BOISE, Idaho — We're taking you back to the 80's with this week's Innovative Educator. For more than two decades the music specialist at Shadow Hills Elementary school in Boise has orchestrated a big end of the school year show worthy of applause.
Dozens and dozens of 4th, 5th and 6th graders started off their performance with Joan Jett's "I Love Rock n' Roll." We were there to watch the dress rehearsal in front of the younger students at Shadow Hills.
You may not see her in the very back of the gym during the show, but the boys and girls on stage are getting some help in the very back from Gina Spengler.
Spengler has been the music specialist at Shadow Hills for 22 years.
"It's fun, it's hard to walk into the gym and not feel like you're back in the 80's," Spengler said.
She says she wants to make sure performances like this one are memorable for the audience and especially the students.
"I try to involve them in as much as I can and involve them in the research and involve them in helping pick out the songs and that kind of thing so they really feel like it's their show."
Samuel Bauer certainly feels like it's his show. He plays "Marty" from "Back to the Future" in the performance.
"She gives a lot of people chances to be able to sing and find what they're good at," said Bauer, who is in the 6th grade.
Lizzy Turpen says Spengler is always coming up with something new and exciting.
"I mean, Ms. Spangler is so energetic with everything she does," said Turpen, who is in 6th grade.
Turpen has had Spengler since kindergarten and says she's much more than a teacher.
"Oh, she's like my second mother kinda. She's so amazing. I love her so much."
That love can be felt in the gym with the kids and their music teacher in sync.
"I just get to be a small part of the magic," Spengler said.
That may be the case, but the impact she has made on her students and the big performances she puts on make her this week's Innovative Educator.
"It's such a blessing to see them grow and to change and grow in their confidence," Spengler said. "I'm the lucky one."
Spengler teaches Pre-K to 6th-grade students. She also teaches the recorder to 4th graders and all the 5th and 6th-grade students at Shadow Hills learn to play the guitar.