Murr discusses role of leadership with students

Moffat County High School teacher talks to students about the importance of making differences in other's lives


Everyone has a fire within, and they can't be afraid to grab a log and throw it on the fire once in awhile.

Rick Murr, Moffat County High School vocational agriculture teacher, delivered this message to a group of fifth and sixth graders Friday afternoon at Craig Intermediate School.

Drawing on his recent experience carrying the Olympic torch on its route to Salt Lake City, Murr used this year's Olympic theme, "Light the fire within," to motivate the students.

"Each one of you has a fire inside of you whether you feel it or not," Murr told the group. "You won't tell yourselves 'I can't do this' and 'I can't do that,' if you know there is a fire inside of you."

Wearing his Olympic warm-up suit and displaying the torch he carried on his run, Murr explained to the students that he was given the once-in-lifetime opportunity not because he was the best at something, but simply because he was who he is.

Murr was nominated to carry the torch by a friend from college.

She nominated him, he said, because of the affect he had on her through their friendship, not because he was the best at a sport or contest.

"Something I do everyday to make a difference in someone else's life is the reason I got nominated," he said. "Each one of you has an impact on someone in your lives on a daily basis.

"You and I each have to be at the top of our games everyday because people are relying on you. That's the reason I was nominated. I got nominated for something that I do everyday, and I didn't even know I was doing it."

After delivering his message to the students, Murr fielded questions from the students.

A few of the questions included, "How heavy was the torch?," "How many total people carried the flame?" and "How many people carried the torch before you that day?"

In response to what it was like carrying the torch, Murr answered:

"It was an incredible once in a lifetime experience. It was amazing to know that at that point I was the only person in the world carrying that flame."

Students from Adrienne Reeves' social studies class attended Murr's speech. Reeves has been using the Olympic Games to teach her students social studies lessons during the past month.

The students made a large map that followed the torch trail. It now hangs in the CIS hallway.

They have studied the history of the Olympics, and have given presentations on events and athletes in this year's Winter Games.

To help explain why she chose to incorporate the Olympics into her teaching, Reeves referred to a mission statement she has hanging on the wall, which explains the purpose of social studies, and why it ties in perfectly with the Olympics.

The final sentences of the mission statement read:

'The social sciences emphasize respect of self and other individuals. The world views of diversity, democratic principles, and local and global involvement, relate directly to the 2002 Games.'

"The Olympics are part of life right now and help students deal with complex issues," Reeves said. "That's why I chose to do it."

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