Marilyn Virginia Spence
May 2, 2015
Marilyn Virginia Spence of Wilton, peacefully passed away Saturday, May 2, 2015 at her home. Marilyn was able to stay in her residence that she lovingly referred to as “her little piece of heaven.” She is survived by her sister, Janet Incerto, brother-in-law Donald Incerto, and her many nieces and nephews.
Marilyn, was the daughter of the late Ward and Ada Spence of Akron, Ohio. The family moved to Norwalk, Connecticut where she attended local schools, graduating from Norwalk High School. A lifelong learner Marilyn developed a passion for teaching and dedicated her life to preparing for this role.
She received her education at the University of Connecticut, earning a B.A. in History and English. She later returned to the university earning a M.A. in History honing her skills and educational background to be a successful teacher as she was a dedicated educator who wished to make a difference in the lives of her students. She completed her formal education with a 6th Year Certification in Supervision from Fairfield University.
Marilyn began her teaching career at Newport High School, Newport, Vermont, moved to Beverly High School in Beverly, Massachusetts 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 innovative approach to education required developing a curriculum and materials as well as taking on duties for scheduling and grouping. As a result Marilyn published numerous articles related to “organizing a Team Teaching Program”. When she became Department Chair of the Social Studies Department she worked to institute new courses and standards and to create positive relationships among staff members.
Marilyn’s 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 retiring she was inducted into Norwalk High School’s Hall of Fame for Alumni (teacher Honor Roll).
Though retired from the classroom Marilyn 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, Hartford, Connecticut. 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. Though she was retired she was never far from her commitment in recognizing the importance of education and the value of having the best teachers. Marilyn was a respected and admired educator.
Marilyn remained very active, reading and discussing various issues and educational policies. She maintained an active life, enjoying friends and family, going out to dinner, taking in a play or watching a movie. She will be missed. Marilyn will be interred in the family plot in Ohio. A celebration of life will be held for Marilyn’s close friends and family.