Robert “Mr. M” Maranowski of St. George School in Linn is the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Five Rivers District’s first recipient of the Elbert K. Fretwell Outstanding Educator Award.
Five Rivers District Executive Bradley Kellerman, assisted by Linn Scouts BSA Troop 17 Committee Chair Debbie Backes, presented the award at the end of St. George School’s back-to-school Mass on Aug. 7.
“It was a pleasure to be a part of this presentation and to surprise him with this prestigious award in church where so many of his former students were in attendance,” Ms. Backes stated.
The BSA’s mission is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling the values of the Scout Oath and Law.
The Elbert K. Fretwell Outstanding Educator Award is presented to those that improve students’ lives by proactively modeling and teaching Scouting values.
The award may be presented to teachers, educational support staff, and school administrators to recognize non-scouting educators who are nominated through local units.
A unit may nominate one individual per year at each school campus.
Born and educated in Lewis County, Missouri, Dr. Elbert K. Fretwell, the second Chief Scout Executive, was a graduate of LaGrange College and a professor of Education at Columbia University.
Dr. Fretwell championed Scouting programs as extracurricular learning activities that promote positive values and community service.
Mr. Maranowski, known to many as “Mr. M,” is currently the seventh-grade homeroom teacher at St. George School.
This year marks his 52nd year of teaching, all of which has been at St. George.
He also teaches social studies and religion to students in grades 6-8.
Mr. M is a Christ-centered individual who provides a faith-based education to his students.
“It is his vocation,” said Ms. Backes. “He embraces his calling by keeping Christ at the center of all that he does and he encourages his students to do the same. He cares about his students and those around him.
“He always spends long hours preparing for his classes to provide the best possible education for his students. He teaches by example,” she stated. “He is respectful, kind and generous. His students learn to love themselves and others. He strives to teach them about the changing world and motivates them to go out into the world and do good.”
Most of the Linn community has been touched by Mr. M because his teaching career has been strong for 51 years.
Throughout that time, he has prepared hundreds of students for the Sacrament of Confirmation, the Bellarmine Speech League, and Catholic students not at St. George who were in CCD which is now known as PSR (Parish School of Religion).
He was a Cub Scout when he was a kid and has taught the stamp collecting merit badge to Troop 17 and other scouts throughout Missouri at the Linn Merit Badge University at State Tech.
“Mr. M definitely has gone over and beyond his call of duty,” said Ms. Backes. “His teaching and preparing his students academically and spiritually deserves praise of the highest honor.”
As the story is told, 52 years ago, a young man was on a bus traveling from New Jersey to Columbia, where he was going to further his education.
The bus broke down in front of the St. George Convent in Linn.
Mr. M recalls that Sister Dominica told him that had he been a hippie when he got off that bus, they would have sent him right back to Columbia.
The sisters came out to offer water. In the ensuing conversation, he learned St. George needed a teacher.
He detoured from his journey and made his way down a life-long path of being a Catholic educator and touching lives forever.
“He has touched the lives of many because he is a man of God and wanted to improve the lives of children so that the future of his beloved country would be changed in many good ways as a result of his call to follow God’s plans for him to make a difference in this world,” said Ms. Backes.