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South Kingstown, RI Teacher of the Year – Karen Murphy

Karen Murphy Named Teacher of the Year in South Kingstown RI

Karen Murphy selected Teacher of the Year pictured with South Kingstown School Superintendent Dr. Kristen Stringfellow, left, and Assistant School Superintendent Pauline Lisi. (photo provided by The IndependentRI)

We are thrilled to announce our Choose Love Ambassador, Karen Murphy, has been selected as Teacher of the Year in South Kingstown, RI. Murphy is a Health and Physical Education teacher at South Kingstown High School in Wakefield, RI.  

“I’m very surprised, overwhelmed,” Murphy said. “We have so many great teachers in our system. I just feel like we all deserve it, so I was very joyful. It’s a nice thing.”

Teachers nominate each other for the award. Then, Superintendent Dr. Kristen Stringfellow, Assistant Superintendent Pauline Lisi and the district’s principals, along with the previous four winners of the award, review the criteria developed by the Rhode Island Department of Education and select the winner.

Q&A with Karen Murphy

Why did you choose to bring the Choose Love Enrichment Program into your classroom?

As a health educator for 34 years, I have come across many programs and curriculum that focus on the different content we teach in our health education classes. We are always looking for new and innovative ways to teach. February 2017, I was invited to Terry Lee Cafferty’s studio to hear Scarlett share Jesse’s story, as well as her growth,and the movement she has created. Immediately I was drawn to here genuine nature and the SEL message of the Choose Love Movement. The next morning, I approached our principal and asked him if we could bring the movement to our school. With the help of Terry Lee, School committee member Raisha Mosher and the support from my principal, Rob Mezzonate, we brought Scarlett and the Choose Love message to our school Superintendent, Dr. Kristen Stringfellow. The message has spread throughout our district!

How has the Choose Love experience impacted your students?

The best part of this movement is the difference it has made in the lives of our students district wide. From teaching our kids about the working of their brains, to the mindfulness exercises that we can use to start our classes, Choose Love is enabling our students to have the courage to be compassionate individuals. Students at our high school have started a group called the Choose Love Ambassadors. This month they are hosting a Rowdy Rebel Choose Love Race for middle school students and a full day Choose Love Ambassador Workshop for students throughout RI.

I am so grateful that my student Jackson Cafferty told his mom Terry Lee to invite me to that initial introduction, for the Choose Love Movement has changed my life! It is self reflective, invigorating, and allows me to connect with my own children and my students in a way that helps them to meet their own needs, thus building their self esteem.

Read TheInpendentRI for more information.

Karen Murphy

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