New Jersey Department of Education

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Governor’s Educator of the Year Program

New Jersey State Teachers of the Year

2020-21 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year

Press Release announcing Angel Santiago as 2020-21 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year

Student Video Highlighting Angel Santiago

Angel Santiago is an elementary school teacher at Loring Flemming Elementary school in Blackwood, New Jersey. Santiago is the 2020-2021 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year. His passion for education is rooted in fostering strong relationships with his students, their families, his colleagues, and the communities in which he serves.Picture of Angel Santiago

Growing up in Vineland, New Jersey, Angel’s single mother worked long hours, instilling in him the importance of having a strong work ethic. Angel loved school, it was a second home for him, and his teachers opened up the world to him, providing opportunities for Angel to flourish. He experienced what it’s like to belong to something bigger than oneself, and that initiated his life-long commitment to the community and public service. One such outlet for his generous nature has been The Gabriel Project, founded by retired Vineland teacher Mark Melamed. Mr. Melamed taught his students about the importance of service and how it impacts a community. After the passing of the founder Mark Melamed, Angel continued serving in a new role as Vice President (2014–16) alongside Mr. Melamed’s brother, Ken Melamed.

Angel found another community at Rowan College of New Jersey from 2006 to 2009 that would continue to foster his commitment to service. He took evening classes while working full time and received an Associate of Liberal Arts in Education. In 2009, Angel enrolled in a hybrid degree model offered by Fairleigh Dickinson University. During his tenure at Fairleigh Dickinson University, he became a member of both Phi Theta Kappa and Kappa Delta Pi Honor Societies. Angel currently holds a Master of Education and a Bachelor of Humanities.

Awarded 2020-21 Camden County Teacher of the Year, Angel has taught his entire professional career in the county in which he serves. He began teaching in the Lindenwold Public Schools, and in 2013 moved to the Gloucester Township Public School District. Within the Gloucester Township Public School District, Angel is often asked to provide professional development opportunities for his colleagues on topics such as the introduction of PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) and introducing the TCI (Teachers Curriculum Institute) for social studies and science. Additionally, he has been an integral part of extracurricular events, both in the district and within the Gloucester Township community that includes the Battle of the Teachers and Hispanic Heritage Night. For the last two years, Angel has facilitated a group of fourth and fifth-grade students called Young People of Character (YPOC). Our mission is to bring together students from all walks of life to serve the communities in which they live. The YPOC members have participated in writing letters to our veterans during Veterans Day, cleaning up the school grounds for Earth Day, and volunteering during Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Day of Service.

Angel believes that finding educators who represent the students of color is the key to closing equity gaps in our schools. Community service is a great way to teach empathy to our students so they can be good citizens now and eventually become the leaders of tomorrow. Angel is eager to spotlight the platforms of his fellow 2020–2021 County Teachers of the Year as a part of his platform. The title, New Jersey State Teacher of the Year, is just the beginning for Angel and is more a challenge than a recognition. He looks forward to serving not only the district of Gloucester Township but students, families, and teachers and school staff throughout New Jersey.

Angel currently lives in Elmer, New Jersey with his wife, who is also an educator, and their son. His hobbies include singing, playing the guitar, and music. Before becoming an educator, Angel was a music recording artist. Angel and his family are enjoying this time together and planning adventures and travel in the months to come.


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