About this episode

Leadership transitions are tricky, not just for the school community, but also emotionally for the leader. Stephen Murley is a well-known and respected superintendent, successfully leading three different districts. Due to health concerns, Steve just resigned from his superintendent post in Green Bay Wisconsin. Jeff, a long-time colleague with Stephen, wanted to pick Stephen’s brain and discuss the emotions behind his past and current leadership transitions. This is a very relevant discussion for all educational leaders to hear and we appreciate the candid and thoughtful advice Stephen discusses with us.

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Steve Murley served as Superintendent of Schools for the Green Bay Area Public Schools from July, 2020 through June 2022, the Iowa City Community School District from July, 2010 through June, 2020, and the Wausau School District from July 2005 through June 2010.  He has also served as a teacher, coach, athletic department administrator, building administrator, and director of human resources and employee relations.  Each of these three districts served metropolitan communities including schools with urban, suburban, and rural profiles.  The students in these districts brought an enormous range of diversity to the classrooms including issues related to poverty, navigating life as black/ indigenous/ students of color, adjusting to life in the United States, learning English as a second language, and meeting their unique needs in special education programs.

Steve has a deep and abiding commitment to public education and developing the next generation of leaders who will serve our students.  He has been active as a graduate school faculty member since 2001 having taught at the University of Iowa in the Educational Policy and Leadership Studies Department, the University of Wisconsin – Superior in the Educational Administration Department, Marian University in the Educational Leadership Department, and the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh in both the Department of Human Services and Professional Leadership and the Department of Educational Foundations.  Beginning in 2012 Steve has also served as the lead instructor for the American Association of School Administrators National Superintendent Certification Program – Midwest Cohort.

As a Superintendent of Schools Steve has been active in professional organizations at the national level including the Alliance for Education Impact, the American Association of School Administrators, the American Association of Community Colleges Commission on College Readiness, the District Administration Leadership Institute, the District Management Group, the Education Advisory Board, the Futures 21 Council, the Horace Mann League, the Institute for Education Innovation, New Era Superintendents, the National Superintendents Dialog, the National Superintendents Roundtable, the Superintendents Environmental Education Collaborative, the United States Department of Education Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools, and the Urban Superintendents Association of America.

Steve earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan with a triple major in Economics, History, and Communications.  He has also completed a Master of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin in Educational Administration.

Steve is married to Darci and they have three boys.

About Jeff Rose, Vice President of Leadership Development at Cognia
Forward-thinking executive leader with over 20 years of education experience (3X Superintendent, Curriculum Director, Principal, & Classroom Teacher), primed to support leaders in their pursuit of solving the most complicated educational problems of practice.