INFLUENCER OF THE WEEK: Angel Bodiford, Thornebrooke Elementary School

Program assistant Angel Bodiford has been at the elementary school since it opened 22 years ago.

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Position: Program assistant

Time at school: 35 years for Orange County Public Schools, 22 years with Thornebrooke Elementary (since it opened)

Angel Bodiford is the program assistant at Thornebrooke Elementary School. She works closely with the school staff to help provide a high-quality, safe and structured learning environment. She has received the T.E.A.M.S. award, was District Support Person of the Year and was nominated for the Endeavor Award.

“Ms. Bodiford is an integral part of Thornebrooke Elementary School,” Principal Korey Bawden said. “She does whatever it takes to support our students and their families. If someone needs help or assistance, you can be sure that Ms. Bodiford is there. She also takes the time to know and understand each student she is working with. Thornebrooke is truly blessed to have her as part of the team.”

What brought you to your school?

Thornebooke provides a nurturing and inclusive learning environment that fosters the love of learning among all students. These values align with the same passion and enthusiasm I have for education. Thornebrooke's reputation, student achievements and community involvement also contributed to my interest in working there.

What do you love most about your school?

I love that Thornebrooke helps all students succeed academically by making students feel special. The staff and parents at Thornebrooke provide opportunities to build relationships and help students engage in learning in different and meaningful ways.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Watching the students grow and change. Students grow and change so much over the course of the school year. I love seeing the academic, social and developmental changes that happen in individual students.

What would you be if you weren’t in this profession?

I would be a child advocate — focusing on creating awareness building support, working for change and connecting with children and families.

Who influences you?

The students I work with influence me. I'm influenced by their enthusiasm and creativity. I'm influenced by their efforts and the struggles they overcome.

Who was your favorite teacher when you were in school? Why?

My middle school math teacher. Her passion for teaching and care for students made a difference in my academic success. I'm so proud to say that I learned from her.

What is your favorite children’s book and why?

“Corduroy.” Corduroy reminds us that we are perfect the way we are. This buttonless bear let us know we are worthy and that true friends accept us, flaws and all.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Spend time with family.

If you could dine with any famous person, past or present, who would it be and why?

Robin Williams. He had the ability to make people laugh and enjoyed helping others.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

The ability to heal because healing develops qualities of love, sympathy and humanity.

If you could only listen to three bands or artists, who would they be and why?

Bart Millard — he reminds us that even in a difficult situation, don't give up.

What was your go-to lunch and favorite snack as an elementary student?

My go-to lunch as an elementary student was tacos. I loved grabbing a bag of Funyuns chips as a snack after a school day.

What is your favorite holiday and why?

Christmas. Christmastime is filled love and laughter, being with my family.

Who was your best friend when you were in school and why? Are you still in touch?

My best friend in school was Janie, and we are still in close contact present day. Janie and I are "like-minded." We have a similar set of values, and this "liked-mindedness" helped us have a deeper understanding between the two of us.

What were your extracurricular activities as a student? Did you win any accolades or honors?

I was in cheerleading and softball. I earned honor roll awards.


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