Teaching moments abound for Stagg grad
Kylee Murray has always longed to be a teacher.
Come next school year, the recent graduate of Stagg High School in Palos Hills will start working on making that dream come true when she packs her bags and heads to Concordia University in River Forest.
In late February, Murray, 18, got the surprise of her life when administrators from Concordia University showed up at Stagg and presented her with the President’s scholarship, which covers four years of college tuition and fees. The event was planned with plenty of hoopla.
“They set up a conference room, and Concordia’s deans, my principal and parents, my brother and my grandmother were there,” said Murray, the daughter of Mark and Denise Murray, of Hickory Hills. “It has been my top choice forever, so it was really important to me.
“A lot of my teachers in grade school went to Concordia so I looked into it and I read about the scholarship,” said Murray, who had to write three essays and secure a recommendation.
The school awarded five students the President’s scholarship. Now Murray doesn’t have to worry about money, only her grades.
“It felt amazing and was such a relief. I knew if I didn’t get a scholarship, I wouldn’t be able to afford to go there,” she said.
Murray’s grandmother, Patricia Murray, of Palos Hills, recounted how she bought her granddaughter a small desk filled with school supplies that she kept at her house. As a child, Murray would play school whenever she visited.
“My mom has been pushing me since I started school to do well since she didn’t get a chance to go to school,” Kylee Murray said. “My dad supported me, too, and attended every event and watched my grades. They’ve been a big support.”
Ever since those days of playing school, Murray has aspired to go into teaching. She got a taste of what it will be like this year when she taught second-graders Sunday school for the first time at her church, St. Paul Lutheran Church in Oak Lawn.
“I think it is a great chance to get an experience to teach and help my church out. It is fun hanging out with the kids every day and teaching them,” she said.
In college, she plans to major in secondary education.
“I have had a lot of really great teachers growing up and they inspired me and I love math a lot so I’ll teach it. Growing up, they put me in the accelerated program at school and I really enjoyed it,” she said.
“I don’t want to be doing remedial math. I want to enjoy the high school experience and give back,” said Murray, who especially enjoys geometry, algebra and precalculus.
At school, she also was involved in many extracurricular activities, including freshman volleyball, sophomore council, Phi Alpha Theta, girls varsity bowling, student council, National Honor Society and yearbook.
“It is sad leaving Stagg. I’ll miss a lot of people here but it will be nice to go out and try new things and further my education,” she said.
Murray has been motivated to get into a good school. With that goal accomplished, what’s next?
“Now I just want to excel and move past here,” she said, “so that I can share the knowledge I’ve earned.”