Elementary School
2150 Bennett St | La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601 | 608-789-7773 | Fax: 608-789-7174


Welcome from Principal Shirel!

Shelley Shirel

It has been my privilege to serve as principal of Spence Elementary since July of 2010.  I thoroughly enjoy interacting with and supporting the almost 400 students and 60 staff members that make up the Spence family. In addition to my daily role as principal, I also serve as the supervisor for the K-8 High Performance Learning (HPL) program for the School District of La Crosse. This work allows me to interact with students, staff and families throughout the district to ensure that the needs are met for students with high academic abilities.

I have had a variety of educational experiences that support my work as principal and supervisor of the HPL program. Prior to coming to the School District of La Crosse I taught for 12 years in grades 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7 as well as having extended experiences teaching in preschool and 5th grade. I co-facilitated the two-year Masters of Education – Professional Development program through the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse to a group of educators in Watertown, WI. I also served as the Director of Instruction and principal of a Kindergarten Center and elementary school in a nearby district. These broad range of experiences support my important work in building relationships with diverse learners, supporting curriculum, delivering instruction, and supervision of students and staff. I am very appreciative of the many opportunities that I have been a part of.

My educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Education with a minor in reading from Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma. I received my Master’s of Education degree in Professional Development from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, a program that I later went on to teach myself. I also attended Viterbo University where I earned two educational administration licensures for Principal and Director of Instruction.

On a personal note, my husband and I have been residents of La Crosse since 1999 with both our children receiving and excellent education from this great school district. Our daughter, Courtney, went on to graduate from UW-L with both a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology followed by a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She currently resides in Appleton. Our son, Tyler, also graduated from UW-L with a degree in Biology and is currently in medical school in Wisconsin. We are both very proud of our children and their accomplishments and we are very appreciative of the wonderful education they received from this community. La Crosse truly is a great place to live and raise a family.

I am always happy to showcase the wonderful work of the staff and students here at Spence. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of service to you, your child or your family.