Photo: Gerald Martineau
An easy win for a tough job.
Patrick Murphy will remain the top administrator in the county school system for the next four years. The school board voted unanimously to keep him on.
"We are delighted that Dr. Murphy will be the supterintnetndent for the next years," said newly-elected school board chair Emma Violand Sanchez.
It will be a busy time for the school system that faces the completion of the new Wakefield High School and five major construction projects that will be planned or completed over the next four years to house an expected flood of new students at the primary level. The school system is planning for 1,800 more students by 2016, about a 15 percent increase over current levels.
Administrators have said the new schools will mean some children will have to change which school they attend. The last time the school system tried boundary changes, in 2006, parents fought hard.
The school board at that time, with Robert Smith as superintendent, ended up making a series of smallish changes that did little to alleviate overcrowding in the elementary schools.
Since then the schools have filled with even more students and few elementary schools in the county are below 90 percent capacity, and 15 of 22 elementaries are over full capacity.
Also at Monday's school board meeting...
Laurie Wiggins will start as principal of Gunston Middle School.
An educator and Spanish teacher for 19 years, "Wiggins began her teaching career in Barcelona, Spain where she taught for two years at Colegio Sefardi and the John Talbot School," the county's press release says.
"Bienvenida a Arlington," board chair Violand-Sanchez said, joking, "Even though you sometimes speak with Castillian Spanish, we still welcome you." Castillian Spanish is spoken in mainland Spain.