LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Dusty Spence

Position: Teacher and ISS Coordinator
School: Blacksburg High School
School District: Montgomery County Public School System
City, State: Blacksburg, VA

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Music that Describes Dusty


Dusty Spence was nominated by an anonymous parent of a student.

When you say the word "LifeChanger", Ms. Spence comes to mind.  Over her decades of teaching in both the private and public sector, she has changed the lives of so many students, parents, and future teachers she has mentored. She has taught every grade level over the years, as well as kids across every economic, emotional, and academic spectrum. She not only provides her students with information, but she gives them the belief that they can accomplish anything they are determined to work for. Ms. Spence attends after-school activities and sports events, visits homes, and is a partner and advocate for parents.

Ms. Spence makes sure each child is remembered, loved, and included.  She has provided clothing, gifts, and meals, not only for her students, but their extended families. When her private school closed due to COVID-19, she was immediately sought after for different schools.  She now teaches children virtually across three different school divisions. She provides a safe place for kids to receive additional one-on-one learning.  Parents trust her.  Kids adore her.  Administration relies on her expertise and knowledge.  Student teachers want to shadow and learn from her.  She provides before and after school programs and summer programming. She makes learning fun, and her students are always active, learning, and involved with giving back to the community.  

Ms. Spence also loves her community. She is very active in government and civic groups to promote learning and advancement.  Her two grown, successful children have received their college degrees and are thriving. Now, she is the mom to all children who are in her room.  Her high standards of learning, character, and morals are respected.  She disciplines with love and and believes in the hopes and dreams of each child, pushing them to give their best. She is a blessing to all who are lucky to know her.  



Comments (28)


Bethany Posted 7 months ago

Ms. Dusty is an amazing teacher and person. My girls absolutely loved her as a teacher and I loved my kids having her. She is a very kind and thoughtful person. She is very loved!

Sean Posted 7 months ago

Ms. Spence is a wonderful teacher willing to take time for both her students and parents. She is there for single parents and makes sure we stay on track when it comes to our kids homework and education. I hate the thought of my child aging-out of her care and guidance. She instills not only good study habits but good character traits as well.

Rachel Posted 7 months ago

Dusty is an amazing teacher and fantastic person. Over the years, I've seen her not only handle every scenario and challenge thrown at her, but I've seen her handle it with grace and leadership skills. The children look to her as a mother, teacher, and friend. Parents look to her as a confidant, mentor, and friend. Co-workers look to her to learn and be a better person. Administration look to her as someone who is responsible and goes above and beyond what is asked. She brings this to everyone...every single day.

James Posted 7 months ago

There is so much to write. I’ve watched this woman for many years put her heart, sweat, and tears into these children. I’ve seen her call homes at night to talk children “down” from emotional episodes, I’ve seen her search for runaways, and I’ve seen her counsel parents who were at their breaking points. She has been at bedsides in hospitals to comfort when no one else can. She is tough love, and has high expectations, but she does this in a way where the kids rise to the challenge and want to do better and succeed. She turns kids around who are labeled by society and makes them love learning and be better. When schools were closed, I’ve seen her zoom from home, hold classes outside, and go to homes to teach. I’ve seen her hold children crying, when no one else can break through...she does. A trip out to a store will involve a group of kids in tow who ran into her. I’ve seen college kids she has taught send her notes and remain in touch, and I’ve seen the love and admiration from all of her children and their parents. Once a child is in her class, they are her kids, forever. This woman is the definition of a LifeChanger!

Angela Posted 8 months ago

Dusty is a great teacher. She pushes my girls to work hard and achieve excellent grades. We love her!

Crystal Payne Posted 8 months ago

There is no one anymore deserving of this award than Dusty! Her dedication to our young people is unmatched. Not just in the classroom, but outside of the classroom. She takes her love the profession along with her love for children outside of the classroom to the families. In today's world, that is rare. Each child who has the privileged to be taught, guided and love by Dusty are truly blessed!

Linda Posted 8 months ago

Ms. Dusty, as her students call her is very deserving of this honor. She goes the extra mile to make sure that her students are getting the education and love they need to get them through either a hour at a time, a day at a time or a week at a time. She has had a challenging year health wise herself during a pandemic but in spite of the stress and struggles, she has always went over and above for her kids. She is very determined to be there for them to help them during a scary time in our history. Very deserving candidate.

Her Students Posted 8 months ago

While she is at lunch, we wanted to say we love her as a teacher. We could have been mean and played a trick on her but she is giving us a snow cone party later, so we will behave. She is always here to help with whatever we need. She gets called mom alot. She does special things for us and we are always doing fun things. She makes learning fun. She is the best!

Kenneth McPeak Posted 8 months ago

She is definitely deserving of this award. She has endured so much this past year and overcame every obstacle or situation that has been thrown her way. She is very strong willed to give the children what they need day in and day out.

Mary matherly Posted 8 months ago

Congratulations Dusty. A well deserved honor. Our youth need teachers with your dedication.

