Top 10 Stories of 2013: Superintendents stepping down  in city, Clarke

Posted: December 28, 2013

The Winchester Star

Rick Leonard
Kevin McKew
Linda Meadows
Mike Murphy

WINCHESTER — Clarke County Schools Superintendent Mike Murphy announced his retirement on Oct. 28 after five years on the job.

About six weeks later — on Dec. 10 — Winchester Superintendent Rick Leonard did the same, also after serving five years.

On the same day, Winchester Public Schools Executive Director Kevin McKew and Director of Finance Linda Meadows announced their retirements.

All are effective on July 1.

Now, it’s up to the local school boards to find their successors.


Both boards agreed to issue a request for proposals to find companies available to conduct a nationwide search and to estimate its cost.

Proposals in the Clarke County search are due on Jan. 24. The county School Board will evaluate the proposals during its Jan. 27 meeting.

In Winchester, the bids will close on Jan. 14.

“How long it will take to actually make a superintendent hire is difficult to say, but our board is very interested in getting it done as soon as possible,” said Winchester School Board Chairman John Bishop in a recent email. “We believe we are well-positioned to do that in terms of typical superintendent search timelines.”


Murphy, who is paid $136,949 annually and was at the helm of the division when the new $23.3 million high school was built, suggested that his most significant accomplishment was “people development.”

He has tried to encourage people to “shoot for the stars. I’ll be happy if that was my greatest legacy,” he said in an earlier interview.

Leonard, retiring with two years left on his four-year contract, is paid $153,365. He said he could not identify a “biggest accomplishment,” but is most proud of helping to “build collaborative teams and coaching good leaders.”

Leonard served as the project executive for the renovations and expansions at Daniel Morgan Middle and Handley High schools.


— Contact Rebecca Layne at