my students creeping on my ugly race photos lol
Age: 28
Siblings: one brother Bobby (17)
Status: for government purposes single but really in a relationship with my wonderful boyfriend of 7 1/2 years Stephen
Children: No 2 legged children yet but I have a 10 month old puppy named Remley
Occupation: Special Education Mathematics Teacher
My story: It starts long before I was born when my parents met in a cab in the city. My Italian/Irish mom born and raised in Brooklyn she is 7 of 9 kids. My German/Irish dad born and raised in Queens oldest of 3. They married in 1984 and had me in 1988. A few months before I was born they decided the city life was not how they were going to raise their children. So they moved out to Mastic into a summer bungalow where I grew up and they still live there today. I was an only child for 11 years it was pretty boring then my parents “oops” I guess and had my brother.
Schooling: I went to OLQA (Our Lady Queen of Apostles) in Center Moriches from Kindergarten and 1st grade. Then long bus ride started in 2nd grade and I started to attend St. Isidore’s school in Riverhead.I graduated 8th grade with 28 kids in my class and about 18 of them I have been in the same class/school since 2nd grade. For high school I journeyed every day for over an hour and half each way to St. Anthony’s HS in South Huntington. There was a lot of studying and sleeping that occurred on my bus ride every morning. I graduated with over 600 students in my class so it was quite an overwhelming change from elementary school. I wasn’t that great in sports and if you aren’t amazing in sports there was no way you were getting on a team at St. Anthony’s so no sports for me. So instead I opted for the perfect attendance award. They got rid of that award my sophomore year but my mom still made me complete all 4 years without missing a day!
I started dancing at the 2 1/2 years old. Before long I was on the competition team and completing in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, musical theater etc. As soon as I got off the bus it was change, snack, dance until late at night and then starts it all over again. I know this would kill my mom but if I had to do it all over again I don’t think I would have put all of my hours in dance I feel that I missed out on many friendships and outings birthdays etc. It came a point where people didn’t even ask me to hang out because usually the answer was sorry I have dance class. I did love to dance even though I wasn’t great but it was fun and got better as time went on. My teacher was very mean to me and would constantly yell because I would make a mistake or didn’t smile. But who would smile if you keep getting picked on and now your whole class knows it’s your fault they are re-doing the dance because of you but I guess it just made me stronger. There were plenty of nights I wanted to go home crying but I wasn’t allowed. My mom said if you cry over dance then I will take you out of dance. She said unless you were bleeding, vomiting or something is broken I wasn’t allowed. In 10th grade I wanted to try something different I played on my town soccer team. I wasn’t great I had an inhaler but I tried it and scored a few goals but it lasted a year I guess I didn’t get it out of my system when I “played” at 4 years old.
I graduated HS in 2006 and went off to Mt. St. Mary College in Newburgh, NY. I wanted to far enough that my parents won’t come over for dinner on the regular but close enough to get home if I wanted. I start college as a physical therapy major and quickly changed to a major in mathematics. After 4 1/2 years of undergraduate school I had a mathematics degree and psychology minor. I came back home and went right back to work. My first job other than teaching dance class since I was 14ish was a cashier at the King Kullen in Center Moriches. It was there during my summer and winters off that I met Stephen. I worked there and at Smith Point beach for years.
My teaching career stated with subbing and working as a teaching assistant at ESM School district. Soon after, I started my first full time teaching job in Queens. I loved and hated it. The job was good but the commuted sucked but I have been dealing with a crappy commute since 2nd grade so I can handle it right? I spent every day on the train ride home from work looking for a long island teaching job aka a fool’s errand at time. During all of this time I was getting my Master’s in Literacy at LIU- Riverhead. Fellow SHW Katy Clark-Pettit was my professor. I got an A in her class Back to the job search…. I applied and searched everywhere which I have been doing since I graduated. I found online a posting for Riverhead HS. I applied and hoped for the best. My interview was the Friday before hurricane Sandy. I didn’t hear back from Riverhead for over a month a just assumed they didn’t want me. Until mid-December they called and asked for a demo lesson I was like who is this? What? Before I knew it I was signing papers and starting a week before Christmas break. I have been there for over 3 years and I love it.
Oh yea about running… I started with some ladies from work who called themselves the fit club they would power walk the track after school. Maritza Santos invited me to join them. It was so nerve wrecking at first because the first day felt like a tryout. I had to be able to keep up and be trustworthy enough to keep secrets and stories that were mentioned during fit club. I felt pretty adult lol. After that I began to jog a little with the walk. As time went on I would just “run” more and more. I started with some 5k nothing crazy. I went to do the diva race and went to packet pick up with Maritza. I saw a stand that said “Bermuda half marathon”. I said “hahaha would that be so fun if fit club goes to that. They even have a 10k for me to do”. At the time the most I ran/walk was about 5 flat miles. Before I knew it was getting an email from Maritza with the prices of the trip all lined up. I was like ummm sure I will do that. I had to ask my boss for 2 periods off to catch my flight. He told me I can’t let you go if you don’t do the half marathon. What??! Even though I am about 95% he was kidding I found myself signed up for the 10k AND the half marathon. I did it and it was hilly and I hated but loved it. Once again Maritza pushed me to go further and strive for more she introduced me to the hills last march. I have completed several races since. I am up to my 4th half marathon. I am not fast But I always do it hope for the best. I could only imagine if I trained more regularly. I still struggle with managing my crazy life schedule and working out consistently. Even this week I just got home from Chicago Tuesday and closed on my house 2 days ago. This morning I already unpacked two boxes. oh yea and teach summer school, coach kickline team, and since I love school and loans so much administration degree graduate school.
Sorry to all of the grammar Nazis I write like a talk/3rd grader!!! Happy Saturday! Stay HYDRATED!

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