Greetings! My name is Michael Spath and I am the Life Science Coordinator/Biology Instructor at the College. I was hired in the Summer of 2007 and have taught Basic Anatomy & Physiology, Environmental Biology, Botany, General Biology I, and General Biology II since then. I served as one of the five Master Advisors, will serve as the 2018–2019 Chair of the Faculty/Staff Council and was honored with the 2012 Excellence In Teaching Award. For eleven consecutive years, I’ve been an Advisor of the Natural Science Club, one of the most active and popular campus clubs. We perform experiments, do myth busters, take field trips, and blow things up on occasion!
My teaching career began nearly 20 years ago when I taught middle and high school science just after graduating with a B.S. (Biology) from Texas A & M University in College Station, TX in 1997. My eight-year secondary career was rewarding but my passion was always to teach in the community college system. I’ve always embraced the community college mission including open access, student-centeredness, the comprehensive curriculum, and focus on quality teaching. So, from 2005 – 2006, I attended Western Carolina University and received a Master of Arts In Education: Two Year College Teaching with over 18 hours of graduate biology courses. This program was a perfect fit since it helped me understand the unique mission of the community college and adult education in particular. My entire philosophy of education can be distilled into one word: care. Studies have shown a caring attitude is the number one quality community college students desire to see in their instructors.
In my free time, I’m a distance runner, deacon at Grace Community Church in Marion, and nature enthusiast. I placed in the top 5% at the 2014 Boston Marathon and regularly compete in local road races. I’ve been happily married to my dear wife for 18 years and we have one amazing 9-year old son, Dawson. We spend our time fishing, traveling, hiking, racing, serving in our church, and exploring the mountains of WNC. I love my job and feel honored to teach at one of the most reputable community colleges in North Carolina!