Mr. Sprengel visits Plitvice Lakes in Croatia
Mr. Sprengel knew from an early age that he wanted to be an artist. He still remembers sitting with anticipation in his elementary classroom as his art teacher, Mrs. Maida Kostakis, wheeled her art cart into the room. He would peer intently at the supplies and materials stacked carefully on top of and below the cart, trying to guess what exciting and creative project Mrs. Kostakis would introduce that week. It is largely the influence and encouragement from Mrs. Kostakis that led Mr. Sprengel to pursue his interests in the arts.
Mr. Sprengel’s journey to becoming an art teacher started when he attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and earned his Bachelor of Architecture degree. He spent three and a half years working in the field of architecture in Pittsburgh. During this time, he was given the opportunity to teach an “Architecture for Children” class at Carnegie Mellon, and was bitten by the teaching bug. While teaching architectural concepts, using exciting two- and three-dimensional projects, to children in grades three through eight, Mr. Sprengel decided to go back to school to earn his Masters of Education from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. Being initially certified in Elementary Education, he spent the next several years teaching fifth grade in Pennsylvania. His fifth grade students benefited from his art and architecture background, as he constantly sought ways to naturally integrate art projects into his regular curriculum. Later, with Art Education on his teaching certificate and a desire to share his love of art with even more students, Mr. Sprengel then began seeking an art teaching position, which is what has brought him to Loudoun County Public Schools and the wonderful community of Newton-Lee Elementary School.
In an effort to increase his understanding of the world and bring this newfound insight to his students, Mr. Sprengel has taken opportunities in recent years to travel. After each travel experience, which has included Europe, South America, Asia and Africa, he has incorporated aspects of the art and culture into his lessons. During two consecutive Spring Breaks, Mr. Sprengel travelled to China, visiting Hei Zhi Ma Hutong Elementary School in Beijing. He even had the opportunity to teach an art lesson to fourth grade students during his second visit. In the summer of 2016, Mr. Sprengel travelled to Ghana for a class on African music and culture, and he had the wonderful opportunity to work with students in the Nunya Music Academy. Most recently, Mr. Sprengel spent ten days during the summer of 2017 in the Amazon rainforest of Peru working with children in two rainforest communities and attending professional development workshops on place-based education, inquiry and STEM!
Although his path to becoming an art teacher has been a long and winding road, the experiences along the way have been valuable and rewarding. Mr. Sprengel is very excited about the opportunity to begin his tenth year sharing his love of art with the Newton-Lee Explorers.page updated August 27, 2017