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School: Byron Area Middle School
School District: Byron Area Schools
City, State: Byron, MI
Music that Describes Debra
Debra Murray was nominated by her principal, Mark Dobson.
Ms. Murray, or Mama Murray, as many of the students call her, is the heart of Byron Middle School. She is at the core of a team of hardworking educational professionals. She demonstrates overwhelming care and compassion for students and a passion for the entire community. After each class, before and after school, there is often a line of students waiting to see Ms. Murray, whether they'd like to share success or get some mentorship in a struggle.
The students who are drawn to Ms. Murray are as diverse as the backgrounds they some from, from students with all As, to those who are barely hanging on academically, to social butterflies, to those new to the school. Regardless of their situation or the circumstances that brought them in to see her, every student leaves with a positive message and a smile. Her reach is not limited to students, and her positivity and willingness to go above and beyond is noticed by the parents and community.
With a shared principal, Ms. Murray often has to be on the front lines in times of trouble, engaging students in conflict resolution, communicating with teachers, and helping students. Her voice greets students in the mornings, often sharing a message about the positivity project, a fun fact or joke, and signing off with her signature line, "I hope you all have an amazing day."
Ms. Murray not only has an incredible personality, but an extremely challenging job. In addition to corrdinating the office for the middle school, she manages the requisition and purchase order process with both the High School and Middle School. She also has the responsibility of being the district transportation secretary, coordinating with drivers, troubleshooting and designing routes. All things considered, she has a heart the size of the middle school!
There’s a reason that people other than her kids call her Mama Murray. She truly cares about everyone and helps out in any way that she is needed and can. I first met her through drama club and though I had never known her before that, I felt like I could count on her. After only meeting her a couple times, I knew that she was someone that could be looked up to by most kids. She’s just one of those people who has a likable personality. #MamaMurray
I have had the pleasure of working alongside Debi for the past 2 years. She is an amazing woman with a heart of gold. She is always concerned first and foremost about others and would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. Our school is so fortunate to have hired such a gem! A more genuine person you will not find. #LCOY #MamaMurray
Thank you for empowering the kids to make good choices. My lily loves you and i love u for being so good to her. She values your opinion and respects your authority. Keep speaking into the lives of our middle school students! They need you friend.
I met Debi a few years ago when our kids were a part of the Byron Drama Club. We started casually chatting and the next thing I know we are working on props and laughing.
I got to see her interact with the kids.The kids gravitate to her because she loves them ALL unconditionally, but, expects them to behave.
When you meet Debi she makes you feel immediately at ease with who YOU are. She is a rare soul that I am lucky to have meet and become friends with!!!
Oh My! How wonderful to be acknowledged is such a way. Our school lacks funding and so much falls on our teachers and staff. But, there are just some that stand out as excellent providers for our kids. Not only in their job, but caring for the mental and emotional health of our kids. Debbie always has a smile on her face, not just a smile, but a giant smile on her face. She's kind, loving, open and trustworthy. It takes a lot to gain the trust of some middle schoolers. It is an ackward time in development, but not for Mama Murray. She draws the kids in with her smile but she keeps them close with her love for them. This is no small thing and I'm grateful to have her in our lives. She is special, she is rare, she is a blessing and she is deserving.
Deb is a wonderful person who I have known for a long time. She is the most thoughtful person in that school. She helps so much every day. My daughter is in the middle school now and Deb takes very good care of her . If I ever have a problem or concern she is alway there to listen or try to fix it. I consider Debi one of my good friends in this town. I live u Deb. #MamaMurray
Debi is the most giving and caring person that I know. She's a wonderful mother who supports her children with consistent love and understanding. Also, a great friend who’s known to go above and beyond for others. Like her parenting, and friendships, she takes her role at the Byron Area Middle School seriously. She has often demonstrated putting the needs of the school, and of the kids, before her own. Dedicated to doing the best she can at her job, being a role model, and being an influential member of the local community, Debi is truly special. The school is lucky to have her.
