A legacy of reading and writing | NevadaAppeal.com

A legacy of reading and writing

Maggie O'Neill
Appeal staff writer

Teacher Marcus T. Bryan left a lasting effect on Carson City businessman Roger Kirkland.

The year was 1962 and Kirkland was in a class of at-risk students in Bryan’s English class at Central Junior High in Reno.

Bryan told his students just one thing about his class – that if they could get a B or better they’d never receive anything less than an A in future English classes.

It turned out to be the truth for Kirkland. Three years later, when he graduated from high school in Santa Monica, Calif., he did so with all As. In college, he studied literature and Shakespeare.

“The thing about Mr. Bryan was he was rigorous,” said Kirkland. “We did a lot of sentence diagramming, a lot of declensions. And he said ‘You are going to write something every week. I don’t care what it is, but you are going to write something for me.'”

Bryan has since died, but his love for English left a lasting impression on Kirkland, who sells insurance in Carson City and is running for a school board seat.

It was Bryan who led Kirkland to offer the Marcus T. Bryan Foundation essay award to a high school junior or senior and his or her mentor or teacher.

Mat Neben, who will be a senior at Carson High School in the fall, and Cheryl Macy, chairwoman of the language arts department, were selected. Kirkland announced them as winners at Tuesday night’s school board meeting. Neben received $350 and Macy received $150.

Neben wrote about love.

“The thing that tipped the scales in Mat’s favor was he tackled a universal theme and with humor and with almost a whimsical, but serious approach,” Kirkland said.

Mat’s essay is on page C4 of today’s paper – the Whatever page. Helping with the award was Sheri Letourneau, Tracy McLeod, Becky Sarnowski and Ron Knecht.

“We all remember somebody who really helped us and make a difference in our lives,” Kirkland said.

Fun at Kinderland

When I went to Kinderland Nursery last Friday to cover the school’s 4th of July parade, photographer Kevin Clifford and I got to talking about the innocence of wee children – how they’ll come up and ask you anything no matter who you are – can they get on the bouncy house, where are the Sno-cones, even what are they supposed to be doing.

Right as we spoke, 3-year-old Kyla Seagraves, seeing the camera in Kevin’s hands, walked up to him and said: “I want to take a picture.”

Kevin bent down, put his arms around her, and aimed the camera at another child, sitting in a chair and waiting for a temporary tattoo.

Snap went the camera and off Kyla ran.

“I did it, I did it,” her words streamed behind her.

Little Kayla ran off toward the bounce house. I was sure she had stopped there for fun, but later I saw her eating a red Sno-cone out of a white container and standing next to no one in particular, she and her bare feet blending in perfectly with everything going on.

Carson High receives National Student Council award

Carson High School, one of 77 schools nationwide has received a 2006 Gold Council of Excellence Award, from the National Association of Student Councils.

Carson High hosted its first statewide leadership conference in March. More than 700 students from Nevada attended.

“I am thrilled that our student council and leadership students were recognized for all their hard work and many contributions to CHS and our community,” said Cheryl Stoddard, student council advisor at Carson High.

To meet the award requirements, a school’s student council must have: a written constitution, regular meetings, a Democratic election process, membership in the Association, leadership training for council members, teacher/staff appreciation activities, goal setting, financial planning and active participation in their state and national student council associations.

Join Toastmasters

Toastmasters provides a way to build self-confidence while developing communication skills, writes in Ron Kendall, a member of the Carson City’s Capital Nevada Toastmaster’s club. Skills gained include meeting facilitation, how to give constructive feedback, listening, impromptu speaking, formal presentations and leadership.

“A Toastmasters club provides a hands-on, supportive environment in which members develop communication and leadership skills that can impact you personally and professionally, whatever path you have chosen in life,” he said.

Local clubs are the: Kit Carson Toastmasters: 6:20 a.m. Tuesdays, at Grandma Hattie’s Restaurant, kitcarson.freetoasthost.com; Capital Nevada Toastmasters: 12:05 p.m. Tuesdays, B’Sghetti’s Restaurant, ronk6@sbcglobal.net; Carson Valley Toastmasters: 6:35 a.m. Wednesdays, Tail Draggers Cafe, karpnu2@charter.net; Lyon Speaks Tonight: 6:30 p.m. Thursdays, Truckee Inn, Fernley; Tahoe Toastmasters: 7 p.m. Mondays, South Lake Tahoe Library, tahoe.freetoasthost.com. E-mail Kendall at ronk6@sbcglobal.net or call him at 721-5308.

• Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at moneill@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.