A retired superintendent with school construction, mentoring, and curriculum development experience has been selected to lead Wakefield Public Schools for the next year, according to a vote by the School Committee last week.
Dr. Garry Murphy, of Lowell, MA, was the first choice of the School Committee out of three finalists for the interim superintendent position. Pending contract negotiations, Dr. Murphy would start in Wakefield on Aug. 1.
But before the selection is final, the School Committee must still negotiate Dr. Murphy's year-long contract. That negotiation and subsequent vote will take place on Tuesday, July 24.
According to Murphy's resume that was submitted to the School Committee, he has 13 years of experience as a school superintendent, one year of experience as an interim superintendent, and also has experience as a school business administrator, a curriculum developer and as a teacher.
Wakefield School Committee Chairman Tom Markham said one of the unique aspects of Dr. Murphy's application was that he expressed interest in providing not only his own services, but the services of a "leadership team," as well. The team consists of Dr. Murphy, who would serve as interim superintendent, and Dr. Sandra Holloran, also a retired superintendent, who would serve as interim assistant superintendent.
"They would work their schedule so that neither of them would be working full-time," said Markham. "Dr. Murphy would work 3-4 days a week and Dr. Holloran would work 2-3 days a week to ensure that we had 100 percent coverage."
Markham said this approach would be useful to Wakefield in getting two experienced administrators to guide the schools through this time of transition, for the salary of one.
"It's always better to bring in two top administrators when you can," he said. "Both are retired superintendents, both are curriculum leaders, and both are strong in areas of the types of things we're looking to do."