It is a path that has come full circle for Diane Sporrer at St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Fort Dodge.
The Fort Dodge native grew up in St. Paul’s, the third generation of her family to graduate from the preschool to eighth grade institution. Today, her own children are the fourth generation carrying on that tradition.
Founded in 1832, St. Paul’s has been serving students with faith-based education for more than 180 years. Sporrer is proud to be part of that legacy, now coming back to her own school as a teacher.
“It’s amazing how God brings us back to the plan that He has for us,” says Sporrer.
After graduating from St. Paul’s eighth grade in 1984, she finished her high school years at Fort Dodge Senior High.
“My plans were always to go into Lutheran education,” Sporrer recalls, but life sometimes takes an indirect path.
After two years at Iowa Central Community School, she left school to get married, but education was still calling her.
“In 1997 I decided it was time to go back to school and finish what I had started,” she notes.
Sporrer earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Buena Vista University. She substituted for awhile and then worked four years as a lead Head Start teacher in Fort Dodge. But again, life took a detour as she opted to take a few years off while her own children were little.
Finally, last year she returned to St. Paul’s as a part-time language arts and math teacher. This year, she has a room of her own and a full-time position as second grade teacher.
“I am teaching in the same second grade classroom where I attended,” she notes with a smile.
To Sporrer, the reward is being able to make a difference in the lives of students, just as her own teachers once did.
Second grade fits her well as she loves how the children are becoming independent and still love coming to school every day.
“To see them light up when we talk about real world things that they need to know about is just wonderful,” she says.
Sporrer particularly enjoys teaching reading and math, especially when she can work closely with students.
“If they’re struggling with something I can work one on one and help them figure it out,” she concludes.