J-DHS has a new interim assistant principal during Assistant Principal Candace Johnson’s temporary absence. Mary Ann Murphy has 20 years of experience as a school administrator and she will be the J-DHS assistant principal for an indefinite amount of time.
According to Principal Gasparini, “Ms. Johnson is absent right now. It’s just like a teacher who is absent. She’s not on leave, she’s absent. We have a substitute administrator just like we would have a substitute teacher. Mrs. Murphy has been a principal for a long time, she’s been an administrator, and she’s just helping out. Ms. Johnson is great. We look forward to seeing her again. Right now, it’s like a substitute teacher.” Gasparini does not know when Johnson will return to her position.
Johnson’s substitute assistant principal, Mary Ann Murphy, answered several of the RamPage’s questions regarding her new position at J-DHS.
Can you tell J-DHS students about yourself?
I grew up in Central New York. I worked and taught at Tully Junior-Senior High School and I moved into administration from there. I coached volleyball and soccer for several years. I have a husband, two daughters who are grown, and a couple dogs. I like sports, I like staying active, and I love kids. That’s why I’m here.
What is your history as an educator and administrator?
I was a business teacher for 12 years. I moved into administration in the year 2000. My first year as an administrator was with [J-DHS Principal Paul] Gasparini at Tully. He was the principal. I was the assistant principal and athletic director for four years, and then they took the athletic director position and gave it to somebody else. That worked out great for me because it was a very difficult job to do. Then I became the principal at Tully in 2009 and I retired from there in June 2021.
Why do you think you were selected to be the interim assistant principal?
I have known Mr. Gasparini since the late-1990s, and he knew that I retired last year. I have no idea if anyone else was called, but I did one other interim [position] already at the Fayetteville-Manlius School District, so I have some experience doing interim positions. He called me and asked me if I could help him out. We’ve been colleagues for a long time, so I was happy to help.
How long do you expect to hold this position?
I have no idea. I will be here as long as Mr. Gasparini needs me.
What, if anything, do you hope to achieve or change in our school in your position?
Well, I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to change anything. But one of the things I’ve always prided myself on is having civil discourse with students because I believe that students have varied insights. Understanding where they’re coming from in all aspects – whether it’s their education, a disciplinary thing, a conflict with another child, [a difficulty] in their classes, [a disagreement with] their teacher – whatever it is, I just want to help them work their way through it.