New principal to take helm at North

By: April Lehmbeck | Grosse Pointe Times | Published February 27, 2013


GROSSE POINTE WOODS — The decision to make Kate Murray the new principal at Grosse Pointe North was met with such excitement at the Feb. 25 board meeting that the entire crowd in Brownell Middle School’s multipurpose room greeted Murray with a standing ovation.

Murray, previously the school’s assistant principal, was slated to take over as principal the next day.

This was the district’s second round at finding a candidate for the role. Last summer, the district advertised and interviewed for the position, which was left vacant when Principal Tim Bearden left to take an administrative post at Detroit Country Day School. They ultimately decided to rely on an interim principal so that they could wait for prime hiring season to relaunch a search to find the best candidate for the leadership role.

“The exciting news is we found that very best candidate … right among us,” Deputy Superintendent of Educational Services Jon Dean said.

Throughout the search, the district included many people and the community in the process. They conducted surveys and other tools to help with the extensive search.

“This is a very important position in our school system and many stakeholders have been involved in reviewing the documents and interviewing the potential candidates,” the district stated in a news release. 

The vote to appoint Murray to the position was unanimous among the school board.

“I think this is a fabulous pick,” Trustee Judy Gafa said. “I’m excited.”

When Murray took the podium after the appointment, she didn’t focus on herself, but she took the time to recognize loved ones and other district staff and officials.

She recognized her two young children, who are her cheerleaders, and her husband, who is “my rock and my endless support.” Murray also recognized her parents, who traveled to be there. She said they were “truly my first teachers.”

She recognized many people who made a difference in the schools and in her life.

“The power of a wise mentor is endless,” she said, before naming many mentors in her life.

She also mentioned the students and parents at North.

“You are truly my green-and-gold family, and I appreciate you,” she said.

“Thank you for this opportunity, and I’m excited to serve in this new capacity,” Murray said.

Murray and other district officials thanked interim Principal Tom Tobe, a retired school administrator, for his service this school year.

“We thank you so much for your support and your service and your passion in serving the students at North,” Superintendent Thomas Harwood said.

“We truly appreciate your stepping in and getting North off to a smooth start,” board President Joan Dindoffer said.