Big blue and white yard signs reading “Elect Paul Murphy for School Committee” line the Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science office walls on the second floor of Morse Hall in support of Murphy’s campaign for a seat on the Andover Public School Committee.
Paul Murphy ’84, Instructor in Mathematics and Head Coach of Girls Swimming, is currently running for a seat amongst a committee of five representatives on the Andover Public School Committee, only a year after serving as Andover’s Dean of Students. There are two positions open and four candidates in the race.
“There are a couple of reasons why I am running, mostly being heart and head. For my heart, I was educated in the public school system in Andover in the 70s and early 80s… so I have a nice tie to the public school system. I had a good experience when I was there,” said Murphy.
Murphy continued, “From the head perspective, I think working here the last 27, almost 28 years taking what I’ve learned about education and administration to a committee that works with the superintendent about all kinds of things for the 6,000 kids that are in the school system, seems like a good use of my experience here.”
The position entails collaborating with other committee members to make decisions regarding Andover’s public school system. These decisions include educational goals and policies for the school district.
If elected, Murphy will serve on the Andover Public School Committee while still serving as an In-structor in Mathematics at Andover.
“[The position is] a three-year term. Meetings are roughly every two weeks. There’s a lot of work that goes on, but my sense is that I’ve left my job of Dean of Students, and teaching now, it feels like I have the time and brain space to do this,” said Murphy.
Murphy hopes to shed a new light on the discussions, provide a teacher’s perspective and represent Andover at the meetings.
“Right now, there are no teachers [on the committee]… to have a teacher sitting there seems like a good idea, and [one that is] a representative from [Andover],” said Murphy.
Christopher Capano, Director of Student Activities, is assisting Murphy with his campaign by finding people to distribute and hang campaign posters. Capano also helps to organize people to hold campaign posters in the downtown Andover area on Saturday mornings.
Capano believes Murphy’s calm demeanor would be very beneficial to the committee.
“I have worked with [Murphy] for a decade and he’s just one of the most conscientious and hard-working people I’ve ever been around,” Capano said in an interview with The Phillipian.
“He is very patient and very calm. In Andover, sometimes the school committee and the teachers unions argue a little bit, and I think they need people that aren’t going to get riled up, that are going to stay calm, listen to everyone, and help make a decision in a calm manner,” Capano continued.
Murphy’s campaign began in early January, when he had to collect 50 signatures from Andover residents in order to reach the next round of the campaign process. The election will take place March 22.