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Frazee native honored with YWCA award

A Frazee area native is being honored for her impact upon the Fargo Public School system over the course of her career.

Nancy Murphy, a 1971 graduate of Frazee High School, has been named Woman of the Year in Education by the YWCA Cass Clay organization.

“Members of my work team nominated me for the Y Woman of the Year in Education award,” Murphy said. “It was an honor just to be nominated; I was blown away when my name was called the night of the banquet.”

For 40 years the organization has recognized women for their service and dedication to the community with the Women of the Year awards.

The YWCA ceremony was held April 29 in Fargo and celebrated 30 nominees for awards in 11 categories.

The criteria for the education award were for women serving in a role to “nurture, empower, and inspire their students.”

Of the YWCA award, Murphy said, “it’s recognition in some ways of a lifetime of work.”

“I worked with high-risk students my first eight years, to make sure they graduated, and had a good footing beneath them as they went through life. It’s rewarding when you know students are doing better than they were previously,” she said.

Murphy has served as an associate principal at Fargo North High School and as a teacher at Fargo South High School. She is currently the director of secondary education- curriculum and professional development for the Fargo Public Schools system.

She was also part of a team that developed a successful mentoring program for teachers. Murphy helped in securing the Teaching American History Grant for the school district, also receiving the National Outstanding High School Title I Program Award from the Department of Education.

Murphy has also been a leader in the Valley Partnership Network for Excellence in Teaching (NExT) Bush Grant. Fellow members have cited her as a “model for all educators” in her representation of Fargo Public Schools and enhancement of the teaching profession.

“Much of my work is about ensuring all children and teachers have access to curriculum and professional development that is high quality, guaranteed, and viable, no matter where they live or attend school in our community” Murphy said.

“My work team has helped us accomplish many things, so the award is a testament to all the people with whom I work.”

Though her career has led her to the Fargo area, she maintains close connections with the Frazee and Detroit Lakes communities.

“Four of my six brothers currently live in or close to Detroit Lakes and our lake cottage is close by also, so we are frequently in the DL area,” Murphy said.

She credits her parents Ernest and Hilda Hanson, her brothers and her husband Dwight for their support. Her daughter has also pursued a career in education in Lakeville.

Though she may not be directly teaching in the classroom, Murphy said of her current role “I’m in the position to make differences that impact lots of students.”

Devoting herself to provide all students with the tools to succeed, Murphy’s career and involvement with the Fargo Public Schools has shaped the education program and provided the foundation for countless teachers and students to reach their full potential.

Article written by Libby Larson of Detroit Lakes Newspapers