HISD teacher retires after 40 years

HOUSTON "I love nine and 10 year olds. They're big enough to do independent work. They're smart and they do wonderful work," said 61-year old Spinks.

Spinks began working for HISD when she was 21 years old. She started at HISD's Windsor Village Elementary and has been at Stevens Elementary for 39 years.

"Every day has been different for me. Even though I teach the same grade, new things and challenges come up every day," said Spinks. "I always wanted to be a teacher and never thought about doing anything else. My mom was also an HISD teacher and she inspired me to follow her lead."

For 40 years, Spinks has carried on her mother's tradition of inspiring others. Some of those she inspired have honored her service by planting a seven-foot red maple tree in school's yard.

"We wanted something that was going to be here after she was gone," said Stevens Elementary Principal Lucy Anderson. "She's not replaceable in so many ways. She has a depth of knowledge not just about content area but about our children. We can find a teacher who can teach fourth-grade, but finding a teacher who will teach our kids the same way is going to be a challenge."

Spinks, who has no children, plans to travel and do some volunteer work.

"I'll be back to tutor from time to time," she said. "Even though I'm retiring, I just can't get too far away from teaching. It's my calling."

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