BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Some people are so loyal to their employer that they actually outlast the office furniture.
For Wanda Murray, that’s been the case for numerous generations.
Everywhere she looks there’s a memory.
Murray was a student at Councill Elementary school.
When she finished student teaching, with her degree in hand, she took a job at Councill.
She’s spent the last 38 years there, in the same room, pouring her heart and soul into kindergarten students.
“I feel like this was the profession God intended me to be in,” Murray said.
Murray wanted to retire from Councill Elementary after one more school year, but that won’t happen.
Councill is shutting its doors as a part of Birmingham’s school consolidation. As such, Murray will have to finish her career at Bush K8 Middle School.
“What is it like to pack up a room where you spent most of your life? It’s hard. Real hard,” Murray stated. “I keep running across memories, and then I try to pack and I stop and get me some Kleenex. And then I move on, and I wipe again and pack a little more.”
As Murray drops workbooks and yearbooks into boxes, former students stop by to wish her well, including CBS42 photographer Marlon Price.
“Marlon was a good student, and so it’s always good to see him,” Murray said.
It was good for Murray’s former students to see her, if for nothing else then to thank her.
“Mrs. Murray wasn’t just a teacher. She was like a mother,” former student Cheretta Wellman explained. “I’m getting teary eyed right now, because she is just amazing. And not only did she teach me, she taught my brother, my aunties and now my five-year-old son was in her class.”
While Murray’s classroom will be a bit different next year, one thing will remain the same.
She will remain committed to her students, both past and current.
“That’s the joy of it – to know that you have done something to make someone a better individual,” Murray said. “That’s the joy of it. That’s teaching.”
Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42