Monthly Archives: February 2013

Windham High School’s Tom Murphy Is Principal of the Year

Windham High School principal Tom Murphy got the surprise of a lifetime on February 5th. Students and faculty began assembling in the high school gymnasium at 10:15 A.M. as Mr. Murphy met with school administration offsite. The goal was to keep him occupied as the band, chorus, cheerleaders and speakers prepared to kick off a pep rally honoring Mr. Murphy for his recent Principal of the Year award.

Around 10:45 A.M. Mr. Murphy was called back to the school under the guise of a reported flood in the gymnasium. Instead of addressing a building crisis, Mr. Murphy entered the gymnasium to a crowd of cheering revelers and well-wishers.

Jack Bryne made the introductions as a stunned Mr. Murphy took it all in. WMUR sports anchor and Windham native Jamie Staton congratulated Mr. Murphy for his accomplishments and the school’s sporting successes. He told the audience they should be proud of the tremendous school, noting he wished it had opened while he was a student. Mr. Staton acknowledged Mr. Murphy’s leadership and asked the students to always remember how great their principal is. He then presented Mr. Murphy with four Monarchs tickets.

Teacher of the Year Bethany Bernasconi gave a heartfelt speech about his leadership, guidance and focus on students, supporting his educators and building a community. “I could continue for pages elucidating the reasons that Mr. Thomas Murphy deserves the Principal of the Year award. I could discuss the bridges he has built between school and community, the 0% drop out rate of our first ever-graduating class, or his ability to think outside the box of the traditional classroom as the epicenter of all learning and yet all of my words would pale in comparison to the testament that is our school community. For all of these reasons and so many more, I think you’ll all agree with me when I say, they got it right when they chose the 2013 Principal of the Year. Congratulations Mr. Murphy,” she said.

The praise continued with comments from retiring Superintendent Dr. Henry LaBranche, who thanked Mr. Murphy for his service and noted that as an administrator he has been blessed to have had him for the last two years.

Principal Murphy told Dr. LaBranche he might reconsider how great of a job he was doing if an event of this magnitude was planned in his building without his knowledge. By all accounts, Mr. Murphy is a hands-on principal and indeed planning a surprise for him was no easy task. “I had no idea,” he said.

After the speeches and musical performances by the high school choir and band the faculty had a final surprise for Mr. Murphy: a flash mob dance to one of his favorite songs, Barry Manilow’s Can’t Smile Without You.

Mr. Murphy was presented the Charles A. Napoli Secondary School Principal of the Year 2013 Award last month.