Take Note

October 25, 2000 1 min read

Here She Comes...: Whoever thought there wasn’t a glamorous side to teaching hasn’t met Angela Perez Baraquio.

Angela Perez Baraquio

The students at Holy Family Catholic Academy in Honolulu know her as “Miss Angie,” but the rest of the world now knows her as the newly crowned Miss America.

A physical education teacher and athletics director at the school, Ms. Baraquio, 24, won the title Oct. 14 at the pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., edging out a law clerk from Louisiana.

“Since that evening, all the kids have been three feet above the ground,” said Tony Boquer, the principal of the 500- student school, which Ms. Baraquio also attended as a child, along with her 10 brothers and sisters.

The pageant fell on the date of one of the school’s two annual fund-raisers. So organizers set up big-screen televisions on the basketball court so students and parents could watch it together, said Mr. Boquer.

A believer in character education, Ms. Baraquio, who danced the hula during the talent portion of the competition, has said her goal is to become a classroom teacher, earn a master’s degree, and possibly work in educational administration.

After she was crowned Miss Hawaii earlier this year, she met with her principal and the pastor at the school, the Rev. Maurice McNeely, to discuss how that title would affect her school duties.

“She left us some big shoes to fill,” Mr. Boquer said, noting that two teachers were hired to take over Ms. Baraquio’s responsibilities.

The school will save an opening for her when her year as Miss America is over, Mr. Boquer said, even if she wants to complete her graduate degree first.

In the meantime, he said, the students and the staff are hoping for a visit from Miss America sometime around Thanksgiving.

—Linda Jacobson