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Oliver Ames High School math teacher Kerri Murphy named Massachusetts STEM Teacher of the Year

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Oliver Ames High School math teacher Kerri Murphy has been named The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon Massachusetts STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) Teacher of the Year. She will be honored at the 2015 Massachusetts STEM Summit on Nov. 10 at Worcester's DCU Center and her school in Easton, Mass. will receive $5,000 to be used for STEM education.

Murphy has been teaching in Massachusetts for 15 years and at Oliver Ames High School for the past five. She teaches algebra, geometry and statistics to students in grades 9-12. In 2010, she was a Teacher of the Year nomination in the Abington Public Schools. She is a former software programmer and industrial engineer that brings her professional expertise to her classroom. She is currently the co-advisor for the Oliver Ames math team and the co-chair of the Easton STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) Education Team.

Murphy believes in building students' confidence through a combination of individual and group work. "I emphasize that that the class, as a group, should embrace mistakes as learning opportunities, reward creative and higher order thinking both privately and publicly, and ensure students feel comfortable trying any method they would like to start solving a problem." Murphy said.

As co-adviser of the math team, Murphy works with students that help elementary school students develop their math skills.

"Our group heads to the elementary school next to our school to help third, fourth and fifth graders with their math skills every Monday and Wednesday during the winter," said Murphy.

Additionally, Murphy chaperones the Robotics competition, where the Oliver Ames High School Iron Tigers compete in FIRST Robotics competitions each year. She also is planning a STEAM Night for families of pre-kindergarten through second grade students and is working with her colleagues to bring the interactive STEM program, Science from Scientists, to the Easton school district.

"Kerri Murphy was an excellent finalist from a very talented pool of candidates," The Hall Executive Director Bryan Morry said. "For her to emerge as the winner from this group is a testament to the strength of her candidacy. She has a reputation of bringing math topics to life through her energy and humor in the classroom and a clear understanding of how students will use math beyond high school."

Morry thanked fellow selection members Allison Scheff from the Department of Higher Education, Keith Connors from the Department of Education, Pam Erickson from Raytheon and Katie Cross from The Hall for their work in selecting this year's STEM Teacher of the Year.

"Working to select a winner requires these individuals to commit their time and energy within their already busy schedules," Morry said. "Their work shows they believe honoring great STEM teachers is important and we are very appreciative of their efforts."

Murphy hopes the funds from her award will be used to add additional courses to Easton's program of studies, including engineering and software programming.

ABOUT THE STEM TEACHER OF THE YEAR PROGRAM

The Hall launched the STEM Teacher of the Year program in October of 2012 when Robert Kraft announced the initiative at the Massachusetts STEM Summit held that year at Gillette Stadium. Murphy is the third recipient of the award. Kelly Powers from the Advanced Math & Science Academy Charter School was the inaugural winner in 2013 and Doug Scott from Natick High School was the 2014 honoree. The STEM Teacher of the Year award is part of The Hall's education program, which offers students in grades 4-12 standards-based educational modules in a fun, entertaining setting. The Hall hosts more than 18,000 school field trip visitors annually.

ABOUT THE HALL AT PATRIOT PLACE PRESENTED BY RAYTHEON

The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon is the crown jewel of Patriot Place and the only sports and education experience of its kind. Through a dazzling array of interactive multimedia exhibits and artifacts never before viewable by the public, The Hall showcases the tradition of the New England Patriots, explores the history of football in New England, and promotes math and science education for thousands of schoolchildren each year. The Hall received a Gold MUSE Award from the American Association of Museums and The Hall's signature film, "Patriots Way," won a CINE Golden Eagle Award. The Hall was named to Boston Globe Magazine's Best of the New, and was a Yankee magazine Editor's Choice recommendation. Tickets to The Hall are $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and $5 for children 5-12. Children 4 and under are admitted for free. The current hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit TheHallatPatriotPlace.com, visit "The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon" on Facebook or follow @TheHall on Twitter.

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