LUBBOCK, Texas — On Friday, the City of Wellman and Wellman-Union ISD named the school’s new playground after Carma Jankersley Spuhler, she taught for 40 years with the district.
Spuhler taught for 28 years before retiring, but decided she wanted to start substituting.
“Seeing the excitement of them when they read that first sentence or that first page, and I love the hugs,” Spuhler said. “I love singing with them, and playing with em. I just love ’em.”
Tori Guzman, kindergarten teacher and Spuhler’s former student, said Spuhler influenced her decision to teach.
“I loved the way she made me feel, and I knew I could do that for others,” Guzman said.
Guzman said Spuhler has even substituted for her class.
“She was an amazing teacher who showed you love all the time, like she said, she was tough on you and she made sure she did what you were supposed to,” Guzman said.
Bridget Brown, principal of Wellman-Union Elementary, said as soon as the school and the city finished the design for the playground, she knew immediately it would be named after Spuhler.
“Any time that she’s able to come in whether it’s just to visit, to say hello, sometimes she’ll bake some goodies at home and bring em up to share,” Brown said.
Spuhler said she was surprised to have the playground named after her, and as an extra surprise, Spuhler’s family was hiding behind a curtain of the unveiling. She said she hadn’t seen some of her family members in more than two years.
“I had no idea this was going on, and to turn around and see my family there…it was the biggest surprise,” Spuhler said. “I’ll be a Wellman-Union Wildcat for the rest of my life and even after I’m gone.”