Teacher Feature of the Month: Q&A with Keith Scruggs


Heath Stevens

Broadcast Journalism teacher Keith Scruggs helps freshman Joel David Montgomery with one of the broadcast cameras. Scruggs has taught for six years, but this is his first year teaching at OHS.

Heath Stevens, Staff Writer

The Charger staff sat down with Broadcast Journalism teacher Keith Scruggs, who has been teaching for six years, to learn more about his life and his transition from working at banks to teaching at OHS.

Q: What was your childhood like?

A: Pretty typical. I grew up in Sardis in Senatobia, Mississippi. I grew up as a kid mainly in the 70s and early 80s. I liked sports and spending time with my friends, that sort of thing. I was always a reader. I enjoyed books as far back as I can remember. I learned to read early. I wouldn’t consider myself a nerd or anything. I just liked books.

Q: What was your favorite book as a child?

A: My favorite book when I was a kid was “Treasure Island.”

Q: Do you still like to read?

A: I read probably 30 books a year. I know that because back about ten years ago I started writing down every time I’d read a book. I had gotten to where I would start a book and think, “Hey did I read this before?” and I couldn’t remember if I did, so I started keeping a list so that I can check the list and make sure I don’t start that book again. Looking back at it over the past 10 years, it’s probably been about 300 books so about 30 a year.

Q: What is your favorite book currently?

A: The book I just read is called “Streets of Laredo.” It’s a great western story that I just finished. I don’t normally read a lot of westerns, but that one is really good.

Q: What made you want to teach Broadcast Journalism?

A: I’ve always wanted to teach. I didn’t get a degree in teaching, but it was something that I always wanted to do. I did get a degree from Southern Miss in radio, television and film, which is broadcasting, but when I got out of college, I couldn’t really find a good paying job in that field, so I got away from it. The next 25 years I was in banking. Then, I got an opportunity to retire from that and start teaching. Originally, I taught social studies, but then one day I heard about OHS offering a new broadcast class, and here I am.

Q: What is your favorite part about teaching?

A: Letting my students be creative. Giving them the green light to come up with an idea, design it, go out, gather it, put it on tape, edit it and present it in final form and just see their idea become moving pictures.

Q: In what ways do you think you positively impact your students?

A: It goes back to giving them the leeway, giving them a good bit of freedom to explore their ideas, their creativity, and just letting them be themselves.

Q: How long have you been teaching?

A: This is my sixth year in teaching. The first two years I was in the Tate County School District

Q: What person most affected your life?

A: I would have to go back to high school. One of my high school teachers, a lady named Merri Goodwin, was my 11th, 12th grade English teacher. She got me really interested in a future in the media. She recognized that I had a love for reading and knowledge, and she always commented that she thought that I would be a good news person because I had a good voice.

Q: What do you do in your free time?

A: I like really just doing stuff in my yard. I know that doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun, but I like just fiddling around in my yard and doing things to my house. I also like to fish; I like to go boating. I don’t own a boat, but I have a lot of friends that do. Someday I want to have my own boat, but I enjoy those kind of things. Just being outside.

Q: What is your favorite thing about being a dad?

A: Watching my kids have success at the things they do. Watching them figure out the things they like in life.