Music teacher returns to hometown as 1st principal of Baden Academy
After nearly 20 years as a music teacher and administrator with the Pittsburgh Public Schools, Angie Abadilla looks forward to returning to Beaver County as the first principal at Baden Academy Charter School in the fall.
Abadilla, 44, grew up in Baden. Early in her career, she taught at Mt. Gallitzin Academy, and Baden Academy now is in the same building.
“I feel like I'm coming home,” said Abadilla, who lives in Allison Park. “I dreamt of a job like this.”
Started in 2012, the arts-based Baden Academy has grown steadily. This year, 464 students are expected in grades K-5, spokeswoman Christina Zarek said. Plans call for a grade to be added each year until K-8 is reached.
The academy's board of directors appointed Abadilla this month. Until then, consultants were hired to head the school, board president Sal Aloe said.
Abadilla's annual salary will be about $100,000, Aloe said. The 1987 graduate of Ambridge Area High School has a bachelor's degree in music education from West Virginia University and a master's in school administration from California University of Pennsylvania.
She joined Pittsburgh Public in fall 1994 as an instrumental music instructor at Schenley High School. She taught at some elementary schools before moving into the district's administration in recent years.
Since 2012, she has overseen K-12 curriculum in schools citywide as senior program officer for arts education.
“Angie loves to take on challenges,” said Aloe, a former Ambridge music teacher who has known Abadilla since grade school. “She thinks outside of the box and has great ideas. She also has good communications skills and is good with parents and staff.”
Abadilla, who studied drumming and dance in Ghana, is eager to expose students to other cultures. She said moving from a large school system to a small school will be tough.
“I'm going from working with (about) 60 schools to one,” she said.
She relishes the opportunity for a more hands-on role, however.
“I'll be surrounded by the (same) students,” she said. “It will be fun to watch them learn.”
Sarah Tambucci, director of the Pittsburgh-based Arts Education Collaborative, considers Abadilla, who sits on the group's advisory board, a role model.
“She's a wonderful person and an excellent teacher,” Tambucci said. “Her new job combines everything she loves.”
Jane Wall, a retired Pittsburgh Public Schools music teacher, worked with Abadilla on curriculum and assessment, and said she is good at developing community partnerships.
When city school buildings weren't available for a summer instrumental music program, Abadilla went into communities to find space.
Abadilla held monthly advisory meetings with parents and community partners on arts education. “Angela was a huge supporter of teachers and students,” said Wall, noting she attended concerts and visited classrooms.
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Moon assesses ways to help struggling Mooncrest
- Churchill teens putting Irish dancing skills on world stage
- Western Pa. nurses who served during Vietnam invited to tea in their honor
- Pittsburgh Botanic Garden ready to bloom again
- 2nd hotel planned in McCandless
- Kennedy man knocks out book about one-of-a-kind collection
- Variances sought in Northway mall mend
- Western Pa. school districts address e-cigarettes
- Young Achiever: John Ehling
- Franklin Park zoning board outlines decision on exemptions
- Mt. Lebanon commissioner steps down, citing health