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Cambridge Public Schools COO David Murphy Appointed Interim Superintendent

Cambridge Rindge & Latin School is a Cambridge public school. Cambridge Public Schools Chief Operating Officer David Murphy will serve as interim CPS superintendent beginning Monday.
Cambridge Rindge & Latin School is a Cambridge public school. Cambridge Public Schools Chief Operating Officer David Murphy will serve as interim CPS superintendent beginning Monday. By Joey Huang
By Darcy G Lin, Crimson Staff Writer

Cambridge Public Schools Chief Operating Officer David Murphy will serve as interim CPS superintendent beginning Monday, the Cambridge School Committee announced in a meeting last Tuesday.

The announcement comes less than one month after the School Committee voted to terminate former Superintendent Victoria L. Greer’s contract early. In the final year of her short term as superintendent, Greer faced months of backlash from parents, especially surrounding hiring practices at Graham & Parks Elementary School and other elementary schools.

Murphy — who worked at Boston and Medford Public Schools before joining CPS in January 2023 — will serve for at least 90 days and up to one full year as the School Committee works to identify a long-term interim superintendent.

The decision to hire an interim superintendent while searching for another comes as the School Committee also needs to identify a permanent replacement for Greer. Though School Committee members Rachel B. Weinstein and José Luis Rojas Villarreal suggested that the body should make an offer to a candidate by December, the committee has not formally announced any details about the search for Greer’s replacement.

In a press release Wednesday, the School Committee wrote that they “look forward to working collaboratively with Mr. Murphy in the weeks and months ahead” as they “conduct a thoughtful and thorough search for a permanent, long-term Superintendent.”

The original transition plan, organized by Vice Chair Caroline Hunter and Mayor E. Denise Simmons, had Murphy serving for between 30 and 90 days until another interim superintendent could take his place. But the committee voted to modify the plan on Tuesday after some members expressed concerns about quickly cycling through two temporary superintendents before arriving at a permanent hire.

“If we go from Dr. Greer to an acting or an interim, and then another acting or interim, and then another permanent — I do want to think about what that means for continuity and leadership as well as the capacity of our committee to do a really thorough search for the permanent,” Weinstein said.

School Committee member Elizabeth C.P. Hudson also expressed concern about the capacity of the committee to engage in two important hiring processes simultaneously.

“Will we be in a position where we are hiring for an interim and hiring for a permanent at the same time? And do we have the capacity to do that?” Hudson said.

During the Tuesday meeting, former CPS Deputy Superintendent Carolyn Turk outlined several criteria for the selection of an interim superintendent: experience in administrative positions, an existing understanding of Cambridge, and no interest in staying in the role permanently. Still, School Committee members later said that they would support the interim superintendent becoming permanent if their work in the interim was satisfactory.

“If there’s a temporary person that I like and that is working in the way that I thought was most beneficial for kids, I’m OK with them applying for the job,” Richard Harding, Jr. said.

At the meeting, Turk also said that Greer and her administration compiled a “very comprehensive list of needs and tasks” that temporary superintendents must attend to through the summer to ensure a “smooth” closeout, summer, and launch in the fall.

During the meeting, members said that work to search for both an interim superintendent and Greer’s permanent replacement will continue through the summer.

“I don’t even know what we want for Cambridge Public School and its next leader,” Harding said, encouraging the committee to engage in further discussions to align expectations.

Simmons similarly recognized that the School Committee has a lot to talk about following Greer’s termination.

“I hope you guys like each other enough to hang out a lot, because we’re going to have to do that,” Simmons said.

—Staff writer Darcy G Lin can be reached at

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