Since 2001, the Rapid City Public School Foundation has sponsored an annual Evening of Excellence to recognize the "Distinguished Scholars" within the top five percent of the city's graduating class. Each of these elite students is asked to designate their "Most Inspiring Teacher."

 Ashley Battisti 2014 • UCLA

"The minute you step into the room and see the perfectly starched white shirt, pleated dress pants, and tie-and-matching-hotel-pen combination, you know you are in for an experience. It is difficult to find words to honor the outstanding Mr. Tubbs, an educator who gives his entire self to his students and remains supportive and involved in each student's life. His enthusiasm for history, and life itself, is infectious and unparalleled as he teaches to the whole student. Never before had I experienced such a challenging class—the high expectations, rigorous workload, and endless energy have fully prepared me for college and beyond. If there were an Olympic event in note-taking while listening to a lecture, I would win the gold medal, thanks to Mr. Tubbs! He raises each willing student to such a high caliber of education and professionalism, while still managing to have fun, that each is forever changed. Thank you, Mr. Tubbs. I will value you for the rest of my life."

 Adam Brubakken 2011 • U.S. Air Force Academy

"Mr. Tubbs has been a teacher for nearly three decades, and throughout his tenure he has inspired many students. I was fortunate enough to have him as a teacher not only in History, but also in Life. Mr. Tubbs is a phenomenal teacher who makes students accountable for their learning experiences. I will always remember the 'three Rs' that he recited to us on the first day: Responsibility, Respect, and Reality. I have tried to apply these values to my life as much as possible. The impact Mr. Tubbs had on me has been very beneficial to say the least. I will never forget the lessons and memories from my year in AP History."

 Maya Van Nuys 2015 • University of Kansas

"Mr. Tubbs is an inspiring teacher. Not only does he put forth all of his energy to teach his pupils the importance of the subject he loves so much, he makes it enjoyable. In my opinion, this is one of the key aspects of teaching. Learning is not about grades, about your class rank, about your score on the final exam; it's about gaining knowledge and experience. Mr. Tubbs looked for passion and an understanding of the material in his class, not for percentages of questions answered correctly. That is the beautiful thing about history; often there is no black and white, but only gray areas. Mr. Tubbs capitalized on this fact, and helped us to understand it by comparing history to a mural. I'd like to take his comparison and apply it in a broader sense. He showed me that learning is not black and white, it is only very gray. Work hard and get good grades, but don't ever forget the importance of learning and understanding above all."

 Melissa Bucknall 2012 • University of Nebraska

"Mr. Tubbs has the unique ability to make his APUSH course both challenging and demanding, yet interesting and fun. He leaves success up to the students, which I really appreciated. He requires students to work hard and earn their grades. His passion for history shines through in every way, transferring often to his students. Mr. Tubbs is willing to help with a smile, and he goes the extra mile and puts in a lot of his personal time. The freedom of his class taught me about responsibility. The way he structured the class really worked for me, and I learned more from his class than any other."

 Laura Doshier 2003 • University of Missouri

"Mr. Tubbs approaches his Advanced Placement History class with the attitude of a college professor. He demands large amounts of out-of-classroom effort and thoughtful analysis. However, in the end he teaches his students responsibility by requiring them to study and earn their grades—perhaps his greatest lesson!"

 Shaunak Shende 2015 • Brown University

"Mr. Tubbs was my teacher for AP US History my junior year of high school. One of the many things which I liked about him was the passion he had for history. Another was the interest with which he taught the class. Even though I wasn't very interested in history as I began the year, being in his class made me genuinely enjoy it. There was a lot of hard work involved throughout the year, but it was OK because Mr. Tubbs put so much work into teaching us. He not only prepared us well for the AP test, but he also inspired me to continue to work hard and commit myself to things. Mr. Tubbs was very positive and a nice person to be around as well."

 Madeline Frost 2008 • Colorado College

"Mr. Tubbs showed me how to get the most out of a lecture, which is something I had little exposure to in high school. His passion for what he was teaching made me get into it, and I learned more about American history than I thought I would ever want to know. He structured his class in a way that gave the students a lot of freedom, which really taught me lessons in responsibility."

 Jennifer Hasvold 2001 • Duke University

"Mr. Tubbs managed to capture the interest of our class. His enthusiasm for history is contagious, and turned a seemingly mundane subject into an area our entire class grew to love."

 Karlie Haug 2009 • University of Michigan

"Often I feel I must attempt to connect with faceless masses and oversimplified heroes of history through my background knowledge and experiences. It's easy to misunderstand the meaning behind the lives that our ancestors led. However, Mr. Tubbs opened my eyes to history. He fervently desires for us to make that personal connection with our past. When historical people are mentioned, I can now understand them better. Their emotions, dreams, failures, and passions make sense. I have felt the same things. We are all part of the same human timeline."

