By David Fleet
On Feb. 1, the Brandon School District selected Sarah Spencer as Middle School Teacher of the Year.
Spencer grew up the southwestern Michigan community of Stevensville and attended Lakeshore High School graduating in 1995. She attended Central Michigan University where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in science and language arts. She was hired by the Brandon School District in 2000 and taught at Fletcher Intermediate School until it closed. She now teaches sixth and seventh grade math along with STEM at Brandon Middle School.
“I was not the best of students in high school,” said Spencer, following the announcement. “But looking back at my teachers during my school years and the support I was given to succeed, I wanted to give that support back to my students. When things are looking down, I think about those teachers today.”
Spencer’s success is due to those around her at Brandon, she said.
“I’m a better teacher due to the people I teach with,” she said. “I learn from them, we help each other be the best employees we can be. I also really love the age of students I teach—you see such potential, you see students take ownership of their education, they become active in learning in the middle school. I just love when they realize that this (education) is going to lead them somewhere. I see that transition and strive to encourage that growth in students.”
Spencer is excited about Project Lead The Way at the middle school.
“I’m continually growing as a teacher,” she said. “I’m seeing so many students succeed and taking an interest. Given the shift in eduction, technology and curriculum places a big demand on students—as adults we must still remember the support, love and encouragement kids need. I’m lucky to be working with the staff at the middle school due to their commitment to education of the whole child.”
Matt Outlaw, Brandon School distinct superintendent said Spencer has been a star on the district’s spectacular sixth grade team for many years.
“Her dedication, focus and connection with students are unbelievable,” he said. “She is always looking for new ways to challenge and keep her students interested in what they are learning. We are fortunate to have her on the middle school staff.”