Quam Fills Math Department Vacancy


Erika Riedel, Staff Writer

Filling in for AP statistics and Honors Geometry teacher Ken Ingersoll, substitute Spencer Quam has been praised for his precise and effective teaching style that ensures students are prepared for upcoming tests or quizzes.

Freshman honors geometry student Sophie Webster said, “He has done his best to come in and try to step into Mr. Ingersoll’s shoes and teach us the same way he has and teach us the way that will prepare for next year because we are in an honor geometry course.”

Currently a resident of Lafayette, Quam has lived in several foreign countries.”I moved 11 international times: Australia, Nigeria, France, Kazakhstan, French Congo, Melbourne Australia, London again but working in Algeria, South Africa, Mozambique, Doha Qatar, and finally Portugal,” said Quam.

Although he has been impressed with his students, his transition into the math department has not been without challenges. “There were no hand-over notes and there were files all over the place. There were students that have tests and I couldn’t find them. No lesson plan and so I had to start from scratch,” said Quam.

Quam did note that his colleagues in the Math Department have been supportive.

AP statistics student senior Kevin Deng added, “I think that he was brought in very late into the year when we only had 1 chapter left to learn and I think that he has done a good job providing us as students with a foundation for the AP test that we are going to take soon.”

Unfortunately, an incident did occur shortly after Quam’s arrival where several tests were stolen from his desk, including upcoming tests and tests already taken by students for both AP statistics and honors geometry classes. An investigation followed, and tests were rewritten.

“I had to hustle and make up a new test and a lot of kids were freaked out so I am working on making adjustments. Moving forward I am going to be a lot more secure and make sure nothing goes missing,” said Quam.

With the help of calculus and geometry teacher Nita Madra as well as algebra 2 and statistics teacher Nick Schoen, Quam is wrapping up instruction for the year.

Madra said, “[Quam] is doing really well. It’s been hard because he came in the middle of the chapter so to finish that up was difficult but he is doing a great job. He is very conscientious, he wants to do well, and he is concerned about the students. It is great working with him.”

Having a teacher change mid-year is unusual, but students like Webster seem to appreciate that Quam has been working hard for the students

“It’s just a hard situation overall and I don’t think anyone could do anything different,” added Webster.

Quam does not plan to stay on permanently in the position.

“I am old, I am in my 60’s, so I think it is necessary to offer opportunities to kids who have turned into young adults who have gone to school to be teachers. I don’t need to take an opportunity away from them so if there’s a qualified advanced math teacher who is coming out of a university with a degree in education as well as math, I think they should get the opportunity. I will fill in if they need the help,” said Quam.