Schools to see new leaders


It’s been a year of transition among the faculty and coaching staff at the Madisonville school district, and the changes will continue next year.

The district announced recently that High School Principal Shaye Murphy is leaving for a job in his hometown of Slaton and Intermediate School Principal Marc Hodges is retiring.

“Both of them are great guys, really kid-focused, very caring,” said Superintendent Keith Smith. “They care about their staff. They will be missed very much. They’re good, solid men.”

Murphy worked for the district as an assistant principal for two years then left for College Station. About five years ago, Madisonville called and asked if he’d come back as principal.

“I love Madisonville,” Murphy said Friday. “I enjoy the small-town atmosphere and the family we have here in Madisonville.”

The high school principal in Slaton – who was actually Murphy’s science teacher back in the day – is retiring this year, and Murphy began receiving phone calls from people in the district and friends on the school board recruiting him to submit an application.

“I ignored it for a couple of weeks, but after about the 10th phone call I decided to go check it out,” he said.

His last day with Madisonville will be graduation on June 4.

Hodges, on the other hand, isn’t going anywhere.

The educator has 31 years of experience, split between Bryan ISD and Madisonville. The Normangee native plans to stay in town and will continue announcing sporting events for Madisonville and dabble in substitute teaching.

He became emotional when talking about his retirement.

“I really love this community and thought it was a wonderful place to be,” he said, noting that he applied for positions in Madisonville a couple of times before the principal job opened up. “The main reason I’m retiring is I wanted to retire before somebody else wanted me to retire. I want to leave while I still enjoy it and while I’m not bitter.”

Over the years, Hodges coached both male and female sports and taught everything from kindergarten to high school seniors.

“The support from the community and the school board and the superintendent is something you could never expect,” he said. “I appreciate what a great privilege it has been to be in this position. I always loved teaching.”

Both departing principals declined to name a recommendation for who should replace them.

“I think they will find a great candidate who will be able to make some good changes,” Hodges said. “I’ve benefited from so many people around the district who I think are very capable; it would be hard for me to choose one. They’ll certainly go through the vetting process and the interview process, and I’m very confident they’ll find the right person.”

Superintendent Smith said interviews are underway for the high school principal job and will be followed by a search for the intermediate school principal.

Other positions advertised at include athletic trainer, high school special education inclusion teacher and junior high science teacher.