Friday, October 3, 2014

UNO Alumna Named High School Teacher of The Year

An alumna of the University of New Orleans College of Education and Development has been named High School Teacher of the Year by the Orleans Parish School Board.

Benjamin Franklin High School teacher Sally Spahn, who received a teaching certificate in high school math, biology and chemistry, from the College of Education and Human Development's curriculum and instruction program was recently named 2014 High School Teacher of the Year, the Orleans Parish School Board said in an announcement. Spahn will be honored Sunday, Oct. 26 at the New Orleans Saints game versus the Green Bay Packers as the Chevron Teacher of the Week.

"Dr. Spahn has represented everything Ben Franklin High School stands for since the moment she joined our school," said Principal Dr. Timothy Rusnak. "We are very proud that her hard work is being honored and know that she will continue to be a shining example to our kids and for our school."

According to the school system, Spahn grew up in New Orleans and attended Louisiana State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry. After working for seven years performing medical research at the Louisiana State University Medical Center in New Orleans, she headed to Tulane University, with plans to obtain a doctorate in biology and pursue her own research.

Spahn was required by Tulane's graduate program to teach underclassmen labs — and in doing so, she fell in love with teaching. In 1995, she began teaching as an adjunct professor at Our Lady of Holy Cross College and after graduating from Tulane with a doctorate in avian ecology in 1997, she taught at Tulane and the University of New Orleans.

In 1998, Spahn moved to South Bend, Indiana, where she began teaching at a four-time blue-ribbon high school, Trinity School at Greenlawn. She rewrote the junior high science curriculum and in 2000, the school recognized her for excellence in teaching.

In 2002, Spahn became Dean of Girls at the Trinity School. As the school's Master Teacher for earth/space science, life science, biology, and chemistry and mentored other teachers.

In 2007, Spahn returned to New Orleans to teach at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Academy. Aiming to serve students who could not afford private education, she returned to UNO to obtain her teaching certification in high school math, biology, and chemistry. In 2011, Spahn added physics to the certificate and became AP-certified in physics by the College Board in 2012.

In 2010, Spahn joined the Benjamin Franklin faculty. According to the school, she has identified this professional environment as second to none in her experience.


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