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Durant’s Rusel Smith – Teacher Spotlight – Presented by Simmons Bank

Rusel Smith stands as a plethora of knowledge and inspiration within the halls of Durant High School, where his dedication to education illuminates the minds of his students. In his second year at Durant, Rusel’s journey as an educator is marked by passion, perseverance and an unwavering commitment to excellence and making a difference in his students’ lives.

As a purveyor of English I, English I Honors and ACT Prep, Rusel’s classrooms resonate with literary exploration and academic rigor. His journey into education was paved by a profound love for learning, a desire to share knowledge and the indelible influence of his own esteemed educators.

Reflecting on the teachers who shaped his academic trajectory, Rusel fondly recalls past educators like Mrs. Hibbs, Mrs. Taylor, Mrs. Kathy Weiner, Mrs. Phyllis Rustin, and Mrs. Lori McCoy. Their legacy lives on in his teaching approach, setting the bar high for what it means to inspire and educate.

One of Rusel’s favorite aspects of teaching is the opportunity to delve into the rich history of literature with his students, igniting their passion for storytelling and critical thinking. “I enjoy getting to talk about literature with students and see them become invested in the stories that made me into the avid reader I am today,” he shared.

Guided by the timeless wisdom imparted by Mrs. Rustin, Rusel embraces the profound simplicity of teaching: “Just close your door and teach.” This mantra encapsulates his dedication to the craft, empowering him to create transformative learning experiences within the confines of his classroom.

Beyond the realm of academia, Rusel’s pursuits extend to scholarly research and family bonds. Immersed in the depths of his doctoral studies in Education Administration and Leadership, he finds solace in the pursuit of knowledge and the cherished moments spent with loved ones in Texas.

As Rusel Smith embarks on his scholarly odyssey, his journey as an educator continues to inspire and uplift all those who have the privilege of crossing paths with him. At Durant High School, his presence shines as a testament to the transformative power of passion, dedication and the unwavering pursuit of knowledge.

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