New Faces: Derek Spear

Derek Spear isn’t one to hide his love for Batman. One does not have to be in his room for long to notice the wall filled with Batman memorabilia or the framed photo of Batman from the movie, The Dark Knight. The Batman head is a Halloween trick or treat candy bucket. The hat on top of it is from a costume party that Spear went to with friends.

Spear is the long term sub for Alden Bird, an english teacher who is currently on paternity leave and will return in early October. After Spear is done at U-32, he will continue teaching at schools, looking for a full time job. 


Spear was destined to become a teacher. When Spear was in kindergarten, he was given the opportunity to stay back and help the teacher with the next year’s upcoming class. He jumped on the chance to become a teacher helper.  


His energy to teach followed him to high school. During Spear’s junior year at South Burlington High School, one of his favorite teachers was Mr. Comoli, his film teacher. Comoli let Spear become a teacher advisor in class, bringing him out of his shell and opening his eyes to film. 


One of Spear’s assignments for his film class was to write a short skit.  After Comoli had read all of the skits he called out Spear’s name and told him that he really liked what he had come up with, and that he should do more like it. Spear described the skit as being about “a proud southern mother bragging about her son overseas to all her friends during lemonade,” then his film intercut to the son “terrified, running on a beach somewhere, and as an explosion caught him, she dropped her lemonade glass on the floor.”


After college, Spear put his film degree to use doing many short films, documentaries, and even some commercials for local businesses. He has done three commercials for family friends that own Homeport on Church Street Marketplace in Burlington.


Spear’s favorite movies are, “Indiana Jones, Fight Club and Dark Knight, but all for different reasons.” 


 Indiana jones “got me into the idea of storytelling,” said Spear. Fight Club because “it was the first movie I ever watched that was self-reflective, some of the takes just blew my mind.”


And The Dark Knight. Batman was like a “companion” for Spear growing up. He defines the movie as, “batman for adults”. The way the story was portrayed grew with him to fit the stage in life that he was in from youth, to teen, to adult.


Spear spends most of his time outside of his school with his wife Emily, one year old son Thatcher, and dog Winston at home in Colchester. Spear’s love of film even follows him into his kitchen. He is able to see one of the screens from the Sunset Drive In from his kitchen sink.

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