Lessons that Gen. Larry Spencer learned at Central High School (’71) in Capitol Heights shaped his career.
Spencer is Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force where his duties include presiding over the Air Staff and assisting the Chief of Staff with organizing, training and equipping 690,000 active duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian forces serving in the United States and abroad.
A Washington, DC native, Spencer moved to Seat Pleasant during middle school. His experiences at Central High prepared him for future pursuits.
“The varsity sports program provided leadership and discipline,” Spencer says. “Academic activities prepared me for college and made me inquisitive.”
After graduating from Central, Spencer received a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering technology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He was commissioned as a military officer in 1980. He advises current students to think towards the future.
“First, stay in school and work hard to earn good grades – not just to have a good GPA but to actually learn and master the material,” he says. “Second, understand that the classes/subjects really will benefit you later in life. Many students wonder how they might use high-level math, as an example, in life. High-level math teaches you to reason and to problem solve. Those attributes are highly sought after in the work market.”
Finally, Spencer says, don't worry about "what you will be when you grow up."
“If you prepare yourself, doors will open. If you work hard, people will notice and try to help,” he says. “Being successful is bigger and broader than the amount of your paycheck; it's doing something you enjoy that contributes to the greater good.”