District 65's Communications Director Pat Markham says School Supt. Hardy Murphy isn't available today to comment on his resignation, but she relayed comments he'd made in a conversation with her about his departure.
Markham, in an email to Evanston Now's Charles Bartling, said Murphy sees three key accomplishments of his tenure:
- “Seeing the African-American and Latino students in District 65 climb one rung of the achievement ladder, exceeding the average achievement for that of all students across the state of Illinois.”
- Changing "the culture of service delivery for students. Once upon a time students were pulled out of their classrooms for support services. With our instructional improvement initiative, we began more than a decade ago to bring services to the student, in the classroom, limiting the number of transitions and helping ensure that these students did not miss the instruction that their peers were experiencing.”
- Including student growth in professional appraisals. “The district has been recognized for how we developed a professional appraisal system that included student learning and growth as measures of professional success and for the supports that teachers receive through continued professional development throughout the year.”
Markham said Murphy and the board agreed that it was the right time for him to leave.
“The Board is at the beginning stages for developing a new strategic plan,” he said, adding that they could best accomplish developing the plan with the leadership in place that will implement the plan.
Murphy, Markham said, at a staff meeting Monday morning said he's confident that the districts leadership team, teachers and staff will make the opening of schools later this month go smoothly.
Murphy, who is about age 65, said that by leaving now, at this stage of his career, he can take advantage of a window of opportunity to continue making a professional contribution to education while at the same time giving him and his family more time to enjoy the simple pleasures life has to offer.