North Summit Elementary principal preps for new test
Wade Murdock has held a lot of roles in 22 years in public education. He’s taught high school and middle school biology and health and has been a counselor, a high school assistant principal and a principal at a middle school and at a high school.
The one challenge he hasn’t faced is working in an elementary school — but that’s about to change.
Murdock is set to begin his first year as principal of North Summit Elementary School. He sees diving into elementary education as one of the biggest tests of his career, but it’s one he’s eager to ace.
“It’s exciting,” he said. “It keeps a person young. I’ve got a lot to learn. What I have learned real quick is it’s a whole new environment and a whole new set of terminology. On the other hand, high school is very difficult — every night there are activities and things, and I needed a break to support my own family. This is an opportunity to come and learn something totally new.”
If Murdock’s name seems familiar, it’s because he’s no stranger to North Summit. He is a longtime Summit County resident and served as North Summit Middle School’s principal for three years in the late 2000s before filling the top job at Morgan High School for the last six. He said when North Summit called about him becoming the elementary school principal, he jumped because it was a chance to spend more time with his daughter, who attends North Summit High School.
“It’s easier to be here,” he said.
But it’s also an opportunity to try his hand at something new. He said he has always tried to stave off complacency in his career, searching for different challenges.
“About every five or six years I try something different,” he said. “I think it’s good for educators to be challenged and to always look at something new. Sometimes I think change is good. Even the position I just came from, after six years it was probably good for somebody else to put a different set of eyes on it. And I hope I can do whatever I can to help this school.”
Though he anticipates it will take time to completely find his bearings at North Summit Elementary, he said his passion for the job will not waver. He has remained in education for more than two decades because he enjoys seeing students learn. And he intends to do all he can to set up the students at North Summit for bright futures.
“It’s just fun being around kids,” he said. “If you don’t like them, you shouldn’t be here. It’s amazing to see kids grow and learn. You really do see a change in them, especially when I worked in high school. And then afterwards, you see them working and with families or whatever. It’s just neat to see that. And at this level, there’s a lot of growth and learning.”
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Compensation is the largest issue left on the table after a contract governing most every other aspect of teachers’ employment was negotiated earlier in June.