March 27, 2019IMLAY CITY — It's been two awards in two years for Imlay City teachers at the Flint Regional Science Fair. Earlier this month, Borland's David Spence was named the fair's 2019 Teacher of the Year. Just one year ago, fellow Imlay City educator Jill Campbell took home the 2018 Teacher of the Year honors.
According to a press release from the fair, "the award recognizes a teacher who displays a remarkable ability to empower and excite student interest in science."
He was presented with a certificate, plaque and $250 cash prize during the fair's awards ceremony on March 17. A panel of science fair board members and the previous year's recipient make the Teacher of the Year award selection.
"I first became interested in science when my 7th grade teacher made science hands-on and exciting," Spence said.
"Field trips involved going into the woods behind our school where opportunities for discovering plant and animal life were abundant. Every day was an adventure."
He's taught at Imlay City Schools since 1998, the same year he earned his degree in education from Saginaw Valley State University. Prior to entering the education field, Spence had a successful career in newspaper circulation management.
In 2000, Spence was named Borland's Science Chairperson and began his involvement with the Flint Regional Science Fair.
Borland 5th grade teacher David Spence was recently honored as the Flint Regional Science Fair's 2019 Teacher of the Year.
Borland Principal Megan Cottone credits Spence and Campbell for collaborating to grow Imlay City's involvement in the fair.
"For many years, Mr. Spence and Mrs. Campbell have been building the program and increasing participation from students here at Borland. This year, we had a record 27 students take their work to Flint," Cottone said.
"Not only does Mr. Spence help to organize student work with the entire fifth grade at school, but he volunteers countless hours outside of the school day to allow students to get extra assistance on their projects as they work through the scientific process."
Additionally Spence and Campbell coordinate bussing from Imlay City to the fair, held in Flint at Kettering University, so that any and all students can participate regardless of their transportation situation.
"Mr. Spence continues to build a love of science here at Borland and is well-deserving of such an honor," Cottone added.
Spence said he's found that doing things like creating models and engaging in deep conversation with students helps them get excited about science and it fuels his passion for the field too.
The Flint Regional Science Fair is sponsored by Flint Science Fair Inc., a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. Its mission is "to stimulate an active interest among young people in the several fields of scientific study and to give public recognition to talented students by sponsoring and promoting expositions of science projects developed and built by students and awarding prizes and scholarships to students who create and display outstanding projects."
For six decades, the FRSF has provided a forum for students to develop their scientific and engineering talents, and it continues to focus its energy and resources to assist in the development of youth and to promote careers in science and engineering.
Students eligible to participate in the Flint Regional Science Fair include all 4th through 12th grade public, private, parochial and home schooled students from Bay, Genesee, Lapeer, Midland, Saginaw, Shiawassee, St. Clair and Tuscola Counties, as well as students from Michigan counties not served by a recognized regional fair.
Visit www.flintsciencefair.org to learn more about the opportunities FRSF can provide students and teachers.
Maria Brown joined the Tri-City Times staff in 2003, the same year she earned a bachelor's degree in English from Calvin College. Born and raised in Imlay City, she and her family reside in the Capac area where she enjoys gardening and reading.