Fort Myers, Florida
"Live, love, laugh and scramble a few eggs."
Denise Spence has been an educator for over 18 years. She is the lead technology teacher at Dunbar High School, where she is the business technology department head and program manager for Dunbar’s three award-winning IT certification programs: the Microsoft IT Academy for Technology Excellence (the first Microsoft-certified high school in the world), the Adobe Academy for Digital Excellence (an Adobe featured school program), and the Academy for Game Design and Programming Excellence. She provides support and guidance for Academy teachers, including use of productivity tools and curriculum integration ideas. She has developed a long-term relationship with the business community by maintaining the Dunbar High School Business Advisory Committee. Plus, Spence has trained and certified students, teachers, and administrators in a variety of IT industry areas. She is also an adjunct professor at Florida Gulf Coast University, where she teaches an introductory IT course.
Spence has presented at several state and national conferences, including repeat appearances at the Florida Educational Technology Conference, Magnet Schools of America National Conference, and for Adobe and Microsoft at various Career and Technical Education (CTE) conferences around the United States. She has even led several national and international webinars related to career and technical training in high schools. Spence collaborated with the National Career and Technical Education Foundation (NCTEF) and Microsoft Corporation’s U.S. Partners in Learning to help develop the IT guide for the “College and Career Readiness Program” series of the States’ Career Clusters Initiative. Spence collaborated with the local YMCA to develop and host Tech Quest, a technology enrichment summer camp. Plus, she is the founding sponsor for a new all girls computer club called Girls Opting for Information Technology (GO-4-IT), which partners with local colleges and universities to improve diversity in the computer science fields.
Spence is a graduate of the University of Florida, the University of South Florida, and Florida Gulf Coast University. She has earned a total of three degrees: an associate of arts, a bachelor of science in elementary education, and a master’s in curriculum and instruction with emphasis in instructional technology. Over the years, Spence has earned the following IT certification credentials: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, iCritical Thinking, Adobe Certified Associate in Dreamweaver®, and Microsoft Office Specialist in Word/PowerPoint/Excel/Outlook. Her major accomplishments include being selected as one of three finalists for Lee County’s Teacher of the Year in 2000; becoming the first ever Career and Technical Education Teacher of the Year for Lee County in 2006; and being named the Certiport Global Summit Teacher of the Year for 2010. Plus, Spence was a 2011 and 2012 finalist for the Microsoft Innovation Forum. For her leadership in providing college and career related information technology training, Spence was asked to be a Faculty Champion for the Microsoft Imagine Cup and was selected to be an Adobe Education Leader. For her impact on the business community, she was selected as a finalist for the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce “Women in Business” Apex Award in 2011.
Spence is a member of the Fort Myers Junior League and has served on the board of directors both as treasurer and as finance vice president. She also served as a board of director for the Fort Myers Women’s Community Club and is a member of the Edison Pageant of Light.