‘I am number one’; Local teacher determined to push his students to greatness

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — He’s a dedicated teacher determined to push his students to greatness.

“My motto is ‘I am number one. I have everything it takes to be number one.'”

Thanks to a viral video young people all over have been hearing Mr. Michael Scruggs’ message loud and clear. The ordained elder grew up in South Memphis and said he can relate to a lot of the things his students experience.

“They have to think beyond where they are. I tell young people all of the time your mind has to be bigger than where you are now.”

He made the video early in his career, but earlier this year someone saw it on his Facebook page and the video made national news. He even appeared on Ellen DeGeneres’ show.

While the spotlight is nice, Mr. Scruggs said his students’ success is his success.

“The most gratifying thing is when you have your former students and they’re still reciting ‘I am number one’ when texting you, tweeting you, Facebooking you, and saying I’m on my way to an interview and guess what I said. I am number one.”

“When you can see the motto being applied to their lives now that’s rewarding to me,” he said.

Mr. Scruggs organizes school supply drives, collects clothes and food for a local women’s shelter each Christmas, and even organizes community clean ups. He said his goal is the be living example he’s teaching his students about.

“You have to be careful what you do because your character should speak for you even when your mouth is not open.”

At the end of the day, Mr. Scruggs said it’s all about positive results for his students.

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