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Heritage honors Katie Scruggs as ‘Teacher of the Year’

MADISON – Katie Scruggs’ students say she is an outgoing teacher with a big heart. Heritage Elementary School rewarded Scruggs as “Teacher of the Year.”

Scruggs deferred to her students to comment about her teaching philosophy: “Mrs. Scruggs’ philosophy is to be nice and kind while having fun.” They also said, “She is well organized and planned.”

Scruggs taught for one year in Decatur City Schools and joined Madison City Schools in 2000. For six years, she taught fifth-graders at Horizon Elementary School and sponsored Student Government Association and the Sunshine Team, which helps to boost teacher morale.

For 18 years, she has taught fourth-graders at Heritage. She has served as grade-level chair and on the Leader in Me Lighthouse Team. Eleven years ago, she founded Fellowship of Christian Athletes or FCA with help of one of her students.

“With FCA, we started the inaugural Daddy Daughter Dance and the Senior Strut/Stroll,” Scruggs said. “I’ve served as emcee of the Heritage Color Run and Pep Rally for the last eight years.” She chairs Sunshine at Heritage, which promotes having fun.

Several years ago, Scruggs started a unique outreach during the holiday season. The Heritage Christmas Carolers, composed of faculty and staff, ride a school bus in their ugly Christmas sweaters and converge on Heritage’s neighborhoods to sing carols and spread Christmas cheer.

In Scruggs’ classroom, reading novels has been a definite success. “Most students said that reading novels was what they learned the most from. We read a few novels each year and dive deeper into our reading standards,” Scruggs said.

When Scruggs reads, her students always enjoy hearing her character voices, learning ways that characters change, analyzing the author’s theme development and understanding the importance of voice and language throughout the text.

This school year is special for Scruggs, not only for receiving Teacher of the Year honors but for her retirement from MCS.

She is a graduate of Huntsville High School. Studying elementary education, Scruggs earned a bachelor’s degree at Auburn University and a master’s degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Katie and husband Robert Scruggs have been married for 24 years. Their son Hunter will be a junior at Auburn this fall. Their daughter Anna Claire will be a senior at James Clemens High School.

Ironically, most people know that Robert Scruggs is an avid hunter, but Katie has never been hunting.

“One of my favorite things to do is plan a party. I can always find an excuse to have a good party,” Katie said.

“I’m a huge Auburn fan. Since I was a baby, my family has had Auburn football tickets, and we’ve continued that tradition with our children. War Eagle!” Katie said.

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