Jazz Saxophonist Steve Murley
Steve Murley has been involved with education for more than 30 years. Among his many positions have been superintendent of Green Bay Area Public Schools 2020-2022, Iowa City Community School District 2010-2020 and Wausau School District 2005-2010. Additionally he taught graduate level classes for over ten years at University of Iowa’s Educational Policy and Leadership Studies Department.
Early Life and Education
Murley had an extensive educational career as both teacher and administrator before being named athletic department supervisor of Green Bay Area School District, Iowa City Community Schools and Wausau School Districts.
Murley oversaw the implementation of a 10-year facilities master plan and the use of $191.5 million in voter-approved taxes for Iowa City School District during his time there, drawing criticism from some school board members for serving as consultant to SUPES Academy and for dismissing homeless student liaison Stephanie Van Housen as homeless students liaison and whistleblower.
Murley plans on leaving Green Bay so he can be closer to his family, while continuing teaching graduate education leadership courses at the University of Iowa as he had in Green Bay and previously for UW Superior, Oshkosh and Marian University Fond du Lac.
Steve Murley is a Canadian jazz saxophonist in high demand in Toronto for years, his work ranging from intimate explorations of jazz standards to collaborations with Ed Bickert, Rob McConnell, and David Braid among many others. His efforts have garnered him several Juno nominations.
Since 2001, he has shown his deep commitment to public education by shaping a new generation of leaders for our students. Since then, he has taught graduate school courses at three institutions: University of Iowa’s Educational Policy and Leadership Studies Department; UW Superior’s Educational Administration department; Marian University in both its Departments of Human Services Professional Leadership and Educational Foundations.
Murley announced earlier this year he would step down as Iowa City Superintendent upon completion of his current contract in 2021, accepting an offer as a clinical instructor at the University of Iowa instead.
Achievement and Honors
Murley has made his mark as a jazz musician by performing and recording with Clark Terry and Paul Desmond as well as various Toronto groups such as David Braid’s Sextet and Rob McConnell’s Band.
Murley announced his decision in a letter sent out to staff and parents. He will leave Iowa City Community School District at the conclusion of his contract in June 2022.
Murley had made strides toward improving equity and inclusion within Metro Nashville Public Schools, including creating a one-to-one laptop program for students, working to address implicit bias training, and working toward equity and inclusion through implicit bias training. The board expressed satisfaction with his work at the district; among his achievements include implementing a one-to-one laptop program for students as well as working to address implicit bias training. They stated they are currently searching for his replacement; Murley was among two final candidates. Sonia Stewart from Metro Nashville Public Schools executive officer of Organizational Development was among these two.
Murley received praise from Green Bay school board president Eric Vanden Heuvel for his leadership of both districts, saying he is an outstanding communicator who collaborates well with all stakeholders.
Murley served as Superintendent of Iowa City Community School District for 10 years before leaving to pursue other opportunities. Under his watch, the district faced many challenges including increasing academic achievement and improving facilities while coming under media scrutiny over the use of seclusion rooms – 6-by-6-foot wooden structures equipped with padding used to contain disruptive students.
He has come under criticism for his consulting work and refusal to disclose income from the district. Some say his failure to complete his doctorate degree in educational administration indicates poor leadership; he has pledged that this degree will soon be obtained.
Murley boasts an impressive list of professional achievements. He currently sits on the boards of directors for Health Insurance Innovations Inc. and privately held Brown Advisory Incorporated; in addition, he sits on Harbour Group’s board of advisors.
Since 2017, according to his public filings, he has conducted over 11 trades of Stericycle stock. As of 14 January 2022, he still owned at least 87 units of this company.
He reflected upon the challenges he had been up against during a pandemic and other trying periods as superintendent, while listing accomplishments such as one-to-one computer programs for secondary students, work towards improving equity and inclusion via implicit bias training, as well as developing the 10-year facilities plan. Furthermore, he stressed his dedication both to his district and family life.