Kashandra Murphy, a dedicated 5th-grade Literacy teacher at Harmony Leadership Academy, has been honored as the Texarkana Arkansas School District Teacher of the Year. The prestigious award recognizes Ms. Murphy’s exceptional contributions to education and her commitment to providing students with the best possible learning experiences.
With an impressive 16 years of teaching experience under her belt, Ms. Murphy has worked with students from various grade levels, including Pre-K, kindergarten, 3rd grade, and 5th grade Literacy. Her diverse background has allowed her to understand the unique needs of students at different stages of their educational journey.
A product of the Texarkana Arkansas School District herself, Ms. Murphy’s educational path has prepared her well for her teaching career. She attended Carver Kindergarten, College Hill Elementary, and North Heights Junior High before graduating from Arkansas High School (AHS) as a Merit graduate in 2002. Continuing her pursuit of knowledge, Ms. Murphy obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University – Texarkana. She then went on to earn a Master’s degree in Special Education from Southern Arkansas University – Magnolia and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas A&M University – Texarkana. Additionally, Ms. Murphy holds a graduate certificate in dyslexia therapy and has pursued coursework towards a specialist degree in the Philosophy of Reading at the University of Arkansas – Little Rock.
Throughout her career, Ms. Murphy has been recognized for her outstanding work. In 2017, she was a recipient of the Junior League of Texarkana Teacher Take Wing grant. She was also named the Campus Teacher of the Year at Union Elementary for the 2019-2020 academic year. Furthermore, in 2021, Ms. Murphy received the Herise Williams Reading Excellence Award, presented by Teachers Support Teachers, in recognition of her dedication to fostering a love for reading in her students.
Ms. Murphy’s teaching philosophy centers around the belief that every student deserves an excellent education, regardless of their learning abilities. She is passionate about helping children discover their skills, talents, and gifts, and she strives to create a nurturing and inclusive classroom environment that supports the individual growth of each student.
Beyond her professional endeavors, Ms. Murphy treasures spending quality time with her family. Her daughter, Kaydence, is currently a freshman at AHS. Kaydence is an active member of the student council and the AHS Redline. Ms. Murphy is also an esteemed member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and actively participates in the activities of Park Avenue Baptist Church. Moreover, she serves as the chair of the Londell and Mary Williams Scholarship Committee, demonstrating her commitment to supporting educational opportunities for aspiring students.
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