Debi is the kindest sweetest most caring person I have ever known. The kids at our school are not just students to her she treats them like they are actually hers. Her smile lights up a room and her laugh is infectious. If there was any one who ever deserved this honor it is Debi
What a honor Deb! So very well deserved! I have always, always saw the good in you. Your heart has room for everyone you meet. You never forget a face and make everyone feel like your family. I am honored to call you my friend, my best friend. No idea what I would ever do with out you...but what I do know is I must share you with the world who loves as much as I do!!! You are such a gem and deserve this award so much. Honestly you have already won, your prize so much better than gold. You have won the love of your friends, family and community and that’s priceless. Thank you for being you. Love you so much!
Sounds like the perfect person for the award!!! Even outside of school she is an amazing person and an amazing mom. The amount of times she just listened to me or said high to me when I was at a low it made me smile and think wow she just made me smile while I was mad! I love her and she has my vote 100%
I cannot think of a person more deserving of an award for all she does for the Byron school district.....and always with a smile
Congratulations on being nominated for this very special award. You are very deserving in sooo many ways. Thank you for being you and being a part of our children’s lives in the Byron community??????
Debi is a bright light to all those who are fortunate enough to know her. She genuinely cares not only for the students but their parents and the community. Students are drawn to her fun personality, willingness to help and listen, caring heart, ability to connect and accept who they are. It warms my heart whenever I see teachers and adults supporting young people in sporting events and other activities that are important to them. Debi is one of those incredible people and I am so blessed to call her my friend!!! Love you my friend ???? You deserve this
Debbie is always kind and caring.
Debi and I have known each other since my daughter and her son started Kindergarten together in 2005. What I know about her was not only did she love and care about her own children, but she considered mine like one of her own as well. She is caring and compassionate and has the funniest sense of humor. In the 14 plus years we've known each other; I know my daughter had grown to consider Debi as a Mom figure and I have gained a great friend. One I appreciate!
I am also an employee of Byron Area Schools now for 8 years so when she took the position of middle school secretary, I knew that the school was gaining a great asset. Debi is deserving of this award because she is a life changer. She has a gift and she shares that gift with others. Much love and respect xoxo #LCOY #MAMAMURRAY
My twins were new to the school last year and Denied made them feel so welcome and comfortable! They had no issue going to her for whatever they needed. She even told them to come sit with her when they were feeling overwhelmed or just to hide for a few minutes and regroup. She made all of us feel right at home.
Debi has been one of the most influential adults in my life since I was about 13 years old and continues to be there for me as I turn 21 in the summer. She has always been someone I can talk to and she has always made me feel important and most importantly, loved! Debi has the kindest heart and the most loving soul. No one deserves this award more than her! ??
My son and I spent 3 crazy, fun filled, days with Deb on the 8th grade Washington DC trip (that she planned) last fall. She is amazing! I don't know how anyone can manage so many kids during a busy, activity filled trip and always keep it fun and relaxed. The kids love her as well as the parents, and they know they can always ask her for help at school with anything. Whether or not you win this Lifechanger of the year award or not, I know you have already changed many lives! Thank you for being you!
I have known Debi for almost 20 years I grew up with her oldest son. Debi is one of the most kind, caring and amazing people you will ever meet. She is always there for me when I need her and I know that no matter what I can message her and talk to her about anything. She is incredible and I don’t think there is anyone more deserving of this then her.
Debi Murray is an awesome secretary. She is always there for the staff and students!
I met Deb through our kids but then got to spend a good chunk of time with her on the 8th grade trip. She kept the trip fun and yet everyone towed the line. She is great with the kids. God bless her!
Debra is the nicest lady you'll meet. She genuinely cares for each and every kid. We need more people like her.
I have the privilege of working with Debi every day in her office to relieve her for lunch. Funny thing is she never leaves the office but stands at the counter eating her lunch while I answer her phone and do other simple tasks. You see, she likes to visit with me but most of all she wants to be available to staff and the kids if they need her.....and they always need her! It may just be for a smile or joke or a high five...but she is there.
