Murphy named MCS superintendent

Published 1:56 pm Thursday, June 2, 2011

Dr. Kathy Murphy, former Greenville High School principal, made it official on Tuesday: She’s leaving Charles Henderson High School to become superintendent of the Monroe County Schools.

“This is the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make in my professional life,” she said. “And that’s no disrespect to Monroe County. It’s just because of my love for Charles Henderson High School, the teachers, parents and the students.”

Murphy, who has been principal at the high school for one year, said she will work until her contract ends on June 30. “I’ll work diligently to leave everything in order for the next principal … until my contract ends, Charles Henderson will have my full attention.”

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However, Murphy said she is excited about the opportunity ahead. After more than 25 years in education, Murphy has made no secret of her desire to be a superintendent. She was among five finalists for the Troy City Schools position earlier this year, when the school board decided to reopen the search process.

“I’m sad about leaving, but I’m excited to take my career to the next level as superintendent,” she said.

Roxie Kitchens, president of the Troy City Schools Board of Education, said Tuesday she is disappointed “that Dr. Murphy’s not going to be with us at the high school for another year.”

Kitchens said Murphy has implemented several important programs and been a positive campus leader in her year with the district. Kitchens said she and other board members “wish her the best. We know her ultimate goal was to be a superintendent.”

Murphy’s decision leaves the Troy City Schools with two open principal positions ¬ – CHHS and Charles Henderson Middle School – as well as an open search for a new superintendent.

Jimmy Mathews, interim superintendent, said the district will begin advertising for the high school principal soon.

“Whether or not the school board is going to let us fill those slots before a new superintendent is hired, I don’t know,” he said.

The application process for a middle school principal has closed. Mathews said 45 candidates applied, including three internal candidates, but he has not started interviews for that position. ‘”We’re waiting to get the go-ahead from the school board,” he said.

Kitchens said while the administration “really doesn’t need our clearance” to begin the interviews, “there has been a suggestion made that maybe we should hold off until the new superintendent has been hired.”

The application period for the new superintendent ends June 3, and board members have said they hope to conduct interviews and make a job offer before July 1.

However, Mathews said he is concerned that waiting for a new superintendent to come on board could delay the hiring of campus principals too much. “There’s a tremendous amount of planning that needs to be done (before school starts Aug. 15),” he said.