What would make a highly successful chemical engineer at an industry-leading company like Kimberly-Clark quit her job to help home-schooled kids? Nothing short of a passion for teaching.
Angela Paul, the chief operating officer of Math Plus Educational Services, attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Georgia Tech, where she earned a master's degree in chemical engineering.
Paul said she enjoyed working as an engineer, but she began to realize she was called to teach.
"While working as an engineer at Kimberly-Clark, my manager said 'You are a natural teacher because people are always telling me that you're teaching them something.' This was kind of a turning point me," Paul said.
After much deliberation, she decided to leave engineering.
"My teaching career started when I decided to homeschool my own four children," Paul said. "My interest in the homeschooling community grew out of the natural love that I have for young people and education.
"In those early years of homeschooling, there wasn't as much information as there is today," she said. "I had a lot of parents who were asking me questions about what things they needed to do to homeschool their kids. They were desperate for help, especially when it came to teaching math and science to their older children. I saw a need that wasn't being met, and I wanted to meet it."
Although Paul has taught math and science to younger children, she concentrates on high school students. In 1993, she offered her first math and science classes to a handful of high schoolers. Since then, she has taught hundreds of home-schooled students and assisted many with getting in to some of the best colleges in the country.
Student Hannah Radar, who now teaches at the Seoul Foreign School in Seoul, South Korea, said: "Perhaps the thing that made me respect Mrs. Paul the most was that she took the time to get to know us. She made learning personal. ... She went out of her way to provide extra time to help her students."
Paul's involvement in the college admissions process showed her a need to streamline that process for home-schooled students. She established the Northeast Independent Preparatory Academy, which is an accredited program that helps home-schooling families who want their children to have a diploma recognized by the state of Georgia. NIPA recently graduated its 15th class.
For the 2016-17 school year, Math Plus Educational Services will be offering classes in algebra 2, pre-calculus/trigonometry, chemistry and advanced-placement physics. All classes are taught by Paul in her Tucker home.
Besides teaching, Paul offers a variety of educational services to traditional students, including private tutoring, SAT preparatory workshops, and testing and educational consultation for parents.
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