Award Year: 2021

Spearman Junior High School

315 West 5th Avenue
Spearman, TX, 79081-4008

(806) 659-2563

Mr. Shane Whiteley, Principal at time of Nomination

Title I School

Spearman Independent School District

School Website

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Spearman Junior High is a campus of PRIDE (Positive, Responsible Individuals Dedicated to Excellence). PRIDE represents the identity, culture, and work ethic of students and staff. At Spearman Jr. High School, students are developing the skills to become resilient, thriving, and contributing citizens.

Student Demographics
  • White: 38%
  • Hispanic: 61%
  • Asian: 1%
  • Two or more races: 1%
Students collaborating during science learning stations

Students collaborating during science learning stations

Spearman Junior High is a traditional 6-8 grade campus located in Spearman, a rural, farming community in the Panhandle of Texas. Spearman Junior High is a Title I campus and has a high percentage of English language learners and low socio-economic students. Administration and faculty are challenged yearly with these student factors in addition to the limited resources available in such a rural setting. These potential barriers to academic excellence motivated campus leadership to develop multiple layers of instructional support for all students. Foremost, a point was made to improve Tier 1 instruction by using research-based strategies to target gaps in student achievement. The campus schedule was viewed as a resource to provide opportunities for intervention and enrichment. Also, an investment in technology became a tool for teachers and students to expand understanding and overcome limited resources. Through these multiple layers of advancement, Spearman Junior High began overcoming barriers to reach students.

The key to accomplishing the instructional priorities of the campus was the steadfast attention to detail. The legendary coach, John Wooden, is quoted as saying, "It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen." This epitomizes the outlook by Spearman Junior High throughout this process. The "little things" included the hiring of high character teachers with a strong work ethic. They were willing to come early, stay late, and desegregate data to improve classroom instruction and target gaps for students. No student need was left unmonitored, including nutrition breaks and a clean, safe environment. Truly, little things made BIG things happen.