St. Joe’s Murphy named Teacher of the Year

St. Joe’s Murphy named Teacher of the Year


MADISON – St. Joe’s Jenna Murphy was named the 2022 History Teacher of the Year last week, a national award given in each state.

The annual award was presented by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. The award honors one exceptional K-12 American history teacher from elementary through high school in each state, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools, and U.S. territories.

“I am so honored to receive such a prestigious award,” Murphy said. “I love sharing our nation’s rich history with students, so they have a better understanding and appreciation of today’s world. This reaffirms my dedication to teaching history.”

Each state winner receives a $1,000 honorarium, an archive of American history books and Gilder Lehrman educational materials, and a formal recognition at a local ceremony. State winners also are eligible for the 2022 National Teacher of the Year Award, which will be announced in October.

Murphy, a St. Joseph Catholic School alumna, is now one of 53 finalists for the National History Teacher of the Year award. She teaches anthropology, sociology, U.S. History II Honors, and Advanced Placement U.S. History. She also sponsors the Youth Legislature program at St. Joe and is a past coach of the school’s academic competition team.

Murphy graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2006 and from the Mississippi College School of Law in 2009. She taught in Clinton public schools before returning to St. Joe to teach history in 2018.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History was founded in 1994 by Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, lifelong supporters of American history education.

“With classes ready to start on Monday, Aug. 8, receiving the honor of Mississippi History Teacher of the Year is a great way to kick off the new school year,” Murphy said. “I thank the Gilder Lehrman Institute of America for this honor.”

St. Joe Principal Dr. Dena Kinsey said the school is grateful that a St. Joe alumna like Murphy chose to share her gifts with students.

“Mrs. Murphy is an amazing educator who pushes her students to higher levels and holds them accountable for not only understanding the importance of knowing our history but also applying the lessons learned back then to the events of today,” Kinsey said.

Students even joined in on Murphy’s praise. Zach Shelton, salutatorian for the St. Joe Class of 2022, thanked Murphy in his commencement speech.

“I have to say that without your expertise, I literally could not have written this speech, or most of my other speeches for that matter, or gotten through Youth Legislature either time,” Shelton said. “Seriously, you are the best.”

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