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Murphy announces intentions to run for re-election

DULUTH - School board member Mary Kay Murphy announced Tuesday her plans to run for re-election in 2008 to the Gwinnett County Board of Education. The former public school teacher is currently serving her third term on the board.

"Continuity of leadership has been a hallmark of the Gwinnett Board of Education," Murphy said in a news release. "I am eager to continue as part of the leadership of Georgia's largest - and the nation's fifteenth largest - school system."

If re-elected, Murphy said her focus will be to keep the school system's academic program strong, move forward on the system's building program and ensure schools are providing the best public education they can provide.

Since she was elected in 1996, Gwinnett's student population has grown from about 86,000 students to more than 152,000 students, Murphy said. With the growth and increase in student diversity, the county has also seen an increase in students' academic scores, she said.

"Academic excellence and strong fiscal management have been my highest priorities during my time on the board," Murphy said.

If elected to a fourth term, Murphy said she would support the school system's major business of teaching and learning and continue to be a good steward of tax dollars.

"It has been such a privilege to serve," Murphy said. "It's been a very special opportunity to know our community in a very important way. ... I will give it my very, very best attention, commitment and effort if I am fortunate enough to be re-elected."

Murphy serves District III, which includes 17 schools in the Duluth, Norcross and Peachtree Ridge clusters. The schools are in Berkeley Lake, Duluth, Norcross and Peachtree Corners.

Murphy served as board chairwoman in 2000 and 2004 and as vice chairwoman in 1999 and 2003.

She was elected in June to a three-year term to the Georgia School Boards Association, where she represents public schools in Gwinnett and Fulton counties and the cities of Atlanta and Decatur.

Murphy and her husband, Michael, live in Riverview in Duluth. The couple has raised three daughters and are active members of Mary Our Queen Catholic Church in Norcross.

She has a master's degree in education and English from Emory University and a doctorate in education administration from Georgia State University. She is currently the associate vice president for institutional advancement at the Morehouse School of Medicine.

Board members Carole Boyce and Louise Radloff, whose terms also expire in 2008, have not announced plans for re-election.