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School counselor wanted students to feel good about themselves

April 05, 2010|By JULIE E. GREENE

BOONSBORO -- When David Spurrier was in high school, he didn't meet his guidance counselor until May of his senior year when he was asked if he had career or college plans.

Spurrier did. He wanted to play professional football, but the guidance counselor never learned that because he didn't ask for specifics.

Asked what he would say if a student walked into his office in Boonsboro High School's guidance center and told him he wanted to be a pro football player, Spurrier said:

"I'd say shoot for your dream. What's your second plan? What's your third plan?"

Spurrier, 59, said he realized after his first football practice at Frostburg State University that he was going to have to go to his career plan B -- teaching.

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For the past 38 years, Spurrier has been a teacher or guidance counselor, the last 10 as a guidance counselor at Boonsboro High.

He's retiring this summer.

"It's time," said Spurrier who lives in Hagerstown during the week, but commutes home to his wife, Pam, in Oakland, Md., on the weekends.

"Now I have seven days of honey-dos to do in two days," Spurrier said. "That really adds up."

In addition to tackling his wife's honey-do list, Spurrier plans to travel and spend some time in Hagerstown with his first grandchild.

His oldest daughter, Shannon Reams, is expecting in May.

Reams teaches first grade at Eastern Elementary School, and Spurrier's youngest daughter, Kristen Dolan, teaches sixth-grade math at E. Russell Hicks Middle School.

Dolan said both her parents were teachers, which influenced her decision to become one.

"I just saw him enjoying what he was doing," she said.

Spurrier taught, mostly social studies, in the Allegany County school system before becoming a middle school counselor there before moving to Boonsboro.

"Obviously, he's going to be missed a lot. He's got a lot of experience," Boonsboro High Principal Martin Green said.

As a guidance counselor, Spurrier's philosophy is to try to ensure when students come into his office, they get a positive experience and feel better about who they are before they leave, and that they have information or an insight they didn't have when they came in.

Asked about significant accomplishments, Spurrier said he was proud of Boonsboro High's Class of 2008, which was offered $6.9 million in scholarships.

"I give the kids more credit than myself," he said.

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