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Senator Marshall Speaks on the American Dream with Inman Elementary School

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By Brenna Eller

 

U.S. Senator Dr. Roger Marshall speaking at Inman Elementary School Wednesday, April 3, 2024. (Photo by Brenna Eller)

INMAN, Kan. — U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. visited Inman Elementary School this afternoon. He was invited by the 2nd Grade Class at Inman Elementary because they are currently studying about the U.S. Government.

“Of all the things I do today, this is the most important to me, getting to talk to young folks like you and to talk about your future,” Senator Marshall said. “I am so honored to represent each and every one of you in Washington D.C.” 

Senator Marshall explained how his position works to the students and why he works outside of Kansas. 

“The way our Founding Fathers set this up is that we would be a Republic and you would have representatives representing your voice in Washington D.C. to govern us.”

Senator Marshall also shared the importance of the Declaration of Independence and significance of the nation’s goal of “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which he defined as, “God given rights.” 

“It doesn’t promise you happiness but gives you the opportunity to be whatever you want to be,” Senator Marshall said. “Gives you the opportunity to pursue your happiness.”

Senator Marshall shared that his family came to Kansas in the late 1800s and he is a 5th generation farm kid, although he didn’t like farming as much as he liked math and science.

“So, I studied hard and became the first person in my family to go to college and then on to medical school,” Senator Marshall said. “My American Dream was that I would get to be a doctor in rural Kansas.”

The Inman Elementary School students prepared questions to ask Senator Marshall on Wednesday. (Photo by Brenna Eller)

Having great teachers, loving parents and encouragement were reasons Senator Marshall said he was able to be the first in his family to go to college. 

As an OB/GYN in Great Bend, Kan., he delivered over 5,000 babies and got to live his American Dream.

He was told he should run for congress. One who encouraged him to run was his wife, Laina.

“My wife looked at me and said you like to fix things, our country is really broke, you should go ahead and tell those people you would be willing to run.”

Senator Marshall ran for the House of Representatives in 2017.

“It’s been the honor of my life to be your voice in Washington D.C.,” he added.

The students asked a wide range of questions ranging from questions about aliens, what Senator Marshall’s plans are when his term is up, and to what the hardest part of his job is.

He answered that the hardest part of his job is figuring out how much to invest in, such as how much money should be spent on the military, on helping people with healthcare, and on making sure people are getting food.

Senator Marshall shared he has grandchildren that are in grade school, and one of his favorite reasons for being a senator is being able to protect constitutional rights.

“I’ve got grandchildren that are your age,” he said, as he answered one of the second graders’ questions. “So, I know I need to make sure they have a great America to grow into.”

One of the questions Senator Marshall was asked was if he had to take special classes in school to be a senator. He said it’s more about what industries you need to know about in the state you are in. For Kansas, a heavy agriculture state, Senator Marshall had an advantage since he spent a lot of time around it growing up.

“There’s not a lot of jobs in Kansas that I didn’t do growing up.” He said.

Senator Marshall added that he worked in the oil field, oil refinery, Walmart, in the restaurant business, feedlots and more. 

“I’ve just never been allergic to work,” Senator Marshall said. “My whole life I’ve worked 12-14 hours every day. I need to spend a lot of time listening. I think the best doctors are good listeners. I think the best senators are good listeners.”

Often, Senator Marshall said he will make sure to stop to listen to people and to their challenges. And then he said he spends a lot of time (around 2-3 hours) in the morning every day reading from journals and learning about all sorts of different things, trying to keep updated on what’s happening.

“I think to do your job right it takes a big effort,” Senator Marshall said. 

After his term in the senate is up, Senator Marshall answered that he plans to do a lot of fishing and hunting.

School Counselor Tracy Goracke surprises Senator Roger Marshall with a thank you Teuton mug for speaking at IES. (Photo by Brenna Eller)

Kim Herron, Inman Elementary School Principal asked if someone, such as one of the students wanted to become a senator one day, what they should start doing to prepare themselves for that career path. 

Senator Marshall said that it’s different for all senators, but one commonality he believes is that they should start by being a good listener and have good leadership skills.

“I think you have to care a lot about people mostly,” Senator Marshall said. “And this whole idea of developing wisdom, for me, is a conspiracy.”

Marshall added that he believes having value, love for family, love for your community and love for your country, being a patriot, are ways that students can start.

“There’s not one pathway to do it, but I think you have to be good at whatever you do,” he said.

Senator Marshall left the students with the questions, “What is your American Dream? What is your goal in life?”

After the assembly, the school counselor, Tracy Goracke, gave Senator Marshall a “thank you” Inman Teuton mug for visiting the students.