LEWISTON, Idaho – Whitman Elementary School principal Tim Sperber has been named the 2019 Outstanding Teacher Educator by the Lewis-Clark State College’s Teacher Education Division faculty, division chair Mark Haynal has announced.
Sperber, who is also football coach at Genesee High School, was honored during the division’s annual graduation celebration in May, and again on Monday by LCSC President Cynthia Pemberton during the Whitman year-end school assembly.
The award is presented annually to one of LCSC’s partners in teacher education who has provided outstanding service to the cause of teacher education through their dedication, creativity, initiative, service, inspiration and mentoring.
Sperber has been mentoring future teachers since the early 1990s when interns struggling with classroom management were sent to his classroom for three intensive weeks of observation and training during which they developed their management skills, Haynal said.
As principal of Whitman Elementary School, Sperber has hosted dozens of LCSC’s interns, often personally providing additional guidance and instruction to students who need extra help. For the last three years Sperber has also served as adjunct faculty for the Teacher Education Division.
“As a boy, all of my heroes were either my teachers or coaches,” said Sperber, who grew up in Coeur d’Alene. “By the sixth grade I knew I wanted to become a teacher.”
He began his career as an educator teaching seventh grade language arts in Lapwai. Since then, he has taught high school English, worked as an athletic director, coach, and vice principal, and is completing his seventh year as principal of Whitman Elementary in Lewiston. He has been coaching football at the high school ranks for nearly 30 years. He also has served as mayor of Genesee and currently is on the North Idaho Athletic Hall of Fame Board of Directors.
“This was unexpected but it really is a privilege to serve the college,” Sperber said. “It’s an honor to be associated with Lewis-Clark State and we love having their interns at our school.”
“One of the strengths of our teacher education program is the close, collegial working relationship we have with the teachers, principals and districts who partner with us in teacher education” Haynal said. “Whether he is working with his teachers and our interns at Whitman Elementary School or teaching our students on our campus, Tim has been a trusted mentor, an expert teacher, an admired role model and champion of teacher education.”
It’s been a good month for the Sperber family and its association with LCSC. In early May, Sperber’s daughter, Samantha, graduated from LCSC-Coeur d’Alene earning cum laude honors with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing.