Lindsay Murray encourages her fourth-grade students to become productive problem-solvers. At W.E. Cundiff Elementary School, a pre-K‒5 Title I school in Vinton, Virginia, Murray was instrumental in the implementation of the Virginia Children's Engineering program, now part of the curriculum throughout the region's elementary schools. She blends STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) with project-based learning to meet the requirements of the state standards and has launched several student research projects to encourage more hands-on learning.
Murray holds her students to high standards, challenging them to succeed in all academic areas and giving them the tools to do so. Whether for enrichment or remediation, Murray's instruction is timely and specific to each child's needs—an important skill set in a school where mainstreamed special education students make up about 16% of the overall school population. Murray's influence is reflected in the school's assessments: Students surpass state SOL (Standards of Learning) in both math and reading, with Murray's students scoring 10-15% higher than school averages. Still, Murray makes it clear to students, families and colleagues that she considers test scores only one indicator of success. She aims to inspire students to become lifelong learners and motivates other educators to do the same.
Murray has presented at the state level on teaching engineering and science to children and serves on the district's STEM committees, the Alternative Assessment Development Committee, the Committee for Creating Third Grade Alternate Science Assessment, Math Curriculum Writing Committee and the Community Advisory Committee. At the school level, she has served as her grade-level chair since 2012, is the school's science representative, and represents the faculty in Cundiff's PTA. A skilled relationship-builder, Murray provides parents with regular updates and invites them to get involved in classroom activities.
Murray earned a bachelor's in interdisciplinary liberal studies in 2007 and a master's in education (pre-K–8) in 2008 from James Madison University.
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