Many people have been instrumental in the success of Quincy Notre Dame and its graduates, but few have had the impact on the school that John Spring did.
Spring, a native of Rock Island and a graduate of Alleman, first worked as a teacher in St. Louis and in the Quincy Public Schools before he was hired at QND in 1976 as a biology teacher and an assistant basketball and football coach. Halfway through the school year, former principal Sister Karl Mary Winkelmann asked him to put aside his teaching duties and serve as the school’s first full-time director of development. Spring accepted the challenge.
The next day, Sister Karl Mary said she forgot to mention something when offering the job to Spring — that the school owed a local bank $110,000 to cover consolidation and operating costs incurred around that time. One of Spring’s first actions was to launch the school’s first fund drive, which has become a mainstay at QND. The fund drive raises money to cover the gap between the cost of educating each student and the amount of tuition the school must charge.
Spring went on to become the executive director of the Quincy Notre Dame Foundation for 29 years. He left the position to serve two terms as the mayor of Quincy from 2005-13. Spring and his wife, Karen, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in September. They have three children – Stacey, Josh and Mike – and seven grandchildren.
“Thank you to the Hall of Fame Committee for including me as a member of the Class of 2018 inductees. I am very honored and humbled to be recognized for my meritorious service and years of involvement with QND. I still remember the day I walked in the door in 1976 to teach and coach. It felt like I was coming home. As a product of Catholic education, I knew I had made the right decision to work as Quincy Notre Dame. Little did I know I would spend the next 29 years at the school and love every minute of it. In addition to my work for the Quincy Notre Dame Foundation, I tried to participate in as many ways as possible to make QND “The Place to Be.” Special thanks to all my family. I love Quincy Notre Dame and will continue to support the school and its programs.” – John Spring