By Kaitlin Candelaria
School is not out for summer for Dr. Kathy Murphy.
The tasks have been plentiful since Murphy began her position as Hoover City Schools’ new superintendent on June 1. However, when she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, Connor, 22, who recently graduated from Troy University. Murphy is also an avid nature and sports lover.
“I love the outdoors,” Murphy said. “I love sports, particularly jogging and running. That is really a catharsis for me after a long day of sitting and processing and working through the challenges and the opportunities that come to you throughout the day as a superintendent.”
When jogging isn’t enough to clear her head, Murphy said, you can find her at her cabin, which sits on a 40-acre parcel of land.
For this summer at least, the cabin may have to wait. Murphy has jumped in feet first and is already tackling tasks such as filling the vacant principal positions at Bluff Park Elementary School and Spain Park High School.
“It’s been very busy, but so exciting,” Murphy said. “We want to fill those positions as soon as we can, but we also want to get those leadership positions right.”
Murphy credits Hoover City Schools’ human resource department for their hard work, which has made her transition smooth. She has not only been working to interview candidates for the two principal positions, but also on creating relationships in the central office as well as across the school system.
“Certainly included in my short term goals is engaging with the other stakeholders in this school district – the Hoover community, the parents, the principals, the instructors and more,” Murphy said. “It’s important that I engage with them not only in groups but, also one-on-one.”
Murphy comes to Hoover from Monroe County, where she served as superintendent through the end of May. Although Monroe County schools are very different from Hoover’s, Murphy is up to the challenge, she said.
“Good leadership is good leadership whether you’re leading a school district with 3,600 students or 14,000 students,” Murphy said. “That’s not to say that there will be no challenges or that I don’t have a learning curve ahead of me but I am confident.”
Long term, Murphy wants to help the school system rise from good to great.
“Hoover is a very good school district but there’s so much more we can do,” Murphy said. “I want to see academic improvements – I want our students to leave our district college- ready if that’s their choice. If not, I want them to be career-ready.”
Murphy also stresses the importance of each student having a place to belong in the Hoover school system.
“We want to make sure we’re meeting the needs of all of our students, as diverse as they may be,” Murphy said. “We want to support their interests and find a place for them to belong, whatever that might look like.”
All in all, the honor of being named the new superintendent is all hers, Murphy said.
“I am so grateful that the parents are trusting these precious students to us,” Murphy said. “I think that’s the greatest compliment a parent can give you – to trust you to have their children in your school. I respect the role of a parent because I am one and I want our parents to understand that we want the same things they want for their children.”