Murray Superintendent Recognized For Service To CommunityAug 25, 2016 03:03PM ● By Julie Slama
Congresswoman Mia Love awarded Murray School District Superintendent Steve Hirase for his contributions to the community. — Taylor Goff
U.S. Congresswoman Mia Love recently recognized Murray School District Superintendent Steve Hirase for his “outstanding and invaluable service to the community.”
At an awards ceremony at American Preparatory Academy in Draper, Hirase was the only superintendent to be recognized for his service. She honored students, teachers and Hirase in the fourth congressional district.
“I wasn’t aware there was such a recognition so I certainly was surprised and honored,” Hirase said.
Love chose to honor him because of his commitment to his students.
Hirase said he also often substitutes in the classrooms and he has been known to cook a Dutch oven breakfast for students.
“When schools are doing fundraisers or raffles, I’ll offer myself as a substitute for a half-day, which allows a teacher to have that time off,” he said. “I’m getting to know the students better and it keeps me in touch with what’s going on.”
While substituting, Hirase usually brings his pet reptiles — a red-tail boa, a python and a bearded dragon.
“Most of the kids like them and a few are nervous, but it’s an additional learning experience for them. We talk about reptiles so they get to learn things firsthand. But it’s also giving me a chance to be involved in the classroom,” he said.
Love said it was his dedication to students that set an example.
“I have the highest regard for Dr. Hirase,” Love said. “His students and teachers respect him because of his hard work and devotion.”
Hirase’s service to the Utah Parent-Teacher Association was pointed out during the ceremony. He is the superintendent representative to the board for the past three years.
Hirase also is involved in several community groups and events ranging from his membership with the Murray Rotary Club to chairing the Intermountain Medical Center advisory committee. He’s been known to help at a Cub Scout pack meeting to being part of Murray’s Little League baseball ceremonies.
“I do the things I do to help with community organizations. Many of those are involved in the schools, which we appreciate, so I am involved in community events, activities and organizations — and most of my staff is involved as well,” he said.
In addition to Hirase’s recognition, several students who were appointed to military academies and participated in the Congressional Art Competition and Congressional App Challenge as well as two teachers in the congressional district were honored.
“These are all examples of people who go above and beyond what’s expected of them,” Love said. “I talk about exceptionalism all the time; people who care about their community, get involved, give of their talents, and serve our state and our nation. It’s truly an honor to stand with and honor the best of the best.”
Later in the month, Murray Board of Education also acknowledged Hirase’s involvement in the community.
“I don’t do things to be recognized or get awards. I just am involved in our community and helping where I can,” Hirase said.
Hirase became superintendent in 2011 after serving 13 years as assistant superintendent. He also was the director of at-risk programs and was the principal at Grant Elementary before his current position. Outside of the school district, he taught for seven years at Jordan Valley School, a school for students with severe disabilities.