Brendan Murphy of Marist School in Atlanta has been named Distinguished Educator of 2016.
On April 19, Governor Nathan Deal signed a proclamation declaring May 1-8, 2016, as “Holocaust Days of Remembrance” in Georgia. By Law, the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust is charged with holding an annual remembrance observance for the victims of the Holocaust.
Murphy will be recognized as the Distinguished Educator of 2016 on May 6 during the 2016 Days of Remembrance ceremony in the State Capitol.
The Distinguished Educator of the Year award is presented to a full-time Georgia educator of grades 5-12. This educator demonstrates excellence and creativity in the development and presentation of lessons or activities which focus on the Holocaust, human rights, civil rights, or character development. They motivate students to become responsible citizens and active members of their communities.
Murphy is a history teacher at Marist School in Atlanta. This is the second time he has been recognized by the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust for his commitment to Holocaust Education.
Holocaust education is a humanizing endeavor, a journey through the past that helps us reconsider how we understand ourselves as human beings. It’s a subject that should engage the heart, help develop better judgment and teach empathy.” -Brendan Murphy, 2016
Murphy received his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame and his Master’s Degree from Spring Hill College. He has been teaching at the Marist School since 1994. In 1996, he developed a World History and Holocaust seminar, titled "Bearing Witness." The course includes a visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
In 2001, he designed and implemented a class trip to Europe where students visit the places they have studied. Murphy also conducts evening classes on the Holocaust for parents.
Murphy has been recognized for excellence with the Teacher of the Year Award from the University of Notre Dame, the Unsung Hero Award from the Anti-Defamation League, the Class Act Award from 11 Alive News, the Goizueta Chair of Excellence Award, and the Frank Hagan Memorial Award from the Marist School. He was also the Georgia State High School Soccer Coach of the Year, in both 1998 and 2006.
Murphy is currently Director of Peace by Piece, an organization which works to promote respect and understanding among Jewish, Christian and Muslim high school students. As Director of "Bearing Witness", Brendan assists Catholic school educators with the training and resources necessary to teach about the Holocaust and antisemitism. He has participated in programs and fellowships with the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Archdiocese of Atlanta.