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Message from the Superintendent

Dear Iowa City Community School District Students, Staff, Families, and Community:

It is with mixed emotions that I write to you today. It has been my honor and privilege to serve the students, staff, and community of the Iowa City Community School District for the past decade. As I look back on the past ten years, I am very proud to have been a part of a team that has done so much for our children. I genuinely feel that the district is set up for success for years to come. I also feel confident that this is a good time to consider a transition both professionally and personally. It is with all this in mind that I have shared with the Board that I will be moving on at the end of my current contract, June 30, 2021.

I frequently tell people that I chose to come here for both professional and personal reasons. In a professional capacity, I have been fortunate to work with some of the finest teachers, administrators, and staff that I have known throughout my career. Together we have accomplished so much! Developing the first district strategic plan including an articulated comprehensive school improvement plan framework that flows from the district level to the classroom. Implementing the district’s first comprehensive diversity, equity, and inclusion plan including implicit bias training and cultural competency coaching. Advancing the district’s first weighted resource allocation model for teachers and support staff designed to more equitably distribute human resources throughout our schools. Deploying the district’s first 1:1 laptop program for 7th-12th grade students including implementation of the first learning management system in the district. Opening the Kirkwood Regional Center featuring nineteen career academies and serving students from eleven high schools from six districts. Completing the ten year $414 million facilities master plan in seven years including the construction of five new elementary schools, a new comprehensive high school, and significant renovations at all existing schools in the district. This was funded in part by the largest ever in the state $192 million general obligation bond. Those are only a few of the things that we have achieved over the past decade!

As a personal choice, our family moved here to provide an outstanding educational opportunity for our boys. We are grateful for their experiences in the classroom and extracurricular activities at school and in the community and for all of the hard work and dedication put forth by their teachers and coaches. We are very excited to watch our youngest walk across the stage as he graduates this May. Our sons have been well prepared for post-secondary education, career, and life. For that we owe this community our heartfelt gratitude! The community welcomed us with open arms and made our time in Iowa a warm and enjoyable experience. We have met so many wonderful people and formed life-long friendships.

I look forward to continuing our work together over the coming months as we focus on providing the children of our community the finest education in the country. Thank you all so very much for everything that you have done to make my time here so rewarding.


Stephen F. Murley
Superintendent of Schools