Before Magnet: Mr. Stackhouse and Mr. Murphy

Get to know your favorite history teachers!

AMHS teachers Mr. Stackhouse and Mr. Murphy come here to teach students every weekday.

AMHS teachers Mr. Stackhouse and Mr. Murphy come here to teach students every weekday.

Welcome back for another issue of our Before Magnet series. This week, Caroline, Adriana, and Savannah decided to interview Mr. Stackhouse and Mr. Murphy, two of Magnet’s wonderful history teachers.

Q: Where are you from? Where have you lived?

Mr. Murphy: I grew up in the Washington D.C. area. I also went to part of elementary school in Thailand, middle school in Laos, and high school in Indonesia. And I also lived in Paraguay.

Mr. Stackhouse: I lived mostly in Southern California growing up. Around the Huntington Beach and Orange County area. I also lived in New Jersey as a little kid and went to boarding school in Canada in my sophomore year of high school. I also lived away from home and stayed with another family in Indianapolis, Indiana, in my junior year of high school.

Q: What is a favorite story from your childhood or teenage years?

Mr. Stackhouse: One time at a hockey game I tried to check a guy and ended up going over the boards and flew into a trash can. Other people had to come get me out because I was stuck in the trash can. It’s funny now thinking about it, but it wasn’t funny when I was in the trash can.

Mr. Murphy: Okay so when I was in middle school during the Vietnam War in Laos, on certain nights we could look into the distance and see the American planes sending tracer bullets into the forests going after the communists. And as a kid I thought that was pretty cool at the time, and it didn’t really seem scary to me.


Q: Have you met any celebrities?

Mr. Stackhouse: I actually got to meet Harrison Ford last summer on a college tour to Tufts University. He was a pretty cool guy, and he was with us on the tour the whole time. 

Mr. Murphy: When I was a little kid, I went to a ceremony at the White House with Richard Nixon and Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia.

Q: What is something you regret or a bad decision you’ve made?

Mr. Stackhouse: I passed up going on a trip to Australia when I was younger to go play at a hockey game, and that decision really upset me. I really wanted to go to Australia, and I wish I had just gone.

Mr. Murphy: This is not really a regret or anything, but a big “what if” that I think about sometimes is how my life would have been different had I gone to Northwestern University for college instead. I could have gone to Northwestern, but I ended up deciding to go to Washington and Lee University instead.

Q: What is the most interesting job you’ve had?

Mr. Stackhouse: I drove the Zamboni at the ice rink.

Mr. Murphy: My most awful job was cold calling names out of a phone book to sell car phones when they first came out. It was horribly boring.

Q: What are some of your favorite memories from the old campus?

Mr. Murphy: Our favorite incident was when a teacher’s car got put on cinder blocks. The next year they encased it in a wood box. I guess you could say this teacher wasn’t well liked. They also used to steal the balls out of her computer mouse back when they were mechanical like that.

Mr. Stackhouse: I witnessed the cinder block incident happen. So the students jacked up the back of her car and then put cinder blocks underneath the front of her rear tires. They didn’t get to do the rest of the tires because they got caught and were in so much trouble. They scratched her car big time and they messed up all the electronics. It was a Lexus too.


Q: What is your favorite class to teach?

Mr. Murphy: This year I’m teaching Honors U.S. Government and Economics as well as a class of sophomore history. For me, it’s not that I like teaching one more than the other. But this year I’ve really enjoyed teaching sophomore history because I haven’t taught history in a long time, so it’s nice to have a change.

Mr. Stackhouse: I don’t know, I really like all the classes I teach. When I started teaching psychology, I didn’t think I’d like it as much as I enjoy teaching it now. But then when Hoffman and I started teaching it . . . I don’t know it was awesome. But I really love both subjects so much.

I helped some people that I didn’t realize I could help, and that was a really cool experience which sparked my interest in teaching.”

— Mr. Stackhouse

Q: Why did you decide to become a teacher?

Mr. Stackhouse: Summers off. The flexible schedule. And I guess the students here at Academic Magnet specifically. There are a lot worse students out there that we could be dealing with. I always wanted to be a professional hockey player too, but I was vertically challenged. When I was younger, I spent some time with my aunt who was a high school teacher and helped students for a couple of days in her classroom and that was really fun. I really enjoyed doing that. I helped some people that I didn’t realize I could help, and that was a really cool experience which sparked my interest in teaching.

Mr. Murphy: Besides summers off? The schedule. I also taught at the other side of the spectrum for over 10 years. Being a teacher was something I kind of fell into, which is how I think most people get into teaching as well. I didn’t grow up wanting to be a teacher.


Q: What is some advice that you would have told your younger self and/or your current students?  

You should always, always hire the best lawyer that you can afford. ”

— Mr. Murphy

Mr. Murphy: You should always, always hire the best lawyer that you can afford.

Mr. Stackhouse: I’ll ditto that. That’s a good one. Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe.

We hope you enjoyed this week’s edition of Before Magnet and got to learn a little bit more about some of your incredible history teachers! We’re grateful to have such interesting and passionate teachers at Magnet, and are thankful that Mr. Stackhouse and Mr. Murphy allowed us to interview them. Stay tuned for the next edition of Teacher’s Before Magnet!