Her days are long and tedious but she finds time to go to the after school events to watch the kids play volleyball,softball or whatever sport or function is going on. Now that in itself makes her day even longer...but she is there and the kids love that she is!
There are so many reasons that Debi should win this honor, I don't have time to write a book today??. Just know that she loves all her kids, her school, her community .....and they love her back because she is a wonderful, accepting, loving, generous human being?
I met Debi through The Break for middle schoolers, we picked the students up the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month for an offsite Bible class at the Baptist Church. The students love her as, it seems to me, that she brings a fun and genuine personality to the school and she truly ca the s for the students. Keep up the great work Debi!
Debbie not only has the kids best interest in mind but she is inspired and excited about their education, life experiences, and daily life. We are so lucky as a community to have her in our corner and our kids corner!
Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do everyday.
Your awesome!! Thanks for making a difference one person at time! Simply one of the best.
Ms Murray is a wonderful human being! My daughter absolutely loves her. Even now that she is in high school she goes down to the middle school every chance she gets just to visit Ms Murray. She really does go above and beyond for all the students and parents.
Amazing things come to amazing people! Debi is such a great influencer and always there when my son needs someone during his school day. I’m pretty sure everyone loves Mrs. Murray for any role she plays in their lives. She’s so deserving of this award!
Debi is one in a million . There is never a dull moment with her around , she goes above and beyond to help us parents and “her kids” ( students ) she care so much for those kids it’s unbelievable ! Debi has been in after hours , before hours to answer all my questions and especially be there for my son when his father passed . She is an amazing asset to Byron ! She deserves this award more than anyone . I can’t tell you how many countess times she has helped me out and if she didn’t have the answer she researched it and got right back to me . Debi is the best !! #LCOY #MamaMurray
I met Debi in 2005 when our sons started Kindergarten together. I had the privilege of chaperoning many school events along side with her over those next 13 years. What I quickly learned about her was not only did she love and care about her own children, but she considered all students the same as her own. She is caring, compassionate, fun, inclusive, and encouraging. Debi always makes everyone feel special. When she took the position of middle school secretary, I knew that the school was going to become an even better place for the students and the school community because of her. Debi is deserving of this award because she is life changer. She has a gift of seeing that a student has a need, even if that means just needing a friend to talk to, and doing whatever it takes to provide them what they need. Being a kid is tough, especially in Middle School.
And parenting a kid is tough too. Debi helps navigating through it all a lot more enjoyable for all because of her special ways. #LCOY #MAMAMURRAY
#lcoy. # mamamurry
Ms murry is an asset to the Byron community. Thank you for all you do for our children!
My son wrestles on the middle school team, but is still at the elementary. He had lost his shoes. I called up to the school to see if they were in lost and found. What I didn't expect was Debbie going above and beyond to help me locate those shoes. I am truly beyond thankful to have her in our schools. For parents and child alike there is nothing to replace someone that truly cares, and spreads that shining example to the kids around her.
Wonderful example of what middle school students need!
Deb has been able to talk to my teenage daughter when no one else can ??. She is trustworthy and fun. She is not afraid to show and share her love, which takes a special talent. She has lifted the spirits of children just when those kids didn’t think their spirits could be lifted. She is truly a blessing! #mamamurray
Deb is the best! Loves all the kids and is helpful to her staff and her families. She is also a wonderful friend to many including me. Deb wears many hats as not only school secretary. She is also the transportation secretary and spends countless hours putting bus routes together. As another secretary in the district I count on Deb almost daily to help with bus issues. Deb is simply the best and is so deserving of this award!!
Deb is such a positive person. She always has a smile on her face regardless if she is overwhelmed or overworked. She has a great sense of humor and is always making others laugh. She is very kind to all the kids and treats them as if they were her own. She is such an asset to our school, and I am proud to call her my friend!
The incredible love, support and pride you have and show for your own babes is the same love, support and pride you show to all of you in biological babes at the school. Thank you for everything you do and give of yourself to the students, personnel and community peeps! Pride, love and blessings to you! ??
