In 2001, Jessica Murray was a Boothbay Region Elementary School kindergartener learning her letters, numbers and colors. Now she is teaching local pre-kindergarteners those same lessons in Boothbay Harbor. Murray is a 2013 Boothbay Region High School graduate. She studied early childhood education at the University of Maine at Farmington and received her degree in 2017.
In 2018, Murray worked at Coastalkids Pre-school in Damariscotta. Last year, she taught at Edgecomb Eddy School before taking a job at the school she attended. Murray decided on a career teaching to play a positive role in young children’s development. “I want to make a difference in young kids’ lives. I’ve always loved kids, and I love seeing the light go off in their eyes when they grasp a new concept,” she said.
Murray has 12 students in her class. The school day starts around 7:30 a.m. when students start arriving into her classroom and lessons begin by 8 a.m. On Oct. 10, Murray began with circle time. Students sat on the floor and a group discussion began about the calendar. Weather was the next topic, followed by “Question of the Day,” “Do you like pumpkins?” Students wrote their answers on paper and a discussion ensued about pumpkin likes and dislikes.
As the day continued, students enjoyed a snack and a nap.
Murray’s first year at BRES has been punctuated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. BRES students age 5 and above are required to wear masks. “All of my students are under 5 so they only wear masks in the halls and when they arrive and depart,” she said.