Genelle Spoering

Genelle Spoering, Exceptional Educator Inducted 2018

  • Mrs. Genelle Spoering was an exceptional educator. She was a teacher and administrator in Dallas County Schools for many years. She was respected by the faculty and students. She had rapport with her faculty and expected them to do their best. Her first priority was student safety. She had three signs she put in the halls. If the sign was red, the student could not go outside; if the sign was brown the students had to stay on the sidewalks; and if the sign was green the student could play on the playground. She was a stickler for helping and encouraging people.

    Mrs. Spoering grew up in the Foose area and graduated from Buffalo High school in 1944. She began teaching at Foose School after graduating from high school. She earned $600 per year. She taught there for two years while she working on her degree at Missouri State College, now Missouri State University and at that time, one of her students was her younger brother, Ron Lilley. He recalls her being harder on him than anyone else. She transferred to Buffalo and taught 6th grade for four years. After her marriage to Orvid Spoering in 1947, they lived in Wichita KS; Kansas City, MO; and St. Louis, MO, as Orvid worked for Boeing and McDonnell-Douglas. Mrs. Spoering continued her career in education, teaching at Sunflower, KS and Hazelwood, MO where she was a teacher, counselor, psychological examiner, instructional specialist, and later became principal. After Orvid’s retirement in the 1976, they returned to Dallas County and lived on the family farm south of Buffalo. In the late 70’s she became the Curriculum Director and Director of Special Education. In 1985, she became the Director of Elementary Education and Mallory Elementary Principal. She continued these jobs until her retirement in 1994.  She spent 43 years in education.

    Her brother Ron Lilley recalls Genelle being his second mother as she was tasked with supervising and caring of him while their parents ran the Woodhill Store, which he made quite challenging. She wanted Ron to go to college but he was farm boy. When Mr. Lilley was called to preach and began college at Oklahoma Baptist College, she gave a monthly financial support toward his education. When the Foose students were transferred to Buffalo, they rode to school together, still going to school on a snowy day and enjoying many laughs to and from school.

    After retirement, she was involved on the farm, many times driving the tractor for the men picking up bales of hay. She also enjoyed collecting Depression glass and knew all of the different patterns. Genelle and Orvid donated the land and helped with the plans for Crossroads Baptist Church, south of Buffalo. She was a member of Crossroads Baptist Church, Dallas County Retired School Employees, Missouri State Teachers Association, Missouri Association of the Elementary School Principals, Delta Kappa Gamma-Alpha Tau Chapter and was a past matron of Eastern Star.

    She was a mother of three children; Kent and wife Alba Spoering and Kevin Spoering, both of Buffalo and Vicki and husband Steve Rhoads of Lebanon. Both Kent and Vicki also entered the field of education teaching special education and art, respectively.  Mrs. Spoering died in 2009 at the age of 82.