Mrs. Specter taught in Mt. Lebanon for 33 years. She retired in 2011.
When she enrolled at Temple University she originally planned to study the performing arts. Like many students she decided to change her focus and transferred to the University of Pittsburgh to major in the fine arts with a minor in Art History. She later received her Masters in Art Education from there.
Mrs. Specter has taught in nearly every elementary building in the district including Foster, Jefferson, Hoover, Howe, Markham and Lincoln. Being multi-talented she earned an additional certification in Language Communications. She taught English and Speech on and off for three years at Mt. Lebanon High School, but her first love has always been the visual arts.
During her career she has been published numerous times in educational periodicals including School Arts, Arts and Activities and the Art Educational Journal. She is a recognized leader in art education having served on the board of the Pennsylvania Art Education Association and has co-chaired their state-wide convention. She has also served on the board of Delta Kappa Gamma-Alpha Pi, a women's honor society.
She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her teaching skills and contributions to the community including an Achievement Award from US Congressman Doug Walgreen, the Gift of Time Tribute, the Foster Friend Award and the Merit Award from the Hoover School PTA. She was also included in the 4th edition of Two Thousand Notable American Women. In 1995 she was recognized as the Elementary Art Educator of the Year in the state by the PAEA. Needless to say she is often asked to share her knowledge by teaching in-services and workshops throughout the area.
As a working artist her work as been displayed at a one-woman show at The Clay Place, included with other works at the TP Gallery in Oakland, and won Best of Show -3D, for one of her pieces at the Celebrating the Arts Show in South Hills. One of her pieces was purchased by Bill Strickland of the Manchester's Craftsmen Guild after it was displayed at the Teacher/Artist show at PPG Place.
Click here to view some of Mrs. Specter's own artwork.
In 2005 Mrs. Specter took a sabbatical from teaching. She used the opportunity to develop her talents in the use of electronic media to enhance her teaching. She is now a recognized leader in the use of the web as a communications tool for art education. Her web sites have been visited by people from all over the world. She also has used her newly developed skills to produce interactive teaching aids for classroom use. In the summer of 2006 she attended the Governor's School for the Arts to further enhance her teaching skills.
Among her many special accomplishments she has received several grants to improve arts education in M. Lebanon. In 1994 she received a grant for $ 5,000 for a program entitled Children as Authors/Illustrators. In 2002 through 2006 she received $ 10,000 in grants to purchase artifacts for use as teaching aids in Mt. Lebanon. Many of these artifacts are in permanent or traveling displays throughout the district. In 2002 a $ 1,000 grant from the Mt. Lebanon Foundation was used to create a mural depicting famous artworks in the hallway leading to the art room in the Jefferson Elementary building. Click here to see the mural.
Mrs. Specter's husband is a Computer Science and Business teacher at the Steel Valley School District. He holds certifications in Communications Arts, History and Government, Business/Technology and ITS. He also attended the Governor's School for the Arts the summer of 2006 with Mrs. Specter and often uses his computer background to assist her with her endeavors. His web site can be found here.
They have a 29-year-old daughter and an 23-year-old son. Their daughter graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Elementary Education from Gannon University. She was on the dean's list and had the benefits of a scholarship for playing on the university softball team. She is currently teaching for Headstart and is in the management training program for the Fox and Hound chain.
Their son is currently working for Lincoln Labs at MIT. He also has an interest in the arts having had a supporting role in Prime Stage's production of "Lord of the Flies" in the spring of 2004. In the summer of 2005 he participated in the "Andrew's Leap" program at Carnegie-Mellon University.
Mrs. Specter and her husband have often served together on major projects for community service and educational organizations, including First Night Mt. Lebanon and the Pennsylvania Art Education Association.
In their free time they like to travel. In the summer of 2001 they spent three weeks on safari in Africa. To see a video of their trip Click Here.
Read about The Specter's African Adventure.
Return to Home Page