Warriors You Should Know – Stephen Spinelli

Your first time meeting Stephen Spinelli may have been the Hula Hoop contest and watching him dive through the hoop for his trick. However, he failed to warn everyone to not attempt this trick at home as he is a trained professional. By professional, I mean teacher, and by trained, I mean he works out. As you will soon find out, there was a lot more to that trick than you may know and there is a lot more to Stephen than hula hoop tricks.


What do you teach here at WV?
I currently teach Algebra 1 and Geometry Essentials.

Do you coach or oversee any clubs/activities here at WV?
I am a sponsor for the freshman class in Student Council.

How many years of experience in education do you have? Where have you taught before WV?
I have a whopping zero years of experience, though I was a long-term sub at Waubonsie for 6 weeks at the end of last year. Prior to that, I student taught at Lisle HS.

Why did you get into education?
As long as I can remember, I have always wanted to teach. My plan was to work as an engineer until I retired to become a high school math teacher. I chose to retire much earlier than planned and am very glad to have made the career change.

Where did you go to high school?
I am a Jaguar: I went to Blue Springs South in the suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri.

Where did you go to college?
I spent my first semester at the University of Oklahoma but quickly realized I wasn’t where I belonged, so I transferred to the University of Missouri-Columbia. After becoming full of BS there (Mathematics and Civil Engineering), I decided to find a Mrs. while working on my MS in Civil Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Thanks to a free account through Match.com, I met my wife, who ultimately helped me change careers. I attended National Louis University, where I got my MAT and worked toward my PEL.

Where do you get inspiration from?
I get my inspiration from anyone and everything. I don’t think I am genuinely creative, but I am good at stealing other’s ideas and tweaking them to make them “my own.” I love learning, so I am always looking for new ideas.

Do you have a favorite Warrior Memory?
I had a blast getting floor burns on my arm and stomach while executing my special move in the hula hoop challenge. I am still in search of a proper hula hoop so I can attempt to break the world record of 74 hours and 54 minutes of continuous hooping.

Is there a student that you will never forget? Tell us why they were so memorable.
Several of Mr. Arens’ students from my stint last year will be difficult to forget: Aldo Rizo always gave me an exuberant “hello” anytime he walked by my class, even on days he wasn’t feeling it; and Andrew Luckett and Tyler Mathews say, “Mr. Spinelli” in a “radical” way.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
As a teaching assistant in grad school, I drew a mechanics “potato” that was considerably “questionable” in shape…

Favorite book?
I can easily get trapped in just about any book, but I am fond of fantasy and science-fiction novels. That being said, I should read “The Count of Monte Cristo” again.

Favorite Song/Artist?
I can’t possibly pick a favorite song or artist, but I have been listening to Flamingosis before and after school every day: he keeps me feeling relaxed and groovy.

Favorite Food/Beverage?
I could eat an endless amount of sushi or any kind of seafood, and my favorite beverage is ice-cold water.

Favorite childhood teacher and why?
I plead the 5th. So many great teachers for different reasons, but I will never forget listening to The Police’s “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” while running student council errands with my 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Krikorian.

When not at school, where do you like to spend your time or what do you like to do? Do you have any special talents?
I like to do everything and nothing with my wife. We enjoy exercising and running in the mud. I don’t think it’s special, but I can play songs by flicking my fingers against my cheeks or by letting others do the flicking.

What are your future goals?
I hope to be as good of a father and husband as my dad.

Who do you live with? Spouse, kids, pets, etc.
My wife and I have two dogs, one chinchilla, and a bun baking in her oven. (Check out my website if you would like to see a few pictures! I am also open to suggestions if you think my website could be improved!)

If your department had to vote you, “most likely to…”, what would they vote you?
I think the math department would vote me “most likely to surprise.” They have much to learn about me…

What did you do this summer?
I painted some rooms and the stair railings.

What is your goal for this school year?
I hope to continue enjoying year one as much or more than I already do.

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