Al D’Angelo has dedicated his life to educating children and bettering his east Bronx community.
But it’s really the children he has taught, he said, that changed the course of his life.
“When I graduated from high school I had a four-year scholarship to Houston University in Texas for swimming, but I was either going to join the service or become a cop,” D’Angelo said. “And somebody had called me and asked me to substitute in the classroom because they needed a teacher for a week. I went in there to sub — I was 19 — and I liked it so much that I went on to become a teacher. They changed my life instead of vice versa.”
The Morris Park community man certainly keeps himself busy, in and out of the borough.
D’Angelo is principal of Holy Name of Jesus School in New Rochelle, first vice chair of Community Board 11, and just recently stepped down as president of the Morris Park Community Association.
He serves on the advisory boards of Jacobi Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, as well as on the board of directors for Spellman High School.
He’s also affiliated with the Knights of Columbus and the Morris Park Kiwanis Club.
“Other than that, I have nothing to do,” he joked.
D’Angelo, 70, settled in Morris Park 30 years ago with his wife of 43 years, Christine, and their daughter Marie.
He attended St. Anselms Catholic School, Rice High School, and Iona College.
The soft spoken Bronxite said one thing a lot of people don’t know about him is that “Being a member of the association, a lot of people don’t realize there is a sensitive part of me.”
What drives him, he noted, is the satisfaction he gets from serving his community.
“I learned early in my life that I was best working with young people and doing things for the community,” he said. “It makes me feel good to do things for other people. It’s not a pat on the back. It’s what I get enjoyment from, so it makes it easy.”
Kirsten Sanchez can be reach via e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (718) 742-3394