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Patricia A. Murray Recommended as Bronxville Elementary School's New Principal

Patricia A. Murray. Photo credit: Contributed
Patricia A. Murray. Photo credit: Contributed
The following announcement is from the Bronxville Union Free School District:

After a comprehensive search process Superintendent David Quattrone announced his intention to recommend Patricia A. Murray for appointment to the position of Bronxville Elementary School Principal. He will nominate her at the April 22nd Board of Education meeting.

Murray has served as assistant to the Principal of Putnam Valley Elementary School since 2008. Prior to that she taught elementary school and completed her administrative internship in the New York City Schools, District 2. She earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan and has two masters’ degrees in education, one from New York University and one from the Aspiring Leaders Program at Baruch College. She has made several professional presentations and published an article focusing on the role of parents in supporting student achievement in mathematics.

The District launched its search process with the assistance of an external search consultant, Martin G. Brooks, who developed the following job specifications after meeting with focus groups and analyzing survey data:
  • An innovative, honest, transparent and thoughtful leader who is knowledgeable about child development, elementary curriculum, and instructional practice, has elementary school teaching and/or leadership experience, and understands how the skills and abilities embedded in the Common Core can inform educational practice in Bronxville.
  • An excellent communicator who seeks to connect effectively with all stakeholders and values the input of teachers, parents and students when making decisions.
  • A firm advocate for the needs of all students at all performance levels.
  • A teacher and learner who honors successful traditions while focusing on continued improvement, and who can strategically engage a strong faculty, involved parents and motivated students in identifying and addressing the school’s next level of work.
Quattrone said that Murray emerged as the strongest candidate in a pool of 179 applicants. District administrators interviewed nine and forwarded five to a screening committee consisting of Board members, parents, and teachers. Three finalists were selected for further consideration.  The final phase of the process involved further interviews, reference checks, a presentation to other administrators, and a teacher evaluation exercise. Although all three finalists exhibited strong qualifications and experience, Quattrone said Murray proved to be the best match with district needs and priorities.

Murray’s application stated, “I understand the importance of building strong relationships with the teachers, students, and parents, and it is these relationships that allow for a shared vision. If given this new leadership opportunity, I will nurture the successes that have already been made within the school community and do the necessary work to move the school forward.” Her presentation to the administrative team emphasized the importance of building a community with parents through listening, valuing input, supporting parents, and communicating clearly and often. 

References were unanimously positive.  Her former Superintendent called her “incredible” and “wonderful”.  She went on to say that Murray was well-versed in instruction and knows how to effect change. Her current Superintendent adds that she “has made tough decisions without making enemies.” Her former principal confirms that she has "really strong knowledge of curriculum coupled with a strong commitment to all children. She is a "thoughtful decision maker....a special person, who is smart, deliberate, and caring."

As a final step four members of the screening committee conducted a site visit to Murray's home district. Teachers, parents, and others there gave her glowing reviews.  One teacher commented, “I have never felt more respected by an administrator.”  Another said, “I always want to be better for Tricia.”  Teachers confirmed that she values student-centered work and believes strongly in building a team approach.  Parents said that “she is a big part of the kids’ experience at our school.” “She is fair in how she solves problems – firm yet compassionate.”  Walking through the building it was clear that she knew students and parents personally.”

Murray will start her new position on July 1, 2014 and expects to join the faculty in various year-end professional development activities. She lives in Chappaqua with her husband and two young daughters.

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