Educator continues to make a difference in the lives of students

Educator continues to make a difference in the lives of students

A nne Tuck Spillers, ’70, has always been a leader. From her time at Georgia College in the late ’60s until now, she’s known the importance of being involved in school, work and community. And, it shows. She’s earned the prestigious Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities in 1970 and Teacher of the Year in 1992. Anne traces her inspiration for leadership back to Georgia College.

“All of my curricular and extra-curricular activities at Georgia College helped me in life,” she said. “If there was something I could contribute, I was certainly willing to do so. I know the value of working hard to achieve what you want.”

While attending Georgia College, Anne represented her class as co-chair of the Honor Council—a challenge she recalls as hard work. She was also a member of the College Government Association, which taught her responsibility, and a member of the Literary Guild, which catered to her love of literature. 

Anne Tuck Spillers as a freshman class officer, pictured lower left, at Georgia College in 1967.
Anne Tuck Spillers as a freshman class officer, pictured lower left, at Georgia College in 1967.

She has fond memories of The Golden Slipper competition. First-year students worked with upperclassmen for two weeks to prepare for their performance.

“Getting ready for the Golden Slipper competition was a lot of work, but a lot of fun,” Anne said. “We constructed everything from the sets to the costumes. We also learned the music. We sang all the time and gave quite the performance.”

The competition fostered leadership and teambuilding skills. Juniors came up with the ideas and taught first-year students, so when they became upperclassmen, they could do the same for first-year students. 

“Georgia College was a wonderful choice for me. As a young person, I didn’t realize what a gift it was. I think you have to mature a little bit and have a few life experiences to appreciate it. So many of my experiences there prepared me for my profession, adult life and involvement in the community. I am forever grateful for my years at Georgia College.”
– Anne Tuck Spillers

“We learned a lot from the juniors and passed it on,” she said. “It showed me how to be a follower and take directions from a leader. In turn, when I was in my leadership roles later in life, I could apply what I learned. The experience also taught me how to delegate—not thinking I have to do it all myself.”

Her involvement at Georgia College taught her professionalism and how to work with others. Educators like Mary Thomas Maxwell—who’s remembered in the naming of the Maxwell Student Union—made lasting impressions on Anne. Her Georgia College experience formed her as a teacher.

Anne taught English, language arts, literature, grammar and Georgia history to seventh and eighth grade students. She especially loved teaching grammar, thanks to Maxwell.

Anne dedicated her years as an educator to the success of her students.

“I wanted them to know that I cared about them,” she said. “I also wanted their parents to know, when the time came for conferences or other meetings, I cared for them and I was putting forth my best effort.”

Later in her teaching career, when she became a media specialist, Anne was named the Palmer-Stone Elementary 1992 Teacher of the Year. It was an affirming award, since she was chosen for the award from a pool of around 35 teachers.

“It was rare in those days that a media specialist would be considered as Teacher of the Year,” she said. “Many people thought of the media specialist position as being a ‘cushy’ job. That wasn’t the case.”

Outside of her job, being active in the community has always been important to Anne.

For 25 years, she’s volunteered at her church’s library, cataloguing books and reading stories to children. She’s also been a member of Alpha Delta Kappa sorority since 1983, serving as president for two years. In addition, she co-chaired the Palmer-Stone Elementary Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Review Committee for a year.

“I think you get a great feeling of accomplishment by serving your community,” said Anne. We’re a community, so we need to pull together. I think it’s incumbent upon those who have been given much to contribute to making the area where we live a better place.”

Now, she and her husband, AJ, want to help undergraduate English majors, enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences, by offering an endowed family scholarship. They want to help students in financial need, so they can attend college. The couple hopes the scholarship will help serious-minded students prepare for their careers. 

Anne and AJ Spillers
Anne and AJ Spillers

“We have been very blessed,” said Anne’s husband, AJ. “We are fortunate to be able to offer this to students who have the smarts and just need the financial aid to get a better education. We hope they use that knowledge to help others.”

Anne is glad she chose to attend college—a decision she feels led her down the path to success.

“Georgia College was a wonderful choice for me,” Anne said. “As a young person, I didn’t realize what a gift it was. I think you have to mature a little bit and have a few life experiences to appreciate it. So many of my experiences there prepared me for my profession, adult life and involvement in the community. I am forever grateful for my years at Georgia College.”

To learn how you can contribute to student success in the College of Arts and Sciences, contact Bob Preston at bob.preston@gcsu.edu or visit our giving website