Danny Marshall has been teaching for 16 years and is currently at Van Horn High School.

More about Marshall

EXPERIENCE: Marshall has been teaching for 16 years and is currently at Van Horn High School.

EDUCATION: Marshall received a bachelor’s degree from Washburn University in Topeka, Kan. and a masters degree from northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Mo.

FAMILY: Marshall and his wife Jonni have three children - Drew, Katie and Jessica.

What inspired you to become a teacher?

“I was very lucky growing up. I grew up in a blue collar household, where education was very important. My dad worked on the assembly line at Goodyear his entire life, and my mom worked part-time here and there. They pushed me into my schooling and showed me how important it was to get a proper education. In the school district I went to, they had a program in middle school and high school that directed students into the career path they were interested in. We would go down to the elementary schools and work with the Special Olympics program. It was with doing this that I knew at a young age I wanted to be an educator. I loved working with people and wanted to try to pass on the knowledge I had gained from my teachers to the kids.”

What is most challenging as a teacher? Why?

“I believe I have the same challenges in education as any other educator goes through. How do I keep the lessons and activities exciting and fun, but maintain my students being engaged in their learning. In physical education, and here at Van Horn, our students are always looking to the Internet and researching new ways and games to do in class or outside of school. We have actually developed a unit so that our students have the opportunity to research and develop activities that we can do here at Van Horn, thus basically creating a new kind of game. In this unit, the students feel they have a say, so it helps them to really engage in their own learning. Staying one step ahead of our students and challenging myself to keep things fresh and new has even made me a better teacher. So I guess old dogs can learn new tricks.”

What teaching moment is most memorable?

“In education, it is tough to realize how much you touch your students lives until many years down the road. I’ve been very blessed in my career to have many memorable moments. But, two would stand out in my mind the most. One graduated about four years ago and the other 13 years ago. Both with the same type of story.  These young men have called me asking for information and/or activities that we did when they were in high school. They both made a comment of how these activities helped them realized what direction they wanted to take their own lives and start their own careers. They have comeback over the summer on their own time and helped out with different activities I have been involved with. What is so great about this is, while they were teaching their activities, I would hear them say the same thing that I did when they were in the class. It was at both of those times that I realized that, ’Yes maybe I do make a difference in the lives of my students.’ That is why we do what we do, is for moments like that.”