June 21, 2023
When Angela Breetz, the chair of the Science Department at Badin High School, returned a phone call in May, she had no idea what would be at the other end.
“I was speechless,” Breetz smiled, “and I’m usually not somebody who is short of words.”
The voice at the other end of the phone was the administrative assistant to the president at the Hixson Co., an Architecture, Engineering and Interior design firm in Cincinnati – letting Mrs. Breetz know that she had won the annual Hixson Teacher of the Year award.
“I was floored – and very grateful,” said Breetz, a 2001 Badin graduate who just concluded her 10th year of teaching at Badin, 18th in the profession. “I probably fumbled around with some words in saying thank you.”
“Angela has a passion that resonates with her students,” said Brian Pendergest, the president of Badin who hired Breetz a decade ago. “Her dedication for her students and for science is tremendous. She’s not only an excellent science teacher, but she takes the opportunity to teach her students life lessons that stick with them long beyond the time she has them in class.”
It was a bit of a process for Breetz to earn the award – which she received, ironically, during Teacher Appreciation Week at Badin – that also included a financial prize. She was nominated, and then had to apply – writing some half-dozen short essays to substantive questions about the profession.
Breetz noted that Mrs. Kim Meehan, who works at Hixson, nominated her. But Mrs. Meehan pointed out that it was her daughter, then-Badin-senior June Meehan, who had suggested the nomination.
“Angela Breetz is amazing,” Kim Meehan said, explaining that Hixson employees and their families are eligible to nominate teachers. “She gives students of all abilities the tools to learn. She truly cares about her students.”
Kim had asked her daughter if there was a Badin teacher she felt should be nominated. “June thought about it for less than 30 seconds and said, ‘Mrs. Breetz!’ She was adamant about it.”
“Mrs. Breetz is very genuine in her work,” said June Meehan, who will be a freshman at Ohio University in the fall. “She really cares about what she is teaching. She made her classes very engaging for the students. She completely deserved the award.”
Breetz teaches Honors Biology to freshmen at Badin, along with Advance Placement (AP) Biology to juniors and seniors. She also teaches College Credit Plus (CCP) Anatomy & Physiology to juniors and seniors.
“Because it’s science!” Breetz, a Miami University grad, laughed when asked what she enjoys about teaching science. “I enjoy watching the students’ lives unfold in the present and the future; watching them come alive on their own.”
Breetz is well known for her Motivational Mondays to get students off on the right foot, and the “attitude of gratitude” that she encourages upon her students.
“You cannot live a joyful life without gratitude,” Breetz noted. “It’s a daily reminder that our blessings are bigger than our problems.”
“There’s always something new to learn,” Breetz added. “We live in an age of such advancement and progress. Yes, you have the foundations, but there is never a shortage of new things to learn. The potential is limitless. I enjoy the chance to talk about how science fits into things.”
Breetz and her husband, Craig, are the parents of three elementary school children and live in Fairfield. As a student at Badin, Breetz was an outstanding athlete – playing in two state championship soccer games and one state championship basketball game. She also played in a national title game as a club soccer player at Miami.
“I don’t do this on my own,” Breetz underlined of her teaching prowess. “I’m surrounded by incredible mentors who I learn from every day. Having the chance to teach science to caring students, to make a difference in their lives, is a blessing.”
“Angela is a leader in our school community and active in numerous roles here at Badin,” Pendergest said. “She is the perfect person to receive the Hixson Teacher of the Year award.”
Contact: Dirk Q. Allen, Dallen@BadinHS.org or (513) 869-4490