Carson City-Crystal schools chooses new leader

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 11:36 pm on Friday, May 25, 2012

Kevin Murphy

CARSON CITY — After a nearly six-month search and 20 candidates, the Carson City-Crystal Area Schools Board of Education has selected Kevin Murphy to lead the district.

Murphy, 42, is currently the superintendent of Houghton Lake Community Schools, about 100 miles north of Carson City. He will replace Interim Superintendent Duane Ellis, who has been serving as superintendent since Bob Swanson retired last summer. The school board was guided in the hiring process by Karl Hartman of North Pointe Group.

“We were very pleased with the overall caliber of candidates and the board did a very thorough job of interviewing and visiting both finalists places of employment,” said School Board President Tom Wilcox. “Kevin will bring three years of superintendent experience. We found in our visit that he was very well liked in the community. On behalf of the board, I am very excited to bring Kevin on board and I know the community will join me in welcoming him to our district.”

Murphy’s contract begins July 1. Murphy and his wife Mary have three children in the first, fifth and eighth grade. They intend to reside in the Carson City-Crystal Area Schools district.

A reception to meet Murphy and his family will be 3:30 p.m. June 18 prior to the next school board meeting in the Central Office conference room.

Murphy previously worked in three Grand Rapids area school districts. He was a middle school teacher at Kenowa Hills, dean of students and middle school principal at Kelloggsville and elementary school principal and part of a restructuring team in Wyoming. He’s been the superintendent in Houghton Lake for the past three years.

The Houghton Lake Community Schools Board of Education voted 5-2 against renewing Murphy’s contract on March 26, according to the Houghton Lake Resorter newspaper. Murphy’s contract with the school district expires June 30.

Wilcox said school board members thoroughly researched the issues at Houghton Lake, including a daylong visit to the school district and one of the school board meetings.

“Before Kevin arrived, they had gone through seven superintendents in eight years,” Wilcox said. “Bottom line is, they have a school board that micro-manages everything. Kevin has tremendous support from the community. Houghton Lake’s loss is our gain. I feel having gone through that has provided Ken some valuable experience and made him an even better superintendent.

“We feel he will be a great fit for Carson City-Crystal,” Wilcox added. “We are excited about bringing him on board and look forward to his family becoming part of our community.”

A recall is currently under way against the Houghton Lake school board members who voted against renewing Murphy’s contract.

“I take every opportunity as a learning experience,” Murphy said. “Certainly I believe that we made some pretty good strides in three years, including community involvement and support for the schools. I’m moving on and taking my experiences with me and I wish nothing but the best for Houghton Lake. My family and I are excited to move to the Carson City-Crystal school district.”

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