Difference maker

Roger Diekmann gives and creates opportunity for future educators

With a booming voice and an ability to weave storytelling and unique perspectives into his teaching presentations, Roger Diekmann is a born difference maker. The retired high school science teacher continues to impact many lives due to his reverence and kindness toward others and his desire to pay it forward.

Raised on a small farm in rural Kansas, Roger was blown away the first time he stepped foot in Ahearn Field House at Kansas State University. “I always liked basketball and was a huge K-State fan,” Roger said. “I got to see all the great games when K-State and KU were number one and number two in the nation. It was my love of basketball that made me want to attend K-State.”

Roger experienced a new and amazing world while at K-State. The relationships he built are what he cherishes most. “I was part of an excellent fraternity who always had my back,” Roger said. “I remember being three semesters into my college career and being broke to the point I had to drop out of school and get a job. My fraternity brothers encouraged my return to K-State to finish my degree. I’ll never forget that.”

He graduated from K-State with a bachelor’s degree in biological science and later, a master’s in curriculum and instruction leading to a teaching career that would span 45 years. One instance on his journey inspired him to give back. “I recall being part of the GK12 program,” Roger said. “That program would pair students from various graduate programs at K-State with high school or middle school teachers to get firsthand knowledge of how to engage the public. The young lady assigned to me was able to engage my students to the point they were able to understand very complex scientific concepts. This inspired me to understand the importance of giving back so future educators could focus on their careers and not have to worry about their finances.”

Thanks to Roger’s generous support, K-State students who dream of becoming future educators have the financial backing to make their goals a reality. “I support the College of Education because as a former educator, I understand the impact teachers have on their students’ lives,” Roger said.

Supporting future educators is vital to continued growth in education and instruction. “I always tell others to pay it forward,” Roger said. “I have had thousands of my former students, many unable to finish their post-secondary education because of financial difficulties. We owe it to future generations to make a difference and allow students to reach their full potential.”

To support future teachers in the College of Education, email Matt LaGree or call 785-775-2083.

By James Dalton Burton

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Matt LaGree

Matt LaGree Director of Development - Education