Benjamin Franklin High School teacher Sally Spahn is the Orleans Parish School Board’s 2014 High School Teacher of the Year. Spahn also will be honored as the Chevron Teacher of the Week during the New Orleans Saints game versus the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Oct. 26.
“Dr. Spahn has represented everything Ben Franklin High School stands for since the moment she joined our school,” Principal Timothy Rusnak said. “We are very proud that her hard work is being honored and know that she will continue to be a shining example to our kids and for our school.”
Spahn grew up in New Orleans and attended LSU, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry.
She was involved in medical research for seven years at the LSU Medical Center in New Orleans before deciding to return to school, intending to obtain a doctorate and pursue her own research. While working as a lab instructor for underclassmen at Tulane, she discovered her love for teaching.
Starting in 1995, Spahn taught as an adjunct professor at Our Lady of Holy Cross College. After graduating with a doctorate in avian ecology in 1997, she taught at Tulane and UNO. In 1998, she moved to South Bend, Indiana, and began teaching at a four-time blue ribbon high school, Trinity School at Greenlawn.
In 2007, she returned to New Orleans to teach at Mount Carmel Academy.
Wanting to serve students who could not afford private education, Spahn returned to UNO to obtain her teaching certification in high school math, biology and chemistry. She added physics to the certificate in 2011 and became AP-certified in physics by College Board in 2012.
Spahn joined the Ben Franklin faculty in 2010 and has said its professional environment is second to none in her experience.