Dr. John was raised in Sesser, the son of Dr. Charles and Margaret Spence. Dr. John grew up around the practice and helped his father from a very early age. As a youngster he often spent time assisting on farm calls or helping clean cages at the clinic. He graduated from Sesser-Valier High School in 1993 and went to Rend Lake College and then Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Zoology in 1997 and then went on to the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. After graduating in 2001 with his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, he moved home and married Dr. April and joined his fathers practice.