How a Scholarship Made its Mark

How a Scholarship Made its Mark

Walking into Spencer Eaquinto’s classroom at Springville High, it’s easy to see that he is an exceptional teacher. Students affectionately call him “Quinto!” as they ask a question or tell him about their weekend. Spencer teaches U.S. Studies, U.S. History, and Sports Psychology and has coached football and track. “I love teaching,” he says. “The students have so much going on, they are just fun, emerging adults.”

“The most rewarding part of my job,” says Spencer, “is knowing I can come in to work every morning enjoying what I do. It’s a pleasure and a joy to be with these students.” After graduating from UVU in 2015, he was immediately hired on as a full-time teacher at Springville High. He now has a young family and is working to shape his students’ future.

But getting to that path wasn’t always easy. Spencer originally planned on a military career. When that didn’t work out, he was left stressed emotionally and financially. Not having a backup plan, he went back to school but wasn’t entirely sure what he wanted to do. It wasn’t until his second year, when Spencer received the Make Your Mark scholarship, that he decided to be a teacher.

In Spencer’s Sports Psychology class, one of the main topics covered is the motivational power of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. “A scholarship is a funny thing because it’s an extrinsic reward, but understanding that you worked hard enough to receive it, the scholarship also becomes an intrinsic reward,” says Spencer. “Receiving the scholarship changed who I was inside and what I wanted to do with my education. Because I had an understanding of where that money came from, I really wanted to do my best and do more.”

Spencer is now currently working on his administrative endorsement, which will allow him to work in educational administration. He hopes to have a career where he’s done it all – possibly working as an administrative coordinator at individual schools, at a district level, or for the superintendent. But ultimately he hopes to retire as a teacher. “The more I teach, the more I understand that teaching is really where it’s at. It’s really the meat and potatoes of education, and I just love being with the students,” he says.