Wednesday, May 7, 2014

APS’s Pat Murphy Named Virginia Superintendent of the Year


May 7, 2014

Dr. Patrick K. Murphy, Superintendent of Arlington Public Schools, was named Virginia’s Superintendent of the Year at the Virginia Association of School Superintendents (VASS) Annual Awards Banquet on Tuesday evening in Roanoke. The State Superintendent of Public Instruction and the leaders of seven Virginia education organizations selected him from among eight regional finalists.

Under the pressures of rapid student growth and a fledgling economy, Dr. Murphy has significantly reduced the drop-out rate and increased advanced academic program completions among the 23,316 students in his burgeoning suburban Washington DC school district. He has reduced the drop-out rate by over 50% since he began as Arlington’s superintendent in 2009. He accomplished this by employing several targeted intervention strategies such as consistently monitoring student achievement, responding rapidly with assistance to students who were absent more than three days, scheduling several instructional options for students to improve in school, and increasing the involvement of their families.

At the same time, Dr. Murphy has been instrumental in increasing by 20% the number of Arlington students who completed Algebra and Geometry by the eighth grade. This was accomplished by providing the support of math coaches and holding strategies classes to eliminate barriers for sixth and seventh grade students moving to the next level.

In presenting Dr. Murphy with the Virginia Superintendent of the Year Award, VASS President Alan Seibert said, “Pat Murphy has demonstrated inspirational leadership in reducing the achievement gap among the students in his school division.” He continued, “What is particularly remarkable about Pat’s accomplishments is that he did these things in six years under severe budget pressure with a 26% growth rate in Arlington’s student enrollment.”

Dr. Murphy worked his way up through the ranks of education administration in Virginia beginning as a teacher in Fairfax County in 1989. Since then he was a principal in Fairfax and the Director of Instruction in the City of Winchester. In 2005 he returned to Fairfax to serve as an assistant superintendent until his appointment as Arlington’s Superintendent of Schools in 2009.

The Virginia Superintendent of the Year Selection Committee included the State Superintendent for Public Instruction and the Presidents of the: Virginia Education Association; Virginia Parent and Teacher Association; Virginia Association of School Superintendents; Virginia School Boards Association; Virginia Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development; Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals; and Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals. Dr. Murphy was selected as the state winner from eight regional Superintendents of the Year who were chosen from the entire field of 133 superintendents in the state.

As Virginia's Superintendent of the Year Dr. Murphy will be eligible for the National Superintendent of the Year Award, which will be presented in San Diego, CA next February by the American Association of School Administrators. The Regional Superintendents of the Year included:

Region 1
William David Clark
Superintendent of Schools
Dinwiddie County

Region 2
James T. Roberts
Superintendent of Schools
Chesapeake City

Region 3
Mark R. Jones
Superintendent of Schools
King William County

Region 4
Patrick K. Murphy
Superintendent of Schools
Arlington County

Region 5
Scott R. Kizner
Superintendent of Schools
Harrisonburg City

Region 6
Anthony S. Brads
Superintendent of Schools
Botetourt City

Region 7
Mark Y. Lineburg
Superintendent of Schools
Bristol City

Region 8
Betty J. (“BJ”) Brewer
Superintendent of Schools
Amelia County

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