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FTHS Teacher Named "Champion of Equity"

Dr. Angello Villarreal The second Excellence in Equity Awards program for educators, presented by the American Consortium for Equity in Education, has announced the winners in 12 unique award categories recognizing contributions across PreK-12 and higher education. Dr. Angello Villarreal, a Spanish teacher at Freehold Township High School, was named Champion of Equity - General Education Teacher. 

The awards were created in 2022 to acknowledge, spotlight, and celebrate high-impact work at all levels in education, as well as expand and enhance the discussion around educational equity. The winners were selected based on outstanding achievement in supporting equitable access, opportunity, and outcomes for all learners.

“It is once again an exciting honor to recognize the school and system leaders, classroom practitioners, support staff, and other professionals whose dedication to learners at every level makes a positive difference not only in schools and classrooms, but in all aspects of our society,” said Ross Romano, Founding Program Chair of the Excellence in Equity Awards and Strategic Advisor to the American Consortium for Equity in Education. “Congratulations — and thank you — to each of the winners of the 2024 Excellence in Equity Awards. We’re pleased to highlight your achievements and we look forward to supporting your next big initiatives.”

Dr. Villarreal teaches Spanish at Freehold Township High School and is a Spanish Adjunct Professor at Monmouth University. Dr. Villarreal was born and raised in Lima, Peru and, as a Hispanic immigrant and English Learner, draws on his own experiences to better serve students. Advocacy is the center of his philosophy, research, work, community service, mentorship and leadership. From creating after-school programs to leading different projects, Dr. Villarreal believes working with the community is critical for students’ success.

Dr. Villarreal has secured a mini-grant from ASCD, allocating resources to support students’ mental health and create safe spaces for his students. He has also been working to create Young Males Circles, a support group that meets during lunch and creates safe spaces for group members and other students, some of whom may not have support at home.

Dr. Villarreal is also active in professional organizations and affiliations within the field. He serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of School-University Partners (NASUP), serves on the Advisory Committee for the Social Justice Academy at Monmouth University, and serves as an adjunct professor at Monmouth University. 

For this 2023-2024 school year, he has three chapter books in press. He has recently presented as a keynote speaker at Princeton K-12 Parent Engagement night, NJEA Annual Convention: “The Teacher Leader in You”, and at Kean University – Delta Rho Chapter. He was selected as a National ASCD Champion in Education, nominated for National LatinX Educator of the Year, FTHS December Teacher of the Month, and he is being inducted into the Kean University – Delta Rho Chapter Honorary Member. He has received acknowledgments from Governor Phil Murphy; the State Senate; Representative Chris Smith; Senator Vin Gopal; the Monmouth County Superintendent, and Congressman Andy Kim for his national awards and work towards education and equity.