B.S., State University of New York College at Brockport (Dual Degree)
Assistant Middle School Volleyball Coach
Danielle Clingerman served six years in the public school systems of Warren County as a substitute teacher and para-educator working with autistic students. However, Mrs. Clingerman is a nurturer and mother at heart, and she found that the sheer numbers at public school prevented her from getting to know her students as well as she would like. And so, in 2015, she joined the Randolph-Macon Academy family as the Middle School science teacher and seventh grade girls’ mentor.
“Here, you actually get to know the person and have a relationship with them,” she explained. “You can’t hide who you are; the classes are too small.”
Holding dual degrees from SUNY Brockport, in sociology and health sciences, Mrs. Clingerman aims to keep her students moving and engaged. “If we sit too long, I’ll be sleeping,” she joked. Therefore, her classes incorporate as many different experiences as possible: field trips, SmartBoard lessons, partner work, group work, and of course experiments. She has the students create an interactive notebook and integrates both auditory and visual learning into the note-taking and review sessions.
“I don’t want to be the ‘fun’ teacher, but I want to balance it so that when the time comes to have fun, we have fun,” Mrs. Clingerman said. “I hope to incorporate the fun into the learning.”
Mrs. Clingerman’s heart is as big as they come, which is shown in her career choices. She began her working life as an intern with Catholic Charities, where she was the front person for those in need of monetary assistance. She has worked in a home for children with disabilities, a day care, a juvenile detention center, and a special education program.
Over the years as both a professional and a mom, Mrs. Clingerman has learned many things. “Children are a clean slate,” she said. “There are things you know that they don’t and they’re fascinated by that. They’re like sponges, absorbing everything—both good and bad. Kids can’t be who you want them to be, so you have to work with who they are.”
The idea of having a clean slate and getting to influence children is one of the reasons Mrs. Clingerman has chosen to go into education. “It is one of the best ways to be in someone’s life. Your influence can have an impact on who they are,” she commented.
When not juggling her science classes or assisting with coaching volleyball at R-MA, you will probably find Mrs. Clingerman with her family, possibly watching one of her own four children play sports or just spending time with her husband Tony. Or, this energetic teacher—who is also a die-hard Yankees fan—might be working on a puzzle—typically one consisting of 3,000 to 5,000 pieces!