Derek Murphy, Jr.

Liberty-Eylau High School

After graduating from Liberty-Eylau High School in May, Derek Murphy, Jr., plans to attend Texas A&M University College Station, majoring in political science and minoring in business. “After that, I want to attend graduate school for my master’s degree in public service administration and then to law school,” Derek says. “My goal is to enter the world of corporate law and, one day, to pursue a career in politics.”

With this future goal of leadership, Derek has found many ways to build his resume in high school. He served as President of the Future Business Leaders of America, National Honor Society, and Student Council. He was also the Head Drum Major for the Liberty-Eylau High School Band for two years and an active member of student leadership, academic UIL, varsity golf, Interact Club, and Spanish Club. “All of these activities helped build and develop my character,” Derek says. “I gained an abundance of social and leadership skills that I can use in the future.”  

Though he has many achievements, one interesting fact about Derek that you cannot find on his transcript or resume is that he can name all Presidents in order. “I am also a World War II history buff,” Derek says. “Overall, high school has supported my goals by allowing me an outlet to express myself and be able to reach out to other people. Through my various extracurricular activities, I was provided many opportunities that allowed connections and partnerships to form that I could use in the future.”

Derek’s favorite teacher in high school is his current varsity golf coach, Martin Bryant. Derek says Coach Bryant is “a hidden gem” within the Liberty-Eylau School District. Coach Bryant is passionate about all aspects of school and prioritizes academics before athletics. “Sometimes he can be intense, but I know he wants the best for the team. He has helped me understand that mediocrity, in any aspect of life, is subpar and to reach for the stars. Whenever I get discouraged, he is always there to cheer me up,” Derek says. “Outside of golf, he has been a confidant and someone I can admire. Watching him raise good children and trying to reinforce that within the golf team is comforting because he cares for all of us. Every conversation is full of laughs and some advice I will carry on to the future. To some, he may be just a coach, but I see him as someone who has shifted the dynamic of my senior year of high school, and I have so much appreciation for him.”

The other important people in Derek’s life include his parents, Derek and Angela Murphy, who Derek calls “his biggest supporters.” They attended every football game and watched him lead the National Honor Society induction ceremony. “They are always there for me,” Derek says. “They never put a limit on my success, and they always remind me that I could do anything I put my mind towards. They are my biggest motivators, support system, and all-around the best parents I could ask for.” Derek also says that his mom, Angela, is the true definition of a hero—someone who is admired or idealized for bravery, extraordinary achievements, or noble qualities. “My mother is my hero, role model, and everything. She has always given me advice and motherly love, and she has always been there for me,” Derek says. 

Anglea is also the person who inspires Derek to keep going and never give up. “She taught me the importance of higher education and perseverance. I watched her transform from a cosmetology student to a successful entrepreneur,” Derek says. “Through the thick and thin, good and bad, and everything else, I know that when I need something, she will come. I have watched her sacrifice so much for me, and everything that I do, all of my accomplishments and success, I do for her.” 

Looking back at his achievements, Derek says the best advice he could give to younger students is to stay true to themselves. “Don’t let people peer pressure you into becoming something you’re not. I have seen people configure themselves into the image their friends want them to be, and not who they were raised to be,” Derek says. “It is perfectly okay to have morals, standards, and beliefs and not let other people interfere with what you believe. Be proud of the person you are and will continue to be.”

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