Laurens County School District 55 Chief of Staff Ed Murray is set to take over as superintendent of the Lopez Island School District in Washington.
Murray, who has served in several capacities in District 55 including public relations and district-wide athletics director, is to begin his new job across the country on July 10.
“I have appreciated my time in Laurens 55 and feel blessed to have met so many wonderful people in the variety of tasks I undertook,” Murray said via email. “We truly exemplified the ‘All Hands on Deck’ philosophy when work needed to get done. I am excited about the new opportunity to serve the Lopez Island community. It is a unique situation and a beautiful environment. The many lessons I have learned in Laurens will serve me in the work ahead.”
Lopez Island has a population of about 2,600 residents – a number that swells during the summer as tourists and seasonal residents come to the nearly 30-square-mile island, which is part of the San Juan Islands located in Puget Sound.
The Lopez Island School District includes around 235 students in four schools – Lopez Elementary, Lopez Middle, Lopez High and a K-8 school on nearby Decatur Island. By comparison, District 55 has around 5,600 students currently enrolled.
The move will allow Murray, a 35-year veteran in public education, and wife Joey to be closer to his wife’s parents in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Murray arrived at Laurens District 55 with former Superintendent Stephen Peters in 2016 after the two worked extensively together in Orangeburg County.
Murray, who holds two master’s degrees and his superintendent certification, is expected to complete his doctoral work in Education Systems Improvement from Clemson in 2022.