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The City Journals

Murray educator honored as a ‘Woman of Achievement’

Oct 05, 2020 02:53PM ● By Shaun Delliskave

Glo Merrill (center) pictured with several Murray principals, (l-r) Scott Bushnell, John Goldhardt, Richard Tranter and Dee Jensen. (Photo courtesy of Glo Merrill)

By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]

Teaching has always been in Glo Merrill’s blood. She comes from a family of educators, not to mention she presently serves on the Murray School Board and spent decades teaching in a classroom or serving as an assistant principal.

“At a very young age, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I started teaching my dolls and made assignments for my dolls. In high school, I loved my business teacher, and I decided that I would like to teach business. I received a scholarship at BYU. I enjoyed business law, business management, accounting, generals, and religion courses,” Merrill said.

Due to her dedication to Murray’s schools, not only teaching business education courses but also serving as an assistant principal of Murray High and, now, on the Murray School Board, the Miss Murray Scholarship Pageant is presenting her with its “Woman of Achievement” recognition.

According to Pageant Director Leesa Lloyd, “One of the best parts of the pageant over the years has been recognizing a woman in Murray who has made significant contributions to the community. (Glo) certainly falls into that category.”

As Director of Career and Technical Education in the school district, Merrill pushed for expanding career and college readiness. “I enjoyed meeting with other directors in the state to ensure all students would have equal opportunities for concurrent enrollment, AP courses, and other new courses,” Merrill said. “We encouraged MHS teachers to add new courses that students would enjoy, such as SLCC concurrent enrollment, AP Physics, Spartan Vision, Nail Tech, Emergency Medical Tech, and SLCC Certified Nurse Assistant.”

In 2015, Merrill was involved in a statewide initiative to prepare graduating students for college and careers. The legislature passed H.B.198, creating the Strengthening College and Career Readiness Program. She was tasked with implementing the Strengthening College and Career Readiness Curriculum for Jr. High and High School Counselors. The legislature appropriated money for 500 school counselors to enroll in a master’s level course at Southern Utah University. There, Merrill arranged for employers to advise counselors on their perceived employment needs.

According to Merrill, “I was surprised that the top five industries (largest Utah private employers) wanted students right out of high school to join their teams. Each industry is moving forward fast. They prefer to hire students right out of high school and start them at the bottom, and the students move up quickly.”

As a member of the school board, Merrill sees student’s needs beyond the classroom on a broader scale.

“There are students that have never had a Thanksgiving turkey, or Santa doesn’t come to their house. I enjoy reaching out to students and encourage them to work hard, and their dream job will come true. They just need someone to believe in them. I have also been involved in collecting coats, hats, boots, and backpacks for students,” Merrill said.

Merrill believes that many school buildings need updating or even replacement. She also feels that current Murray School District Superintendent Jennifer Covington is doing a good job unifying the district. 

“The district office, principals, and teachers are working together as a team. Our students feel safe and want to learn,” Merrill said.  

Having taught journalism, accounting, business law, business management, computers, and computer programming, Merrill remembers her time working with students with pride. As an instructor, she was able to send students to Washington, D.C., to participate in national contests. She also showed a personal interest in the lives of her students.

“There were many students that had problems at home as well as at school,” Merrill said. “I reached out to them, and they would also stop by my office to ask questions.”

First elected to the Murray School Board in 2016, Merrill is currently running unopposed for a second term, which she looks forward to fulfilling. “There have been many challenges. Murray hires the best teachers,” Merrill said. “As a school board member, I enjoy visiting school community council meetings, or special events in our schools.”