(Le Mars) — Earlier this week, Patrick Murphy announced that he would not seek re-election to the Le Mars Community Board of Education. Murphy has served on the local school board for the past 24 years. KLEM news sat down with Murphy and asked him to reflect on the time he served as a director with the Le Mars Community School District. Murphy explains he was asked by others to initially seek a position with the school board.
Murphy says he is very proud of the Le Mars Community School District, and proud of its state-wide reputation as being a good school district.
Murphy has served on the school board with three different superintendents, Roy “Red” Messerole, Dr. Todd Wendt, and now Dr. Steve Webner. He says each have done a great job leading the local school district.
The attorney continues his comments about the present-day school superintendent, Dr. Steven Webner.
Murphy has witnessed the growth and expansion of the Le Mars Community School District, having seen construction for new classrooms, a new gymnasium, and now, a new football
stadium. He says the new facilities, have and will, make Le Mars Community more competitive in both academics and athletics.
The retiring school board member says at times, the maintenance and custodial staff have done too good of a job. He references both Clark and Franklin elementary school buildings as his example.
Murphy has witnessed the good and the bad times of the local school district.
He says one of the most difficult times was when budgets were lean, and reductions in staff were needed. He also mentions the decision to close Kissinger elementary school building in Merrill was a particularly tough time for the school district.
Murphy says today he has concerns with the middle school, suggesting it may need to have additional staff to adequately serve the students.
Murphy says the Le Mars Community School District today is in good financial shape, and while taxpayers may enjoy having a low tax levy, Murphy disagrees with that position. Murphy says he is pleased to see the Le Mars Community School District on solid financial ground, but he believes more money should
be devoted to public education.
The Le Mars Community School District is seeing a growing number of minorities enrolled in the school system. Murphy was asked how an increasing number of minority students may change the educational system?
Because of his longevity on the school board, other directors would often refer to Murphy for his opinion on issues relating to education, and specifically issues relating to the Le Mars Community School District.
Likewise, the attorney was never shy about voicing his opinion and comments relating to educational issues, especially when it also involved the state legislature’s position on education spending. Murphy offers some advice to those current and future directors of the Le Mars Community Board of Education.
Murphy continues with his advice to others.
Murphy says he will fondly remember his time on the Le Mars Community Board of Education, and he says he is looking forward to seeing the new stadium being completed.