PARADISE, Texas — Teaching may be the most rewarding job on earth and it’s easy to find proof in Paradise.
Denver McMurry has taught science for 32 years. He’s spent the past 15 at Paradise High School.
He’s always loved his job but says it wasn’t until just last month he saw it in a whole new light.
“It’s one of those things, it’s kind of a perfect gift, too because it reminds you why you do what you do,” McMurry said.
Earlier this year, McMurry was teaching his students about the color spectrum. He explained that he’s colorblind and can’t see the world the same way they do.
For some reason, seniors Alyson Dickenson and Laura Livesay couldn’t get it off their minds.
In fact, long after class ended they were still thinking about it. So they did some research and learned about some special glasses made by a company called Enchroma that can help some people see color.
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Unfortunately, they cost more than $400 but the girls were undeterred.
“I immediately started up the GoFundMe,” Livesay said. “Well, my mother did because I was 17 at the time.”
They sent requests, solicited donations, and did all of it behind McMurry’s back. They even tricked him into taking a vision test just to make sure they got the right pair.
“We were like, ‘hey, we have a bet on what type of colorblindness you are,’ and we had him just take the little colorblind test on the Enchroma website,” said Dickenson.
McMurry didn’t suspect a thing.
“I just thought, ‘at least they’re taking interest in it. That’s good,’” he said.
Student who graduated years ago even donated to the cause.
McMurry finally unwrapped their secret a couple of weeks later.
“He ran outside immediately to just look at everything,” Dickenson said.
Suddenly, reds were redder, blues were purple and McMurry was speechless.
It took him a couple days and a few tears to write down just what their gift meant. He talked about seeing the colors of the sunset for the first time and told the kids the glasses were a ‘gift that keeps on giving.’
It’s clear he cares deeply about his students.
“Oh yeah. That much,” McMurry said, holding out his arms to demonstrate the size of his admiration. “If my arms were longer, I’d do that [spread them further].”
“He changes our perspective of the world and it was nice to give him that gift as well,” Livesay said.
All these years, McMurry thought he was teaching physics when the real lesson was life.