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Swampscott school committee chooses current Wakefield interim superintendent to become their own

Posted by Terri Ogan  April 26, 2013 08:21 AM

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The Swampscott School Committee unanimously voted Wednesday night to appoint current Wakefield interim superintendent Garry Murphy to serve as the Swampscott public schools' interim superintendent.

If officially hired for the job, Murphy will start on July 1.

The interview process, which took several weeks, was sparked by the current superintendent's position change within the district.

Superintendent Lynne Celli, who has served the town for about three years, will transition into a part-time position as executive superintendent to special projects. Celli will head specific projects, including the process for building a new elementary school.

"I'm very excited," Murphy said. "I feel just meeting them [the School Committee] from the time I had that they’re a group of people that I could work with successfully. I think they have the best interest of the school district at heart."

Murphy, who said he was interviewed for 2 1/2 hours last Monday night, was offered the position, but he has yet to sit down with the School Committee to negotiate a starte date, end date and salary.

School Committee Member Rick Kraft said that a screening committee started with a pool of 15 candidates that were interviewed over a period of several weeks.

Murphy was the only finalist.

"There were other qualified candidates out there, but his abilities were far beyond what we saw in anybody else," Kraft said. "We felt he had excellent experience working with districts that are in transition. The screening committee that met with him and members of leadership and administrative team, were impressed by his commitment to developing talent within the district and finding ways for people to advance their skills and move into more advanced positions."

Kraft added that the screening committee only revealed Murphy to members of the School Committee because his qualities were the closest aligned with what they were looking for.

"We were just very impressed with his demeanor," Kraft said. "We think he will provide a steady influence in this district while we’re in a period of transition."

Murphy expects to sit down with the School Committee early next week to discuss his contract.

Terri Ogan can be reached at oganglobe@gmail.com, or follow her on Twitter.

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