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News in New Orleans

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Ben Franklin Teacher named High School Teacher of the Year

Benjamin Franklin High School teacher Dr. Sally Spahn was recently honored as the Orleans Parish School Board’s 2014 High School Teacher of the Year. “Dr. Spahn has represented everything Ben Franklin High School stands for since the moment she joined our school,” said Principal Dr. Timothy Rusnak.

Dr. Spahn grew up in New Orleans and attended Louisiana State University, where she earned a B.S. in biochemistry. She was involved in medical research for seven years at the LSU Medical Center in New Orleans before deciding to return Tulane University for her doctorate degree in biology. She discovered her love of teaching while teaching Tulane underclassmen biology labs.

After graduating with a Ph.D. in Avian Ecology in 1997, she taught at Tulane and UNO. In ’98, Dr. Spahn began teaching at a high school in Indiana and found her teaching niche. In 2002, she became the Master Teacher for earth/space science, life science, biology and chemistry, all while mentoring fellow teachers. Dr. Spahn returned to New Orleans in 2007, where she taught at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Academy.

After she realized her desire to teach students who could not afford private education, Dr. Spahn returned to UNO to obtain her teaching certification in high school math, biology and chemistry. Dr. Spahn joined the faculty of Ben Franklin High School in 2010, went on to add physics to her teaching certificate in 2011, and became AP certified in physics by the College Board in 2012. 

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