Staff Spotlight: Mr. Muralt

Mr.Muralt+smilling+at+camera+while+pretending+to+do+math.+%0A%0ACourtesy+of+Azul+F.R

Mr.Muralt smilling at camera while pretending to do math. Courtesy of Azul F.R

Azul Faurrieta Ruiz, Lit-Art Editor

Jeff Muralt is currently teaching math at Wilcox High school. He has been a teacher for 26 years at Wilcox and plans to stay there until the day he retires. Mr. Muralt graduated from Montana Tech and worked as an environmental engineer for 4 years while also coaching baseball and football to 7th and 8th graders. During that time, he realized that he enjoyed coaching/teaching more than “working in his multimillion-dollar job”. 

To some, the idea of working in a multimillion-dollar company sounds better than working as a teacher to a group of teenagers, but not to Mr. Muralt. He learned that he enjoys being around students and helping them understand things they struggle with. Muralt has his own techniques when it comes to teaching. He says that teaching with analogies makes it easier and more fun for the students to understand math, and motivates them to do better since they know how to do their work. Other than just teaching, he also finds a special connection with his students. He likes being involved with them, not just as a teacher but as a friend and someone to count on. Muralt’s relationship with his students is so significant to him that even after many years he still keeps in contact with his former students. He is a big part of their lives too, being somewhat of a father figure to them and a part of their family, just as he considers them a part of his family. 

Andrew Lam is one of Mr. Muralt’s former students. In an interview, when asked how he would describe Mr. Muralt as a teacher and person, Lam responded, “As a teacher, he fully understood that keeping students engaged was the best way to have them learn the material. He would always find ways to keep the class interesting, whether that was with a song he would come up with to teach math or even having competitions between the students to avoid turd island.” He said knowing Mr. Muralt outside of class taught him that he has a sense of fun outside of teaching, values community, and loves being helpful to those who need it. Lam has known him for about 12 years and mentioned that unlike other teachers Mr. Muralt always went out of his way to keep his students on the right track, academically and in their personal life.

Mr. Muralt has been a major influence in many of his students’ lives, whether by officiating their weddings or helping them choose their career paths. Mr. Muralt claimed that his job is something he enjoys doing, and not something that he does for a living. He enjoys interacting with his students and bringing a smile to their faces. And though it is a hard thing to do in a math class, there is always something Mr. Muralt does to keep the motivation going. Examples include stopping his whole lesson just to tell a personal story his students might relate to, or making up an analogy to make an equation easier to understand and remember.

In addition to teaching, he also coaches varsity tennis and JV basketball for Wilcox. Mr. Muralt says he enjoys coaching these sports, and plays them in his free time. 

Mr. Muralt is a teacher, a coach, and a friend to his students. Mr. Muralt has an environment in his classroom that makes students feel welcome and able to follow along in class without getting lost. Knowing him outside his classroom isn’t any different. As Lam states, “Muralt is a truly special person that any community would be extremely lucky to have. He’s never one to do anything to have the spotlight shine on himself, but he always ends up as a pillar of any community he interacts with.”

To Mr. Muralt, Wilcox High School is more than just a place he works at. He claims that Wilcox is his family, and being able to help students and be a part of this community is something special to him. In his 26+ years of teaching, Mr. Muralt has learned “everyone has a story that motivates them”.