Wandering for education

Chemistry teacher Angie Marchany-Rivera studies, impacts world


Dallas Nguyen

Chemistry teacher Angie Marchany-Rivera tutors a student after school on Tuesday, Nov. 27.

Musical notes ring in her head, even after leaving her music class. After arriving at her home, she immediately begins to work on school assignments. She sits in her chair with her arms on her desk, hand grasping her pencil. She looks out the window observing other kids play. Thinking to herself, she wonders what she will live to become.

Growing up on a mountain in Puerto Rico with her two sisters and parents, chemistry teacher  Angie Marchany-Rivera was raised in a loving home. For Marchany, her academic life was a leading priority throughout her childhood.

“In Puerto Rico, we speak Spanish mainly,” Marchany said.  “They do teach you since first grade pretty much. It’s pretty calm. Calmer than over here. It’s a little island and it’s just chill. There’s not a lot of hurry and everything is slower paced.”

Wanting her to be more involved with extracurricular activities, Marchany’s parents placed their children in an after school music class.

“When I was in fifth grade, they put us in music school,” Marchany said. “It’s still public but you would have to go to a different place to learn music. I did that for eight years.”

Not only did Marchany excel in her elementary years, her work ethic also carried through to her years after high school. After her high school graduation, she set out to earn her degree in Theoretical Physics with a minor in Atmospheric Science.

“I moved to Spain because I did an internship in college,” Marchany said. “Then I moved to the United States when I was 22 to start grad school at University of Arkansas, Little Rock.”

I like teaching because you get to interact with young people,

— Angie Marchany-Rivera

Throughout her education, Marchany always strived to be the best in her class. She kept her head high, even through challenges, which helped her climb to where she is now.

“I was [at the] top of my class since kindergarten,” Marchany said. “I was the kid everybody hated because I always got 100s. My challenge class was physics though. I got a D [on] one test and my teacher made me retake it. That subject was a problem for me until I got to grad school where I finally understood it.”

Going into college, Marchany had no intention of becoming a teacher. However, she found an interest in the field after taking up multiple tutoring jobs while she was in school and after graduation.

“I was a physics tutor when I was in college and when I left undergrad, I became a tutor for a company in Arkansas,” Marchany said. “So I was in grad school but I was also tutoring, and when I moved to Texas the first job I got was tutoring again. I then got a job working with little kids in afterschool programs, so I kind of fell into teaching.”

Starting up her new career, Marchany began to realize why she loves to teach. Although she attended college to only study science, she realized teaching chemistry would allow her to share a subject she loves with others.

“I like teaching because you get to interact with young people,” Marchany said. “They’re being preconditioned into thinking that science is too hard. I like to help at least change some of them into thinking they can actually go and study something in science and that it’s not as hard as some people make it seem.”

Marchany’s style of teaching shows to have significant effects on students which shows in her students’ grades. Along with helping her students improve their scores, her technique seems  her kids more interested in science.

“Ms. Marchany impacted my life, just being there,” senior Alisha Smith said. “She helped me through a lot. I took that A from sophomore year to senior year.”

Marchany maintains a constant effort to keep her classroom productive and entertaining at the same time.

“My favorite part of her class is how she’s quick to get things done in a fun way,” sophomore Sydney Oropeza said. “I can proudly say she is one of my favorite teachers I’ve had.”

After starting up her new career, Marchany has realized why she loves teaching; it allows her to share a subject she loves with others.

I think naturally I fell into teaching,” Marchany said.