Fire & Ice
Susan and Dave Scott have impacted a lot of lives – too many to actually count.
The couple is being inducted into the Eagle Valley High School Foundation’s Hall of Fame this Saturday, Feb. 7 at the group’s annual Fire and Ice Extravaganza at the Eagle River Center. There will be dinner, dancing with Harris and Lee Band, and a silent auction benefiting EVHS sports and activities.
The Scotts came to Eagle Valley High School in 1980 as young, enthusiastic newlyweds. Susan knew she wanted to be a teacher from the time she was in the first grade.
“I loved everything about school including the kind teachers and the excitement it brought to my life,” she said. Both of her parents were exceptional teachers, always taking the profession to the next level.
During more than three decades at Eagle Valley High School, Susan never slowed down – she was the same sparkplug on her last day at EVHS as her first. Her students remember her as a great coach and that she taught health at a college level – giving EVHS students an edge in those required human sexuality courses at universities.
“I was extremely lucky to live in a community that put kids first,” said Susan. “The EVHS staff was committed to making a difference for each student.”
Dave shared that passion for teaching and coaching.
“Education is the most important job in the world,” he said.
His athletes remember him as tough, with a great sense of humor, and his students remember that he was way ahead of his time in the wood shop and with the innovative Bio Building.
The Bio Building was a hydroponics and aquaculture lab. “My students helped develop the concept of the Bio- building, created it and build it,” said Dave. “Watching my students excel in working with the Division of Wildlife and creating a business plan for the Bio-Building was an exciting time.”
Dave is thankful that he had the opportunity to help kids realize their dreams, and he’s proud that many of those students are now making a difference in their communities.
Early in their careers, the Scotts started their family. Son Blake came in 1984, and daughter Mariah came three years later. The Scott kids were literally raised in the high school because their parents spent so much time there. Older students remember the Scott kids toddling and running around, and that they were always extremely well-behaved kids.
Those kids turned into great adults. Both Blake and Mariah said they feel lucky and proud to have the Scotts as their parents. Mariah Zambrano and her husband are parents to the Scotts’ first grandchild, Natalie.
Mariah and Blake both said that their parents are the best out there, and their impact on them, as well as other kids, is incredible.
“They were and are loving, kind, patient, understanding and fun,” said Zambrano. “They always empowered us to reach for the stars.”
Growing up, the kids always had responsibilities on the family ranch with morning chores and caring for their animals. They worked hard as a family and also shared a lot of fun together. The Scotts were involved in various sports and activities and the family traveled a lot so that the kids were exposed to different cultures.
“I am fortunate that I was raised by parents who gave me the opportunity to be the individual I am,” said Blake, who works as a golf professional at Gypsum Creek Golf Course. “As I look back I can’t believe everything they did for our family and community.”
Blake said his parents always encouraged their kids to work hard and be kind to everyone.
“We played hard as a family and we worked hard as a family,” he said. “They’re amazing people and I know all the life lessons they have taught me will continue to help me form my future.”
Their kids’ lives aren’t the only ones the Scotts impacted.
Susan and Dave had a positive effect on many, many students at EVHS.
James Canaday, a 1985 EVHS graduate, was a member of the championship basketball team that Dave coached. Canaday has served as the head coach at Monte Vista High School for the past 24 years.
“Being on that team was the most exciting time of my life in sports,” said Canaday. “Playing for Coach Scott was an incredible experience, and it molded me into the coach that I am today. I still utilize the stuff Coach Scott taught me.”
Dale Starr coaches out of state and agreed with Canaday.
“Dave had a huge impact on my life and I use many of his analogies to this day in my coaching career,” said Starr.
Starr’s sister, Danielle Fabianich played volleyball for Susan.
“Coach Susan Scott came into our lives on the volleyball court with so much energy, she was hard to keep up with,” said Fabianich. “She led us to the state tournament, and gave many of us opportunities to play in college – she was a wonderful encourager.”
Fabianich and her past team mates remember Susan always saying “What’s the word?” That word would always be ‘enthusiasm’ and those girls needed to say it like they meant it.
Kindra Stiles, who now works at EVHS, was a sophomore when the Scotts came to the school. Stiles said that both Dave and Susan impacted her life in a profound way.
She remembers Susan walking into the gym and stepping into big shoes (Scott took the place of popular volleyball coach Mary Bowman).
“She looked so young she could have been our age,” said Stiles. “She brought in so much confidence and enthusiasm and we were put at ease right away.”
Stiles said that she taught the team work ethic and commitment, while also creating an environment of love and friendship.
Stiles said that she also learned a great deal from Dave.
“Dave taught life lessons as a teacher, coach and administrator,” said Stiles. “I feel blessed to have had both of them in my life as coaches, teachers, and now friends. They have taught me to always find the positive in every situation and to work hard to achieve dreams.”
It would be really hard to spark a wildfire anywhere near Vail Mountain or Beaver Creek right now. Still, unattended campfires will always draw attention.