Principal Murphy 'had a bright personality and was very upbeat,' colleague says/ Obituary
By ANDY NYSTROM
Bothell Reporter Reporter
March 7, 2011 · Updated 10:22 AM
Richard Ito first met Stacy Murphy in 2003 at a Northshore School District administrative retreat. He was beginning his term as principal at Crystal Springs Elementary and she was starting out as principal at Westhill Elementary.
"She had a bright personality and was very upbeat," said Ito, noting that over the years as her colleague, he found her to be "extremely conscientious, enthusiastic, and you could tell she loved children and she loved children's literature."
Murphy, who was principal at East Ridge Elementary since 2007, passed away at home on Feb. 21 after more than a yearlong battle with cancer. She was 48.
"Stacy Murphy had a smile that could light the world. She was a wonderful person who served her family, her school and her community with grace and humility. We will miss her dearly," said Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education Kathleen Poole.
A special memorial service for families and the school community is being planned for later this month, Ito said. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), P.O. Box 4072, Pittsfield, MA 01201.
Murphy is survived by her husband, Tim, and her daughters, Mali and Shannon.
At East Ridge, she was known as a fair-minded leader who focused on students, read an entry on the school-district Web site.
"She loved being a part of learning in the classroom," said Ito, East Ridge's interim principal. "And she always had an open door."
Under her leadership, East Ridge earned a Washington Achievement Award for overall excellence in both 2009 and 2010. She was skilled at developing collaborative relationships with staff members and families.
"Her family was very important to her. She tried to lead a balanced life between work and family, which is a challenge for principals and educators in general," Ito said.
Ito noted that Murphy and her colleagues touch others' lives through their tireless work and dedication to educating students. He recently received a complimentary e-mail from a former Northshore family now living in Holland.
Locally, Ito said, "the (East Ridge) staff really feels the love and support of so many people," from Northshore schools and those in the Lake Washington School District and throughout the region.
Murphy earned her bachelor’s degree from Washington State University in 1985 and her master’s degree from Central Washington University and principal credentials in 2002.Contact Bothell Reporter Reporter Andy Nystrom at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-425-483-3732 (ext 5050).