2004 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

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Role models who give us Reasons to Believe in the power of education

Linda G. Murray

Sumner High School, 1967Linda G. Murray

Words are powerful — especially words of praise and encouragement. They can change lives. Linda Murray is a prime example.

Growing up, Murray said she always knew her future was in the field of education. Her parents did not use words like "if" when talking about college, but instead said "when." They raised her and her two older sisters to believe they were going to be teachers. And they insisted on excellence, a standard Murray still sets for herself today.

After graduating from Sumner High School with a perfect attendance record, Murray earned her bachelor's degree in education from the University of Kansas. She came back to the district and began teaching social studies at Argentine High School.

During this time, the powerful influence of words guided her once more. After observing her in her classroom interacting with students, a school counselor said, "You really know how to relate to kids. You would make an excellent counselor," Murray recalls. The idea sparked Murray's interest and she began taking classes to work toward that goal. Soon, she was a guidance counselor at Coronado Junior High and then J.C. Harmon High School. And just as she had been influenced by words, she used the same strategy to give her students hope and reasons to believe in themselves.

She earned her master's degree in guidance counseling, and went on be assistant principal at Wyandotte High School before moving up to the district's personnel office. For the past six years, she has been assistant superintendent of personnel services.

Today, she strives to bring quality teachers to the district who can use their words to influence and impact students' lives.

Murray is a former member of the Junior League, Jack and Jill of America, Inc., and the KU Black Alumni Committee. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and each year helps to organize their debutante ball, which brings recognition to young women and provides them with scholarships.

For her community involvement and dedication, Murray has received the "Women of Distinction" award from the Friends of Yates, and the Kansas City, Kansas Chamber of Commerce's "Hats Off" award.