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Teacher with brain cancer was retiring, students found the best way to surprise her

Students arrived at Justine MacMurray's farewell party in t-shirts with the 'Wonder Woman' logo.

Teacher with brain cancer was retiring, students found the best way to surprise her
Cover Image Source: YouTube | Inside Edition

People are lucky to get at least one teacher who leaves a deep impression on their lives for years to come. Justine McMurray has been one of those teachers for more than 30 years at Meigs Middle Magnet School in Nashville, Tennessee. Her students loved her when she used to coach them, and their admiration for her remained intact even after she quit. The track and field cross-country coach at the school had to part ways with her student after more than three decades due to complications related to her cancer, reports News Channel 5 Nashville.


McMurray began experiencing severe headaches before being diagnosed with a brain tumor. "I ended up having a seizure," she recalled to the outlet. "At first, they were thinking it was a stroke or something like that. They did an MRI and found there was a tumor and found out it was cancerous. I finished up my radiation for now, but I'm on chemo and I have ten more months of chemotherapy before I'm done with the chemo." After her diagnosis, McMurray could not continue as a coach at the Meigs Middle Magnet and had to retire.

Her former and current students came together to give their beloved teacher a heartfelt farewell. They lined up in the school cafeteria, most wearing shirts with the 'Wonder Woman' logo. McMurray has truly been their Wonder Woman, always spotting talent. "These are our 'Wonder Woman' shirts that we made for her!" one of the school's staff, Lacey Culp, explained. "She truly is our very own Wonder Woman."


"At recess, she'd say, 'See that girl there. She needs to be on my track team. I need to talk to her,'" Culp added. "She's always looking for track kids." McMurray used to make her students run in loops around the school to train them in track and field. She led everyone on a walk around the loop one last time while saying her goodbyes. One student praised McMurray for being "a really encouraging person," per the outlet. "In seventh grade, when I dyed my hair purple, it was because of you," another student mentioned.


"I have told my neurologist, my oncologist and my radiologist, I'm going to make them famous at Vanderbilt cause I'm going to kick this," McMurray said, sharing her hopes and dreams. "You don't realize sometimes in teaching how much of an impact you make. I've always tried to get that I've done something that was purposeful and worthwhile. It felt good today cause it felt like, wow, I did make some kind of impact."


According to Inside Edition, McMurray has been a beacon of hope for her students throughout her tenure. A video from the news outlet captured countless pictures, sketches, logos and posters of 'Wonder Woman' scattered through the walls of her classroom where she also taught. Several students picked up a mic and shared their honest and heartfelt feelings about McMurray. A teacher like her sure deserves the world and her students made her feel it at the end of her tenure at Meigs Middle Magnet School.


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