Head of School Search Update

Dear Academy Community,

On behalf of the Academy at Ocean Reef School Board of Trustees, it is my honor and pleasure to announce the appointment of Jerome Murphy as our Head of School, beginning July 1, 2019.

The Board voted unanimously to confirm Mr. Murphy based on the recommendation of the Search Committee.  His appointment is the culmination of a thoughtful and thorough national search that was conducted over the past six months.  The Search Committee, with the counsel and support of the executive search firm of Knuckleball/ Educational Directions, considered more than 85 highly qualified educators from across the country.

After a close examination of each candidate, it became clear that Mr. Murphy, with his significant previous experience—Head of Upper & Middle School at The Stanwich School in Greenwich, CT; Dean of Students at Chestnut Hill Academy in Chestnut Hill, PA; English & French Teacher at several schools—is the right person to guide The Academy at Ocean reef into its next exciting era of growth.

Mr. Murphy has the wisdom, experience, and leadership skills necessary to preserve our heritage, nurture our first class team of faculty and staff, and fulfill our mission of empowering students to succeed by inspiring intellectual curiosity and celebrating both effort and accomplishment.

As President of the Board of Trustees, I want to thank all the members of the Search Committee for their hard work and long  hours spent reviewing dossiers and meeting candidates, and for their commitment to identifying such an excellent choice in Jerome Murphy.  I am especially grateful to co-chairs Steve Slovick and Dan Leben for their exceptional leadership, attention to detail, and dedication to carrying out a clear and thoughtful process.

Above all, all the Board of Trustees is thankful for the enthusiastic participation of parents, faculty, staff, students and our current Head of School, Christina Simonds, who has guided us so well for the past three years.  Our community’s early insights were critical in identifying our needs and shaping the search strategy.  The community also provided important perspectives on our finalist candidates, which ultimately helped inform and support the Search Committee’s decision-making.

In the coming months, Mr. Murphy, Mrs. Simonds and the Board will work together to establish a plan and goals to support the smooth transition.  While Mr. Murphy’s official duties do not begin until July 1, he will be visiting campus this spring on different occasions to interface with Mrs. Simonds and meet with faculty and staff so that he may better get to know our school and community.  We look forward to partnering with Mr. Murphy and the entire Academy community in stewarding our wonderful school in the Ocean Reef Club.

Sincerely,

Russ Post

President, Board of Trustees

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