Perfect Match

Married educators Cliff and Angie Snitgen reflect on saying 'I do' to teaching

Oakland University alums Cliff and Angie Snitgen in the classroom

Oakland University graduates Cliff and Angie Snitgen are dedicated educators.

Teaching Twosome

icon of a calendarNovember 16, 2017

icon of a pencilBy Emell Derra Adolphus

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There was never any doubt that Cliff Snitgen, SEHS ’17, would attend Oakland University. While his father worked as a manager in a clinical research lab facility on campus, Snitgen got acquainted with the curriculum, focusing on education. 

“I essentially grew up with Oakland University,” says Snitgen, who received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from the School of Education and Human Services. “Over the years, I have returned to OU for my graduate and post-graduate degrees, and it has been in some ways a symbolic event to see the University grow and develop as my own career and life were advancing.”

Early on, Snitgen knew he had a knack for helping others. Oakland helped him affirm that teaching was the right fit. 

“It began when I was in high school and worked on our school’s yearbook. That experience of working with others to accomplish a common goal really drove me to pursue a career in teaching,” he says. “While completing my student teaching as part of the undergrad degree, I was told that I had a calm presence in the classroom. My professor was always very complimentary of my ability to speak with other students. That was the moment I knew I had chosen the right field.”

Snitgen teaches English at Davis Junior High School in the Utica Community Schools district and coordinates a schoolwide, peer-to-peer mentor and transition program for incoming seventh-graders transitioning into school. After recently receiving his Education Specialist Degree from SEHS, he plans to transition into an administrator role in the district. 

“Oakland has helped me immensely as I create strong networks of like-minded educators and school officials who want to create better learning environments for all our students,” says Snitgen. “As I move forward in my career, I am confident that I have the tools and skills necessary to succeed.”

Snitgen did not meet his wife and fellow educator Angie, SEHS ’06, during his time at OU. But their shared love for teaching and their OU experience certainly made them a perfect match. 

Angie transferred to OU on a tennis scholarship, preferring the University’s personable learning environment more than larger universities.

“OU provided a more intimate atmosphere for me to succeed,” she says, and the school affirmed her decision to pursue teaching. “Each of my OU field placements at various schools reaffirmed that I was on the right path.”

Angie received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from SEHS and has a master’s degree in K-12 curriculum. She works as a social studies teacher at Hart Middle School in Rochester Hills, Michigan, and says she feels honored to be a teacher. 

“Despite the current climate and politics it’s an unbelievable profession,” she says. “We need more young and enthusiastic individuals to answer the call of teaching.”

Cliff adds: “Remember, you don’t have to become a teacher, you get to become a teacher.” 

This article originally appeared in the annual issue of the School of Education and Human Services' Connect Magazine. 

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