Angelita Martinez de Florio

Mexico City, Mexico

Not many people can say a thousand friends showed up for their retirement party. Angela Florio can, and her forty-two-year career testifies to the impact she has had teaching theatre.

Ms. Florio earned a master’s in speech therapy at the Catholic University of America after obtaining bachelor’s degrees in education from St. Paul College in Manila, the Philippines. She returned to the Philippines to teach drama—a passion she discovered in early childhood. A brief stay in the U.S. preceded a move to Mexico City, where she taught at the American School Foundation for twenty-two years.

Ms. Florio’s high expectations ground a career recognized for excellence in teaching and production. Colleagues described her as “very professional” and “meticulous” as a director. “Nothing escapes her well-trained eye,” one commented. “The results are breathtaking.”

“She has consistently drawn from students their best efforts,” wrote another colleague, “typically resulting in excellent performances and giving our school the reputation as the place to see American musical comedy, in English, in Mexico City.”

Ms. Florio began her tenure at the American School with almost no theatre facility. Proceeds from the celebration marking her final production were earmarked toward a state-of-the-art facility to support the theatre program she worked hard to build. As her retirement date approached, local newspapers profiled her extensively. She said teaching and staging theatre productions is exhausting work, but she won’t leave them behind entirely. The future she could see from that point in her life held more community service and involvement in educational theatre. “I do not plan to retire from life,” she promised.

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