Boston Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster, Dexter Regional High School alumna Shannon O'Roak and longtime DRHS teacher-coach Peter Murray stand at home plate at Fenway Park in Boston after Murray was the recipient of a Most Valuable Educator Award from the Red Sox during a pregame ceremony Saturday. Credit: Contributed

Longtime Dexter Regional High School teacher and coach Peter Murray was recognized through the Boston Red Sox’s Most Valuable Educator program during a recent home-plate ceremony at Fenway Park.

Educators around New England are nominated by students from their school as someone who makes an effort to ensure that every child has the benefit of a great school.

Murray, who has been teaching and coaching in Dexter since 1983, was nominated for the award by Shannon O’Roak, valedictorian of the school’s Class of 2019.

“Thank you to Mr. Murray for being the most influential teacher I’ve ever had,” O’Roak wrote in her nomination letter. “I think I speak for all of the Class of 2019 when I say you have impacted us all. It’s said that if a teacher changes just one life, then they’ve done their job. Mr. Murray has changed so many lives that they could never be counted.”

Murray not only has been influential within his school, but throughout Maine’s basketball community as president of the Maine Association of Basketball Coaches for the last eight years.

He also serves on the executive board of the National Basketball Coaches Association.

Murray has been the boys varsity basketball coach at Dexter since 1994, leading the Tigers to the 2005 Eastern Maine Class C championship and being named an MABC coach of the year in 2019.

He has 297 coaching victories with the Tigers.

Murray began his teaching career at Dirigo High School in Dixfield in 1982 and a year later moved to Dexter where in his first year there he started the school’s girls soccer program along with coaching freshman basketball and boys and girls tennis.

He went on to guide the Tigers’ girls tennis team to the 2010 Eastern Maine Class C tennis championship.

Murray also has coached boys soccer, junior varsity basketball, girls and boys tennis and middle-school girls soccer.

Murray has taught high school English as well as middle-school social studies during his career, and he served as assistant principal and athletic director at Dexter for six years.

He currently is the school’s National Honor Society adviser and the Class of 2021 adviser.

“Mr. Murray cares about his students so much, and this is obvious in his teaching,” O’Roak wrote. “If the class doesn’t understand a question asked, Mr. Murray always has a better way of phrasing things to make them easier to understand. I cannot think of a better or more deserving person for this award than Mr. Murray, because he truly cares in every way possible.”

Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...