1 of 2
Roy L. Williams
Dr. Kathy Murphy
New Hoover City Schools Superintendent Dr. Kathy L. Murphy has been going through paperwork on her first day on the job to get more familiar with the school system.
2 of 2
Roy L. Williams
Dr. Kathy Murphy
New Hoover City Schools Superintendent Dr. Kathy Murphy spent her first day on the job today, June 1.
When you meet new Hoover City Schools Superintendent Dr. Kathy L. Murphy, her passion for education is infectious.
June 1 was her first day on the job, and it was filled with a to-do list of meeting staff in the Hoover Board of Education Building, calling principals of city schools and going through stacks of paperwork to get more familiar with the school system.
Moving from leading a small rural school system in Monroe County to a big suburban Birmingham school system may seem like a challenge to most, but Murphy relishes the opportunity to take the reins over Hoover City Schools. In a chat on her first day, Murphy talked about her goals and plans to take Hoover’s school system to even greater heights.
How has your first day on the job been so far?
It is very exciting. I had a number of meetings this morning and started to pick the brains of people here in the [Hoover Board of Education] building and get them to share information with me. I’m very excited to be here.
I couldn’t wait for this day to come, from the time the board made the decision and I accepted the offer. I’m delighted that it’s here. There are lots of exciting things going on this morning, good conversations, getting on the loop on things.
This is a great group of folks. I’ve been to Hoover four or five times since the board made the decision, and I’ve been through this building several times. This is a great group of leaders here. I’ve been to some of our schools and plan to go to all of our schools over the next few days. I put out calls to principals this morning just to touch base with some of them, and I will finish those calls later today. I want them to know I’m in place and ready to work with them.
What’s the first couple of days and weeks like as you go through this process of transitioning?
There’s so much for me to learn, and there’s a learning curve. I only know one way to get to my apartment. I’m just learning Hoover and finding out where everything is. There is a lot of studying to be done on my part: studying board policies and procedures, technology plans, school improvement plans and understanding all of those working pieces.
I'll be meeting and greeting and reaching out to our principals and board members this week. I'll also be spending time with our staff here in the building. Really, my early plan is being accessible and listening to our building leaders here, our principals and their schools and starting that visiting process.
Is it easier to come in right now while schools are out for the summer and have calmed down a bit from regular activities?
This is a good time for me to be able to come here. We’re finishing up the school year in Monroe County, so they now have an interim [superintendent] who is able to come and plan the summer leadership academies we do there. It’s a good time for me to be here because I’m on the front end now of planning for the next academic year. We have our leadership retreat here next week for our Hoover principals, and I’m excited about the time we’ll spend together next week as leadership.
As you know, Hoover has gotten a lot of accolades for academic and athletic success, but you can always do better. When you look at Hoover City Schools, what excites you most?
The excellence in the school district really attracted me. However, excellent doesn’t mean perfect, and we’ll never get to perfect. As the system graded itself in the superintendent search, the overall grade was a B-plus. We’re doing a really good job, but there is room for us to go from good to great.
My plans for going from good to great academically are:
- Looking at our students and making sure we have them college and career ready, and they are not having to go into remediation programs.
- Helping our students get as much scholarship money as we can, to take themselves to that next level at the colleges they want to attend, instead of settling for schools that will take them because of an ACT score or because of finances.
- Giving them a substantial education they can move forward on. I’m looking forward to increasing our ACT scores. I’m looking forward to us having more National Merit Scholars. I want to make our advanced placements and IB programs even stronger. There are a lot of opportunities for us to grow academically.
- Athletically, I’d like for us to get every state championship. Certainly we have schools that have done well. Hoover High School won six state athletic championships. Next year we need to get seven, eight, as many as we can.
What are your thoughts on Minnette Wiggins of Trace Crossings receiving Alabama Elementary Teacher of the Year and Alabama Alternative Teacher of the Year?
I am so proud of Mrs. Wiggins. I’ve been so busy in Monroe County that I haven’t had a chance to reach out to her. I certainly plan to do that. I am so delighted with the quality of teachers we have here. I believe we lead the state in the number of nationally board certified teachers. That is a demonstration of the excellence of those who are teaching our children.