Local teacher a finalist for NYS Teacher of the Year

TOWN OF UNION (WBNG) — A history teacher at Maine-Endwell High School is receiving recognition as a finalist for the title New York State Teacher of the Year.

Rachel Murat has taught at the high school for the last 23 years, developing quite the reputation.

"She goes above and beyond the duty of a normal teacher and she just represents what every teacher should be like," said student Ian Lis.

She arrives at school around 4 a.m. every day, sometimes not leaving until 9 o’clock at night.

"I love it when I have a room full of kids because I have so much more energy than when I’m you know just sitting in here by myself," says Murat.

Her hard work led her principal to nominate her for the prestigious award.

"In order to get that level of recognition you really kind of have to have somebody really that’s going above and beyond, really special because we have a lot of fantastic teachers here in the district," said Maine-Endwell High School Principal Tom Burkhardt.

She raises the bar both in and outside the classroom.

"Last year I started slacking a little bit during class and she realized that and she knew that wasn’t really who I was so she pulled me outside of class and said do you want to have lunch and like talk about what’s going on," said Lis.

And just this week she provided clean drinking water to those effected by recent flooding.

She credits her drive to her students, saying "Their excitement over realizing that they get it now or that they can make a difference or that what they’re learning can go beyond just our classrooms, I think is really something that is important to me."

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