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Linda Sperin, her kids biggest fan
I-Linda Sperin profile pic
Linda Sperin helps one of her students at Blacks Mill Elementary. - photo by For the Dawson County News

Linda Sperin is crazy about her kids-and not just the ones she brought into the world.

Her kids have come to include every student that's been in her classroom for the last 19 years.

The Black's Mill Elementary teacher is known for her presence at the ballpark or in auditoriums on weekends so that she can watch "her kids" do what they do.

"I follow them through sports and dance and whatever all they are in," Sperin said. "I love it. I love the ballpark. Even when my kids were little, that's just what we did."

Sperin was named teacher of the year at Black's Mill this past spring. It is an honor bestowed by her peers and it is clear why they would choose her for the recognition.

The elementary educator knew when she was in elementary school that teaching was what she would pursue.

Her own elementary school teachers were awesome in her eyes and inspired her to teach.

"I don't know what else I would do. This is what I have always done and this is what I want to do. I can't imagine doing anything else," she said.

She grew up in Indiana and graduated from Ball State University with her undergraduate degree before moving, along with extended family, to Georgia. She finished her master's degree at Piedmont University.

She believes her work is a calling and looks forward to getting up and seeing her students learning each day.

"Just seeing them taking in everything they can possibly take in," she said. "The kids don't know with half the fun we are having, they don't realize that they are really learning.

"When I put them in groups and they are talking and having great conversations, they don't realize that they are learning what they need to be learning from other people too."

Despite the ongoing additions of programs and requirements from the state level, Sperin says it is worth it. She has been at it long enough to remember when the demands were not quite as stressful.

"We still have fun. We make it fun," she said.

Though she has taught at multiple grade levels, she loves the second graders she is teaching now.

"I think it's the perfect age," she said.

The enthusiastic teacher says finding out she'd been named teacher of the year last spring was huge.

"It was awesome," she said. "It felt good. It was a very big surprise. That's the biggest honor I can get. The kids can love me. The parents can say, hey we had a great year, but the people I work with and see every day...that was quite a big deal."

When Sperin is not in the classroom, or at the ballpark, she is most likely at the pool.

Sperin has been a swimmer since she was young and is now coaching the high school swim team that consists of eight boys, many of whom refer to her as mom.

When she talks about them, it is easy to see why they would.

Sperin's plans for the future are to just keep doing what she loves doing, and that is teaching.

"I will stay around as long as they will keep me," she said.