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UPDATE: Chippewa Valley High Mourns Loss of Beloved Journalism Teacher

Longtime Chippewa Valley High School teacher, John Spreitzer, passed away suddenly Sept. 20. The visitation and funeral will be held Friday and Saturday, respectively, at A. J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Directors in Troy.

Visitation will be held Friday, Sept. 23, from 4 p.m.-8 p.m., at A. J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Directors, 2600 Crooks Road, Troy, MI. A service will follow on Saturday, Sept. 24 at 12:30 p.m. at the same location.

Longtime Chippewa Valley High School journalism teacher John Spreitzer, 58, died suddenly Tuesday.

Spreitzer, who was hired into Chippewa Valley in 2004, was much loved by his students and respected by his co-workers.

It was his love for the written word that inspired many of his students to actually pursue careers in writing.

Kelsey Ann McCormick was one of them.

"I had Mr. Spreitzer during my senior year," McCormick said. "Up until that point I knew that I was good at writing but had no idea where that could take you in life. In his novels and movies course I discovered that I was also interested in other people's writing. I fell in love with reporting in his journalism class and upon enrolling at Western Michigan University it became my major, with literature as my minor.

"They say the average student changes their major seven times during college, but I have remained passionate about journalism even past graduation. I owe thanks to him for fostering my dream."

While fellow alumna Carrie-Ann Stuart didn't pursue a career in journalism, she too drew inspiration from Spreitzer's classes.

"Mr. Spreitzer taught me more than how to write a story. He showed me the importance of working hard, listening, taking good notes, and asking lots of questions," she said. "I never thought in a million years that a 17-year-old journalism student would be published in the Macomb Daily. But he believed in me and showed me that anything is possible when you put your mind to it. He was my biggest advocate in high school and I will miss him. God bless, Mr. Spreitzer."

Like Stuart, CVHS alumnus Jon Gentile too will remember Spreitzer as an advocate and mentor, especially so when he dons the maize and blue of his alma mater.

"He was my absolute favorite teacher from high school," Gentile said. "He helped me get into (the University of) Michigan. ... The world lost an amazing person today."

Spreitzer is survived by his wife, Michelle; children Elise, Erik (Rebecca), Luke, and Karl Spreitzer; grandchildren Ava and Gavin Spreitzer; mother, Eleanor; brother Bill, Phil (Beth) and Steve (Mary) Spreitzer; and many nieces and nephews.

Current and former Big Reds who would like to share their memories of Spreitzer can do so in the comments section below, or via email to jenny.whalen@patch.com. Those comments will be added to this tribute.

Grief Counseling at Chippewa Valley

To assist the students and staff in handling the loss, a special crisis intervention team has been brought into the school, which includes an increased level of individual and group counseling services.

Chippewa Valley administration asks parents to contact the counseling office at the Ninth Grade Center at 723-3140 or 10-12 building at 723-2340 to request these services for your son/daughter, if you feel they are needed.

Sarah Elizabeth September 21, 2011 at 09:47 PM
He was such a inspiration to us all
Sierra Barbu September 21, 2011 at 09:51 PM
We love you Mr. Sprietzer . I only had you for a week & a Day , day you were one of my 2 Favorite teachers . May you rest in peace , & i Feel for you family . Thank You for being a good teacher to me . <3
Kaylee Wood September 21, 2011 at 09:55 PM
Mr. Spreitzer wasn't only an inspiration to us all, he always was one of the teachers who helped you become successful no matter who you were. I didn't even have him as a teacher, but he would always be such a great help to me when I needed it, and he will be missed by so many.
Taylor Manley September 21, 2011 at 10:00 PM
Mr. Spreitzer, were to start? You were by far the best English teacher, the year I spent with you was filled with much laughter and joy. Whether we were reading Romeo and Juliet, or even the Odessy, everyone shared a laugh at one point or another. You inspired everyone that you taught, he once said; "I'll do anything it takes to get you all to learn, even if it means dancing and hanging from the celling." And that's exactly what he did, minus the dancing and celling part. But he taught everyone, he didn't just teach us English, he taught us about life. The valuable life lessons that I learned in your class are priceless, and I will never forgive them. Whether I am remembering the essays that were written, or even the class discussions that took place, I am filled with joy that I was able to have been lucky enough to have you for an English teacher. You will be missed dearly, not just by your family or students, but by everyone that you have touched. We have lost an amazing person, but in return we carry his spirit with us where ever we go. He's given us the ability to inspire other people, and live our lives to the fullest. R.I.P. Mr. Spreizter, I will never forget you.
Lauren Sparks September 21, 2011 at 11:01 PM
Mr. Spreitzer was a great example of all that a teacher should be. He genuinely cared about his students and tried his best to teach material in a fascinating way. Even after I left his class I continued to visit him and he would always have a warm smile and a caring word for me. He touched so many lives, and left an incredible mark on this world.
Caity Paraski September 22, 2011 at 12:19 AM
Mr. Spreitzer was my favorite english teacher throughout high school. He was one of those teachers who really cares if you do good not only in his class, but in life also. He touched the lives of all of his students. He ended up forcing me to take honors english in 10th grade after i got an A in his class, which i think led me to become the student i am today. I remember the lectures everyday where he tried everything he could to get us interested in learning. What most impressed me about him was that he became a teacher because he thought its where he could make the biggest difference, he was a lawyer prior to becoming a teacher. Thank you Mr. Spretizer, we will all miss you. I will never forget you.
tpen September 22, 2011 at 03:32 PM
Mr. Spreitzer was a true teacher. He was in it for the love, not just for a paycheck. He has earned his wings in heaven, for all the students lives he has touched, inspired and motivated. It's a shame that he will never be replaced. He loved all the high school students, and he never viewed any student as a problem. He was an equal opportunity teacher and a legend, which is very rare in the CVS today. I'm sorry for all the students who will never experience his love of teaching. God bless him and his family forever! xoxo
Jenny Whalen (Editor) September 22, 2011 at 06:58 PM
Visitation Friday, Sept. 23, 2011 from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. Service Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011 at 12:30 p.m. Both the visitation and service will be held at: A. J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Directors, 2600 Crooks Road, Troy, MI 48084
Jaye Mitchell September 22, 2011 at 07:30 PM
Mr. Spreitzer you are one of the best teachers at Chippewa Valley High. He always helped with my work when my teacher wasn't available. I remember my friend Ayanna and I were walking down the hallway in the 9th grade center. We were having a debate about the weirdest thing, and Mr. Spreitzer said something to us and we just laughed. He always had a smile on his face. And his smile will be remembered. We miss you. Rest in Peace<3
Ashley Marie September 23, 2011 at 01:16 AM
Mr. Spreitzer, even though I never had you as a teacher, I heard you were an inspiration to many people. I just wanted to thank you for taking your time to share your knowledge with others, and pushing them to do their best. It takes a good man to do those kinds of things, and that is who you were. The staff and students of Chippewa Valley will miss you. Rest In Peace.

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