WILTON, Conn. – Marilyn Virginia Spence, of Wilton, died Saturday, May 2.
She was the daughter of Ward and Ada Spence of Akron, Ohio. The family moved to Norwalk, where she attended local schools and graduated from Norwalk High School.
A lifelong learner, she developed a passion for teaching and dedicated her life to preparing for that role. She received her education at the University of Connecticut, earning a bachelor’s in history and English. She later returned and earned a master’s in history. She completed her formal education with a sixth year certification in supervision from Fairfield University.
She began her teaching career at Newport High School, Newport, Vt., and moved to Beverly High School in Beverly, Mass., before returning to Norwalk.
She taught at Norwalk High School and then accepted a position at Brien McMahon High School, where she helped initiate a team teaching program known as the Norwalk Plan. This approach to education required developing a curriculum and materials as well as taking on duties for scheduling and grouping.
As a result, she published numerous articles related to organizing a Team Teaching Program. When she became department chairman of the social studies department, she worked to institute new courses and standards and to create positive relationships among staff members.
Her leadership abilities were recognized by many and resulted in being given total responsibility for Brien McMahon’s 10-year self-evaluation study, sponsored by the New England Association of Secondary Schools.
She was also an active member of Kappa Delta Gamma an International Honorary Society for Women Educators. After she retired, she was inducted into Norwalk High School’s Hall of Fame for Alumni (teacher Honor Roll).
Though retired from the classroom, she remained active as an Instructor at the University of Bridgeport and assumed a position as a state assessor of beginning teachers for the State Department of Education in Hartford. At the same time, she began to work for various universities as a field supervisor for student teachers, aiding and assisting those who desired to enter the world of education.
She maintained an active life, enjoying friends and family, going out to dinner, taking in a play or watching a movie.
She is survived by a sister, Janet Incerto; brother-in-law Donald Incerto; and many nieces and nephews.
She will be interred in the family plot in Ohio. A celebration of life will be held for her close friends and family.