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Around Our Town...Outstanding Educators

Marcia Patton

06/01/2006 - "My greatest challenge in the classroom is also my greatest joy, and that is selecting music that speaks to the students, as it also delivers the musical knowledge/curriculum," says our Outstanding Educator, Mrs. Marcia Patton. After thiry-four years of teaching, Mrs. Patton, (also known as "General Patton"), is retiring from the public schools. She will be greaty missed in the music department at Kelly Walsh High School. Thankfully, she will continue with the Casper Children's Chorale and continue as a guest conductor and clinician throughout the United States.

Mrs. Patton was raised on a farm in Illinois. Her grandparents were greatly inspiring to her. "My grandmother was a country school teacher who could teach ANYONE to read. My grandfather was a superintendent of schools who 'moonlighted' as a motivational speaker dressed as George Washington," recalls our featured educator. Her teachers also contributed to her life. They believed in her and gave her "many outstanding opportunities in the performing arts."

During the war demonstrations in the sixties, Mrs. Patton's father wanted her to have a "safe collegiate experience" and he thought Laramie would be a relatively safe place for her. Wyoming then became her new home and her place to inspire others.

"She has been an inspiration to me and has really ignited my love for music," shares Music Ed. Major, Shereen Mosier. Shereen adds, "I had the opportunity to observe Marcia at High School and I am just amazed at what she can accomplish with her students." Shereen was Mrs. Patton's student in the nineteen eighties.

Mrs. Patton finds it to be "a very positive feeling" when her former students entrust her with their children. Des Bennion is one of them and he gives her high recognition. "General Patton knows what kids can do. She teaches her students how to respect and be respected, how to have outstanding stage performance, and how to fulfill their potential."

Another former student entrusting her children to Mrs' Patton is Debbie Riedl. "Marcia Patton has been a major part of our lives. Not only has she taught our children incredible musical skills and techniques, but she has taught them the beauty of music," shares Debbie.

Debbie's son Chris, now majoring in music at Casper College, considers Mrs. Patton to be the first person that brought music to life for him. "She taught me that singing is more than just dots on a page; singing is taking yourself and your audience out of their current situations and transporting them to another place," explains Chris.

Aside from being chosen as the 2002 Wyoming Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Patton's highlight in her teaching career has been going to Space Camp! Her unique highlight runs parallel to her philosophy: "The sky is the limit if that is where you set your sights."

To our featured Educator, Mrs. Patton/General Patton, happy partial retirement! Thank you for all the years you have brought excellence into our school system. You are truly "out of this world"!

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