The Delaware Department of Education is under new leadership after the swearing-in this morning of Secretary Mark Murphy. Governor Jack Markell officiated at the ceremony at DDOE offices in Dover. Secretary Murphy was surrounded by his family -- including wife Erika, a teacher, and his parents -- and DDOE staff for the official event.
Secretary Murphy was nominated by Governor Markell on April 27, 2012. He was confirmed by the State Senate on May 9, 2012.
Murphy, a former teacher and principal, most recently served as executive director of the nonprofit Vision Network, supporting 26 schools across Delaware to build teacher capacity and improve education outcomes. Prior to that role, he was executive director of leadership development at New Leaders for New Schools, a national non-profit.
There, he designed and implemented cutting-edge school leadership standards and assessments. He also led the successful development of more than 200 school principals across 10 cities.
The time he spent working in schools as a teacher and principal orients him to thinking about policy from the ground level, knowing how what is written on paper translates in reality. The time he spent working in hundreds of schools across the country during his nonprofit leadership work also gives him the perspective of how educators are working in other contexts. And as a father of children in Delaware public schools, he also sees the system from a parent's point of view.
He was honored to accept the Governor's nomination and the Senate's confirmation because of the opportunity to support and improve public education.
"Some of the most exciting work that I've seen is here in Delaware -- educators working together in innovative ways," Murphy said. "We must continue to look for ways to ensure Delaware's system is supporting -- and not encumbering -- the people closest to our children, empowering them to do their work."
Murphy will continue to lead the Delaware Department of Education to implement the aggressive school improvement work in the state's top-ranked federal Race to the Top plan.
"The focus for me is on implementation. That's about sweating the details," Murphy said. "We must make sure that all we are doing is touching our teachers and children in a way that is positive and supportive."
"Strong public schools remain critical to our long-term economic success. Secretary Lillian Lowery and her team have created a strong foundation. We must continue to build upon that work in order to keep moving Delaware forward," Markell said. "I know Mark Murphy will hit the ground running. He brings a teacher's heart, principal's perspective and years of data-driven experience to his new role."