How long have you been an Encore Learning Member?
I joined Encore Learning shortly after I retired in May of 2013. I feel like I've been a member for much longer since Steve has been involved for many years. As I was contemplating retirement (or starting my next chapter), I saw my post-work years as the chance I really wanted to volunteer, exercise and continue to learn.
What made you decide to join the Board?
For the past several years, I have thoroughly enjoyed taking Encore Learning courses. Being a class aide was my next step of engagement with Encore Learning. I had a wonderful mentor in Susan Post. Since then I've been thinking that I could give back to our great Encore Learning community, so when asked if I would serve as a Vice President by Art Gosling and John Sprott, it felt like the right time. Who could say no to them?
What is your favorite thing about Encore Learning, so far?
I enjoy meeting new friends and connecting with friends I haven't seen in years. I look forward to getting to know many more Encore Learning members.
Where did you grow up?
Though born in Iowa City, Iowa, I grew up in the Northern Virginia area. I graduated from Langley High School, went to Marietta College in Ohio, and returned to the area. Steve and I have been Arlington residents since the late '70s.
What else do you do in your spare time, when you are not volunteering for Encore Learning?
Our son and daughter are in the DC area, so we are very fortunate to spend time with them as their schedules allow. We enjoy our summer cottage in Southern Maryland, sailing, swimming, reading and supervising the Potomac River from our porch!
Nutrition education is a passion. I am a Master Food Volunteer, a certification earned through the Virginia Cooperative Extension at Virginia Tech. I enjoy working with all age groups, kids to seniors, to prepare nutritious snacks and meals. In a similar vein, I also volunteer with the Arlington Food Assistance Center and distribute food to clients at the Claridge House.
I am a member of a great book group, several of whom are Encore Learning members. We've been meeting for 20+ years and we have read many great books. We enjoy our time together with a glass of wine, sharing our thoughts on our reads.
For the past four summers, we have hosted teenager pairs through the Cyprus Friendship Program. One is a Turkish-speaking Cypriot, and the other is a Greek-speaking Cypriot. The aim of CFP is to promote understanding, communication and leadership skills. The teens are full of life! At the end of this experience, they will return to Cyprus and hopefully work toward a community without borders.
Share a favorite book, poem, quote or piece of music.
"With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts." -- Eleanor Roosevelt
Where is your favorite place in the world to be?
Aside from home, I don't have a favorite place but I do love to travel. I think it is great fun to get lost in a new place and then meander our way back to our B&B or hotel. (Thanks Google Maps!) Steve and I enjoy the unplanned moments while traveling...when we stop for a street performance, enjoy a food truck meal in front of the Eiffel Tower, or a glass of wine at a small café.
Steve and Barb Spangler enjoying New Zealand. Photo courtesy of Barb Spangler.
Our daughter-in-law is from Lisbon so we have enjoyed several wonderful visits to Portugal. A small country, but so much to see and do.
Our bucket list keeps getting longer. Places we hope to visit in the next year are Vietnam, Macau and Thailand.
When all the bags are unpacked, I enjoy being home!
Help Spread the Word!
We're often referred to as the "best kept secret in Arlington." New members join mostly because they hear about Encore Learning from a friend. Do you have time to help spread the word about our wonderful organization?
No time for meetings? No problem! Help Beth share our news via social media - either Facebook or occasionally your neighborhood email group. Just email the office and let Beth know you're willing to help.
Refer a friend. When joining online, new members may enter a "Referred by" name. Our very first official thank yous for referring friends go to
John Seal and