Spiller named MBJH Teacher of the Year
Wendy Spiller is Mountain Brook Junior High's 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year and the Mountain Brook school district's Secondary Teacher of the Year.
Jan. 21, 2021 — All signs pointed Wendy Spiller toward a career in education.
She is the daughter of a retired kindergarten teacher who, as a teenager, enjoyed school so much that she tutored other students in her spare time.
It was only natural, then, that she decided to major in secondary mathematics education when she attended the University of Alabama.
“I thought, ‘Well, I like math, and I like to teach, so I might as well just teach math,’” Spiller said. “That’s what I ended up doing.”
Spiller is now a veteran educator who excels as an accelerated seventh-grade math teacher at Mountain Brook Junior High. She has been selected as MBJH’s 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year and the Mountain Brook school district’s Secondary Teacher of the Year.
Spiller will represent MBS in the Alabama Teacher of the Year program.
“Wendy is our Teacher of the Year because I think she just embodies everything that makes Mountain Brook Junior High teachers great,” MBJH Principal Donald Clayton said. “She’s always willing to help students, collectively and individually, and never looks at it as, ‘Well, you should know this already.’ It’s, ‘I’ll meet you where you are, and we’re going to get you there.’”
After graduating from Alabama with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees, Spiller began teaching at her alma mater, Marengo Academy in Linden, and Alabama Southern Community College. She came to MBJH in 1999.
Spiller has taught at the school for all but two years since first arriving, which makes the current academic year her 20th as a faculty member. She considers MBJH her professional home.
“I think of Mountain Brook as a family. I really do,” Spiller said. “I can’t imagine working anywhere else.”
Clayton praises Spiller’s merits in the classroom and admires how she cares for her students daily. With a listening ear and unwavering dedication, she sets an example for others.
“Wendy would not consider herself this, but she’s a leader. I think people follow what she does,” Clayton said. “She has really good insight and great experience but is very humble with her experience and her ability. She’d be the first one to tell you, ‘No, I’m not that good.’ But she is.”
Spiller’s commitment to student success hasn’t faltered amid the coronavirus pandemic. Along with her colleagues, she has adapted her classes to facilitate subject mastery regardless of the challenges posed.
While the circumstances have at times proved difficult, they made Spiller’s Teacher of the Year selection even more meaningful.
“I’m really humbled and very excited that I’m being honored this way,” Spiller said. “I really appreciate it.”
Teacher of the Year Overview
Name: Wendy Spiller
Role: 7th Grade Accelerated Math Teacher
Years at MBJH: 20
Fun Fact: Spiller grew up in Linden, Alabama, a tiny town 70 miles south of Tuscaloosa with two stoplights. She was one of 53 in her graduating high school class.