Johnson Junior High eighth-grade English language arts teacher Rebecca Murray was recently named Laramie County School District 1’s 2021-2022 Teacher of the Year.
She was notified of the award during a surprise presentation held in her classroom on Wednesday, May 5. Among those present were Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow and LCSD1 Superintendent of Schools Dr. Boyd Brown.
Murray has been in the education field for 20 years. She has served at Johnson for more than 15 years. During her time at the school, she has taught seventh- and eighth-grade students in reading, writing, speaking/listening and critical thinking. She served as an instructional coach at Johnson from 2012-2015 before becoming language arts and publications teacher in 2015.
Prior to her roles at Johnson, she was an eighth-grade language arts teacher at Stephen F. Austin Middle School/Bryan Independent School District in Bryan, Texas.
“Mrs. Murray exemplifies ‘Teacher of the Year’ with her ability to grow any student academically,” Johnson Associate Principal Dr. James Whitehead said. “There are many students who enter Mrs. Murray’s class in August behind their peers in reading comprehension and writing skills and by the springtime they are surpassing their peers.”
Murray graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Wyoming. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. Murray has a reading endorsement from UW and is a National Board Certified Teacher.
“Perhaps Mrs. Murray’s greatest strength is her ability to build lasting positive relationships with every student,” Whitehead said. “She is able to do this by showing consistent compassion and empathy.”
In addition to being honored in her classroom, Murray will receive recognition during the Monday, Aug. 16 LCSD1 Board of Trustees meeting.
The LCSD1 Teacher of the Year Selection Committee chose Murray for the award following a rigorous nomination, application and interview process. In all, 15 teachers were nominated and submitted applications.