Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School

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Inspiring OLSH Students to Succeed: Meet Mrs. Andrea Bagnell

Andrea Bagnell is the Chair of the Social Studies Department.  She has been working at OLSH since 2012, and arrived with eleven years of teaching experience, primarily as a substitute teacher, in the West Allegheny School District.  Andrea is also the Co-Chair of the Middles States Intellect Committee, moderator for the KDKA Hometown High Q Team, and serves on the school’s discipline committee.

Andrea received a B.S. in Business Management from Juniata College, where she also played on the basketball team.  She later decided that rather than working in business, she wanted to pursue education as her “second career” and went on to receive her M.Ed. from Carlow University.  Additionally, Andrea holds a Social Studies Certification 7-12 and an Elementary Education Certification K-6.

Teaching runs in Andrea’s family.  Her father was a Social Studies teacher and later a superintendent; her grandfather taught History at a junior high school in Altoona; her sister is a Reading Specialist in Virginia; and her mom worked as a Teacher’s Aide.

Andrea currently teaches AP World History to OLSH juniors, and a freshman World Geography class.  In her role as Department Chair, Andrea reviews curriculum, supplies, budgets, and textbooks.  She also ensures that all department members are receiving their continuous professional development training, and attends various educational conferences. “Andrea is the consummate educator who brings passion, knowledge and energy to the classroom,” says Principal Tim Plocinik. “She sets high expectations for all of her students and then provides them with the tools they need to succeed. Perhaps the best example of this can be seen in her AP World History course, where over 90% of her students have earned a qualifying score on the AP exam over the past three years.”

In addition to her teaching duties here at OLSH, Andrea serves as a Reader for the College Board AP Program.  She has been an AP Reader for three years, traveling to Salt Lake City for a week her first year to read essays with other teachers, and now works remotely.  In this capacity, Andrea reads DBQ (Document Based Questions) and LEQ (Long Essay Questions) responses from the AP World History exam.  This year she will also be grading new short answer questions.  Andrea is one of only 3,000 teachers who participate in this program.  She reads and evaluates essays of students from all around the world who take the AP exam.

Andrea enjoys the family atmosphere here at OLSH.  “The kids, faculty and staff are all wonderful”, she noted.  Andrea is most proud of the success her students have achieved on the AP tests.  She said they work very hard and score very well.

Andrea and her husband JD have two children.  Her daughter Brooke is a senior at Carlow University and will be working as an OR Nurse for UPMC upon graduation.  Her son Michael is a freshman at Pitt with aspirations of being a surgeon.  When her children were younger, Andrea was active in the PTA and also coached basketball.  Currently, in her spare time, Andrea belongs to a book club and recently joined a hiking group.

Andrea hopes to add an additional AP class to her expertise in the future, possibly in U.S. History.

“I see a long future for myself here at OLSH”, Andrea said.