Congratulations to Spencer Benton Quinlan on being selected as the Charleston County Teacher of the Year. The ’04 Ben Lippen grad earned her teaching degree from the University of South Carolina in 2008. She started her career as a substitute teacher and then moved on to teach 2nd grade at Springfield Elementary in Charleston where she has been teaching for the past 11 years.
In this honorary role, Spencer has decided to focus on community outreach and ensuring that kids attend school. In her district, truancy is a major problem, and she sees this as a chance to utilize the available resources to come up with a practical plan of action. Spencer aims to involve the community in the school and establish connections with parents to tackle this issue.
Some of the Teacher of the Year responsibilities include monthly meetings, teacher round tables, meetings with the superintendent, and school board meetings with her team. The meetings with teachers will be beneficial since she can take their concerns to the superintendent and share those meeting details with her colleagues.
Spencer was influenced by both her mother and mother-in-law who are both teachers. Their strong examples of perseverance on the job and the importance of a positive attitude inspired her to pursue a career that she could love doing. Through her role models, she learned about the profound impact a teacher can have on the lives of their students.
It’s easy to see that Spencer is very dedicated to her work. She strongly believes that students should be taught to treat each other with patience and kindness and encourages her students to recognize that they are the only ones standing in the way of achieving their goals. Spencer is very open and honest with her students, sharing her personal goals and mistakes, and feels this is important because it teaches them to acknowledge their errors and move forward. By creating a classroom culture like this, Spencer can help her students thrive.
During her time as a student at Ben Lippen, Spencer was a dedicated Superfan and played piano outside of school. Now as an adult and a teacher herself, she values her experience as a Falcon even more. She appreciates the ways her teachers modeled godly character, taught, and cared for students.
Spencer and her husband Tim married in 2009. After he left the Army in 2011, the couple settled in Charleston and have two children: Millie (7) and Lochlan (3).