School: Solano Middle School
District: Vallejo City Unified School District
County: Solano County
Region: Northern California
Grade: Middle School
Subject: Special Education
Award Year: 2014
My students are a reflection of me. If I am successful, they will be also. I view my students as being at the starting line of a journey. As staff, we are well trained in knowing what our students can and can’t accomplish. After school, I have a parade of students that come to visit me. Many show me their daily grades. We spend time to discuss how we might improve their academics and other aspect of their lives. — Angelo Bracco
Bracco was in law enforcement for 27 years as a police officer in San Francisco and Concord, both locales in which he was selected Police Officer of the Year.
After his retirement, he wanted to work with challenged youth and pursued his teaching credential. Hired on an “emergency credential,” he began teaching a special education class at Solano Middle School, where he taught severely emotionally disturbed students. The class soon became a model and the program was acknowledged district-wide and attracted many newly-hired teachers, who came to observe and learn.
He has been at Solano Middle School for 14 years and has been the chair of the Special Education Department for 10 years. Bracco has earned a Special Education Credential and an Autism Spectrum Disorders Certificate.
Robert Russell, principal of Solano Middle School, described Bracco as “an exceptional teacher who has a genuine concern and interest in the education of our students (who) . . . are always engaged, comfortable, disciplined, and show Mr. Bracco a level of respect that very few teachers ever achieve. (He) consistently promotes excellent student achievement through highly effective use of the curriculum.”