(Updated 6/15/19) Dr. Patrick K. Murphy announced today that he would be retiring as superintendent of Arlington Public Schools effective Sept. 3.
Murphy, who has been APS superintendent since July 1, 2009, notified the School Board of his decision in a June 12 letter.
“As I think about the ebb and flow of changes that have occurred over the past 10 years, the progress we have made for children has been the most rewarding,” Murphy wrote. “Each year we offer new opportunities to allow children to flourish, grow and reach for new heights of success. I know great strides will continue to be made because of the dedication of the School Board, community leaders and APS staff and families, who all believe in the importance of excellence in public education.”
In his nine years as superintendent, Murphy has overseen continued growth in student enrollment, the opening of new schools, an increase in the high school graduation rate, and full-accreditation for all Arlington schools by the Virginia Department of Education.
“Dr. Murphy has guided the school division through unprecedented growth and change, and we thank him for his leadership and unwavering commitment to our students and their success,” said School Board Chair Reid Goldstein, in a statement. “During his tenure, APS leadership and staff have expanded opportunities for our students and further strengthened the quality of education in all our schools, solidifying Arlington’s reputation among Virginia’s top school divisions.”
“Now, with our recently adopted Strategic Plan as a roadmap, APS is in a very strong position, and we are poised to continue that success in the future,” Goldstein continued. “The School Board is excited to carry that work forward with new leadership and APS’ exceptional teachers and staff.”
The School Board is starting the process of identifying Murphy’s successor, APS said.
Murphy is the second member of APS leadership recently to announce his departure. Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Dr. Tara Nattrass announced that will be resigning at the end of this month.
Murphy’s retirement letter to the School Board can be found after the break:
Dear Reid, Tannia, Nancy, Barbara, and Monique:
Serving as the Superintendent of Arlington Public School (APS) for the past decade has been an honor and rewarding experience as I have worked to make a difference in the lives of children and families. As I reflect on my career with APS and my more than 30 years in public education in the Commonwealth of Virginia, I realize that I have come to a crossroad in my professional journey and believe that it is time for me to make a transition. I am, therefore, announcing my plan to retire as Superintendent of Arlington Public Schools, effective September 3, 2019.
As I think about the ebb and flow of changes that have occurred over the past 10 years, the progress we have made for children has been most rewarding. Each year we offer new opportunities to allow children to flourish, grow and reach for new heights of success. I know great strides will continue to be made because of the dedication of the School Board, community leaders, and APS staff and families, who all believe in the importance of excellence in public education. This has been demonstrated by our many accomplishments and articulated in our most recent Strategic Plan which places a high emphasis on academic achievement, human capital, operational management, and capital planning and programming.
During my time in Arlington, I have had the pleasure to work very closely with 13 school board members and 8 school board chairs as the school division has grown. I want to thank all of the elected school leaders I have worked with – past and present – for the important service you provide to the community, staff and children in Arlington. All of the Arlington School Board members have believed as I do in the value of public education and how it is a paramount to the fabric of our community and our Nation. Public education represents a critical responsibility for every community, because in the end, it is the true pathway to the “American Dream.” We know that when children receive the right encouragement, environment and resources to learn, they will achieve!
I also want to recognize and thank the Arlington County Managers, most recently Mark Schwartz, along with the many County Board members who have been advocates and staunch supporters of our schools and have ensured an economically vibrant Arlington for our children and families.
Finally, I want to thank the members of the APS Executive Leadership Team and our principals who have been on the front lines of so many positive changes. Their knowledge, will, enthusiasm and caring nature have been the fuel to make good things happen for the students in all of our schools.
I will always hold fond memories of my experiences with Arlington Public Schools, and I thank you for your support of me in my role as the APS Superintendent. I wish you continued success with the important work of the Strategic Plan and in your transition to a new leader.
Patrick K. Murphy, Ed.D.,