Ballston Spa school district names interim high school principal

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BALLSTON SPA Former Shaker High School principal Richard Murphy has stepped into the role of interim Ballston Spa High School principal just weeks after its previous principal was appointed as Ballston Spa Central School District’s interim superintendent.

The High School’s previous principal, Gianleo Duca, was named the interim superintendent of the district following the abrupt resignation of Superintendent Daniel Connor in August. Duca will remain in his current role until a new superintendent is hired. 

Murphy was appointed by the school board during its Sept. 21 meeting to fill the void left by Duca’s promotion. Murphy’s contract with the district runs from Sept. 19 to June 30, 2023, at a rate of $500 a day, according to school documents. 

Murphy, who is 62 and lives in Saratoga Springs, started his new position with Ballston Spa Central School District on Sept. 19.

“His experience and success in leading a large Suburban Council high school will be a tremendous asset in helping Ballston Spa High School continue our goal of providing a top-quality education to our students,” Duca said in a press release.

Murphy was the principal at Shaker High School for 15 years, retiring in 2021, according to the release. Prior to that, he served as the Director of Pupil Services in the North Colonie Central School District.  

Murphy said he was asked to take on the interim principal role. 

“The interim superintendent and I had worked together back when I was at Shaker and I had the opportunity to get to know him,” he said. 

Although Murphy wasn’t seeking employment, he said he understood what was going on in the district and decided he wanted to help. 

“It’s been wonderful,” Murphy said Friday. “I was at a meeting yesterday with the administrative team and district and I’m greatly impressed by the running of this high school, the staff and faculty, the procedures, the programs and the system that is used to make sure that kids are being successful, kids are being instructed properly.”

Murphy has a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Siena College along with a master’s degree in school counseling and administrative certification, both from the College of Saint Rose, according to the release. He also holds state certification as a school district and a school building leader. 
In his new role, Murphy is overseeing the day-to-day functions of a school that currently has over 1,100 students enrolled between 9th and 12 grade, according to the release.

He said it is wonderful being back in a high school and seeing kids back and learning in school following the COVID pandemic. 

“It really reinforces the fact that schools are designed to give students [access] to success,” he said. “We learned that through COVID when [we were] not able to give kids that full access; it makes a big impact.” 

While The Gazette requested comments on additional questions, including how the search for a new superintendent was going, Ballston Spa Central School District officials did not respond before deadline.

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