Courtesy Photo | Spencer Kiper, STEM teacher at Elm Grove Middle School, has been chosen as a 2019 Teacher of the Year Semi-Finalist.

Elm Grove Middle School STEM teacher Spencer Kiper got a nice surprise Monday afternoon.

A representative from Dream Teachers, which sponsors the State Teacher of the Year awards, showed up to his class with a box of goodies and a poster declaring Kiper a State Finalist for Middle School Teacher of the Year. He will be honored along with the other finalists in July at a banquet in Baton Rouge.

The Louisiana Department of Education’s annual teacher of the year program recognizes and honors outstanding teachers who are making exceptional gains with students and pushing them to achieve at the highest levels. Kiper, a seven-year educator at Elm Grove Middle, is an award winning educator already, winning the CAP National Aerospace Educator of the Year Award in 2016 and the 2017 Henry Ford Innovator Award for innovative instructional practices in his classroom.

Kiper sees his achievements as an an opportunity to showcase what’s happening in the district and to help take it the next level.

“I feel like what we do here is cutting edge and inspirational to so many others,” he said. “Just having a platform to share that is an amazing opportunity.”

Kiper is a product of Bossier Schools, graduating from Haughton High School in 2006. He’s honored and excited to be named among the state’s best educators.

“I have the best job in the world,” Kiper said. “Not only do I get to mentor a fantastic group of middle schoolers each year, I also get to build working relationships with community members and industry to best prepare my students for challenges they will face soon down the road. My vision for them to discover their potential path, either college-bound or JumpStart, and understand the 21st-century skills they will need in order to make their dreams a reality.”

Kiper was named Elm Grove Middle School’s teacher of the year and then the overall district middle school teacher of the year. Neither distinction came as a surprise to his peers. Elm Grove Principal Jennifer Armond said Kiper displays all qualities of a great educator.

“He is constantly searching for new educational tools to use to grow his students and himself,” Armond said. “He has a talent for bringing real world experiences to his students and helping them see that their possibilities in life are limitless. We are honored to have Mr. Kiper represent Elm Grove Middle School.”