Macon State College MVPs is a web feature that profiles notable students, alumni, faculty and staff.
Full Name: Mark Randall Spaid.
Originally From: Philadelphia, Pa.
Family: Married to high school sweetheart, Suzanne, for 38 years; two grown children, Trevor and Kristin; four grandchildren, Ellie (7), Madeline (5), Dylan (4), Katie (3); and a golden retriever, Toby.
Job Title: Associate professor of education.
Degrees: Doctorate in curriculum and instruction science education from Florida State University; master’s study in animal science from University of Florida; master’s degree in guidance and counseling from University of South Florida; bachelor’s degree in general agriculture from Pennsylvania State University.
Year he joined the Macon State faculty: 2007.
Some of his teaching career highlights are … Selected as USDA Teacher-Research Fellow, 24 years as a high school science teacher, co-founder and co-director of the Near East Southeast Asia Virtual Science Fair (NVSF-a U.S. Department of State project), and recognized by NewTown Macon for developing curriculum modules used at Amerson Water Works Park for 1300 middle school students.
He enjoys teaching at Macon State College because … “My faculty colleagues are creative, innovative, unfettered, and energetic. I have myriad opportunities to create rich environments for active learning (e.g., students raise darkling beetle larvae to learn about metamorphosis, students create bottle terra-aquariums to learn about ecosystems). Most of my students are eager to engage in learning activities which they can use with their own students during field experiences in the local schools.”
His favorite courses to teach are … “Science education ‘methods of teaching’ for elementary school, middle school, and high school biology. Due to my extensive experience as a science teacher in the public schools, I can share many effective strategies to integrate science across the curriculum, as well as reveal ‘tips n’ tricks’ that have potential to engage children during science activities, foster their scientific thinking skills, and increase student learning success.”
One thing people don’t know about Macon State is … “A riparian area at the campus lake is home to southern cricket frogs, green tree frogs, cattails, mosquito fish, apple snails, and red-winged blackbirds.”
One thing people don’t know about him is … “My family values education. My great-grandfather was the state superintendent of schools in Delaware and lectured at Salem College. My father and three brothers and I are all Eagle Scouts.”
In his spare time he likes to … “Garden, bird watch, read, and look for invertebrates in the woods.”
The one person he’d most like to meet is … “Rachel Carson, marine biologist and writer (‘Silent Spring,’ 1962). Because of Rachel Carson, many people now work in the field of environmental science and strive to temper technological progress with its broader effects on our natural world.”
If he wasn’t a college professor he would be a … “Park service ranger at Great Smoky Mountains National Park because that would be my Walden’s Pond: simple and minimalist.”