Elizabeth Sifford Posted 8 months ago

My daughter absolutely adores Ms Dusty. Ms Dusty goes the extra mile to provide fun educational activities for the kids.We are so blessed to her at PCYC

Shiloh Posted 8 months ago

I'm so grateful she works with my children. She is a wonderful teacher and mentor!

Melanie Quesenberry Posted 8 months ago

She has made a positive impact for me and my son

Kathryn Anderson Posted 8 months ago

Ms. Dusty has been “my person.” We originally met when I was in a very dark time in my life. I live 5 hours from my home, from my family. Ms. Dusty has been my rock, my mom when I’m away from my mom, and just an all around miracle for me; just as she is to all of her students. She is a creative, devoted, and passionate teacher. There is nothing that will break her organization methods, her spirit, or her love for every student and person she meets; you can’t be shy with this one, she’ll make ya talk. She is a well-rounded, bubbly woman that nothing can stop. Moral of the story, I believe that Ms. Dusty Spence SHOULD be elected life changer of the year. I couldn’t see anyone else that is more fit to fill this roll better than my Momma D. <3

Miranda M. Posted 8 months ago

Ms. Dusty dedicates so much of herself to ensuring the success of her students. During times of adversity she always finds a way to get everyone through it one way or another. In her current position she performs the job of 20 different teachers in one and that is to be applauded. You're awesome Ms. Dusty!

Crystal Phillips Posted 8 months ago

Dusty is not only an amazing teacher, but a wonderful friend. She has concurred many obstacles in just the last year that most people could not imagine facing. Teaching children and being a mentor to all those around her has been her number 1 priority regardless of what is going on in her life. She is very dedicated and puts her soul into all that she sets out to do when it comes to being the best teacher for her children. This award could not go to a more deserving woman.

Gloria Boyd Posted 8 months ago

Dusty has devoted her professional life to children by teaching academics and modeling the way to care for others. She is well loved by her students because they know she loves them. Building relationships with children is critical to being able to help them learn and grow. Dusty brings those skills to her job every day.

Lynn Dunford Posted 8 months ago

Dusty is one of the most dedicated teachers I've ever met. She goes above and beyond to give her students the best learning experience possible. This past year Dusty has faced some physical challenges that would probably have most people in bed with the covers pulled over their head. Dusty's main concern through all this was her students. I have met Dusty out at a local convenience store one night to give her some supplies I had that she was a able to utilize in her classroom. Dusty is definitely not your 8-3:00 teacher. She puts her whole heart into teaching her students.

Lynn Dunford Posted 8 months ago

Dusty is one of the most dedicated teachers I've ever met. She goes above and beyond to give her students the best learning experience possible. This past year Dusty has faced some physical challenges that would probably have most people in bed with the covers pulled over their head. Dusty's main concern through all this was her students. I have met Dusty out at a local convenience store one night to give her some supplies I had that she was a able to utilize in her classroom. Dusty is definitely not your 8-3:00 teacher. She puts her whole heart into teaching her students.

Sam Posted 8 months ago

Congratulations Ms. Dusty. You deserve it! You are awesome at what you do. Me and My little appreciates everything!! ??Thank you & keep up the great work! ?

Brittany Gaffney Posted 8 months ago

Dusty is one of the greatest influences a child could have in their life. She’s dedicated to all of the children she has contact with

Chris Blackburn Posted 8 months ago

I have known Dusty for many years and I have always admired her passion in teaching young children. She always goes above and beyond to make sure the needs of her children are met both inside and, when necessary, outside the classroom. Over the past year, I have admired her ability to adapt to an ever-changing world and classroom environment affected by COVID-19. There is a tireless energy she possesses to remain focused and dedicated to her kids and to her calling in life. In a world that sees many people give “just enough“, Dusty Goes above and beyond as a teacher in as a leader in the community. She is worthy of recognition as a life changer. I believe this because she gives selflessly and has a heart to see others benefit and grow!

Susan Adkins Posted 8 months ago

I can think of no one more deserving of this award, as my life long friend, Dusty Spence. In a world full of negativity, she has always been a beacon of light, and positivity. Offering love, learning, and friendship.

Dana Scott Posted 8 months ago

Dusty is one of the most loyal, dedicated and all around great person. Her integrity speaks for itself in her work ethic and character. I am very honored to speak on her behalf.

Andrea W. Posted 8 months ago

I know Ms. Spence, and I can tell you she always goes the extra mile for her students and her community! Ms. Spence cares deeply and strives to better herself and her students as much as she can. Congratulations on your nomination Ms. Spence, you've earned it!

Hannah Flinchum Posted 8 months ago

Very kind and sweet. I had her as a teacher and she taught me a lot!

Karrah Large Posted 8 months ago

Great teacher!

Jessica Hogge Posted 8 months ago

Ms. Dusty is an absolute blessing to work with, be around, and learn from. She deserves this award more than anyone after the long, hard work and grueling hours she dedicates away from herself to ensure each and every student, staff member, and friend can prosper. I’ve enjoyed every minute I have been able to learn from this wonderful, strong woman and I hope our time together never ends!