Debbi is "Mamma Murray " for a reason. She makes the students feel cared for and cared about. The students know that Debi truly does care, because she is there for them, both during the school day, and at MANY extracurricular activities. Debi has mentored both of my children through her volunteering with the Byron Drama Club, where she has given her heart and soul to make sure our small school puts on amazing productions. We are blessed to have this incredibly kind, caring, efficient, talented woman working with our children! #LCOY #MammaMurray
Debi Murray has had an incredible impact on our school, and more importantly, the children of the Byron school system. The students call her "Mamma Murray" for a reason. She makes the students feel cared for and cared about. What a gift. Debi also shares her time and talent outside the work day. She can be found at MANY extracurricular activities, and the students love having her there. I cannot possibly express my appreciation for Debi Murray, especially given the impact she has had on my own children's lives. They affectionately call her Mamma Murray, and she means the world to them. #LCOY #MammaMurray
Debi is a funny loving person who cares about everyone.
Mama Murray is a ray of sunshine and is ALWAYS there for u and ur kids day and night! She truly brings a smile to ur face and is GENUINELY concerned for ur child's happiness, progression and safety! We love mama murray and r blessed to have her in our lives!!! Laura rittman
Our kids growing up together, is what brought about our friendship & I wouldn’t trade if for the world!! We don’t always get to talk and hang out, but eventually we make time & we pick up right where we left off!! Momma Murray is my PEOPLE ?? We are just two normal basic chicks & we click ????
Not only is she an Amazing friend but a totally Rad Mom!! She isn’t just any mom though, she is like a mom too all of our children, she is a mom too many children!! Yes...she is our school secretary but what makes our school secretary better than yours, better than any other school secretary there is, is that she is that mom away from mom. She will take anyone of our children under her wing and nurture, care & protect them. She is also fun, loving, & corky. She is truly a one of a kind & I’m glad to be able to call her my friend!!
Love you my friend!! ??????
Debi Murray deserves this award because she is one of those rare people in life that always makes peoples days she always has a positive word a smile for you or a big hug! In fact I have never heard anything negative out of her in the 6 years my children have been in Byron schools we moved from a district where my kids struggled and my son in particular had almost no friends! The first day my son came home and said I have a new best friend his name is Sammy which is debis son. Shortly after we ended up chaperoning a field trip together she literally came up greeted me with a big smile and hug and said your Max’s mom I’m Sammy’s mom I just love your kids they are so sweet and we have became good friends ever since! You see if your ever having a dark moment in your life you can count on her to make it better she always has that smile or hug or good advice she knows exactly the right thing to say! My mom passed away our first year in Byron and there was a time I don’t know if I would still be here if I didn’t have that one person to talk to and really listen and lend the shoulder to cry on. I have watched her pick up kids when they were down and other parents, patch up kids bo bos, hold puke buckets, help administer first aid on football fields, give the big mom hug when their first crush breaks their heart, or to the adults when the person they loved their whole life betrays them, give the self confidence the kids need when they are being made fun of and feel like they have no one else in the world to turn to, I have saw her before she got this job give her last bit of money to parents so their kid didnt have to be the only one that can’t go on the field trip or have lunch or even buy a gift for their parents at the student store at Christmas, she is the person to go to when you want a recommendation for a good book to read, she has taken kids to practice that had no ride, fed kids dinner that had none, stayed with kids after school when a parent was unable to pick them up, she is the parent and mom everyone turns to when they need a mom and don’t have one and she has raised some amazing kids that are the same they bring a smile wherever they go and are always the first ones to volunteer to help. What kid do you know that actually made homecoming king and deserved it not because they are poplar but because everyone loves them because they are a kind good person well I can actually say her son got that honor twice in our school district! I honestly cannot think of a more deserving person for this award I have never encountered a staff member of a school that cares for and changes more lives than her she is truly a beacon of light in what sometimes can be a weary world please pick Debi Murray for this award you can go around every school in our district and you could not find one person who she has not changed their life or left a positive impact on it’s pretty amazing that in the times we live in there is still people out there in this world like Debi that are positive role models for our children and really truly care about our children and community
Debi Murray is so deserving of this award. She is always smiling, upbeat, and ready to lend a hand at all of the school functions. Most importantly to us, she is a true mentor and friend to our daughter Lauren, who thinks the world of her. She has helped her overcome some personal obstacles and has encouraged and cheered her on. She's definitely one in a million!
