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The Dedham School Committee voted on Wednesday evening to name Nan Murphy as Dedham’s next Superintendent of Schools.  Ms. Murphy comes to Dedham from Marblehead Public Schools, where she is currently the Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning.   Ms. Murphy was selected in a unanimous vote by school committee members, who emphasized her commitment to collaborative leadership, student-centric approach, and experience building culturally inclusive school communities as critical skills that would greatly benefit Dedham students and faculty.


“We are excited to welcome Ms. Murphy to Dedham.   Her vision for the district, her background in school and student outcome improvements, and her emphasis on creating a positive, education-first, equitable learning environment for all members of our community distinguished her from a strong group of candidates,”  noted Melissa Pearrow, Chair of the Dedham School Committee.  “We had a difficult choice to make, but the extensive feedback we received from faculty and parents was incredibly positive and helpful as we looked to find the best fit for the future of Dedham Public Schools.”


In addition to her current Assistant Superintendent role in Marblehead, Nan Murphy brings a wealth of educational experience to the district, including six years as a school principal in Lowell, MA, where she led the transformation of an underperforming, high-needs elementary school and was recognized by DESE Commissioner Chester for the school’s quality improvements. She has supported statewide school improvement efforts at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, as well as in her time as an administrator in Lowell Public Schools. Ms. Murphy has a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from Gordon College, a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Trinity College of Vermont.  


Nan Murphy’s authenticity, creativity and engaging manner were attributes that were repeatedly called out in community comments, as well as during reference interviews.  “It is exciting to feel as though we are making a decision that was consistently supported in the huge amount of feedback we received from the community,” noted school committee members during deliberations. “We are happy to have a candidate that can help move Dedham forward and build on the tremendous skills of the leadership team we’ve worked so hard to put in place in our district over the past years.”


The search for Dedham’s next Superintendent of Schools began in early 2022,  incorporating community surveys and focus groups to create a candidate profile.  In December, the search moved forward to an extensive review of potential candidates by an appointed Screening Committee who reviewed all applications, screened potential candidates and recommended five for finalist consideration.   Following day-long visits touring and interviewing across the district, staff, parent and community feedback was collected and reviewed by the Dedham School Committee for consideration prior to Wednesday’s vote.


Superintendent Murphy is expected to take over the leadership of Dedham Public Schools in July 2023, following final contract negotiations with the school committee.    Dedham Public Schools are currently under the leadership of Interim Superintendent Dr. Ian Kelly,  after the December 2022 retirement of Superintendent Michael Welch, who led Dedham Public Schools for the past 9 years.