 Brendan Feehan 2008 • University of Nebraska

"Mr. Tubbs made history really interesting, with well thought-out lectures that made history into a captivating story. He also kept the classroom mood light with some jokes or other fun things thrown in, which made the class great. Mr. Tubbs always went the extra mile for his classes, such as arranging history movie nights at the Elks Theatre, and our AP History excursion to the Little Bighorn Battlefield in Montana."

 Gillian Spangler 2012 • Wooster College (OH)

"Mr. Tubbs was the first teacher who pushed me to discover my full potential. Never before had I been given so much responsibility and time-consuming work. After succeeding in his AP US History class, I feel ready for anything that college may throw at me. Not only did I learn how to be a good student, I learned how to deal with life. Many of Mr. Tubbs's quotes of wisdom will never leave me. When I failed a test, he told me that there were different ways to deal with it—wallow in defeat or turn it around and figure out why my study habits failed. I apply that to every aspect of my life now. Mr. Tubbs is a teacher who is one of a kind and for that has made all the difference in my life."

 Mark Poston 2015 • Montana State University

"Scott Tubbs has influenced my life in more ways than I can count. The first time I ever saw him was when he was in the gym running laps on the track. I knew from that moment he was going to be a very cool teacher! Mr. Tubbs's APUSH class is the class I credit for preparing me best for college. He cared about all of his students so much, always pushing us to be the best we could be. I took his class to boost my GPA and get a college credit out of the way. But because of him, I now love history. Mr. Tubbs was not only a very inspirational teacher to me, but also someone I consider a friend. Even now when I no longer have his class I still go in and chat whenever I get the opportunity."

 Larissa Dohn 2009 • North Central University (MN)

"I was in Mr. Tubbs's U.S. History class last year. I am not a fan of social studies in general, but he made it interesting and gave me motivation to try. Mr. Tubbs helped me with many college and scholarship applications. He has been especially supportive of my music, and attended several choir concerts. He never fails to ask how contests and performances have gone when he was not able to attend. I was very touched when he sent me a letter telling me what an excellent job I did in Raider Rarities. He has helped me with decisions about my future while telling me what a great job I'm doing in the present. His big smile always cheers me up, and he has been a listening ear and mentor."

 Andrew Doshier 2008 • Augustana University (SD)

"Mr. Tubbs elevated the learning level by presenting all that students needed to do and then leaving it up to the student. He did not waste his or our time with busy work and was so organized that every student knew what needed to be done. Having taken college courses, I realize that Mr. Tubbs's class emulated them and prepared me more than any other high school course."

 Melissa Petersen 2013 • University of Nebraska

"I took APUSH and was certainly never bored. Before Mr. Tubbs, I hadn't had any class where it felt critical to study regularly, so my study habits weren't great going into his class. His insistence that we stay on top of our notes helped change all that. This was truly one of my first challenging classes; discipline and personal responsibility were vital. I really admire Mr. Tubbs. He sticks to his deadlines, gives lectures I actually want to listen to, and grades fairly. His traditional-style lectures were a favorite part of the class for me—they taught me how to take my own notes. And Mr. Tubbs's sense of humor kept me interested in U.S. history, which I hadn't thought terribly interesting before the class. Overall, he showed me that success in school, and life in general, takes diligence, responsibility, and dedication—an important lesson for sure."

 Keri Lund 2009 • South Dakota School of Mines

"Mr. Tubbs is the sort who demands respect and good class behavior. He knows his stuff. This knowledge, along with his complex arguments about the ambiguity of teaching history as a sequence of events, engages students of all levels. Going into his classroom there is great balance between social and professional time. Humor and other memorable moments are frequent, which lead to high attentiveness and low complaints toward his lectures."

 Sierra Schepper 2011 • U.S. Air Force Academy

"Mr. Tubbs inspired us to put our best into everything we did, and taught us that our final product should be something we can be proud of. He always showed us respect and treated us like we were adults."

 Nathan Bolton 2015 • Belmont Abbey College (NC)

"Mr. Tubbs greatly impacted my life and education because he pushed me to be the best student/person I could be. His AP History class was very challenging but I learned a lot from him and developed valuable study skills and learning strategies. Even though I was struggling at the beginning of the year, he believed in me and had faith that I could excel in his class. I asked him to write my letter of recommendation for college and I know he took it seriously and wrote a wonderful letter. Aside from being a fantastic teacher, Mr. Tubbs is a great person as well. I can talk to him about anything and ask him questions. Thanks for everything you've done for me and continue to do for others."

 Anne Doshier 2005 • South Dakota State University

"Mr. Tubbs challenged me and made me work harder in his class than any other teacher. He also made class and history fun and interesting."

 Makenzy Sufficool 2009 • Gonzaga University

"Mr. Tubbs has an exceptional personality and it's through his personality that he is able to make U.S. history intriguing. I enjoyed his class so much that I never missed it. Mr. Tubbs is the MAN!"