Teacher Spotlight: Deborah Sprenger

Mrs. Sprenger, is a history teacher at Hidden Valley High School

Mrs. Sprenger, is a history teacher at Hidden Valley High School

Grayson Odenwelder and Tyler Duffey , Reporters

Mrs. Sprenger, a social studies teacher at Hidden Valley High School, is a well-known and genuinely liked teacher among students. In an interview with Mrs. Sprenger on August 19th, 2021, some insight was received on how she has adapted to teaching in these tough times. She was inspired by two of her teachers from high school, one of whom was her math teacher that taught her to always be kind. The other was a history teacher that inspired her to carry out her dreams of doing something that she would enjoy. In college she had a professor that showed her how important experiential learning is and how much Mrs. Sprenger enjoyed it. Experiential learning is when you put yourself in the position of a person that is a part of what the students are learning, for example, in college she played as a federal district court judge as part of a month-long political simulation. This is an important way of learning because it makes the students carry on the learning themselves and understand what it is they are learning.  


Mrs. Sprenger took a giant step back from what she did previously in a non-Covid school year, she had to drop a lot of what she used to do because there simply was not enough time to do everything and being digital for half the year did not help. She focused a lot on the wellbeing of her students and always made sure they were never overwhelmed while still getting her students to learn. She plans to keep the technology aspect of what she used last year because it is easier than paper copies, as well as online lectures to save classroom time for activities and make it more interesting.  

“I want to stay away from being so isolated from my students like it felt last year,” said Mrs. Sprenger. 

 She briefly practiced law in college for about 6 years and enjoyed it, but it became tedious with kids at home. She started teaching after helping at a charter school in North Carolina, she moved to Roanoke, attended Hollins University, and got her teaching degree. 

 “I do feel safe this year in the building, and I’m gratified that we came out of last year successful in all the uncertainty” Mrs. Sprenger said. 

Back when school originally was released from school because of Covid, it was heartbreaking for Mrs. Sprenger because teaching is what she loves and enjoys, the connection she has with her students and the lessons she teaches them are so important to her. Mrs. Sprenger. COVID-19 has impacted everyone around the world. It was especially hard for teachers to try and adapt to the different school year. Mrs. Sprenger was able to adapt to COVID and she figured out easier ways to teach her students the topic that she loves to talk about.