After 10 weeks on a paid leave of absence Houghton Lake Community Schools Superintendent Kevin Murphy was reinstated by the Board of Education Tuesday. Murphy was on paid non-disciplinary leave while an investigation of allegations of misconduct against him were investigated.
Murphy’s reinstatement followed an agreement to accept disciplinary action resulting from the investigation. He was also placed on an “Individualized Development Plan,” as part of the agreement that will be scrutinized by current board Vice-President Tom Dean and Trustees Tim Scherer and David Johnson.
The end of this lengthy investigation is welcomed by all parties concerned. The impact on the school district, despite what some observers may believe, has been profound. A ship without its captain in a raging storm is cause for fear and concern. In this instance, even with an interim superintendent in place, the anxiety born of the investigation led to apprehension and fear.
Board President Dave Harned, at the conclusion of Tuesday’s meeting, asked the audience to “start healing from here on out. Let’s take advantage of what we have which is a lot of great people.” His is a grand request that may be granted by a few, but will undoubtedly take a corresponding amount of time to accomplish for others. We hope peace and harmony will soon be reestablished, but, unfortunately, human nature being what it is, tells us that healing may take much more effort.
While it was a seven member board that made the decision, it is the responsibility of our community as a whole to share in the process of rebuilding. It is not a time to take sides. Instead, it is a time to be a good role model for what our educators try to instill in our children: treat others as you want to be treated.
We urge our community to continue to be involved in our schools. As is demonstrated in this week’s Houghton Lake High School graduation salute published by the Resorter, we have a lot to be proud of in terms of our schools, students, graduates and community. Let’s harness our collective energy and move forward.
The tenets of leadership and responsibility require leaders to respect the people and responsibilities they share. With the board’s stipulations in place and agreement with them by Mr. Murphy, reestablishing that respect becomes a key component.
Learning doesn’t end with a diploma, it is a lifelong process and that has been especially emphasized in this ordeal. We are all still learning. We hope we profit from this latest education.