Hoover High School Celebrates 50 Years

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  In 1967, Hoover High School opened its doors for the first time, and one of the first students to walk through the door was Sandra Whipple.

“So here is our newest member in the Hoover High School Alumni Hall of Fame, Dr. Sandra Whipple Spanier,” said Kathie Danielson, Principal at Hoover High.

Dr. Spanier became the 21st member of the hall of fame, and on Friday her former classmates and teachers had the chance to brag about why she belongs there.

“She was high on the list of wanting to achieve,” said Gerald Hollingsworth, Dr. Spanier’s former teacher.

Dr. Spanier did a lot while she was at Hoover. She was a part of the first graduating class and helped choose the school mascot and colors; but it's her resume after high school that really helped earn her place in the hall. 

Dr. Sandra Whipple Spanier is inducted into Hoover's Hall of Fame. (WHO-HD)

After graduation, she earned several degrees in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Penn State University, and went on to teach English and Spanish to high school and college students for almost 30 years. What she is really know for, though, is her research on Ernest Hemingway.

Dr. Spanier has dedicated part of life to understanding the famous author. She has traveled the world to understand him better, and written books, papers, and countless articles on Hemingway. 

She spoke briefly to Hoover students at the ceremony on Friday, and while her speech was short, it was impactful.  She gave students three pieces of advice on how to navigate high school: appreciate your teachers, cherish your classmates, and don’t waste one second of the time you have there. 

“Make the most of your time here in the classroom, as well as of outside of it. If I could have a do-over on high school, the one change I would make would be to take even greater advantage of the activities and opportunities it offers,” said Dr. Spanier.