After being a business teacher, case manager and administrator at Franklin County High School for 32 years, Rocky Mount Mayor Steve Angle is retiring from the school system.
He will continue as mayor. He was re-elected on May 1.
Angle has taught business law, introduction to business, economics and personal finance, business management and introduction to leadership in the past. As an administrator for the past six years, he oversaw the day-to-day operations of the school as well as handled disciplinary issues. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Aside from being the town mayor since 2006, Angle coached basketball for 15 years and track and field for seven years at the high school. He’s also been the commentator for the Eagles football games for the last 40 years.
He plans to continue announcing the games for now.
“It’s something I enjoy,” he said.
Angle said he started the commentator position by accident. The person who voiced the games before Angle was out sick, so Angle was asked to step in.
“The person who used to do it never came back, so I kind of fell into it,” he said.
Angle never intended to be an educator. He had majored in business administration as a Virginia Tech undergraduate.
Fresh out of college, he filled in at the high school for a teacher on maternity leave. The following year the teacher decided not to come back, so he applied for the job and got it. The rest is history.
Then he earned a master’s degree in educational leadership and policy studies, also from Tech.
His favorite part, he said, was working with the students.
“Sometimes you don’t get that reward until later in life when you see a student that you worked with and they graduated and gone on with whatever direction their life has taken them,” he said. “Then you see them and they thank you for what you did for them.”
One of his most memorable stories with the high school wasn’t as an educator, but when he was voicing a football game.
“Our old stadium was very dilapidated, the [public address] system worked sometimes, sometimes it didn’t,” he said.
This particular night during a game, the switch on the microphone malfunctioned.
“During the game, one of the officials on the field made a horrible call, and everybody in the stadium knew it,” he said. “I think the official knew it too.
“The crowd was booing and carrying on. Of course we in the press box thought it was pretty bad and having the microphone switched off, I said ‘Boo.’”
His voice echoed all throughout the stadium because it wasn’t turned off after all, he said.
Angle said he’s retiring now because it’s the right moment.
“People that have retired before me said that you’ll know when it’s time, and it’s time,” he said. “I just turned 65 and everything just fell into place with what my wife and I want to do. So it’s a good time to step out.”
In the future, Angle said he and his wife, Lisa Angle, plan on traveling to Europe. He also plans to focus more on his photography, ride his motorcycle and have more time for sports and music.
“Sports and music are my two big passions,” he said.
And his love of sports extends to his alma mater. Kevin Bezy, the associate principal at the high school, said he’s never met a more enthusiastic supporter for Virginia Tech than Angle.
And the love for music also is apparent.
“Stopping in his office, one can see that he is passionate about music, particularly a fan of Jimmy Buffett,” Bezy added.
Angle said he’s been to 50 Jimmy Buffett concerts; he plans to attend more in his retirement.
He’s most excited about living life on his own schedule, rather than someone else’s, but he’ll miss his colleagues the most.
“The ones that I was able to work with directly in the classroom were absolutely wonderful. I still hear from some of them on occasion or run into them,” he said. “Our excellence in our schools is due to our dedication of our teachers, administrators.
“It’s been a privilege to be associated with those people,” Angle said. “And I will really miss them.
Over the last 32 years, Angle said being an educator has taught him to be open-minded. Being around young people has kept him young.
Bezy said Angle has positively affect the lives of all the students he’s worked with, and Bezy could always count on him for whatever he needed.
“He supports the mission of the school both on campus and in the community,” he said.
Angle, Bezy said, is and will always be the “Voice of the Eagles.”