Welcome to our series, #WHYoming.
We are highlighting people from around our communities and asking them a few questions. We want to learn a little about them and see why they chose this great state to raise their families, start their businesses, or simply to ask — Why Wyoming?
For this week’s #WHYoming, I had a chance to talk with Angie Spann, the principal at Holy Spirit Catholic School. Prior to her position at Holy Spirit, Angie worked for Sweetwater County School District No. 1 for over 24 years as both a teacher and a librarian.
Angie is a Rock Springs native and considers Sweetwater County and Wyoming her home. Her family is here and so is the community she loves. Angie takes great pride in educating and helping the community’s youth and she loves doing it.
Angie, how long did you work for Sweetwater County School District No. 1?
I worked for SCSD No. 1 for 24.5 years. I taught Language Arts and Gifted & Talented at East Junior High for four years. I took a year off to finish my Master’s Degree and then was able to work part time as the school librarian in Wamsutter for the Spring Semester. I was able to get on full-time with Rock Springs High School as their school librarian, a position I held for the last 20 years.
Why did you get into education for a career?
I always have had a passion for learning and helping others. If I can help someone achieve their goals, learn something new, have confidence in themselves and their abilities, or feel comfortable in their own skin, then I am very happy with life. I also like working with kids. Over the course of my career, I have taught K-12 either in a formal school setting or as a catechist in our church.
What are you looking forward to with your new position as principal at Holy Spirit?
I’m looking forward to so many things being the principal at Holy Spirit. Working at Holy Spirit is like coming home to me. I was part of the first Kindergarten class at the school. The education I received here K-6th laid a foundation that has helped me achieve much in my educational career. I’m looking forward to giving back the school that gave me such a firm foundation in many areas. However, I am mostly looking forward to working with an amazing group of educators, staff and families. In my short time at Holy Spirit, I have noticed this is more than just a community; it is a large family all dedicated to helping nurture our students as individuals in education, faith, and habits of mind. I’m so lucky to be a part of this amazing group and working to give back to this school.
I’m also look forward to having the flexibility that is not always available in the public school. We have small class sizes: Pre-Kindergarten is limited to 12; K-6 is limited to 16-although this year we do have one class of 18. Our talented and dedicated staff are able to work their own schedules, to an extent, to allow for collaboration and working with lower grades. Our school takes a whole-child approach to teaching and are able to provide faith-based social and moral base for our students. Yes, we are a Catholic school and teach the tenants of the Catholic faith; however, we accept all faiths. Really, I’m looking forward to building on the excellent foundation Holy Spirit already possesses.
What do you enjoy about your job?
Helping others has always been what I enjoy most about my job; whether I am in the classroom or in the library. Being principal of Holy Spirit Catholic School is my first administrative job, but I know helping others will be something I will enjoy.
How did you end up in Rock Springs?
I am a native of Rock Springs, born and raised. I did live in Salt Lake City while working on my Bachelor’s degree, but I have always come back to Rock Springs. I thought of leaving once because my Master’s degree was going to take me out of education, but then my dad set me up on a blind date with the man who would eventually become my husband. So, I stayed, took the extra classes I needed for a school library certificate, and have not regretted my decision to marry or stay in Rock Springs.
What do you appreciate most about our community?
I like that we help our neighbors. Whether through fundraisers, charity events, or volunteering, we take care of our own.
What are some of your hobbies?
I love to read, craft, travel, do genealogy, and exercise when I can.
If you could give one brief piece of advice, what would it be?
Your potential is endless. Go do what you were created do and what makes your soul shine. Listen to your soul and make it happen.
Where is your favorite place to hang out in Sweetwater County?
My house! I’m an extrovert and like to go places, but the older I get the more of a homebody I have become.
Who would you want to play you in a movie about yourself?
Olivia Coleman. I mean, who would pass up the opportunity to have someone who has played Queen Elizabeth? Seriously though, Ms. Coleman is a brilliant actor who is very well-rounded. I love her ability to do comedy, drama, mystery or just about whatever roll she plays. Plus, I love watching her on the Graham Norton show because she is always so expressive and her face just lights up when she learns something new.
What would you sing at karaoke?
I try not to sing in public as much as possible. Trust me, it is for the best. I did not inherit the singing ability like some of my relatives.
How would your friends describe you?
I am total geek obsessed with Harry Potter, Outlander, Disney, Star Wars, Downton Abbey, British tv shows and a good historical mystery. They might say I’m pretty easy going, but stubborn. I seem to attract kids who need a little extra because I don’t judge them and they know it. I put all into my work, at times maybe too much.
What is one of your proudest accomplishments?
My kids will always be one of my proudest accomplishments but I share that with my husband. A personal accomplishment is obtaining my doctorate in educational leadership. It had been 14 years between my master’s degree and doctorate, so I was nervous about going back to school, working full-time, and making sure I didn’t neglect my family. My husband took over a lot of duties around the house so I could concentrate on homework, and I don’t think my kids felt neglected. Receiving my degree, having my family at the ceremony, and knowing my daughter saw her momma accomplish such a high degree in education is just amazing.
What is something unique about you?
I really like doing research. Give me something to find and I will dig and sift until I find the answer. This tenacity is I think what made a good librarian and also what makes genealogy so enjoyable to me.
Why do you choose to live in Wyoming?
Having lived here since birth, I love Wyoming for many reasons. While I’ve contemplated moving, I really didn’t want to as Wyoming has meant home to me. A majority of my husband’s family and my own still live in Wyoming so I am able to make family gatherings, and my children are able to be around grandparents, even great grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and extended family. Family is important to us and so being able to participate and visit family is a blessing for us.