This woman changed my son Wills life for the better!!! Was always there to pick him up when he was down, to let him know it was okay to not be a "cool kid" and to stand up for himself and others. She always made sure he had a reason to laugh and smile. As a parent, she always made ME feel that I was a part of his every day school life. She made me feel important through calls and emails and cards to keep me up to date with what was going on in his school life. In the last week of school last year I dropped something off for my son and we both cried in the office as I realized what we would be missing without her to rely on on a daily basis.
She still comes to all of the freshman functions to visit with all of her students. This woman is a gem and we are so VERY lucky to have her!!!! We love you mama Murray! #lcoy #mamamurray
Debi is amazing. She is always telling me she loves my kids when I see her. My kids love her too. She enjoys every bit of what she does at the Middle school and for the kids. She is a life changer for sure.
I'm very happy to call Debi a friend. She has a great influence on the lives around her. Debi's positive attitude and unique humor draw students, parents, and staff in. Her intuition and challenges in life have helped shape the gift she is to all.
This is absolutely amazing!! Mama Murray was just the right person to help my then 7th grader adjust to the new schedule of being in middle school!! She was the calming voice and “anytime” hugs that my girl needed!! Mama Murray is such a blessing to Byron Schools and the community as a whole!! She is so deserving of this award!!! We love her to pieces!! Congratulations on being nominated Mama Murray!!!! ????
Our kids moved to Byron Middle School via school of choice last year. We visited the previous May for a shadow day and Deb was our first and most impactful contact there. She was so welcoming and helpful. She made the kids comfortable from the minute they stepped in the door. As a parent, we want to make the best choices for our kids and Deb took time to answer any and all questions we had regarding classes, extra curricular activities, transportation, etc. She always got back to me when I called with questions or emailed needing guidance. The kids love her. She goes above and beyond every single day. She even called the bus driver in route after my son left his bag on the bus and asked that they stay at the stop they were at because we were almost there to get his stuff. Who does that?!? Deb does. I could not have asked for a better person to help the transition to a new school, in a new district be better. She makes us feel like we’ve been there all along and that we truly are part of the Byron Schools family. The school, the students and staff, the community-they are beyond blessed to have Deb on staff and impacting kids and parents in such a positive way every day. We love her. She is so deserving of this Life Changer of the Year award.
Debi has instilled a sense of confidence in my daughter that I have never seen before. A confidence in who she is and what she cares about, and what sets her apart. “Mama Murray” knows these kids, really knows them. She holds them accountable. She never condescends. She has singlehandedly changed the culture of a small, rural school district through humor and inclusion. Debi Murray is the #LCOY and we are grateful to have her working with our kids.
The best way I can say it is... SHE IS AMAZING! Her love for “her kids” is awesome. She goes above & beyond for them. And she spreads her love to everyone, no one is left out.
Debi is my sister in law and absolutely loves her job and the kids. When she talks about her interactions with the kids her whole face lights up. Our family has had a ruff couple of years and she always trys to keep a smile on her face and look at the positive in life. She is a wonderful person, sister and friend.
I am blessed to work with Debi! She is the funniest, kindest lady and such a blast to work with! I always smile to myself when I see her number show up on my phone, because I know she is going to make me laugh when I answer. So many students visit the office just to see Mama Murray every day, even after they’ve moved on from the middle school. She makes EVERY child feel loved, noticed, and important (come to think of it, she does that for all of us). She is one of a kind!
I know Debi from working in customer service at Citizens Insurance. Debi was our comedic relief in our department. She constantly kept us laughing and boosted our spirits with her bubbly personality. This was a big task to take on when your dealing with insurance all day! She is a great, loving human ?? She is perfect for this award!
