Seitz Elementary, Fort Riley Middle School teachers nominated for 2022 Kansas Master Teacher Award

FORT RILEY, Kan. — Geary County Schools on Wednesday announced Susan Marshall, Fort Riley Middle School math and algebra teacher, and Bryan Scruggs, Seitz Elementary School academic specialist, as its nominees for Emporia State University’s 2022 Kansas Master Teacher Award.

The Kansas Master Teacher Award was established by Emporia State in 1954 and is annually presented to selected teachers who serve as exemplary, professional educators, according to the university’s website.

Marshall began her career as a math teacher in 1993, working in Georgia, Michigan, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Texas, later traveling to Kansas in 2009 and beginning her next chapter at Fort Riley Middle School. During this time, Marshall has served on the District Math Curriculum Task Force, Professional Development Council, Math Excellence Team, Building Leadership Team, Outreach Committee Leader, Building Advisory Council, and as a mentor for education students at Kansas State University. In 2017, Marshall was the Geary County Schools nominee for the Kansas Teacher of the Year award.

Kansas Master Teacher nominee Susan Marshall, alongside Superintendent Dr. Reginald Eggleston and Marshall’s husband.

“Ms. Marshall’s dedication to her profession is apparent when you speak to her or enter her classroom,” Fort Riley Middle School Principal Kathleen Brennan said. “She is a professional and strives to build relationships with students and colleagues, with high expectations of herself and her students. She is a problem-solver and works collaboratively with a variety of stakeholders to meet the needs of her students and her school.”

Marshall is passionate about building relationships with her students, establishing trust to engage them.

“Once students know you care, not only will they believe in you as their guide, but they also tend to invest more in learning,” Marshall said. “Therefore, empathy is the foundation of my teaching philosophy.”

Once she has gained trust, Marshall embraces “typical” human learning and behavior as the framework for her lessons, including teaching methods like active learning, cooperative learning, and productive failure.

“Within her classroom, Susan differentiates to all students needs; she praises student success and helps them set individual goals to improve,” Fort Riley Middle School Special Education Teacher Samantha Garner said. “Ms. Marshall provides a plethora of interventions so that students can gain success, but not feel like they are constantly doing the same activity.”

Scruggs has dedicated his entire career thus far to Geary County Schools, joining Ware Elementary School in 2005 as a kindergarten teacher. This year, Scruggs transitioned to an academic specialist position at Seitz Elementary School. Scruggs has also served as the 21st Century After School Program Site Coordinator for both Ware and Seitz, Kindergarten Steering Chair, Kindergarten Curriculum Taskforce member, Kansas State University Cooperating Teacher and has helped in the development of Kansas’ ASQ adoption.

Kansas Master Teacher nominee Bryan Scruggs alongside Superintendent Dr. Reginald Eggleston.

“Bryan’s desire to be the best he can be for his students and teachers is apparent in everyone fortunate enough to meet him,” Seitz Elementary School Assistant Principal Veronica Wait said. “He lives and breathes education and is admired by many students, colleagues, and parents.”

Scruggs’ belief as an educator is that every moment we are constantly learning, and each new lesson is important. He focuses on this by using real examples of behaviors seen within his classroom to discuss problem-solving and resolution strategies. In addition, he believes it’s important to have a welcoming environment for the students to help further their achievement, whatever level that may be.

“Something that sets Bryan apart is his absolute love for his children,” Ware Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher Ally Bogen said. “His lessons are fun and engaging and his students hang on his every word. Bryan has the power to engage event the toughest students.

Most importantly, he finds it true that teaching must be a work of heart.

“Students are engaged, they are motivated, and the classroom becomes a joyous place where students don’t always realize that they are learning. When teachers find joy and excitement in what they do, it transfers directly to their students; creativity is sparked and innovations are developed,” Scruggs said. “When teachers are given the autonomy to develop this joy in their profession, true magic happens, and its impact lasts a lifetime.”

Marshall and Scruggs will be recognized for their nominations at the Geary County Schools Board of Education meeting on Dec. 6. Emporia State will announce the 2022 Kansas Master Teacher Award recipients early next year.

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