This week’s KENS 5 SACU ExCEL Award winner is no stranger to numbers.

After spending years in the military, three tours in Afghanistan and on in Iraq, Paul Fenoglio is now using his military career as an intelligence officer teaching kids college algebra at Wagner High School.

It’s much more than going through numbers, though. On top of his teaching duties, Fenoglio tutors kids in pre-calculus in his spare time.

Fenoglio challenges his students, too. In passing this class, they actually earn college credits. That may just be a bonus when you actually like coming to class, though.

“We all feel welcome in this classroom because, even though he’s our teacher, he also feels like a close friend,” student Audrinique Harris said.

Fenoglio says that, even while he was in the military, he always thought about teaching. Then one day, when he returned from an assignment, his wife surprised him.

“When I got back, she said, ‘You know you always talked about wanting to be a teacher, and I told to this guy and he gave me his card,’” Fenoglio recalled.

It’s a calculated move that’s paying off in big numbers.

“For a person that doesn’t really like math and you come into this class, you tend to understand what he’s talking about and you come to love math and coming to this class,” student Derrell Brady said. “And it makes it seem easier for you.”

“How do you know if you know math, if you understand math? You have to solve problems on your own,” Fenoglio said.

And that obviously is not a problem for this week’s KENS 5 SACU ExCEL Award Winner: Paul Fenoglio.