I first met Debi 9yrs ago at my 1st PTA meeting. Our PTA is usually only physically in the Elementary School although we help and fund all 3 schools. When she became Middle School Secretary she knew (as a former PTA President and long time member) we needed her help getting the PTA physically more involved in the Middle School and at every chance she got she welcomed us and helped us try to make our presence known. She is an absolute delight I took every chance I got to go see and chat with her at the school. I even offered to work there anytime free of charge just to hang out with her because she is a riot. She's always so upbeat and positive theres no way you could see her and not be in a better mood because she's what I like to call a Mood-Changer! My daughter and her friends were excited at the end of last year cuz Mama Murray made them all a special beautiful heart felt bracket. It was awesome to see my daughter and her friends so excited from the token of her love and affection for them. She often gets so emotional talking about "her kids" because that's exactly what everyone of those Middle School Students are Her Kids and you can tell by everything she does for them. She is more than deserving of this Award, I really hope you win because as far as I'm concerned you are a life changer in Byron each and every day not just this year. Congrats on the nomination and Good Luck I really hope you win!
Whenever I talk to her, I kinda want to be in middle school again! My kids adore her. She connects so well and the kids feel a genuine friendship with her. She’s conscientious and yet makes time to attend to everyone’s needs, always making them feel important. A dynamic individual, indeed. Definitely a life changer of the year, hands down.
Debi is the sweetest person and goes above and beyond to help anyone and everyone !! she deserves this!! Thanks for all you do!!
Ms. Murray doesn't hesitate to go out of her way to help the kids - as if they were her own. She has a great sense of humor and a way about getting through to those "middle schoolers"!! MS. Murray - thanks for being a second mom too so many!!??????
Having an autistic son in the general education system can be worrisome. Every time my son has something due or an Activity that’s out of the norm of his routines I wonder if he will
Know what to do or where to go. He assures me confidently “I will talk to Mrs Murray she will help me” This means a lot coming from a boy that has difficulty connecting to people. Debi Murray knows and involves herself in every student personally and is a constant stream of encouragement. I go into the school office often and it never fails that I hear her positive encouraging voice helping someone. She goes out of her way to inform people of information that may affect them in an effort to help everything run smoothly. I can list numerous instances where she has personally reached out to me and gone above and beyond doing her job. When you cross her path one cannot help feel loved, supported, and encouraged #LCOY #mamamurray #lovedebi!
She is one loving and awesome lady
Debi truly cares for each and every kiddo in our middle school, and all the future and past kids of our middle school! She attends school events, starts clubs, is a listening ear, and does everything in her power so that kids know they are loved and perhaps leave middle school a bit smarter too.
Debi is a wonderful friend, mother, mentor and person. She is encouraging, giving, passionate and tender hearted. She is a safe place for many, modeling the value of including ALL to the students at Byron. She is kind, loving and a beautiful person. Our older sons grew up as friends and our youngest are friends and currently in the 7 th grade at Byron MS. Debi is so deserving of this honor...great job Debi. Much love to you!!!! Kelly a Green
Deb is an amazing individual. She has known my son since he was just a baby. She has never given up on him even during his not so well behaved middle school years. She is a pillar at our school and in our community. It is amazing to watch her interact with the kids. She is one incredible Mama! #mamamurray
Debi is the most thoughtful, kind hearted person I have ever met. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Debi for the past couple years and I am so grateful. As a staff member, she welcomed me with open arms, made sure I had everything I needed and checked in on me constantly. Even now that we work in separate buildings, she STILL is checking in, helping whenever I need it. She also took my kids under her wing as they moved up to the middle school this year (my group of special ed students) she took the time to really get to know a little about them from me prior to school starting and still now calls to let me know how they’re doing, ask questions, etc. the students there have so much respect and such great bonds with Debi. I couldn’t think of someone more deserving of this title!
Debi is a amazing person and I'm so glad to call her a friend she shows incredible love for her students friends and family and works tirelessly for everyone I just want to say how proud of her spirit and dedication and loving nature in everything she does I love you friend you deserve this and souch more Great job Mrs. Murry!!