Gale Mangold, Robert Salgado Honored In Hills Community


(left) Mangold sitting with a student. (right) Salgado teaching his class

Simmie Brisman, School News Editor

On Wednesday, December 5, Gale Mangold and Robert Salgado received awards for being the best Educational Services Professional of the Year and the most impactful teacher of the year, respectively. Mangold and Salgado were picked from over one hundred other staff members. For 34 years, Mangold, the student assistance counselor, has been a key role model in making Pascack Hills a safe place to be; Salgado, a special education teacher, has driven students towards promising futures in his five years of teaching at Pascack Hills.

When Mangold found out she was named Educational Services Professional of the Year, she was admittedly confused.

Mr. Wieland came to tell her the news while she was on the phone with a treatment provider. She saw Mr. deMarrais and Mr. Bachenheimer were outside of her office, and she had to get off the phone to see what they were there for. “Oh no, something has happened! What is going on?” Mangold thought in the moment.

This is when they told her that she had received the Educational Services Professional of the Year award. “I was exhilarated, surprised. I felt joyful and happy,” Mangold said.

Salgado had a similar reaction. “When I found out, I was in the middle of a lesson. Then the large group of teachers came in to tell me, I had a hard time focusing on the lesson again. I was really surprised, and I could not believe it” Salgado said.

Salgado has been teaching for about nine years, and his experience is shown in his students who rave about his teaching. Amongst his strengths? He understands that people learn at different speeds and some may need more help to understand.

“I try to make sure I give students the time they need, whether it is during lunch or after school. I very much try to make sure they know I care about the students. I feel like that is reflected in how I speak to them and how I interact with them.”

If a student does not feel comfortable speaking to a teacher, they will feel frightened to ask for help. The learning will not be as beneficial according to Salgado.

While teachers at Pascack Hills are greatly appreciated, some people forget to acknowledge the guidance counselors. This can be because some students already have someone to talk to. Whenever you need someone to talk to, you can stop by guidance and talk about anything you want.

Much like Salgado, Mangold also works hard to do the best for her students.

“You come to your job, and you do your job, and you do your work very hard every day. But when you get acknowledged for the things that you do, it feels really special,” Mangold said, smiling broadly.

However, this does not mean that this hard work is easy.

“My job is working with students that have had a collection of issues, whether its drug and alcohol abuse or family issues. I work with students who have had eating disorders, cutting behavior, suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, sexual assault, and all things in between. And then harassment, intimidation, and bullying.”

While teachers have goals and objectives in their lesson plans, guidance counselors like Mangold also have their own endgame in mind.

“When I work with those issues and problems, my goal is to help an individual feel better, and help them access treatment if treatment is necessary. And help them feel empowered again, and in charge of their life instead of some of the terrible things that happen sometimes in their lives.”

Although Salgado is thankful for the award, he was humble in naming another teacher he felt deserved the honor.

“Personally, I believe there are so many great teachers that could have gotten the award. Specifically, Dr. Frangiosa. He truly wants to see his students improve. The way he does it is a model for how we need to learn.”

This award is a very honorable gift as it encourages more teachers to help students. The awardees should be proud, but also continue to focus on what matters most –– the students.

At Pascack Hills, we are lucky to have a dedicated staff that doesn’t see teaching or helping students as just an obligation.

In the words of Mangold, working at Pascack Hills is “more a mission than a job.”