She was proud of her track team and proud of all of our womens' athletic teams. She would watch us at our basketball games. She would walk over and watch us at our softball practices. She would give us tips and remind us to wear warm-up pants after a basketball practice. "Hey Culver", she yelled to me after one of my practices, "where's your pants?" She knew the leg muscles didn't like the cold after a two hour workout! She encouraged and guided. She came to our games and supported us. She did this as a coach, a teacher, and a friend.

            I was lucky to have gone on a retreat with her this past winter. It was to learn and work on the "ism's" we all face on a daily basis. Racism, sexism, adultism (how adults treat kids.) "Ism's" on gay issues, and all the "isms" we have learned. It was a special time for me to get to know Angela. We had to call her by her first name and not by Miss Coniglio. We shared and talked. We created little clay figures that she kept in her room until the end of the retreat. We drew on our folders with a silver marker, and when we couldn't get the marker to work anymore, together we took it apart until we destroyed it! We came out with silver all over our hands and laughing.

            I didn't see her as my biology teacher on this retreat, but as a regular person like me. She dressed in jeans and had her hair pulled back in a baseball cap. This is how I like best to remember her. She talked on the way home about coming back and starting a group to discuss the "ism's" we have here in our school. How we could improve some of them. I hope her dream is one that we can start, and work on here at Clyde Savannah. It can improve people's relations with each other and the quality of life and education for all of us.

            As a teacher, she was the best. When you entered the room, she would have a quote on the board for us every day. Little words of wisdom and encouragement. She had a way of reaching you. She involved you and got you motivated and excited about learning. Even kids that aren't always into their studies worked hard for her. She had high expectations for all her students. In her eyes, we were all a success. For her, we all wanted to succeed.

            I have a lot of memories of Miss Coniglio. I keep a journal and wrote down the 56 favorite memories I remember about her. We shared a love of the Beatles. Some are personal, some are silly, some are life lessons that I will always have to cherish and get me through in my life. I'll never forget my friend, Angela Coniglio. She touched my life forever, and I thank her for that. I thank her parents for their part in raising such a wonderful person. She made a difference in this world.

            In closing - I found two quotes, one un-attributed and the other by Andy Warhol. I feel that they describe what she was about, and the messages that she taught us: "Rather than waiting for things to happen, go out and happen to things"; and "They always say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself."



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