The American Boat & Yacht Council Foundation has named Stephen Spencer of Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth, Fla., as its 2020 Educator of the Year.
Spencer helped launch a new marine service technology program at the school, according to transportation service technology program director Eligio Marquez Jr.
After meeting in 2018 with the local workforce task force, Spencer organized and implemented the program in August 2019.
This fall, despite the pandemic, Spencer’s first class of 14 graduated from the program.
Spencer, who hails from Louisville, Ky., began his teaching career in 2001 after serving 31 years in the U.S. Coast Guard, where he rose to the rank of Command Master Chief. He taught diesel and automotive maintenance and repair at two other schools before joining PBSC in 2015 as an automotive and diesel technology instructor.
The ABYC Foundation’s Educator of the Year Award was established this year to draw national attention to exemplary instructors who are helping to cultivate and shape future marine service technicians.
“We are excited to see such a strong pool of candidates for the first ABYC Foundation Educator of the Year award,” said ABYC Foundation executive director Margaret Podlich in a statement. “These winners represent the best instructors in the Northern Hemisphere, cultivating and training the aspiring workforce that the marine industry — and boaters — are relying on.”
Runners-up include Ryan Ramsey from Impact Institute in Kendallville, Ind., and Maurice Marchand from H. Lavity Stoutt Community College in Tortola, British Virgin Islands.