Beloved Sub Mr. Murillo Gives Back to AFHS Students


Jimena Chavez , OwlFeed Journalist

Mr. Manny Murillo is a substitute here at Agua Fria but has made a strong impact on our school. Not only is he an Agua Fria graduate, but he has provided scholarships to working students and funded many programs here on campus.

Mr. Murillo has made a significant impact in the Agua Fria community because of his constant involvement and mission to help other students. 

He recently donated funds into our OwlFeed Journalism class at AFHS which allowed us to start a new website and expand our program. Mr. Jovanelly, our geometry and journalism teacher here at Agua Fria speaks on the impact Mr. Murillo has made on himself and his students. 

“Mr. Murillo brings what many subs can’t,” Mr. Jovanelly said. “He isn’t just here to just show up and collect a paycheck. He’s truly here because he cares about the kids.”

Mr. Murillo and Mr. Jovanelly have worked professionally together for the past six years. “He’s truly an inspiration more than anything,” Mr. Jovanelly said. “The icing on the cake this year was his $600 dollar donation. He single-handedly almost funded our new website…I thought this was extremely generous, I was at a loss of words.”

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Photo Credit: Joshua Jovanelly

Mr. Murillo graduated from Agua Fria High School in 1962, and was a part of the journalism program as a senior, taking on the position of Sports Editor. He was a part of the track and field team and worked a total of 40 hours a week in his senior and junior year. 

Mr. Murillo attended Phoenix Community College for two years and then transferred to ASU and received his bachelor’s in teaching. Soon after this, he became a youth counselor for 6 years and then became an English and Spanish teacher.

“I got my Master’s degree in school administration and then I became an assistant principal… I retired teaching… it was about a total of 36 years that I had been doing that,”  Mr. Murillo said.

Mr. Murillo began working with students to help them succeed in college. “I did this for several years,” he said.

Soon after his retirement, Mr. Murillo continued his involvement in education and began subbing for schools.

Angelina Anaya and Serenity Garcia, a junior and senior here at Agua Fria, shared their experience with Mr. Murrillo as a substitute and talked about his presence at school.

“You can tell Mr. Murillo cares for all his students. He wants them to succeed in whatever way they can,” Anaya said. Mr. Murillo has repeatedly subbed for her classes and his kindness and concern for all students shows.

Serenity Garcia said, “Mr. Murillo is always at school games, supporting in every way he can… it really means a lot to students at this school.”

These two ladies are only a small portion of the students Mr. Murillo has impacted through his kindness and passion towards education. 

His scholarship, the Mr. Murillo scholarship, is for senior students who are working while in high school. He matches up to $500 if they show they’ve saved at least $500 in their bank account. This scholarship has been given to many students on campus.

“He’s always been in the community,” said Ms. Ciulei, our scholarship counselor here at Agua Fria. “He’s a big supporter of community involvement and service, he’s always been an educator. He’s fortunate enough that he has funding, that he wanted to contribute to our students towards their post-secondary education.” 

Ms. Ciulei also talked about the importance of budgeting when it comes to applying for the Murillo scholarship, as Murillo “emphasizes the importance of starting a bank account and taking care of your savings.”

Ms. Karla Curiel, our administrative secretary in charge of sub coverage, welcomes Mr. Murillo into our campus every morning when he comes in to substitute. “I have only been working here since November but every encounter I’ve had with him has been a pleasure,” Ms. Curiel said.

Mr. Murillo has contributed so much to our school and we would like to thank him for his endless effort. His kindness and generosity never goes unnoticed.