Angela Pasquinelli, lover of books, movies, Broadway and TV, joins the English Department

On a typical Saturday evening, an eight-year-old Angela Pasquinelli could be seen reenacting school, lecturing and reading books to her four Cabbage Patch kids lined up against the wall. She always wanted to become a teacher, but she did not know what kind of teacher she wanted to be until she met Ms. Ray, her English 10, Shakespeare and Music Appreciation teacher.

Angela Pasquinelli at age eight with her two Cabbage Patch Kids during Christmas of 1994. (Photo courtesy of Angela Pasquinelli.)

“Something about her demeanor just made me feel really comfortable,” Pasquinelli said. “I would raise my hand almost every day in that class, and I wouldn’t in any of my other classes.”

Born in the Bay Area, Pasquinelli attended Presentation High School—an all-girls school—and stayed local, attending Santa Clara University and majoring in English with an emphasis on teaching.

“All the star athletes, all the star actors, all the stars in anything, were all female,” Pasquinelli said. “Girls don’t always get these opportunities. As a teenage girl in a small school where I knew everybody, I felt comfortable and safe. It was a home and a good home base for four years.”

Pasquinelli, who has been teaching for over 20 years, is currently teaching English 11 and AP English Language. Although she is teaching AP Language, she made the conscious decision not to take it in high school. Instead of taking the AP English classes, she decided to take the “more interesting electives” like Shakespeare and British Novels. 

While taking the British Novels class, Pasquinelli came upon her favorite book, “Pride and Prejudice.” She enjoys how the characters, the romance and the plot made the book come together and was surprised when she started laughing the first time she read it. 

“I had kind of a mistaken preconceived idea [of it being a super old serious book], and then when I read it I was like, ‘Oh, old stuff can be funny too, it doesn’t have to be boring,’” Pasquinelli said.

Angela Pasquinelli took her friend Julie to watch “Something Rotten,” her favorite musical, in San Francisco in September 2017. Knowing how much Pasquinelli loved “Something Rotten,” Julie came along to see why it was one of Pasquinelli’s favorites. (Photo courtesy of Angela Pasquinelli.)

Outside of school, Pasquinelli enjoys watching Broadway shows in San Francisco and New York. Growing up, her mom loved movie musicals which kickstarted her own love for them. 

A memory she is particularly fond of is sitting front row of the mezzanine at “Peter Pan” with her mom, aunt and brother. She found it to be a magical and memorable experience because it felt like the actress playing Peter Pan, Sandy Duncan, was flying right at them.  

Her all-time favorite show is “Something Rotten,” a Shakespeare spoof that takes place during the Renaissance. She loves the show because it has musical theatre, comedy, tap dancing and Shakespeare all in one. 

When not attending Broadway shows, Pasquinelli loves watching fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal movies and TV shows. Her dad “hopped on the ‘Schitt’s Creek’ bandwagon,” and, wanting to have something funny to talk about with him, she hopped on the unforgettable ride with him, though it is not in her usual genre. 

Before the pandemic, Angela Pasquinelli went to many fan conventions. At the convention, she took a Christmas card photo with the cast of Supernatural, one of the fantasy shows that she enjoys. (Photo courtesy of Angela Pasquinelli.)

“I just fell in love with it,” she said. “And I watched it at least three times during quarantine. As soon as I finished the last episode, I would just start back over at the beginning.”

Pasquinelli joined Hicklebee’s Book Club, a club for adults that focuses on the Young Adult Genre at least five years ago. Through participating in the book club, she wants to find books with YA authors, especially ones that live in the Bay Area, that her students will enjoy as well. Wanting her students to stay motivated and connected with the books they’re reading in class, Pasquinelli tries to find a common interest between the two. Pasquinelli tries to find a common interest between her students and the books they’re reading to make them excited to turn the page.

“Part of the challenge with school is teachers are forcing students to read things that they might not want to read or books that they wouldn’t naturally pick up on their own,” Pasquinelli said. “I want students to feel connected with the things they’re reading.”