A 1978 graduate of El Dorado High School. Kansas 1st District United States House Representative Roger Wilson M.D. made a visit to the El Dorado Futures Fair Monday morning. Rep. Marshall met with students to discuss issues facing our country and heard students’ thoughts and opinions.
The top topics discussed most were the cost of post-secondary education, immigration and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and School Safety, National Security and Second Amendment gun rights.
“It’s always interesting to see what’s important to a 16 or 17 year old,” Rep. Marshall said. “It was refreshing for me to listen to them. I was very impressed with how much they did know.”
The visit to EHS was a trip down memory lane for the former valedictorian. Most of the faculty and staff has changed but Rep. Marshall still saw some familiar faces.
“It was almost a dream come true to go back and share some of what I’ve learned,” Rep. Marshall said. “Coach (Gary) Melcher I think is the only person still around from when I was thereas I’m getting ready for my 40th reunion. The principal there I delivered one of his children when they lived in Great Bend so it was good to see Kevin House again as well.”
Before running for his current seat in the United States House of Representatives, Rep. Marshall had an Obstretrics and Gynecolgy practice in Great Bend. He stepped away from the practice after 20 plus years after moving into public office because it is not allowed by law.
“About four years ago the Congressman from our district got kicked off the House Ag Committee,” Rep. Marshall said. “We were the biggest ag producing district in the entire country. So when he got kicked off people started approaching me to run for Congress. For whatever reasons they thought I had profile that could beat a sitting incumbent.”
For about two years, Marshall’s wife, Laina told those who wanted her husband to run that he was not interested. After the birth of their first grandchild, Marshall and his wife decided he would give politics a shot. He was elected in 2016 and started service in 2017.
”We kind of talked about that we’ll be the first generation to not leave this country better than we found it,” Rep. Marshall said. “Our national debt went up. Military was getting smaller. Our national Social Security was getting worse. Just a horrible economy. My wife said ‘you know things are pretty broken. You like to fix things. it’s time for you to go to Washington.’”
After graduating as the valedictorian of EHS in 1978 Rep. Marshall attended Butler Community College, Kansas State University, and The University of Kansas Medical School. He started his medial practice in Great Bend in the early 1990s.
“I’m a first generation college kid,” Rep. Marshall said. “Very humble beginnings. My dad was the Chief of Police there for 25 years. Not only could a kid from El Dorado High School go to college but go to Medical School and could become a Congressman. I was given a world class education through the public schools there. Just some of the top math and chemistry teachers in the state as far as I was concerned.”
Rep. Marshall credits his success to his public education background. His advice to students is to embrace the education they receive and anyone can achieve success in life though that education.
“When it comes to education the race is going to go to the tortoise and not the hare,” he said. “Education is a life long process. Even if you’re not the smartest person in the class that if you keep at it, you can find a topic that you can master and become an expert in that field.”