Mary Kay Murphy
Program Director for Greater Grand Rapids

Mary Kay is a passionate Michigan educator dedicated to elevating the role of teacher leaders and creating equity focused schools. She leads program implementation and growth in Greater Grand Rapids, Michigan, as a Program Director at Leading Educators.

Mary Kay’s “Why”

As a young teacher in an urban and highly culturally and linguistically diverse school, Mary Kay saw how shared leadership across a building could elevate the success of both teachers and students. She learned first hand the responsibility of the classroom teacher in ensuring students had the access and supports needed to achieve high levels of academic success.

She later found the importance of ongoing embedded teacher support as a way to both support and challenge teachers to continue to grow in this ever-changing demands of education. It was through Mary Kay’s personal experiences with growth and challenge that she found her passion in creating systems of authentic support for teachers that lead to equitable education.

Mary Kay’s Journey

Before joining Leading Educators, Mary Kay taught grade K-8, was a building principal, and was an instructional coach in the Greater Grand Rapids and Houghton Lake areas. In addition to school system work, she also gained experience working at national non-profits as a leadership coach at Partners in School Innovation and Associate Director at The Education Trust Mid-west.

Mary Kay holds a B.A. in Elementary Education from Aquinas College and a M.Ed in Educational Leadership from Grand Valley State University. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her husband, three children, and fur baby Miss Scout.

What Inspires You? I am blessed to do work I believe in communities I love.

Fun-fact: Mary Kay’s large Italian family keeps in touch with a monthly birthday calendar email and Facebook posts. Making the most of technology helps keep four generations close and connected.