After an exhaustive five-month long search Melissa ISD has found its man. Pending final action by the Board of Trustees on March 17, Keith Murphy will be named the new MISD superintendent.
MISD has been looking for its next superintendent since mid-October when Dr. Jason Smith resigned from the district. Using the search firm Arrow, MISD embarked on a superintendent search far and wide, getting numerous applicants from within the district, inside and outside Texas and even outside the United States.
"They did conduct an intensive search," said interim superintendent Dr. Robert Rich. "There was a lot of interest in the posting."
Ultimately, the search firm tagged Murphy as the top candidate and the board agreed, naming him as the lone finalist for the position.
"It’s a great opportunity for me and my family," said Murphy. "Melissa schools, of course, have a great reputation, great programs, great academics and it’s a great community. We’re thrilled to join that community and schools."
There is a state-mandated 21-day waiting period, a provision that is uniquely exclusive to school district superintendents. At the end of the period, pending the agreement of both parties on a contract, Murphy will take over as superintendent. It is expected that Murphy will commence employment with the district in early April.
Murphy comes from Frankston ISD where he has served as superintendent for the past three years. Frankston is slightly smaller in size than Melissa; the high school just moved to Class 3A in the new UIL realignment as the district is adding enrollment and growing. Sound familiar, Melissa?
Prior to his time in Frankston, Murphy served in Mount Pleasant, Tatum, Granbury and several years in Van ISD. It should come as no surprise that Murphy has worked more than 20 years in public education as his mother and father both worked in Grand Prairie ISD for many years — his father as an administrator and mother as an art teacher.
It appears Murphy had a good situation in East Texas within a growing, thriving school district, so why the move to Melissa?
" like the challenge of the growth, some of the programs are already developed — it seems like a great place to raise my family. The location and reputation of Melissa is outstanding, and I’ve always felt like it would be a great job to have; it came open and I was fortunate enough to get it," explained Murphy.
An eager Murphy got an early start on his tenure, meeting the administrative staff on March 7. He said that he foresees great things for the district.
"I can tell you, listening to the board they have courage and they have a heart for kids and so do I," said Murphy. "Not everything is going to be easy, there will be some transitional times, but the bottom line is that at the end of the day…they love kids, the people of Melissa love kids and they support their school district. And that’s exciting."