Making the world more awesome: Scroggin inspires kindness at Hailmann
In a sometimes dark world, there is unyielding need for a spark of light–one that provides hope and love and shows the world that good will always prevail in the end. There are few lights that shine brighter than Hailmann third grade teacher Laurie Scroggin.
Scroggin, a lifelong Slicer, taught at Handley and Lincoln before landing “home” at Hailmann 13 years ago. Being a Husky is special to her.
“I just feel it’s more like a family. We do what’s best for kids every single time. It’s not even something we have to think about. We are always thinking about the kids and how to make them better. We have each other’s back all the time,” Scroggin said.
It’s here that Scroggin has taken her calling of inspiring kindness and infused it into the culture of Hailmann.
Each Tuesday for about a half an hour, every student starts their day in the Husky gym with a Campfire Meeting led by Scroggin. They discuss important life lessons like kindness, honesty, accountability mindfulness, perseverance and more. It’s a chance for Scroggin to unite all Hailmann students and have important conversations that move past the standards. They chant, cheer, and support one another. It’s a family meeting that features 400+ students and staff.
“I want them to know that no matter how young they are or their life situation that they are amazing and that they can make a difference. We have to start small, and it’s our job to teach this world to be more awesome,” Scroggin said.
These meetings have become a favorite among staff and students alike, and Scroggin comes up with the message each week, hoping to empower and inspire her beloved Huskies.
During National Random Acts of Kindness Week this year, she showed up to the Campfire Meeting dressed up as “Leather Be Kind,” the leather trench coat wearing agent who challenged each class to complete specially tailored acts of kindness during the week. The Husky students did not disappoint, completing their missions and spreading love throughout the halls. That’s what means the most to Scroggin.
“I feel like as a teacher I’ve been called to make them the best human beings possible. Even the littlest thing can make such a difference in our days,” Scroggin said.
Scroggin’s charge for kindness and love has always been a part of who she is, but it also has been inspired and reframed by Kid President and creator Brad Montague. The once pint-sized hero who took the world by storm with his pep talks, calls to make the world more awesome, and motivational talks gives Scroggin a way to show students they, too, can make a difference.
“I just love Kid President and his message. No one else is going to do it [make the world a better place]. Huskies have to. One of our jobs as Huskies is to make this world more awesome,” Scroggin said.
This passion to make a difference has impacted far more people than just the students. Scroggin’s co-workers are inspired by her light just as much.
“Laurie is the kind of teacher who puts her whole heart into teaching, doing whatever she needs to do to make sure her students grow both academically and emotionally. She’s passionate, dedicated, and a natural born speaker. She makes everyone feel loved and special,” Jessica Banic, Hailmann 3rd grade teacher, said.
Serving on an impressively long list of committees and clubs, Scroggin is a true advocate for students in all aspects of their lives.
“I just had a calling to help kids. I have always been drawn to help,” Scroggin said.
It was a calling she realized at a young age. Growing up, Scroggin would spend time in the summer helping former La Porte teacher Joyce Maule set up her classroom, as Scroggin’s best friend was Maule’s daughter. The time in the classroom and the time spent around great teachers solidified Scroggin’s path. She was even able to do her student teaching experience with Maule.
Even though teaching is a major part of who Scroggin is, she is happiest when she is with her family. She loves spending as much time as she can with her husband Ryan and her two children Cooper and Sophie.
“My family is the most important thing to me,” Scroggin said.
It’s all this and much more that makes Scroggin irreplaceable in the lives of all she meets. It’s her love and light that forge a path for so many, a path that will undoubtedly make the world more awesome.
“I love the Kid President quote, ‘If you can’t say it with love, don’t say it at all,’” Scroggin said.
It’s safe to say that all she does, she does with love, and if she has any say, there will be an army of little Huskies who follow suit.