2016 St. Philippine Duchesne
Outstanding Young Teacher
Andre Spence, fourth grade teacher at St. Mary Parish Catholic Grade School in Derby, is one of two recipients of the 2016 St. Philippine Duchesne Award for an outstanding young teacher in an elementary school.
For Mrs. Spence, instruction in her classroom is a daily walk in Catholic faith: weekly adoration, Lenten devotions, praying for the poor souls in November, prayers to St. Gertrude for the souls in purgatory when passing a cemetery, journaling on prayer and action, and values infused into every class. A fourth grade teacher, she accompanies 8th graders on their annual food drive. A member of the school’s Religion Committee, she helps plan the year’s liturgies and retreats.
Mrs. Spence is also an excellent classroom instructor. She uses MTSS to personalize instruction for smaller groups. She makes use of a variety of student growth measures to place students properly and measure their progress. She and co-teacher Bethany Ramsey match lessons to ensure that instruction does not vary between the two fourth grade classrooms. She serves on the School Improvement Team as well as the Religious Committee. For one who went twenty years between her first and second year of teaching, Andre Spence not only understands what it means to build community among students and colleagues, she models it.