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The Sentinel

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The Sentinel

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Meet the the Athlete behind the Mathematician: Corliss Spencer

Meet the the Athlete behind the Mathematician: Corliss Spencer
Valerie Parker

We’ve all seen her racing down the Hilltop on foot or by bike. Seniors and juniors who park at Vista spot her on Briscoe Road during lunch and commuting hours. Corliss Spencer, Upper School Math Teacher and Math Team coach, is the Storm’s favorite multi-sport athlete.

Spencer had an active childhood, playing tennis at Cardozo High School in her native Queens and then getting into biking after graduating from Columbia University with her bachelor’s and master’s in Chemical Engineering. 

“I lived near Central Park, and there’s a bike racing series [there],” Spencer said. “I got really into biking before I started working full time.” 

Once she started working as a teacher in New York City, Spencer struggled to find time to bike consistently, so she took up running.

After working at St. Luke’s for 16 years, Spencer has her workout routine down to a science. Her go-to route for running or biking during the school day is Briscoe Road. 

“It’s super close, relatively flat, and there’s no traffic,” Spencer said. “Most of my day is spent at St. Luke’s, so I try to catch some runs either before school, during lunch, or after school.” 

Working on good time management is something we’re all familiar with at St. Luke’s. Spencer has intentionally built her schedule of after-school activities to make time to stay active. She coaches cross country for the Upper School in the fall and for the Middle School in the spring, which gives her ample time to get a run in with the teams.

Spencer views staying active as a healthy mental release.

“It might look like I’m doing it for the physical benefits, but maybe the mental benefits are even greater,” she said.

Beyond St. Luke’s, Spencer has built a great network of like-minded, active individuals.

 “My husband and I are very competitive,” she said. “As my daughter has gotten older, she’s engaged with us in this competitive nature, so we’re always trying to beat each other.”

Ultimately, Spencer’s commitment to athletics goes back to a core belief. She said, “I think the most important thing is always to be healthy so that you continue to be active.”


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About the Contributor
Calum Regan '24
Calum Regan '24, Editor-in-Chief
This is Calum Regan’s second year on the Sentinel staff. He’s looking forward to conducting interviews with members of the St. Luke’s community and writing about prevalent topics. Outside of the Sentinel, he likes to swim, run, and help out in the Sustainability Club, Service Board and FOCUS.

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