Business manager Joel Murphy to serve as interim superintendent in Quincy

Joel Murphy, who will begin work Monday as the new interim superintendent of the Quincy School District, is shown working at the Board of Education office in his current job as the district’s business manager. (H-W File Photo)
Posted: Jan. 31, 2013 9:10 am Updated: Nov. 28, 2014 9:18 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Joel Murphy, business manager for the Quincy School District, will assume the role of interim superintendent starting Monday.

School Board President Bill Daniels announced in a press release Thursday that Murphy's appointment as interim superintendent is still pending the board's formal approval. This is expected to come at one of two special meetings the board has scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Friday and 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

The board is only expected to meet once, but it was still determining which meeting time would best suit the schedules of board members.

The hiring of a full-time superintendent to replace the departed Lonny Lemon also is on the agenda for the special meetings. Whoever is named full-time superintendent won't start work until the new fiscal year begins July 1.

Assuming his appointment as interim superintendent is approved at the special meeting, Murphy would serve in that position only until the current fiscal year ends June 30. He will then return to his regular job as business manager.

According to Daniels, Murphy will retain oversight of the business office while serving as interim superintendent. However, "since there is too much work for one person to do both jobs, we will retain the services of an interim business manager on an as-needed basis," Daniels said in the press release.

Murphy's current salary as business manager is $125,000 a year, or approximately $481 per day based on a standard 260-day work year. While serving as interim superintendent, his pay will be bumped up temporarily to $665 per day -- the equivalent of a $172,900 annual salary.

Murphy started working for the Quincy School District last July. Before coming to Quincy, Murphy spent 20 years in central office administration at school districts in the Illinois communities of St. Charles, Yorkville, Oswego, Crystal Lake and Plainfield.

"Although most of his experience has been in business, he also has held positions responsible for facilities, planning, operations and technology," Daniels said.

Immediately prior to starting in Quincy, Murphy worked for the Plainfield School District for two years as director of facilities -- a job that involved overseeing operations at the fourth-largest school district in Illinois.

Before going to Plainfield, Murphy worked as business manager for the Prairie Grove School District near Crystal Lake. Before that, he was business manager for the Oswego School District.

In 25 years of working for public schools, Murphy spent about 20 of those years as a business manager with a financial role, he said in an interview last summer.

Murphy received a master's degree in school business management in 1992 and his superintendent certificate in 2010.

Murphy took over the business manager's position formerly held by Bud Martin, who retired in March of last year. Martin subsequently returned to Quincy to serve as interim superintendent under a 60-day contract after Lemon resigned in June to take a different job in the Chicago area.

After Martin stepped aside, Cal Lee then took over as interim superintendent in September under a 100-day contract that expires this week. Now Murphy will take over for Lee.

Murphy's current contract as business manager runs through June 30, 2015. His current salary was set at a higher level than the $110,000 paid to Martin and the $118,500 paid to Martin's predecessor, Rich Royalty, who filled in temporarily as the district's business manager until Murphy arrived on the job last summer.

Murphy's higher salary reflects the fact he will be asked to take on some additional duties staring July 1 of this year after the district's director of technology, Jody Cooper, retires. The tech director's position will be eliminated and the duties will be spread among several other administrators as a way to hold down administrative costs.



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